[BeagleBone Black] Enable All UART Ports at Boot

Previously we used enable the UART ports by hand, but that’s annoying because it required doing it manually every time the BBB boot. In addition, writing a script wouldn’t work for some reason. For my quadcopter project, the BBB must enable all UART ports by itself at boot, since I can’t fly with a wire hooked onto it. Therefore, I went on and do some digging on this… took a while before anything came up. It’s actually more complicated than I though, having to deal with how device tree works and all… but here’s what I found:

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[Beaglebone Black] File Transfer with PC using SCP

On Windows, we can easily transfer files between the PC and the BBB through SecureShell File Transfer Client. However, in Linux, we will have to use the terminal program Secure Copy or SCP that’s built-in.

Overall, the scp command for copying to a computer (aka use the to computer’s username and ip) is:

 scp filename usename@ipaddress:/directory/ 

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[BeagleBone Black] Launch Python Script at Boot like Arduino Sketch

In order to use the BealgeBone Black as a flight computer or embedded system in a product, it must be able to launch programs we wrote on start up without having to manually start it after logging in via ssh. Something sweet and simple like an Arduino, when it start, it run the program you put on it. I spent days looking for ways to do this, editing init.d and all, none of them work. And finally, I came across this blog for Raspberry Pi and work perfectly!

So to be sure that the script is running without logging in through the computer, I decided to do a “blink” loop like what we do when we first started Arduino.


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[Beaglebone Black] Enable On-Board Serial UART

In order to use the built-in UART pins on the Beaglebone Black, we must first activate it.

The device name and pins is as follow:
Credit – http://beaglebone.cameon.net/home/serial-ports-uart

 RX  TX  CTS  RTS  Device  Remark
 UART0  J1_4  J1_5  /dev/ttyO0 BeagleBone Black only
 UART1  P9_26  P9_24  P9_20  P9_19  /dev/ttyO1
 UART2  P9_22  P9_21  P8_37  P8_38  /dev/ttyO2
 UART3  P9_42  P8_36  P8_34  /dev/ttyO3  TX only
 UART4  P9_11  P9_13  P8_35  P8_33  /dev/ttyO4
 UART5  P8_38  P8_37  P8_31  P8_32  /dev/ttyO5

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[BeagleBone Black] Enable USB Internet Sharing from Windows

Now that we boot Debian from a MicroSD card and expand its file system capacity, the final step to complete setting up is to share Internet from my main computer. I got a windows computer, so I will do it from there. Instruction to other platforms should be similar.

If you rather watch a video, I pretty much follow this video, it helps a lot! I really need to thanks the people (in this case a professor) who share their knowledge for the good of everyone!

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[BeagleBone Black] Expand File System Capacity on the MicroSD

In the previous section, we set up the BeagleBone Black Rev B to boot Debian OS off an MicroSD card. Here, we are going to expand the storage capacity in order to update the software and install apps.

Pretty much, I followed the instruction on the eLinux website, and it works perfectly! So you can read the details there, I will list the basic steps here.

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[BeagleBone Black] Boot Debian OS from Image

The BeagleBone Black (BBB) is an awesome little micro-computer. When compared to the Arduino, it is more capable in that it run Linux and support many of the awesome software out there… that also means it’s more difficult to set up.

I found myself always going back to the sources to see how to set things up. Therefore, I figure I might just be a bit more organize and consolidate the information here. Since I have a PC, the following instructions will be for Windows, but I am pretty sure the procedures are similar.

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