BeagleBone For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

BeagleBone For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From BeagleBone For Dummies

By Rui Santos, Luis Miguel Costa Perestrelo

BeagleBone is an exciting tiny board that brings your electronics and software projects to life. Its affordability and ease of use make it popular among hardware enthusiasts and programmers. The following articles help you get started using this powerful board.

Preparing Your BeagleBone

When your BeagleBone arrives, it comes in a box with everything you need. Grab your BeagleBone and the Mini USB cable that came with it; then plug your BeagleBone into your computer. In less than 10 seconds, your BeagleBone will be fully ready to use.

Installing your BeagleBone’s drivers

Follow these steps to find your BeagleBone’s drivers:

  1. Open your computer’s file system.

  2. Double-click the BeagleBone Getting Started disk.

  3. Open the START.htm web page in your default web browser.

    This step launches a web page that has instructions for installing your drivers.

  4. In your web page, go to the step called Install drivers.

    You should see in your START.htm a table that lists the various operating systems and their USB drivers.

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    Click the link for your operating system, and your driver download starts immediately. Then open your driver and click Next in all the installation screens until installation is finished, just as you install any other software on your computer. This process works similarly for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Accessing your BeagleBone with your web browser

With your BeagleBone connected to your computer and with the drivers installed, open this URL in your web browser: http://192.68.7.2. If everything is working, you should see a new web page with a green box at the top that says Your board is connected! That web page is being hosted by your BeagleBone.

Now you can have some fun exploring the menus, which contain a lot of information about and examples of BoneScript.

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Measuring Voltage with a Multimeter

When something isn’t working on your BeagleBone, measuring the voltages around your circuit can be a good start on finding the problem. Why isn’t the LED lighting up, for example? Maybe not enough voltage is being supplied to it. If you know that the LED needs about 1.8V to light up, and your multimeter reading is a lower value, the issue may be a depleted battery. You can also use the multimeter to check it.

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To measure voltage, you have to connect your multimeter in parallel with the component you want to measure, such as a battery, an LED, or a resistor. After setting the mode to V (which is indicated by the dash with three dots underneath for DC), connect the red probe (which should be connected to a socket with a V next to it) to the positive side of your component, which is where the current is coming from. Connect the black probe (which should be connected to the COM socket) to the negative side.

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Placing the multimeter in parallel means placing each probe along the legs of the component you want to measure.

Keep in mind that the COM probe is simply a point of reference for your measurement, which means that if you’d connected the probes in the reverse order of what’s described earlier, the multimeter would display the same voltage with a negative value. Also, you can measure voltage along more than one component in series. If the first component has a voltage drop of 3V and the next one has a voltage drop of 5V, the value you see on the display is the sum of both. In this example, the value would be 8V.