New beginnings

I have decided to have a go at electronics. This seems like a good idea, since it is fun, practical, interesting and when I was at university I got good grades for it.

I’ve bought a Beaglebone Black development board and a Arduino Nano clone.I bought both because they work very differently, and I want to see how they compare. The Beaglebone Black board has a 1 GHz (1000 MHz) ARM processor, runs LInux, and has 92 connection points in two header blocks. The Arduino Nano has a 16 MHz processor of a much simpler design, has no operating system at all, only the smallest piece of built-in software to load my programs. Both connect to my PC using a USB cable, and make it easy to set them up.

I have also bought a copy of the book ‘Exploring Beaglebone’ by Derek Molloy, which explains clearly how to correctly attach things to Beaglebone Black. The board is a very expensive and sensitive beast. I also acquired some free stickers from Logic Supply. The instructions said to print on labels, but I obtained good results using regular paper and some glue. Because the connectors are now labelled, it is much harder to connect to the wrong pin.

Beaglebone Black with added header labels

Beaglebone Black with added header labels – header P9 in the background and P8 in the foreground

Finally, I downloaded a copy of the software ‘Putty’ and ‘WinSCP’ to control the Beaglebone Black. Using this software I can copy files between the PC and the Beaglebone Black, and also run a Linux terminal.

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