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Posts Tagged ‘beaglebone’

OpenH PULSAR and QUASAR Boards Add 4G LTE Cat M1, or Cat 4/1 to Raspberry Pi Boards

May 31st, 2017 No comments

We’ve seen a bunch of IoT boards with 2G connectivity recently including Orange Pi 2G-IoT, Wio GPS, and Nadhat, but while in some countries 2G will still work for many years, those boards are already obsolete – or soon will be – in many other countries. However, finding low cost 3G / 4G  boards is more difficult, and while one solution is to use 3G or 4G USB dongles,  “OpenH – Open Hardware” – part of KLiP Industries – has designed two boards with 4G connectivity provided by Quectel modules.

OpenH PULSAR Board

PULSAR board is compatible with Arduino Zero and features the following specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel/Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU (the as the one used in Arduino Zero)
  • Connectivity
  • Security – Dedicated management CPU with crypto engine
  • Power Supply 10W digital power supply and battery charger with direct solar input
  • FCC and Carrier certified

The board can work in standalone mode, but if needed, a Raspberry Pi Zero can optionally be mounted to the board. PULSAR is designed for low-bandwidth projects up to 200 kbps, support OTA firmware updates, and can work with the cloud provider of your choice.

OpenH QUASAR Raspberry Pi HAT Board

If your project needs more bandwidth, you can use QUASAR boards instead on a Raspberry Pi 2/3 board:

  • Connectivity
  • Expansion connectors
  • Security – Dedicated management CPU with crypto engine
  • Power Supply – 25W digital power supply and battery charger with direct solar input
  • FCC and Carrier certified

You’ll get up to 150 Mbps bandwidth using LTE Cat 4 module, and just like the other board is can support OTA firmware update, and popular cloud services like Amazon Web Service (AWS) IoT, Azure IoT Hub, IBM BlueMix, Google Cloud for IoT, ThingSpeak, etc…

Installation and IP67 Enclosure

OpenH explains Bluetooth and NFC are for installation and maintenance, and they appears to have a mobile to access the serial console, authorize access, reboot the board, check GPS coordinates…. over Bluetooth, as shown above using QUASAR board.

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Many such long range IoT projects are designed to be placed outdoor, so the company also offer Rubicon IP67 weatherproof enclosure that works with both 4G boards, as well as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, BeagleBone, etc.. and is high enough for one or more add-ons board thanks to a selection of shallow or deep covers. The photo above shows the case with a Raspberry Pi board (left) and Beaglebone Black + PRUDAQ cape (right).

The downside is that the board are not available yet, pricing is unknown, and documentation is very limited right now. If you are interested, you can register your email on openh.io website by clicking on Pre-order Now button. Rubicon IP67 enclosure is available now for $35 plus shipping.

Top Programming Languages & Operating Systems for the Internet of Things

May 19th, 2017 3 comments

The Eclipse foundation has recently done its IoT Developer Survey answered by 713 developers, where they asked  IoT programming languages, cloud platforms, IoT operating systems, messaging protocols (MQTT, HTTP), IoT hardware architectures and more.  The results have now been published. So let’s have a look at some of the slides, especially with regards to programming languages and operating systems bearing in mind that IoT is a general terms that may apply to sensors, gateways and the cloud, so the survey correctly separated languages for different segments of the IoT ecosystem.

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C and C++ are still the preferred languages for constrained devices, and developers are normally using more than one language as the total is well over 100%.

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IoT gateways are more powerful and resourceful (memory/storage) hardware, so it’s no surprise higher level languages like Java and Python join C and C++, with Java being the most used language with 40.8% of respondents.

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When it comes to the cloud with virtually unlimited resources, and no need to interface with hardware in most cases, higher level languages like Java, JavaScript, Node.js, and Python take the lead.

