Wednesday, 7 May 2014

BBB: Basic Setup of Debian

Connect Beaglebone to ethernet with DHCP. Find IP either through FTDI-debug console, scanning the network or otherwise.

Default user: debian
Default password: temppwd

Step 1: Update and upgrade system using
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2: Restrict access to local LAN
sudo vi /etc/hosts.deny
sudo vi /etc/hosts.allow
sshd: 192.168.0.


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Make: Ground plane monopole antenna for 433 MHz

Time to make: 30 minutes
Cost: 5 USD

Can be made for many frequencies. Commonly used for higher frequencies from 80 MHz and upwards past 2.4 GHz. In this case, used for 433 MHz, where home automation usually is found. Copper is soldered, and the whole thing is put inside of glue to protect it. The connector used here is an F-connector, but you can use any. Look for a bulkhead-connector.

Monday, 5 May 2014

BBB: Install Debian to eMMC on OS X

Recommended to use 8 GiB or larger SD-card.

Step 1: Download Debian eMMC flasher image from

Step 2: Quickformat SD-card to FAT using Diskutils from Applications

Step 3: Open terminal, check which path is SD-card using
diskutil list

Step 4: Unmount only the first partition using
diskutil unmount /dev/disk#s1

Step 5: Using 7-Zip, unpack the img.xz so that a file of around 2 GiB appears. This is the disk image.

Step 6: Write image to SD-card using
sudo dd if=/Path/To/BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian-7.4-2014-04-23-2gb.img of=/dev/rdisk# bs=1m

Step 7: After dd reports success, eject the SD-card using
sudo diskutil eject /dev/rdisk#

Step 8: Insert SD-card into Beaglebone Black, keep "BOOT" button nearest to the SD-card pressed while powering up. After a few seconds the lights will start to blink from 1 to 4 full LEDs, while it transfers to the eMMC. Just wait some minutes.

Step 9: Power down, remove SD-card then power up again. Log in using default username debian and password temppwd

Tool: Damn Small Linux USB

Damn Small Linux USB

Sometimes, you find yourself in a position where having a Linux-distro running would make life so much easier. For example, if you like me, intend to format SD-cards in use on the Beaglebone Black to the ext4 file format. As an alternative to download and install Ubuntu, which is huge and slow on old hardware, consider Damn Small Linux on a USB memory stick.

Requires a USB memory stick of any size above 128 MiB.

Step 1: Download livecd creator unetbootin for your OS from
Step 2: Start program and select Damn Small Linux from the distro list.
Step 3: Select target USB Drive and press OK, wait for download and install to complete.

There you go. Stash it away for future use or reboot and test it immediately.