Interesting BeagleBoneBlack Power Solution

I’ve been working on a project that I want to make portable that requires powering both the BBB and a USB hub, so that enough power is supplied to the required USB peripherals. While looking for other items in Fry’s recently I came across a USB Barrel Jack Adapter. http://www.frys.com/product/7726838 At only $3 for a part with reasonable strain relief I was quite happy to give it a try.

BBB Powered by USB Hub

Barrel Jack draws power from hub to power the BeagleBone

Items plugged into my USB Hub:

  • Linksys AE1000 802.11n WiFi Adapter connected to my 5.8GHz network
  • Barrel Jack Adapter providing Power to BeagleBoneBlack
  • Logitech C920 WebCam

Because of the orientation of the ports on my hub and the fact that the AE1000 is wider than most USB devices I’m not able to plug four devices into this hub. The BBB starts and runs consistently when I apply power to the USB hub in this situation. This is a good situation for me because it appears that I just need to properly power the 2Amp/5Volts required by the hub, and it can provide enough juice for the BBB to operate.

BeagleBoneBlack WiFi configuration problems

I got a BeagleBone Black last week. It seems to be a nice system, with a 1GHz ARM7 processor, ethernet, USB, HDMI and plenty of expansion possibilities, all for $45.

It’s shipping configuration runs the Angstrom Linux distribution. I’ve worked with Angstrom in the past on a Beagleboard used for an embedded application. It seems that the newer Angstrom is using ConnMan 1.4 as the network manager. The version that’s available at the ConnMan site, 1.7, has a command line configuration tool, while the version included in the distribution does not.

I’ve not been able to figure out how to enable wireless networking. Plugging in an ethernet cable just works. Plugging in the USB WiFi adapter gives me a wlan0 device, and the MAC matches that printed on the device.

I’m not able to issue the command “ifup wlan0” without an error. It looks like the connman settings file should enable WiFi by default.

root@beaglebone:~# ifup wlan0
ifup: can't open '/etc/network/interfaces': No such file or directory
root@beaglebone:~# ifconfig wlan0 up
ifconfig: SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory
root@beaglebone:~# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 04b4:6560 Cypress Semiconductor Corp. CY7C65640 USB-2.0 "TetraHub"
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 13b1:002f Linksys AE1000 v1 802.11n [Ralink RT3572]
root@beaglebone:~# ls -alFR /var/lib/connman/
/var/lib/connman/:
total 16
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jan  1  2000 ./
drwxr-xr-x 17 root root 4096 Jan  1  2000 ../
drwx------  2 root root 4096 Jan  1  2000 ethernet_c8a030a62b80_cable/
-rw-------  1 root root   68 Jan  1  2000 settings

/var/lib/connman/ethernet_c8a030a62b80_cable:
total 16
drwx------ 2 root root 4096 Jan  1  2000 ./
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jan  1  2000 ../
-rw------- 1 root root 4096 Jan  1  2000 data
-rw------- 1 root root  186 Jan  1  2000 settings
root@beaglebone:~# cat /var/lib/connman/settings 
[global]
OfflineMode=false

[Wired]
Enable=true

[WiFi]
Enable=true

I went so far as to connect to an HDMI monitor with keyboard and mouse and was able to see the graphical connection manager. I tried both with and without having the ethernet cable plugged in, but was not able to click on the “Enable” button on the wireless networks dialog.

BeagleBoneWiFi

I believe that I need to do something with wpa_supplicant to get the password properly accepted on my machine, but I’m more interested in getting the wireless up and running than worrying about getting the security set.

I included the lsusb command in my code listing before because it lists the WiFi device that I’m using. I’m powering the device by a standalone power supply, not via USB, so I believe that I should have enough power to run the wifi. This connection has it connected via an external hub, but I’ve had the same results when connected directly to the board.