All posts in “SensorCape”

SensorCape Version 0.2 Test Boards Have Arrived

I was happy to come home to a nice purple package today. In this purple package were three copies of my SensorCape for BeagleBone Black. I am sending them for assembly tomorrow and hope to have them back early next week to begin testing.

Now that I have received the boards and can look at them in person, I have found a few changes that I think I will make in the final version.

  • Remove the 4 orange LED’s – I still think they are awesome but there are already 4 perfectly capable LED’s on the BeagleBone, no need to be redundant.
  • Move the pressure sensor to where the LED’s are – This will free up some extra space on the board for a better layout.
  • Reduce the number of push buttons from 4 to 2 or possibly replace with a 5 position switch – Either one of these options will free up board space and reduce cost
  • Remember to fill the area around the TMP006 – It looks like I forgot to pour my copper fill before I exported my gerber files, the TMP006 probably won’t work correctly without this but we’ll see.
  • Move the EEPROM to the correct I2C bus – This is an error I noticed before I received the boards, I have the cape EEPROM connected to the wrong I2C header, it should be on I2C2

I think that’s it, enjoy the photos below click for a full picture.

  • The Three Amigos - Bare SensorCape for BeagleBone Black Fresh Out of the Packaging

    The Three Amigos – Bare SensorCape for BeagleBone Black Fresh Out of the Packaging

  • Top View of a Bare SensorCape for BeagleBone Black

    Top View of a Bare SensorCape for BeagleBone Black

  • Bottom View of a Bare SensorCape for BeagleBone Black

    Bottom View of a Bare SensorCape for BeagleBone Black

SensorCape Version 0.2 Fabricated

Woooo! I just received an email from OSH Park saying my most recent order has been shipped to me.

This means that I should have the boards back in the next few days and can start assembly and testing. That puts me a few weeks away from a final version.

At $37 for three boards I can’t complain too much, but my two week wait was almost torture. If you are looking for a good way to make a small run of boards for your own project, check out OSH Park.

Thanks to those of you who are following progress, I’ll keep the site updated as I continue working.

In the meantime, check out some of my other articles.

SensorCape Hardware Design Completed

I am happy to announce that the hardware design for the SensorCape Rev 0.2 has been completed. This is my first PCB to take to production so I am excited to see if it works. After I put the finishing touches on the silkscreen design I will be sending it to OSH Park for fabrication and will begin testing as soon as I can get it assembled. Next steps for this project are to begin writing the software library and to begin promoting the SensorCape. To keep up to date with the SensorCape project, visit the project page where I will soon be adding design details.

Update 1 (7/3/2013):

I just sent the design to OSH park for fabrication, it is expected to return to me by July 20th.

Update 2 (7/9/2013):

I just placed orders with Mouser and Digi-Key for enough parts to assemble about 2.5 SensorCapes. Total cost came out to be a little bit over $100.

SensorCape Reference Manual

This is the official SensorCape reference manual and it is still a work in progress. The purpose of this manual is to allow the technically proficient user to easily understand the inner workings of the SensorCape ecosystem while still allowing the average user to learn what they need to use the SensorCape as they wish.

The SensorCape reference manual allows easy navigation to the desired part or system of the SensorCape by starting with a short overview of the SensorCape, what capabilities it adds and which components provide this capability. To learn in-depth details about a component reference I have provided the manufacturer’s product datasheet for each component. In order to provide a centralized source, the this document discusses the most relevant information for each component in the sections following the overview. Continue Reading…

SensorCape Introduction – A New BeagleBone Black Cape

I would like to introduce a new add-on cape for the BeagleBone Black, though it should work just as well with the original BeagleBone. The idea for the SensorCape came out of the Texas Instruments Intern Design Competition (2013). I wanted to design an add-on that was as versatile and capable as the BeagleBone itself. Accomplishing this meant adding general functionality that was not included with the BeagleBone, but that would be useful in a wide variety of contexts. The simplest way to add functionality is to increase the possibilities for interacting with the BeagleBone. For me, this meant adding various sensors to enable the BeagleBone to know more about the world around it.

Continue Reading…