The BeagleBone Black includes a 2GB on-board eMMC flash memory chip. It comes with the Angstrom distribution factory pre-installed. You can flash new operating systems including Debian, Ubuntu, Android, and others. The following pages will illustrate the steps to getting the latest of each type of supported distribution onto the on-board eMMC.
In addition to the eMMC, you can also boot directly from a microSD card similarly to the original BeagleBone.
We’re starting out with instructions for Angstrom, but hope to add to it in the future! If you don’t have a BeagleBone Black yet, you can add your name to the list to be notified for when we get them back in stock.
Your electronics can now see in dazzling color with this lovely color light sensor. We found the best color sensor on the market, the TCS34725, which has RGB and Clear light sensing elements. An IR blocking filter, integrated on-chip and localized to the color sensing photodiodes, minimizes the IR spectral component of the incoming light and allows color measurements to be made accurately. The filter means you’ll get much truer color than most sensors, since humans don’t see IR. The sensor also has an incredible 3,800,000:1 dynamic range with adjustable integration time and gain so it is suited for use behind darkened glass.
We add supporting circuitry as well, such as a 3.3V regulator so you can power the breakout with 3-5VDC safely and level shifting for the I2C pins so they can be used with 3.3V or 5V logic. Finally, we specified a nice neutral 4150°K temperature LED with a MOSFET driver onboard to illuminate what you’re trying to sense. The LED can be easily turned on or off by any logic level output.
For more flexibility, we’ve made two different versions of this board: A breadboard-friendly breakout, and a wearable version designed to work with the Flora wearable platform.
Stay tuned, on Wearable Wednesday we’re going to have an amazing project you can build these color sensors and FLORA!
We’ve updated the Adafruit Learning System with a new feature that may be useful to those of you that don’t like clicking! Single page view is the newest addition to the learning system. We think the best default is still the guided navigation, as each page in the tutorials are specifically designed as a step in the process, but not everyone learns in the same way.
We hope this latest update to the Learning System will be another useful tool for you to learn all about electronics, wearables, and more. If you have any suggestions for features, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
The latest version of the Adafruit webIDE now supports the BeagleBone and BeagleBone Black. We’ve been working out many of the issues with this installer the last few days, and it appears ready to be released into the wild. The installer is specifically designed to work with the default Angstrom Linux distribution that is pre-installed on the BeagleBone’s. You may want to update to the latest version of Angstrom prior to installing the webIDE as well.
You can find the instructions on how to install it in the Adafruit Learning System’s webIDE tutorial. We’ve also created a new installation video to help as well:
This guide walks through the process of assembling and configuring our LCD displays with USB/serial backpack and stand as a realtime system monitor. These displays are great for monitoring the health and status of “headless” systems such as servers, small Raspberry Pi installations, or as an auxiliary information display on your regular computer. You can get one of our cute acrylic stands in the Adafruit shop.
This is a very simple FLORA project with no soldering– a single NeoPixel lights up on an embroidered angler fish on a pair of shorts. The main board is stitched on the front of the design, in the belly of the fish. A snap is used on the fin as a digital switch, triggering a color change in the pixel in the angler’s lure. Follow the circuit diagram to stitch up this circuit, and tuck the battery in the pocket.
This tutorial is for our 1.8″ diagonal TFT display. It comes packaged as a breakout or as an Arduino shield. Both styles have a microSD interface for storing files and images. These are both great ways to add a small, colorful and bright display to any project. Since the display uses 4-wire SPI to communicate and has its own pixel-addressable frame buffer, it requires little memory and only a few pins. This makes it ideal for use with small microcontrollers.
The shield version plugs directly into an Arduino with no wiring required. The breakout version can be used with every kind of microcontroller.
The Pareto Principle — also known as the 80/20 Rule — is the idea (originally from economics, but now applied in many ways) that 80% of results stem from 20% of the effort.
Devoted film fans will spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars (occasionally even thousands) to create flawless replica props for their personal collections. The iconic eye of HAL 9000 from 2001: a Space Odyssey is one such object of desire…popular enough that detailed (and pricey) licensed reproductions exist. This is cool stuff! But if we relax our criteria just a bit, you or I can turn out a pretty decent, recognizable facsimile in a weekend for just a small fraction of the cost. The 80/20 rule in action!
We’re not selling a prop or even a kit here…that would raise a big licensing stink, so please don’t ask. What follows are some ideas on creating one yourself. Much like our not-a-Back-to-the-Future-clock project, the concept came about when customers noted that a component already in our shop resembled an unrelated film item — in this case, our Massive Red Arcade Button and HAL’s distinctive lens.
In order to get raw parsed data out of a magstripe reader, we first experiemented with a MAGTEK Centurion Keyboard Encoder (PN-21073062). We found that although we could get all 3 tracks of data, it was not possible to have it parsed out. We then purchased a raw magstripe decoder head with track 1 reading, the Omron V3A-6 (Datasheet here). By writing some parity checking code, we were able to read the raw data off of the magstripe, and parse it into output that would be ‘typed out’ as an emulated keyboard using a USB-enabled Teensy. An Arduino can also be used, and the data would be output as Serial which may also be useful.
