Thursday, April 8, 2010

Linux Live USB Creator

Linux Live USB Creator
This is a free software for windows that allows you to create a bootable Live USB key with linux on it.
This will enable an user to use linux in any windows PC without the need of installation or configuration changes by using automatic virtualization.

In order to configure beagle board using linux, this can prove useful. Linux can be run on any windows PC, just by inserting the USB flash drive. With the above setup, beagle board can be configured at places where one does not have his own PC.

In most cases, it is more efficient to use Linux in order to configure the beagle board. For example, if someone wants to make changes to the boot files, linux can prove useful. Also, the problem found with windows is that it only mounts the boot partition of the SD card. So, if someone wants to make changes in the ext3 partition, linux can prove useful.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paparazzi Autopilot System for RC Airplanes

Paparazzi Autopilot System by paparazzi project
Paparazzi is an open source project in order to create an autopilot system for RC model airplanes in an attempt to make it easy and affordable for all.

This autopilot system uses Linux platform which enables the use of Beagle Board. Using Beagle Board is an affordable solution for autopilot systems used in RC airplanes. Since Beagle Board is a computer, it can be used to carry out a bunch of different operations such as attitude control, altitude control, airspeed control. Also, sonars equipped with USB data transfer facilities can be used in order to detect obstacles and navigate accordingly.

Autopilot System needs a processor, RAM, DSP. Beagle board has it all. Also, beagle board is relatively smaller, fanless, lighter processor. Use of SD card on the beagle board can enable a user to switch SD cards in order to switch different flying modes if the system is not using a ground station.

The above picture has the components used in the Paparazzi Autopilot System for RC Airplanes.
Additional Sensors can also be added such as attitude sensor, airspeed sensor, altitude sensor, thermocouple.

The diagram below shows the schematics for this system.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Android Demo

In the above video, Android uses Nokia E51 as a USB GSM/GPRS modem. Using Nokia E51 as a USB modem enables the beagle board to have GSM and GPRS network access. This modifications turns the beagle board into a cell phone device with cell phone functions such as text messaging.

In the above video, Android uses Network PacketSniffer application by using a USB ethernet adapter. This will enable a user to search for packets over the internet.

NOTE: the above videos are posted by youtube user "divinekumar"

More information about Android Demo:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Practical Labs with Beagle Board
The above link has information about doing practical labs with beagle board. This link has valuable information for beagle board users.

This lecture slides are also useful in order to learn about building your own file system, boot loader for beagle board from scratch.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stand-Alone Demos

Stand-Alone Demos can boot on any beagle board without even setting the NAND. Any SD card demo can be made Stand-Alone using a custom boot.scr file. Using this boot.scr file will enable an user to boot a demo on any beagle board without even setting the environment variables or NAND. Custom boot.scr file can also work with empty NAND.

Custom boot.scr file

In order to make custom boot.scr file you need:
1) mkimage
$ sudo apt-get install uboot-mkimage
2) vim text editor

1) create an empty text file.
2) type the format for boot.scr file in the empty text file:
NOTE: see below in Text File Format:
3) once the text file is made run this mkimage command: $ mkimage -A arm -O linux -T script -C none -a 0 -e 0 -n 'Execute uImage.bin' -d name of the text file boot.scr
NOTE: this will create an executable file named "boot.scr"
4) Insert the SD card and mount the fat partition
$ sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/card
NOTE: in some versions of linux, sdb1 might be sdc1.
In order to check type $ cat /proc/partitions and look at the second last line.

5) copy the boot.scr file in the fat partition of the SD card
6) Unmount the fat partition
$ sudo umount /dev/sdb1

7) insert the SD card in the beagle board

8) hold the user button while powering on the bb

NOTE: user button is the near the SD card slot. It is towards the end of the board.
9) enjoy your Stand-Alone Demo ! ! !

Text File Format:
This is a Shell Script Format:
if fatload mmc 0 0xboot address uImage
setenv bootargs 'environment variables'
echo ***** stand-alone demo *****
bootm 0xboot address

NOTE: There has to be a space before setenv & echo
NOTE: The line "echo" above is optional. This line prints information on the screen. for example, the above line prints "***** stand-alone demo *****" on the screen.

