The BeagleBone Black (AKA BBB) is a small, 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 computer with a powerful NEON accelerator, many pin-outs (65!) and great power handling. In this HOWTO we’re going to use it as the core of a cellular base-station that can interact with mobile phones/handsets; manage calls between handsets, interface between handsets and SIP, sending SMSs, etc.
Why the BBB and not a Raspberry Pi? While lacking the graphical processing power of the R-Pi, the BBB is significantly faster, smaller and as such better suited to high-I/O applications like cellular infrastructure. More so, unlike the R-Pi, the BBB has 4Gb of on-board storage, doing away with the need for an SD Card to boot. This makes the cost of getting setup with a BBB more or less the same as that of a R-Pi but with notably better overall performance (for most applications).
A BBB can be powered from standard 5v DC or with Mini-USB. The advantage of the latter is that during development a USB Ethernet interface can also be created, allowing command-line users a convenient way of working with the board – you get both power and network connectivity over a single USB cable.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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