Kernel:BeagleBoard in a Nutshell
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> BeagleBoard in a Nutshell > BeagleBoard Quick Start > Extending the BeagleBoard > The Wild Ducks Project
A very high level look at the BeagleBoard and why it matters for Symbian
Where to Buy
The official list of approved distributors is available here. Most of these will also sell you the necessary cables, although if the product is being shipped to you from abroad you might want to buy the cables locally to avoid excess shipping and import tax charges. For example, most of the cables for our BeagleBoards at Symbian Foundation HQ in London came from Maplin a popular UK electronics component retailer, the exception was the AT/Everex serial cable, which came from CableCity.co.uk.
Most of the approved distributors ship from the US and you may be asked why you want the boards and get charged import duty by the shipping company if you are based in Europe. There are alternative sources of boards in Europe:
- EBV sell their own EBVBeagleBoard (although they didn't respond to our intial sales enquiry)
- Embedded-Projects.net Advertise a BeagleBoard for 199 Euros plus shipping, which may be more expensive than ordering from the US, depending on shipping rates and exchange rates - do your sums!
- Watterott is selling from Gemany 145 € inc. VAT plus 10 € Shipping with fast delivery (~48h)
The BeagleBoard has had a large embedded Linux developer community working with it for some time now, and the board and cable setup instructions are common to both platforms. Rather than try to create a second repository of knowledge for the same problems here, please use (and contribute to) the existing one. The best starting point for those getting started with the BeagleBoard is at: http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardBeginners
The only issue we've seen so far that's likely to be exclusive to Symbian developers is driver problems with USB to Serial converters for Windows (embedded Linux developers don't tend to use Windows on their PCs!). Some USB to serial converters/cables come without any drivers (or in our case, with the wrong drivers). However, there are very few chipsets in these converters and it should be fairly easy to find working drivers via a quick search in Google. For example, we have two different converters that both use the same Prolific chipset - working drivers can be found here and on several other sites.
References and Related Articles
- The BeagleBoard System Reference Manual - an excellent overview of the hardware, worth familiarising yourself with the layout of the board to identify all the components before you start
- Technical specifications for the OMAP3530 processor which is the core of the BeagleBoard - if you want to write or modify drivers
- Beagleboard.org - the official site for all BeagleBoard resources
- BeagleBoard info at elinux.org - a great resource but with a strong Linux perspective. Lots of useful details that also apply to working with Symbian, including hardware extension boards, different boot methods and board recovery for when everything goes wrong!
- The "official" BeagleBoard setup guide - not as good as this one!