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Size: BeagleBone Rev C|Change
Price:$56.11+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on May 5, 2013
This model does not come with a 5V power cable and I think that is the same for all distributors.

However, it does come with a USB cable to hook it up to your computer (the same for all distributors).

Once you use the installation instructions found on the BeagleBoard.org site, you will be up and running in no time. The BeagleBone Black (BBB) is an awesome little board.

I would suggest getting a Motorola Atrix Lapdock along with this purchase. For about $80, you get an external screen, keyboard and track-pad to use with your BBB. Make sure to acquire the appropriate wires (which are extra).

The one thing I would say is that this item needs Amazon Prime support as soon as possible.
11 comment| 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 16, 2013
I have been thinking about buying a Linux based small form factor device for a while and looked at many different types, Raspberry Pi, Gumstix, Panda and the Beagleboard's, among others. I had leaned toward the Beagleboard's, but got caught up in the popularity of the "Pi". Although the Pi is a great "starter" unit, especially when packaged with a basic electronics kits for learning GPIO, I found the Pi a bit.... lacking. Finally, one day, frustrated with it, I decided to bite the bullet and buy an $85 Bone (heck, I had a $45 Amazon gift card, so why not). Unknown to me, the day before, Beagleboard released the "Black" for $45. So I got excited after looking at the specs and ordered one.

When I got it, I plugged it in, and after mucking about on the embedded webpages for not even 10 minutes... I was totally taken aback by the quality, engineering, thorough (and clean) design choices. I have read notes from several hard core Beaglebone developers and there are some things they have minor issues with, regarding GPIO (Which appeared to be a distro problem more then a Beaglebone problem), but for the most part even they couldn't fault the new design. It is clearly, a more mature product then the "Pi", which makes sense, Beagleboard has been at it longer.

There is one "CON" if you want to call it that. the "Black" has one USB A jack, whereas the "Pi" for example has two. That is, the Pi can handle "keyboard" and "mouse" whereas the "Black" can only handle one or the other, without a USB hub. This is a little inconvenient, but considering its other qualities... its barely worth mentioning.
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on May 4, 2013
I was up and running on BeagleBone Black within 5 minutes of arrival to prove it worked. The instructions for simple tethered control are great and the preloaded JavaScript interface helps to try a few test controls. My hope is to use this as an alternative to my Raspberry Pi for a few tasks since power consumption seems lower and hardware interfacing is a bit more straightforward.

One note is that a lot of articles on this product state that it ships with power cords and other items. This only came with a USB cable. Many external reviews led me to believe I'd get a 5V wall wart with it.

Either way, it seems like a great product so far and I'm working on some proofs of concepts such as WiFi setup and Arduino control.

**Update**
The GPIO logic is great and I am anxious to use it once my initial setup is complete, but it's proven difficult to get the Linux side of BB up and running. Angstrom is very touchy and it didn't help that the pre-installed distro didn't work correctly (SSH was broken). I had to flash the device before I could do anything and that failed the first few times leaving me temporarily with a paperweight. Linux is up and running again but networking is unpredictable and I've spent a few days trying to configure wired and wireless access. I configured the same RA2800 chipset on Raspberry Pi in just a few minutes, so far BB is a disappointment and eating up my time. It would be better is Ubuntu were available.

My hope is to configure VNC, WiFi, and run it from a battery like I do my RPi. This will be the true test of whether it's a better option since my Pi setup works perfectly for this.

In the meantime, the serial connection just failed, so I'm back to the paperweight and need to flash it again. This takes 45 minutes -- make sure it's plugged into a wall outlet and do not stop the flash or you will leave it in a half-state that cannot be used. Flashing again will fix it (but you won't find these tips anywhere on the BeagleBone instructions).

More updates to come...sorry BB, you've lost two stars and are down to 3.
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on November 1, 2013
I'm the long time owner of multiple RPi (Raspberry Pi) and wanted to try this micro computer.
The BBB (Beaglebone Black) is definitively faster than the RPi (benchmarks says the CPU is 2 times more powerful, but the GPU is less powerful than the one in the RPi).
The overall cost is about the same than a RPi (additional $10 but it ships with a USB cable and embeds 2GB of eMMC -- you can also use a Micro SD card, but this is optional).

