Feedback on the Chumby beta boards wanted

Chumbyhackerboard Lrg-3

Feedback on the Chumby beta boards wanted – make sure to post in the forums there, not the comments here – thanks!

Greetings beta users of the hacker board!

Due to strong demand on the beta hackerboard, we’ve got to push up the schedule for the final release of the board. Before releasing the board for final production, however, I’d like to collect some feedback from existing users of the board. Please do post any comments or feedback you have on the boards!

In addition, for the final version, I’m considering dropping the Arduino connector headers. The headers aren’t 100% compatible with Arduino (the hackerboard has fewer PWM’s available so certain motor controller boards don’t work exactly as they do on Arduino), and they are a bit tricky for assembly. Instead, we’ll work with our distributors to make and stock a custom breakout board that plugs into the 44-pin header on the top-side of the board which will provide equivalent functions to many of the existing Arduino boards. Also, we should be able to make a breakout that plugs into the 44-pin header which can provide an Arduino interface for those who absolutely require a connector-compatible Arduino header.

Have any of the users on this forum made use of the Arduino headers, and if so, how have they been useful to you?

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  1. The one thing missing for really quick quickstart is that the serial console is the 4 pin connector in the corner diagonally opposite to the corner USB (i.e. not the joyswitch, usb, or power corner). From outside to center, the wires are TX, RX, 3v, GND and go to RX, TX, (nc), and Ground of a TTL adapter. It runs at 115200 baud.

    Also, I don’t see anything out the NTSC video. I probably need to do something.

    Wifi came up without any problems via the wiki tutorial page. The AdaFruit carried adapter is apparently one of the best for aircrack-ng as well.

    Generally iwconfig wlan0 essid XXXX is sufficient if the AP is open (I filter MAC for security)
    zd1211b based USB adapters work, as might rtl8187 based though it or somethign caused a crash (two from dealextreme I got long ago). A new dlink dual-band N failed for lack of firmware, I suspect adding it would make things work.

    Linksys Etherfast 10/100 compact is also recognized and apparently works (I haven’t done the full DHCP stuff)

    Bluetooth is also recognized. I don’t think the bluetooth stack is there, but that should be easy to add.

    I’m going to be busy, but so far this is a big winner.

  2. tz, we have full tutorial with photos on how to connect to the serial port here

    if you have any questions or comments, please check out & post them up in the chumby forum, as the Chumbites don’t visit here! 🙂

  3. I saw the tutorial. It wasn’t clear what pins were which – they aren’t labeled on the cable either when they were extracted nor when the modified one was plugged into the CHB.

    Take a cable I don’t have, move unidentified pins around, and plug it in isn’t really that helpful. I’ll see if I can add pictures of my setup.

    I’ll move to the fourm.

  4. On the Adafruit av/adapter it is the RED connector that has Video.

  5. tz, we think the tutorial is pretty clear – that said, we’re always improving our tutorials check back from time to time as we make edits continuously. its a wiki, so if you want to make edits, go for it!

    "The chumby has a four-pin, 3v level TTL serial connection port running at 115.2 Kbps." is the first sentence. then later,

    "Rearrange the wires as shown, so you have Black (GND) then a space, Orange (TX) and Yellow (RX). You can clip the unused pins or cover them with heatshrink. They wont be used. Just make sure you don’t have the conductive pins accidentally touch your Hacker Board!!! "

    then right after that is a photo showing where to plug in the cable. The pinout is also printed on the back of the Chumby Hacker board

  6. I received the Chumby Hacker Board this weekend and I must say that it is an awesome board. I have a very strong background in Linux and a hobbyist background with AVR and Arduino.

    At first glance, I was overwhelmed with the board. However, the tutorials that Ladyada published has been really helpful.

    There is a lot of help out there in the forum. I had an issue with the GPIO pins and associated registers, but the forum set me straight in under 24 hours.

    Over the weekend I was able to get some LEDS blinking, MP3’s rockin, a button working, a Java JVM cooking, and get an understand of the documentation.

    Pros: Linux!, documentation, an all out blast!
    Cons: Arduino Headers (could do without)


    Add some basics to the suggestions. A lot of Arduino tinkerers may buy this board (like me). The Arduino is pretty easy whereas something like the Chumby Hacker Board is much more difficult.

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