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When it comes to operating systems in constrained IoT devices, Linux takes the lead with 44.1%, in front of bare metal (27.6%) and FreeRTOS (15.0 %). Windows is also there in fourth place probably with a mix of Windows IoT core, Windows Embedded, and WinCE.

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Linux is the king of IoT gateways with 66.9% of respondent using it far ahead of Windows in second place with 20.5%. They have no chart for the cloud, probably because users just don’t run their own Cloud servers, but relies on providers. They did ask specifically about the Linux distributions used for IoT projects, and the results are a bit surprising with Raspbian taking the lead with 45.5%, with Ubuntu Core following closely at 44.4%.

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Maybe Raspbian has been used during the prototyping phase or for evaluation, as most developers (84%) have been using cheap development boards like Arduino, BeagleBone or Raspberry Pi. 20% also claim to have deployed such boards in IoT solutions.

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That’s only a few slides of the survey results, and you’ll find more details about Intel/ARM hardware share, messaging & industrial protocols, cloud solutions, wireless connectivity, and more in the slides below.

Via Ubuntu Insights

PocketBone Board Based on Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP Fits into an “Altoids Smalls” Mint Tin Box

April 17th, 2017 5 comments

Last year, Octavo Systems introduced OSD3358 System-in-Package (SiP) that includes Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 processor, 256MB to 1GB RAM, a PMIC and an LDO into a single package. Since then the SiP has been found in BeagleBone Black Wireless and BeagleBone Blue, and at the time of launch there was also some development around PocketBone, a tiny open source hardware Smalls mint tin sized board based on OSD3358, which is smaller than a CHIP board, but a little bigger than NanoPi NEO board.

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There’s now been some progress with prototypes of the board manufactured with the following specifications:

  • SiP (System-in-Package) – Octavo Systems OSD3358 with TI Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 1 GHz,  PowerVR SGX530 GPU, PMIC + LDO, and 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • USB – 2x micro USB port one for power, one OTG port
  • Expansion – 10-pin header (unpopulated) with SPI, I2C, UART, GND, and 3.3V signal
  • Misc – Power & reset buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 4-pin header for 3.7 LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – ~54mm x ~33mm (fits in Altoid Smalls mint tin box).

The first version of the board was designed with Eagle, but the schematics and PCB layout have been redesigned with KiCad open source software instead, and all hardware design files are released under CERN Open Hardware License v1.2. The boards should be able to run any distributions that works on BeagleBone Black derived boards such as Debian, Angstrom, Ubuntu, etc…

PocketBone is not for sale yet, but if you are interested you could fill out a survey, which could either end-up starting a group buy, or – if there is more interest than expected – a crowdfunding campaign. More details about the project can be found on its hackaday.io page.

$80 BeagleBone Blue Board Targets Robots & Drones, Robotics Education

March 14th, 2017 3 comments

Last year, we reported that BeagleBoard.org was working with the University of California San Diego on BeagleBone Blue board for robotics educational kits such as EduMiP self-balancing robot, and EduRover four wheel robot. The board has finally launched, so we know the full details, and it can be purchased for about $80 on Mouser, Element14 or Arrow websites.

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BeagleBone Blue specifications:

  • SiP (System-in-Package) – Octavo Systems OSD3358 with TI Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 1 GHz,  2×32-bit 200-MHz programmable real-time units (PRUs), PowerVR SGX530 GPU, PMIC, and 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 LE (TI Wilink 8) with two antennas
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 client and host port
  • Sensors – 9 axis IMU, barometer
  • Expansion
    • Motor control – 8x 6V servo out, 4x DC motor out, 4x quadrature encoder in
    • Other interfaces – GPIOs, 5x UARTs, 2x SPI, 1x I2C, 4x ADC, CAN bus
  • Misc – Power, reset and 2x user buttons; power, battery level & charger LEDs; 6x user LEDs; boot select switch
  • Power Supply – 9-18V DC input via power barrel; 5V via micro USB port; 2-cell LiPo support with balancing,
  • Dimensions & Weight – TBD

The board ships pre-loaded with Debian, but it also supports the Robot Operating System (ROS) & Ardupilot, as well as graphical programming via Cloud9 IDE on Node.js. You’ll find more details, such as documentation, hardware design files, and examples projects on BeagleBone Blue product page, and github.

