August 30, 2010 AT 3:31 pm

From Bunnie: chumby hacker boards (now available in beta)

Chumbyhackerboard Lrg-2

Post from Bunnie (maker of the Chumby hacker board)…chumby hacker boards (now available in beta) « bunnie’s blog

chumby is now offering a “hacker” board, which is the guts of the chumby One, but modified to be more hacker-friendly: it comes with three high speed USB host ports, uses the power connector from the Sony PSP (instead of the weird, hard to find connector on the chumby One) and incorporates a variety of headers, such as Arduino-style shield headers and a 44-pin breakout header that gives you access to a lot of digital I/O and some analog inputs. There’s even a four-directional switch on board and some LEDs so you can do quick hacks that don’t require a video display for user feedback. Speaking of the display, while this board doesn’t come standard with an LCD, it does provide composite video output via a 4-wire 1/8″ jack so you can, by using an iPod video cable, plug the chumby hacker board into any TV that supports a composite video input…

The board is priced at around $89. The goal of the beta program is to collect feedback from users who purchase the board to fine-tune the design and to figure out what I/Os and accessories make sense to bundle with the board. Like the Arduino, we don’t integrate a lot of features onto the mainboard itself (keeps base cost low). Instead, we’d like to make sure that adequate I/O resources exist for developers to hack in the peripheral module they require to complete their project — or for more enterprising developers to build their own flavor of peripheral board and sell their own accessory.

There’s a few resources available to get people started on using the boards: a forum for general support and questions, and a wiki containing links to datasheets, schematics, and other more permanent documentation that people will find useful. Adafruit also has available a snazzy hackerboard page with tons of info, well-documented tutorials, and nice photos to boot.

One other point of note about the hacker board is that you can install a native gcc toolchain on it, so you don’t need to configure/install a cross-compiler on your host PC to develop for it. Heck, it’s got a 454 MHz CPU and plenty of disk space, so why not? Adafruit has a tutorial on how to install the compiler using a downloadable self-extracting script and a USB dongle. I’ve also heard rumors that an OpenEmbedded port is coming to the board soon, so stay tuned.

If you do end up purchasing a board and participating in the beta, please do contribute to the fora and wikis with your feedback. As always, happy hacking!


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5 Comments

  1. Does it have the FM chip like the chumby one? I couldn’t see it on the schematics…

  2. you got your beagleboard in my arduino :P

  3. Nice board…How would it work as an internet radio with a video interface? Looks like composite video output. It looks like it should be more than capable. Does any of the Chumby (Linux) apps work on this?……

  4. These are great questions to post in the Chumby Hacker Forum!

  5. Thanx Ladyada…. gotta get one soon…this one could keep me hacking an aeon…!!

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