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Getting Started with the BeagleBone Board

BeagleBone logo

The BeagleBone is an open source microcontroller development board with a 720 MHz Sitara ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 256 MB of RAM, two 46-pin expansion connectors, microSD card slot, Ethernet connector, a USB port,  low-level serial control and JTAG hardware debug connections. A number of expansion boards that can be attached to the BeagleBone to extend its functionality have recently been released.

The BeagleBone Black (BBB) has been released recently and it features; 1 GHz processors, 512 MB of RAM, 2 GB of on-board flash storage with a micro-SD expansion slot for additional storage; two 46 GPIO pin headers; PWM, ADC, SPI, and I2C capabilities; as well as, HDMI output, Ethernet. Learning how to use the BeagleBone is very useful for makers, DIY hobbyists and tech enthusiasts as it gives them the ability to quickly demonstrate their ideas practically using already existing, cheap and easily tuned components.

This post is a road map for anyone willing to start tinkering around with the BeagleBone, the post will present and compare between the best online sources where beginners can start from and follow along.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learning about the BeagleBone) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

Start Learning about the BeagleBone Board Online for Free from Scratch

Logic Supply

Logic Supply is the first free online outlet where beginners can start learning about the BeagleBone through a text-based tutorial, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into two main sections; the first section is the “tinkerer workshop tutorials” and it’s divided into 6 projects. The second section is “BeagleBone black tutorials” and it’s divided into 32 tutorials.

Interface: The interface is quite simple just click on the lesson you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the lesson resides.

 1 - logic supply beaglebone tutorialNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. The training is only available as text and that might be a problem for those who prefer video tutorials.

Verdict: This is the best outlet for beginners to start learning about the BeagleBone board through a text-based tutorial.

AdaFruit

AdaFruit is the second free online outlet where beginners can start learning about the BeagleBone Board through text as well as video tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 26 guides, some of the guides covers certain topics about the BeagleBone boards, other guides are just BeagleBone projects.

Interface: The interface is cluttered and might be cumbersome, choose the guide you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the guide reside, navigating the guide varies from one guide to another.

2 - AdaFruit BeagleBone trainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. A big number of projects that beginners can follow along.

Cons

  1. Poor structure and organization for the training (that’s for beginners, the structure and organization might make sense for experienced users).

Verdict: this outlet is suitable for those who already know how to use the BeagleBone board and want some project ideas to polish their skills. There are other better outlets presented in this post for beginners to start learning about the BeagleBone board.

The BeagleBone YouTube Channel

The BeagleBone YouTube Channel is the third free online outlet where beginners can start learning about the BeagleBone board online through video tutorials.

Structure: The training is divided into 14 video tutorials, each video tutorial covers a certain topic about the BeagleBone board.

Interface: YouTube standard interface.

3 - The BeagleBone YouTube Channel TutorialsNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training covers the basics that beginners should be familiarized with in order to start using the BeagleBone board.

Cons

  1. Nothing to be noted here.

Verdict: This is the best outlet for beginners to learning about the BeagleBone board through video tutorials.

The Broken Desk Blog

The Broken Desk Blog is the fourth free online outlet where beginners can start learning about the BeagleBone board through text-based tutorial.

Structure: The training is divided into 14 projects (only 9 are available) each project demonstrates some of the basics of the BeagleBone board through a small project.

Interface: the interface is very simple, just click on the project you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the lesson/project resides.

4 - The Broken Desk Blog BeagleBone Board TrainingNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The projects available are very suitable for beginners.

Cons

  1. Not all of the 14 projects are available.

Verdict: This is a good outlet where beginners can start learning about the BeagleBone board  through text-based tutorial.

Bottom Line

The recipe for learning about the BeagleBone board;

  1. Logic Supply is the best outlet to start learning about the BeagleBone board through a text-based tutorials.
  2. The BeagleBone YouTube Channel is the best outlet for beginners to start learning about the BeagleBone board through video tutorials.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in learning about the BeagleBone board.

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