The board is formally launched at Embedded World 2017, and Jason Kridner, Open Platforms Technologist/Evangelist at Texas Instruments, and co-founder and board member at BeagleBoard.org Foundation, uploaded a video starting with a demo of various robotics and UAV projects, before giving a presentation & demo of the board at the 2:10 mark using Cloud 9 IDE.


If you attend Embedded World 2017, you should be able to check out of the board and demos at Hall 3A Booth 219a.

BeagleBone Black Wireless Board Gets WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE, Drops Ethernet

September 27th, 2016 No comments

The BeagleBone Black is still one of the most popular development boards around, but in a world going more and more wireless, it only comes with a wired Ethernet interface. Seeed Studio BeagleBone Green Wireless and Neuromeka BeagleBone Air already provided BeagleBone compatible boards with WiFi and Bluetooth LE, as well as Zigbee for the latter, but now BeagleBoard.org themselves have launched BeagleBone Black Wireless with WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE based on Octavo Systems OSD3358 System-in-Package with Texas Instrument Sitara AM3358 processor, 512 MB RAM, TI LDO and PMIC, and many passive components.

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BeagleBone Black Wireless specifications:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 Cortex A8 @ 1 GHz with PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3L
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • USB – 1x mini USB client port for power & communication, 1x USB host port
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1 LE with 2x u.FL antenna connectors
  • Video & Audio Output – micro HDMI up to 1280×1024 resolution.
  • Expansion Connectors – 2x 46-pin headers
  • Misc – LEDs for WiFi, Bluetooth, Power, and 4x user LEDs; Reset, boot, and power buttons
  • Debugging – JTAG header, serial console
  • Power – mini USB, DC Jack, or 5VDC via expansion header
  • Dimensions – 86.4 x 53.4 mm

The board is preloaded with Debian with Cloud9 IDE on Node.js with BoneScript.js library, and also support other Android and Linux based operating systems support by other BeagleBone boards. Cadsoft Eagle schematics and PCB layout have already been released on github. BeagleBone Black Wireless drops the Ethernet port just like BeagleBone Green Wireless, but keeps the micro HDMI port, which on Seeed Studio’s port is replaced by 4x USB ports and Grove connectors.

You’ll find some more details on BeagleBoard.org Black Wireless page, and can purchase the board on Mouser (Part #: BBBWL-SC-562) for $68.75.

Google Research PRUDAQ is a 40MSPS ADC Data Acquisition (DAQ) Cape for BeagleBone Black & Green

July 21st, 2016 2 comments

Engineers at Google Research wanted to measure the strength of a carrier signals without having to use a bulky oscilloscope or DAQ (Data Acquisition) system,  so they looked into several makers boards to achieve this task, eventually decided to go with BeagleBone Black / Green, and created their own PRUDAQ cape capable of sampling 40 million samples per second, and open source it all.

PRUDAQPRUDAQ cape specifications:

  • Dual-channel simultaneously-sampled 10-bit ADC (Analog Devices AD9201)
  • Up to 20MSPS per channel (40MSPS total) theoretical
  • 0-2V input voltage range (DC coupled)
  • 4:1 analog switches in front of each channel provide a total of 8 single-ended analog inputs. (See here for differential input)
  • SMA jacks for direct access to the 2 ADC channels
  • Flexible clock options:
    • External input via SMA jack
    • Internal on-board 10MHz oscillator
    • Programmable clock from BeagleBone GPIO pins
  • Powered via BeagleBone headers – no external power needed
  • Fully exposed BeagleBone headers on top to connect/stack more electronics or another cape
  • Dimensions – 87mm x 56mm (+/- 1mm)
  • Weight – 29 grams