You’ll wanna pull up a really comfy chair before you dive into this one, but have you ever found yourself digging through Eagle’s 317,424 different canned footprints, hoping one is kinda, sorta, almost, maybe good enough for that new sensor you found on Digikey? Shamelessly dig and despair no more! … Our new mammoth guide on creating manufacturable footprints in Eagle is here to ween you off that nasty canned footprint habit, and get you firmly on the road to non-dependency!
We have a new alpha release of the Rapsberry Pi WebIDE ready to go. This latest version features a few major features requested by users of the WebIDE.
We now have a new offline mode that you can enable with an –offline flag when you install the WebIDE. This mode allows you to bypass using Bitbucket or Github, and should work when not connected to the internet.
We also have a new experimental GitHub mode that allows you to sign in with your GitHub account. This feature is for advanced users that want to use GitHub as their provider. This can be enabled with the –github flag during installation. Please note that GitHub mode does not do some of the automated things (git ssh key setup, etc) that the default installation mode will do.
You can now refresh the left navigator from within the WebIDE, as well as manually update any repositories you have by right-clicking on them, and choosing the option to “Update Repository”.
The full list of new changes for the 0.3.7 version of the WebIDE are as follows:
Ability to enable with –github as the default
Requires manual ssh key setup as of yet.
Most commands are treated as manual mode for now (manual commits, etc).
New Offline mode
Ability to install with –offline as the default
need to manually commit, and push changes (similar to the manual git setting)
Bypasses bitbucket OAuth
Ability to refresh directories from within the navigator
New option to clone repositories without updating remote to bitbucket
New right-click context menu option to update repositories from remote (origin/master for now)
New Report Bug Link added to footer
New confirmation dialog for navigating away from unsaved changes…Save Files/Don’t Save/Cancel
Editor is set to readOnly for any files that shouldn’t change (README, update notes), including empty editor window while navigating.
Deleting a file or project will now also delete a corresponding scheduled job from the queue.
Errors cloning repositories are sent to the front-end now.
Error handling for most git commands now. Notifications visible in webide for failures.
New Error pages for any issues with the system failing to show pages. Links to ALS WebIDE FAQ for help.
New Error page specifically for OAuth failures. Adds a button to execute a script to help set the date and time.
Attempt to set the date on the Pi during installation to prevent OAuth errors.
Creating files and folders will automatically open them in the editor and navigator.
Uploaded files will always use the current working directory, instead of uploading to the parent directory now.
git pull commands are now using the quiet (-q) flag.
Editor setting for supporting adding a Make link in the editor action bar if a Makefile is detected in the cwd. Not enabled by default.
Upgrading from 0.2.0 and higher
You can upgrade from 0.2.0 and higher from within the editor. If you’d like the increased speed using the new node binaries, you’ll want to uninstall/install again.
Ensure that your code is safely saved in your repository at bitbucket.org.
Login to the editor.
Click Update in the upper right.
Update should take about a minute.
Upgrading From 0.1.9 and lower
To install this new editor, you’ll want to completely remove your old editor, and run the installation script again.
Ensure that your code is safely saved in your repository at bitbucket.org.
Uninstall using the following script
curl https://raw.github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-WebIDE/release/scripts/uninstall.sh | sh
Either make sure there are no rogue node processes running, or restart your Pi.
Install the new and improved WebIDE
curl https://raw.github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-WebIDE/alpha/scripts/install.sh | sudo sh
We’ve updated the Learning system with a few new features that we’ve found useful!
The first is a footer with some useful links and information, including a count of how many tutorials are now published (208 as of this post!).
Next, on each page view we’ve added some more navigational links that can help with finding more guides in the category you’re interested in.
Also, at the bottom of each page, we now show the last updated date and time on each page. Many of our guides are not time-sensitive, but it can be useful to determine if there have been updates since the last time you visited. It can also be useful to help determine if we’ve made an error, or if the content is outdated. In the latter cases, please leave feedback using the link in the left sidebar.
In addition, we’ve cleaned up various aspects of the page layouts so that they’re easier to read, and more user friendly (such as changing next page/previous page into actual page titles for navigational guides).
One of the less noticeable things is that we’ve increased the max-width allowed on pages so that you can see more content if you’re on a monitor that supports a wider resolution.
Here is the full changelog:
New Footer displaying more information that may be useful
Show last updated date and time on each page
Use page titles for Next/Previous
Add category breadcrumbs bar to each page view
Increase max-width of content areas
Clean up UI elements, such as alerts, code elements, tables, and modal overlays
Clean up search results page, allow keyboard navigation in search bar
Let us know what you think, and add comments for any features you’d like that we’re still missing!
Raspberry Pi, the little wonder-puter that’s taken the world by storm, is so affordable that we can create nifty single-purpose “appliances” around them without shame. Here’s our take on one of the more popular such applications: internet streaming media, the Pandora music service specifically.
With the addition of a small LCD, a few buttons and a USB wireless network adapter, the Raspberry Pi becomes an affordable self-contained music streamer that can be moved to any room of the house…wherever you need your tunes at the moment. Just connect power and speakers or headphones.