The embedded eMMC (2 GB) is faster, more reliable and consumes less than a SD card. 2 GB is actually more than enough, I'm only using 35% of it after having installed everything I need.
But if you prefer, you can also boot from the Micro SD card.
The BBB features way more GPIO ports than the RPi, but I'm not using them.
It also features 3 buttons that are actually great ("boot", to boot from the µSD, "reset" and "power", so you don't have to unplug/replug the BBB when you want to power it on back).
But it comes with only 1 USB port, no audio output and a micro HDMI (I don't know if audio can go through it).

The overall quality (PCB, etc.) seems WAY above the RPi.

The BBB is definitively less mainstream than the RPi (it ships with Angström linux, flashing the eMMC is not as easy as "burning" a SD card (you need to burn a SD card, then put it in the BBB so it flashes the eMMC), and burning back the eMMC to the SD card (to be able to put the image into other devices) is WAY more complicated than for the RPi (you can burn a SD card that creates the eMMC image though -- [...] ).

I recommend the following case: Beaglebone Black Slim Case Clear which is very compact and strong, leaves everything very accessible and is the cheapest on Amazon.

Finally, the BBB is cheaper if you buy it on Adafruit, even for 1 piece ($45 + $4.67 shipping). On Amazon I got the A5C revision (which is not the latest, it's the previous revision) and the box came totally exploded (but the BBB was undamaged).

I think I will now buy BBB for my home projects (faster, stronger).
But if you need a graphical interface (XBMC or something) or you don't feel "geek" enough, go with a RPi, it's way easier to use.
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on March 18, 2014
The Beaglebone team has provided a well thought out solution for anyone wanting to get hands-on with embedded computing.

The unit comes with OS, an Integrated Development Environment, and Bonescript programming library pre-installed.
You can operate with only a usb connection to your host computer.
However, I choose to use a 5V power adaptor and plugged into my home Ethernet.

When I powered on my Beaglebone it booted into Angstrom Linux v 3.8.13. My host workstation is a Fedora Linux machine and I was able to ssh into the unit within 30 secs of plugging in and powering on.

If you connect to the unit via a Firefox or Chrome web browser you are presented with a fully functional web page which introduces you to the unit and demonstrates the Bonescript programming capabilities of the Beaglebone. The included Cloud9 IDE gives you the ability to write and execute your own code right out of the box.

I'm very impressed with the polished implementation you get for your $$.
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on August 12, 2015
I've bought 4 of the BBB rev C boards over the last few months from three different vendors. Three boards are the same mfg - Circuitco. The other is Element14. They have all worked the same except for a small difference with Element14 which I'll mention later.

It includes a USB cable (mini to standard-A). With the cable you can power it from any USB source such as a PC/laptop or an A/C adapter used by for cell phones. Beware it's a mini-USB connector on the BBB and most android phones are micro-USB, so pull the cable out of the phone A/C adapter if you can, and use the BBB cable. The other option is a dedicated A/C to 5VDC adapter with a barrel plug (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FA7DLE0). Also pick up a micro-hdmi cable to connect to a monitor.

There are lots of warnings to power it off carefully. For example from the window manager, or "shutdown -h now" from a terminal window, or press the power button once and let it power off.

It's a 1GHz processor and has a few power modes, normally running as low as 300MHz so it's quite cool to the touch. If you're a power user you can force it to 1GHz but maybe want to add active cooling. If it's in a case or restricted air flow that might be a problem. At the default setting it seems very fast.

It should come up on Ethernet using DHCP, when you get to that point it's easy to upgrade to the latest Debian software:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

On the Element14 board, first fix a whacky OS issue before trying to upgrade. Look in /etc/init.d. If you see a file called "led_aging.sh" then you almost surely have the Element14 board as the Circuitco ones don't have this. Edit that file (/etc/init.d/led_aging.sh) and make sure it looks like this:

#!/bin/sh -e
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: led_aging.sh
# Required-Start: $local_fs
# Required-Stop: $local_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: Start LED aging
# Description: Starts LED aging (whatever that is)
### END INIT INFO

x=$(/bin/ps -ef | /bin/grep "[l]ed_acc")
if [ ! -n "$x" -a -x /usr/bin/led_acc ]; then
/usr/bin/led_acc &
fi
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on November 2, 2013
One of the most popular development boards around.
In the market of low cost SoB (System On a Board) platforms currently lead by the $25-$35 Raspberry pi the new beaglebone black really steps in as a player. It's very similar at a basic level but when you break out the details, for about $10 more you get a lot like tons more GPIO, and a remarkably better user experience for newcomers. With the raspberry pi are 'required' to get half a dozen parts to get started making that $35 SoB computer $135.. with the BBB, you can take it out of the box plug it into your PC using the uncluded USB cable and you are ready to get started.