The complete software and hardware documentation can be found on the Wiki and source code and design files in Github. The software is based on BeagleLogic logic analyzer, and you can retrieve and analyze the data on your computer using the command line with a typical output looking like:

The Beaglebone Black already has an ADC input, but PRUDAQ allows for much faster sampling, suitable to capture radio waves for example. Bear in mind that it’s not really suitable to be used as an oscilloscope due to limitations such as 0 to 2V range, and others. Any specific questions about PRUDAQ project can be asked on PRUDAQ users Google Group.

While the add-on board has been designed by Google Research engineers, it is not a Google product, and it’s made by GetLab, and currently sold on GroupSets for $79 for the cape only, or $159 as a bundle with a BeagleBone Black, PRUDAQ cape, an 8GB micro SD card pre-loaded with BeagleLogic image, one 64GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive, one BNC-M to SMA-M RG-58 Cable, a USB mini cable, and 3 jumpers.

The Eclipse Foundation Releases Open Source Smart Home & IoT Gateway Frameworks, MQTT & oneM2M Implementations

June 17th, 2016 3 comments

The Eclipse Internet of Things (IoT) Working Group has released – or soon will be releasing – four open source projects for the Internet of Things with Eclipse SmartHome 0.8 framework, Eclipse Kura 2.0 IoT gateway framework, Eclipse Paho 1.2 MQTT & MQTT-SN clients, and Eclipse OM2M 1.0 implementation of oneM2M standard.

Eclipse_IoTEclipse SmartHome 0.8

Eclipse SmartHome is a framework for smart home solutions that runs on embedded devices, including Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black or Intel Edison development boards.

The latest SmartHome 0.8 release includes a new REST API and corresponding “Paper UI” administration interface, support for new devices including Sonos speakers, LIFX bulbs, Belkin WeMo devices, digitalSTROM systems, EnOcean devices (via a new OSGi EnOcean Base Driver) and others, as well as a new rule engine supporting templates for beginners, JavaScript for automation rules and graphical rule editors.

You can find more details on Eclipse SmartHome page, and/or download SmartHome 0.8, and optionally SmartHome Designer for Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows.

Eclipse Kura 2.0

Eclipse Kura is a framework for building IoT gateways with the latest Kura 2.0 release to bring a new responsive user interface (UI), support for multiple cloud connections to Eurotech Everyware Cloud, Amazon AWS IoT, Microsoft Azure IoT and IBM IoT Foundation, new tools and code samples to ease the creation of Kura applications, and tighter integration with Apache Camel.

Eclipse Kura 2.0 will be available later in June. You can find more details, including instructions to use it on BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi boards on Eclipse Kura page. Kura is also found on commercial M2M and IoT gateways such Eurotech ReliaGATE 15-10.

Eclipse Paho 1.2

Paho MQTT Clients Features Comparison (Click to Enlarge)

Paho MQTT Clients Features Comparison (Click to Enlarge)

Paho provides an open-source client implementations of the MQTT and MQTT-SN messaging protocols in Java, Python, JavaScript, C, .Net, Android and Embedded C/C++ client libraries. Paho 1.2 release adds automatic reconnect & offline buffering functionality for the C, Java and Android Clients, webSocket support for the Java and Python Clients, and a new Go Client for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and FreeBSD.

Visit Eclipse Paho page for more details about the implementations and to download the latest 1.2 version.