NOTE: environment variables and boot address depends on a particular demo.
EXAMPLE: if bootcmd is "setenv bootcmd 'mmc init; fatload mmc 0 0x80300000 uImage; bootm 0x80300000'"
then the bootaddress will be 80300000.
Bootargs EXAMPLE: setenv bootargs 'console=ttyS2,115200n8 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootwait omap.dssmode=dvi:1024x768-16@60'

Additional Resources:

Instructions regarding partitioning the SD card:

Demo images of Gnome can be found here:,com_phocadownload/Itemid,60/view,sections/

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Other OMAP3530 Processors

Embest DevKit8000 Evaluation Board

  • Dimensions: 110mm x 95mm
  • Working temperature: 0°C to 70°C
  • Processor: TI OMAP3530 microprocessor with 600MHz ARM Cortex-A8 RISC Core
  • Power supply: +5V
  • 128MB DDR SDRAM, 166MHz
  • 128MB NAND Flash, 16bit
  • LCD/Touch Screen interface (50-pin FPC connector, support resolution up to 2048*2048, optional VGA8000 module can connect via LCD interface)
  • DVI high-resolution image output port (HDMI interface, support 720p, 30fps signal)
  • S-Video display interface
  • One audio input interface (3.5mm audio jack)
  • One 2-channel audio output interface (3.5mm audio jack)
  • One 10/100M Ethernet interface (RJ45)
  • One High-speed USB2.0 OTG port (Mini USB type interface)
  • One High-speed USB2.0 Host port (USB A type interface)
  • Two serial ports (one 3-wire RS232 serial port led out from 2.54mm 10-pin connector and one 5-wire TTL serial port led out from expansion connector)
  • SD/MMC interface (supports 3.3V and 1.8V logic voltage)
  • One camera interface (30-pin FPC connector, support CCD or CMOS camera, support analog camera module CAM8000-A for option)
  • 6*6 keyboard interface
  • One 14-pin Jtag interface
  • Four buttons (Reset, Boot, User defined, On/Off)
  • One expansion connector (2.0mm 40-pin SMT Female Pin Header, McSPI, McBSP, I2C, HDQ, GPIO are led out from this connector)
  • Supports USB WiFi through WF8000-U module
  • Supports GPS function through GPS8000-S module
  • Supports GPRS function through GPRS8000-S module
  • Support 3G function through CDMA8000-U module (CDMA2000 standard)

This particular board is user friendly since it has LCD touch screen interface. Also additional modules such as GPS, GPRS, 3G, USB WiFi make networking mobile on this board. This board also has Ethernet 10/100M interface, which does not require USB in order to access the internet.

TechNexion - Thunder

  • 4.3" touch enabled display 480 * 272 pixels resolution
  • 128 MB Low power mobile DDR
  • 256 MB NAND Flash
  • Wireless LAN 802.11b/g
  • USB, LAN, G-sensor, RF interface, audio and battery management
This board has wireless LAN, which is a very useful tool in order to acess the network without LAN cable. Also G-sensor on this board can prove very useful in gaming applications.

TechNexion - Inferno Interface Board for TAO-3530 Series

  • 1 mini-USB hosts
  • 1 mini-USB device / OTG
  • SD card slot
  • Stereo audio in/out 3.5 mm
  • 2W aplified speakers (L/R)
  • S-video connector
  • DVI-D signal by HDMI connector
  • SPI, RS-232, UART, I2C, GPIO
This board is like a media center for TAO-3530 system modules. This board has USB ports, SD card slot, Speakers, S-video connector, HDMI connector, spare GPIOs. This can enables a user to play applications which require some sort of display.

TechNexion - TAO-3530 System Module

  • 128 MB Low power mobile DDR
  • 256 MB NAND Flash
  • Marvell 8686 802.11b/g
  • Two 100 pin NAIS connectors
    I2C, PWM lines, 1-wire, MMC lines,
    A/D lines, camera, audio in/out,
    S-Video, LCD interface
This board has about the same capabilities as the Beagle Board except with an additional 802.11b/g wireless module. This particular module can be used in order to enable the board to get access to a nearby wireless network.

Video Wall FOSDEM 2010

The above video-wall consists of 6 19" LCD screens controlled by 6 beagle boards working simultaneously. The video is divided into 6 tiles.
Using 6 beagle boards divides the work done by each board by 1/6. This helps the beagle boards decode a video stream in real-time.
The video stream is 1080p.
Additional Information can be found here:

Using Beagle Boards on video-wall proves a handy tool in order to decode video, because of its size and the fact that it consumes very little amount of power.
Beagle Board's decoder can be used to get real-time video stream. Beagle Board is used as a display controller here.

It might be possible to decode video stream from the network.