My expansion board for BeagleBoard

Using BeagleBoard as development platform means lot of cables as I need:

  • serial cable
  • power cable for BeagleBoard
  • USB hub
  • power cable for USB hub
  • USB Ethernet dongle
  • Ethernet cable

So by default my BB setup looks like this (here with B7 version so OTG used instead of EHCI):

BeagleBoard in a box

I decided that I need to do something with it. The idea was to make simple expansion board which will just gather all components on board connected to BeagleBoard. First sketch was this (without keeping aspect etc — just elements):

BeagleBoard expansion sketch

I presented it to few people with better electronic experience then mine and got few nice suggestions.

After few days of collecting elements and soldering/glueing I got first version working:

s_20100112_004

USB Ethernet dongle is glued to PCB, USB Hub needs mounting and it’s power cable has to be replaced by better solution. But the good thing is that I have power, serial, Ethernet connectors on one side without any special cables:

s_20100112_005

When BeagleBoard is placed on top all what is needed to get it working is connecting 3 cables: power, serial and EHCI:

s_20100112_007

Audio, S-Video and HDMI connectors are on same way as rest so all cables are in one side:

s_20100112_008

The problem appears when reversed BeagleBoard has to be mounted on top… I have such one with BeagleBUG extension. Extra distances helps but cables are not so nice then:

s_20100112_009

Notice that SD card in this config is harder to reach.

s_20100112_010

Serial cable is twisted but still do job.

s_20100112_011

Audio and video connectors are easy to reach but on other side of board ;(

s_20100112_012

Yes… that hub needs replacing — note ugly way of attaching power to it.

Anyway this works and allows me to have all cables in one place instead of jungle of them.

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