Eclipse OM2M 1.0

Eclipse OM2M is an open source implementation of the oneM2M standard, and the version 1.0 includes the following features:

  • Modular platform architecture, based on OSGi making it highly extensible
  • Lightweight REST API exposed through multiple communication bindings including HTTP and CoAP protocols and supporting various content formats such as XML and JSON.
  • Flexible data storage based on an abstract persistence layer supporting embedded & server databases, in-memory mode, SQL & NoSQL models.
  • Implementation of  Dedicated Common Service Entity (CSE) for Infrastructure node (IN), Middle Node (MN), and Application Service Node (ASN), and Common Service Function (CSF) including: Registration, Application and Service Management, Discovery, Data Management and Repository, Subscription and Notification, Group Management, Security, etc.
oneM2M Functional Architecture with AE (Application Entity), CSE and NSE

oneM2M Functional Architecture with AE (Application Entity), CSE and NSE

Version 1.0 release will be available later this month, you can find out more on Eclipse OM2M page.

The foundation has also issued a proposal for Eclipse Kapua open source project aimed to create a modular integration platform for IoT devices and smart sensors.

You can also check out other open source IoT projects on Eclipse IoT microsite.

$44.90 BeagleBone Green Wireless Board Adds 802.11n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1 LE and More USB Ports

May 16th, 2016 8 comments

After BeagleBone Air, there’s now another BeagleBone Black derived board with WiFi and Bluetooth, as BeagleBone Green gets a wireless version with WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, and four USB ports.

BeagleBone Green Wireless Specifications

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The Ethernet port is also gone, but most of the other specifications remain the same as seen from the comparison table below.

BeagleBone Black BeagleBone Green BeagleBone Green Wireless
SoC Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ 1GHz with NEON, PowerVR SGX530 GPU, PRU…
System Memory 512MB DDR3 RAM
Storage 4GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
USB 1x USB client, 1x USB 2.0 host 1 USB client, 4x USB 2.0 host ports
Network Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Video Output HDMI N/A
Expansion Headers 2×46 pin headers 2×46-pin headers and 2x Grove connectors
Debugging 6-pin serial header and unpopulated 20-pin JTAG header
Dimensions 86.3 x 53.4 cm
Price $55.00 $39.00 $44.90

BeagleBone Green Wireless (BBGW) and Grove Base Cape for Beaglebone v2.0

The board is designed and manufactured by Seeed Studio, and the company send me an early sample for evaluation together with Grove Base Cape for Beaglebone v2.0 that supports up to 12 extra Grove modules. I’ve not had time to review both yet, so I’ll show what I’ve received first.

BeagleBone_Green_Wireless_PackageI got two unbranded packages for each board, but I understand BBGW board will be send in a retail package with two WiFi antennas, and a micro USB to USB cable for power.

BeagleBone Green Wireless with Antennas (Click to Enlarge)

BeagleBone Green Wireless with Antennas (Click to Enlarge)

I got the two antennas, but not the USB cable. There are two u.FL connectors where you can insert the antennas. The wireless module is Texas Instruments WiLink8 (model WG78V0) that supports WiFI 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. The four USB ports are on the left, and two Grove connectors (I2C & UART) on the right.

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The bottom of the board has the micro SD slot, micro USB port for power, and unpopulated 20-pin JTAG solder pads. The board can run Debian, Android, Ubuntu, Cloud9 IDE on Node, and all other operating systems supported by BeagleBone Black. The wireless module support AP+STA mode, as well as A2DP & MRAA Libraries. The board is shipped with a Debian based firmware, and you can easily access it by accessing http://192.168.8.1 from your computer web browser to get some documentation. Resources for the board can be found on the BeagleBone Green Wireless Wiki.

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Grove Base Cape for Beaglebone v2.0 has 4x digital I/O headers, 2x analog input headers, 4x I2C headers, and 2x UART headers, as well as a I/O voltage selector (3.3V or 5V), a Cape address switch, and a user button. More details about the grove base cape can be found in the Wiki.

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I plan to write test the board, and the cape with some of the Grove module I got in Wio Link Starter Kit in the next few days.

BeagleBone Green Wireless pre-sells for $44.90 on Seeed Studio with shipping scheduled for May 21, 2016, while Grove Base Cape for Beaglebone v2.0 goes for $9.90.