Beaglebone Black - Getting Started

Getting Started with the Beaglebone Black (Again)

What is it?

The Beaglebone Black (BB) is an alternative SBC to the Raspberry Pi. There are writeups on which is better but for my application it all comes down to one thing: I can get an industrial version that has a max operating temperature of +85C - that’s 185F folks. The environment I am installing my project in is a small room that gets pretty hot. I’ve put some ESP8266 and ESP32 in there and they died. Heat? Maybe. Might be the humidity and the salt air too. So my plan is to put the BB in an enclosure to protect it from the air, but since it will get hot in there I need a wide temp range device. And I may need to add some active cooling. More on that later.

What Project?

I started writing about my Solar Pool Heating Project before but have not really had much time for it. I changed roles at AWS and have been heads down coding (yes!). I’ll post something about that next week when my first official AWS blog posts. So all my side projects went on hold for a bit. Besides, turns out I don’t get good enough WiFi signal in the pool casita anyway, so I had to wait until phase two of our remodel when the conduit gets pulled so that I have real networking there (and yes, I’ll add another Ubiquity AP too). In the next month I’ll have all that sorted.

So, in the meantime I updated my board with the latest Debian. It is nice that the board has an onboard 4GB MMC so that you don’t have to use an SD card.
I then wired up my trusty DS18b20 and started playing.

I followed these instructions and I can definitely read the temperature. Progress!

/sys/class/hwmon/hwmon0> cat temp1_input

Divide 23062 by 1000 to get the reading in C.


Since my day job has me neck deep in typescript anyway, I thought I’d look into CylonJS and JohnnyFive.

Ooops, CylonJS does not support the DS18b20

Well, I did find a library that supports it but there’s no README or docs. Moving along. These aren’t the droids you are looking for.

Johnny-Five also does not support the DS18b20

Hmmm. Not sure it’s supported here either, according to this page. Or this. How can this be? It does say that the P9_12 pin is supported.

But Does it Matter?

Reading that value from /sys/devices is trivial. Does one actually need the framework for much?

Conclusion for Today

I’m not even sure I want the restrictions of using a framework, to be honest. But it will have to wait for another day. It’s Thanksgiving and my time is up. My son is flying home today, and I can’t wait to pick him up from the airport!