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Seeking recommendations for which BBB (variant) to use

Started by ags, January 25, 2017, 08:28:13 PM

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ags

I'm going to jump in and build a system based on the BBB to run my megatree. I plan to have it in a (weatherproof) enclosure in the yard, and prefer to minimize cables when practical.


I've been using a different controller that has Ethernet but not wireless (and a game adapter to make it wireless). I've seen that there is a BBGreen that has WiFi & BLE built-in, and loses HDMI (and gains Grove connectors - which I don't think I'll ever use). I've read here that using BBB with a USB wireless adapter can be prone to connectivity issues (possibly related to proximity to the HDMI port, and possibly minimized/mitigated by use of a USB extension cable). I've seen that there are also industrial BBB versions available that are claimed to tolerate lower temperatures (-40C). I'm in the Bay Area; it gets cold, but not really cold (we'll flirt with freezing temps but typically are in the low 40's F). Has the "standard" (e.g. Green w/ wireless support) been found to be reliable up to 0C as rated?


Is there an accepted bullet-proof version of BBB that has been proven reliable (or others that are proven, or highly suspect, to not be a good choice)? Thanks.

JonB256

I'm in Texas, so not extreme cold, but my BBB and BBGs did work perfectly when it was in the 20Fs. I run them wireless and use the extension cable on the BBB but not on the BBG. Functionally, I can't tell them apart. For me, the cost of the industrial version is not warranted.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user

dkulp




I'm in New England (COOOLLLDDD) and had issues with both the BBG and BBB in 2015.   They worked perfectly for Halloween, but in December/January, I had a lot of lockups and such when the temps dipped into the teens and lower.   This year, I completely moved to the industrial BBB and SD cards that are rated for cold operation as well and haven't had a single issue.   


Note: many SD cards are ALSO only rated for operation to 0C.   They have "storage temps" of -20C or lower, but operation to only 0C.   Something else to keep in mind.  :)


 
Daniel Kulp - https://kulplights.com

jnealand

The BB? with wifi builtin has never been proven to work.  Folks have tried with no success.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

ags

Thanks for that tip. I was about to pull the trigger on the BBG w/WiFi + BLE.


Is the problem something more than figuring out proper device tree (differences)?

JonB256

Quote from: ags on January 26, 2017, 09:48:32 PM
Thanks for that tip. I was about to pull the trigger on the BBG w/WiFi + BLE.


Is the problem something more than figuring out proper device tree (differences)?

More than just figuring it out - they appear to have made hardware changes that aren't compatible.
For now, just go with a regular BBB or the slightly less expensive BBG.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user

ags

Quote from: JonB256 on January 27, 2017, 08:20:56 AM
More than just figuring it out - they appear to have made hardware changes that aren't compatible.
For now, just go with a regular BBB or the slightly less expensive BBG.


Changes incompatible with Falcon design or with device tree itself? (I realize this may be oversimplifying, feel free to PM or point me to where this may be under discussion)


Also - with the BBG variant (lacking HDMI) has anyone been able to get audio out? My recollection is that audio is through HDMI on the BBB - but I also recall there is a separate I2S capability, which I've not used) That seems like it might be another "not figured it out yet" item.

CaptainMurdoch

Quote from: ags on January 27, 2017, 09:47:09 AM
Changes incompatible with Falcon design or with device tree itself? (I realize this may be oversimplifying, feel free to PM or point me to where this may be under discussion)

Also - with the BBG variant (lacking HDMI) has anyone been able to get audio out? My recollection is that audio is through HDMI on the BBB - but I also recall there is a separate I2S capability, which I've not used) That seems like it might be another "not figured it out yet" item.

I the BBGW just needs a newer distribution and/or kernel since it is WiFi only.  I personally haven't tried once since it would have limited use for me without Ethernet since I don't use WiFi in my display.

I don't know of anyone using I2S audio, most people just use a USB dongle or USB FM transmitter.
-
Chris

JonB256

Quote from: ags on January 27, 2017, 09:47:09 AM

Also - with the BBG variant (lacking HDMI) has anyone been able to get audio out? My recollection is that audio is through HDMI on the BBB - but I also recall there is a separate I2S capability, which I've not used) That seems like it might be another "not figured it out yet" item.

My uses of the BBB and BBG have been with the Falcon F4B, the F16B and Octoscroller. All work great but run as Remotes with no sound needed (or attempted). I seriously have no idea (and no curiosity) about sound on a Beaglebone.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user

ags

Thanks for the replies. If I attempt and succeed in either of these areas I'll share what I did. Default is to go with the tested and true - nice to have that option.

Gerry

I have used the BBB with a cheap ebay USB Wifi modem for the last 2 years and it has worked perfectly. I am in Australia where the challenge is very very hot temperatures rather than the cold..
Gerry

ags

I have a BBB Rev B. I have Debian running, but there's not much room on the 2GB eMMC. Of course I can run the OS from the SD card. I'm looking to upgrade before digging deeper into FPP on BBB. I just noticed that there is a BBBW that I can have in my hands by the weekend. It ships with the OS preinstalled, so there is a distribution available to support wireless (since wireless replaces - rather than augments - the Ethernet port, either the distro supports wireless or they are shipping virtual bricks (other than net-over-USB))


The standard BBB rev C is harder to find at the moment (will take a week to get to me). Ultimately I will end up using a wireless BBB one way or another (a USB adapter is the default if necessary). Making the move to a BB?W now saves a step. However, from the responses I think the issue is that there is not a pre-defined FPP image that supports any BB?W device. So I'm wondering, are there any instructions available today detailing the steps required to start from a running OS and install the various FPP components on top for a complete system?

CaptainMurdoch

FPP should run fine on the Rev B, I have one of those as well.

If you absolutely want a W version you could use the FPP_Install.sh script from the v1.8 branch to install fpp v1.8 onto a running Debian system but you could be on your own depending on what issues you run into.  No one has tried the wireless only version yet and since it likely needs a newer kernel, we don't yet know if the Octoscroller and F16-B code work on that newer kernel.
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Chris

MacArthur St Light Madnes

I just started all this as you are, and had a few issues along the way but am up and running now.


I have a BBB Rev C (from element 14) and also bought a cheap USB wifi dongle (also from element 14).
I have FPP running from the eMMC (to free up the SD card to be the memory storage). Have got it up and running wifi now outputting information via ethernet to a F16v2.
There's an octoscroller sitting in the box ready to test, but am waiting on panels... so haven't dived into that yet, but as far as data issues due to HDMI, none so far, and audio is supplied via a cheap usb audio card dongle from ebay.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB2-0-AUDIO-SOUND-CARD-ADAPTER-CABLE-3D-VIRTUAL-7-1CH-Win7-8-32-64-Linux-Mac-OS-/222076893480?hash=item33b4d07928:g:9FQAAOSwGYVXBNSW


So far the hardest part of setup was getting the wifi dongle to work, but once I worked out it was my network setup it has worked perfectly...

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