Granted those peripherals you need for the Raspberry Pi are generally really helpful with the BBB, they are just a bit more optional. Making the BBB a much lower entry level financially if you don't already have most of those odds and ends.

Ready to start programing? BBB even has that covered. Not only can you connect in over the USB and do "networking over USB" with special drivers you the BBB comes with a pre-loaded Angstrom linux image on the board and it includes a web based interactive getting started walkthrough that will take you from the initial plug in all the way to a BoneScript interactive guide then right to the the Cloud9 web based IDE and you can start coding.

I have been working with the Raspberry pi for well over a year, and i finally made the jump to add the BBB black to my collection. I will never get rid of my RasPi's but i have a new found appreciation for the simplicity of the BBB and the tremendous amount of work that was put into making this Dev board truly work out of the box. To go from first plug in, to writing BoneScripts in 20-30 minutes is pretty awesome.
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on January 21, 2014
I have been experimenting with several single board computers and controllers and the Beaglebone black provides a clean platform for interfacing as well as support for Linux operating systems. Faster that the Raspberry PI and much more extensible than a simple controller like the Arduino, this is a great experimenter's board.
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on March 28, 2016
The major improvements are that the Debian rather than the Angstrom Linux distribution is used and that this is now pre-installed on the 4 GB eMMC flash memory. No longer must the operating system be installed as a system image on a micro SD card. I am using this with a Windows 10 laptop with USB tethering. It can also be used standalone with a mouse, keyboard, and monitor, but I have not done this. It makes for a convenient way to learn unix. Here are some tips that might help a first time user with this mode of operation. These tips all address problems that I ran into. The mini USB connector on the Beagle Bone Black C board is used to provide 5 V power and for client connection and is what should be connected to the host computer for power and USB tethering. The full size USB connector is for server side connections, usually to a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. The board should automatically appear as a device in This PC in the file system about ten seconds after connecting the usb cable. There should be an icon titled BeagleBone Getting Started. There will be helpful information in this folder. Then in a remote unix or Linux terminal window, the unix command
ssh -Y -l root 192.168.7.2
can be used to establish a remote connection. This can be done either with Cygwin, MinGW, or Fedora installed as a virtual machine with the free VMWare Player. All of these are free software. MinGW is the quickest to install and requires the least storage space. However, one will have to manually add two paths to the Windows path environment variable. These two paths are
C:\MinGW\bin\
C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin\
To do this, go to Advanced system settings in the System control panel, then click on Environment Variables. Path is listed in the system variables.
The MinGW commands can then be used in a Windows Command Prompt window. There is a MinGW Installer desktop program to add or remove packages. By the way, MinGW is usually used to build executables and dll's that are windows compatible using a Linux environment and the GNU gcc, g++, and gfortran compilers and linkers. With both Cygwin and MinGW, the correct packages to install must be chosen. In particular, for Cygwin, openssh and openssl from the Net package list must be installed. A separate unix terminal window can be used to transfer files. As an example:
scp -p examplefile.txt root@192.168.7.2:/root/
will transfer the file examplefile.txt from the current Windows directory to the root Beaglebone Black directory..
To set up an Ethernet internet connection using the Beaglebone Black C board, use the terminal window that has the ssh remote connection and type or do
cd /etc/network/
vi interfaces
ENTER INSERT MODE
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.1.122
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.1.1
#netmask and 192.168.1.x obtained using ipconfig on host computer with internet connection
#last field in address is arbitrary except must be greater than used by any other device on the network
LEAVE INSERT MODE AND SAVE AND QUIT

Lastly, if one uses more than one Beaglebone Black board on the same host computer, the c:/cygwin/home/don/.ssh/known_hosts file will need to be edited. Remove the line or lines containing 192.168.7.* and append the text
Host 192.168.7.*
UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null
StrictHostKeyChecking no
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on February 24, 2014
Used this bad boy as an external computer on my robotics' team robot to run the lights and process vision. I LOVE BEAGLEBONE BLACKS! I'm new to Linux and felt right at home learning on this board.

No problems come to mind. Been using it heavily for about 7 weeks. If you brick these (which is harder to do than you'd expect but possible if you're clumsy like me) just re flash it and you're back online!

I run C++ code, cmake, subversion, OpenCV, our lights code, our vision code, bash scripts, and ssh multiple connections at once through ethernet and USB using static IPs. It does it all like a champ!

(Video of it preforming can be found by searching "Robonauts 118 frc 2014 reveal" in YouTube)
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