October 28 2013 - Wandboard GPIO Hands-on


In this tutorial we show you how to connect a LED to the Wandboard GPIO and how you can easily control it.

For this you will need to connect a LED by cable to connector JP4.

Connect one wire to JP4 pin 4
Connect the GND return pin from the LED to JP4 pin 19    

After this is done go to the Wandboard download center, Download the Ubuntu demo image and create a bootable SD card

On your Wandboard open the built in terminal

To turn the LED on type :
# cd /sys/class/gpio/gpio75
# sudo Su
# echo out > direction
# echo 1 > value

To turn the LED off type :

# echo 0 > value

To let the LED flash with 1 second intervals type :

# while [ 1 ]; do echo 1 > value; sleep 1; echo 0 > value ; sleep 1;done

And there you go. your "do-it-yourself" Christmas lighting system.

October 17 2013 - Wandboard SATA Boot (THIS VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY)


Not scared of using a solder iron and voiding your warranty?

Remove 2 resistors and place one resistor back at the bottom side of the Wandboard Quad Module.

Top row : 8th resistor counting from the JTAG header REMOVE (R145)

Bottom row : 6th resistor counting from the same side. REMOVE (R174). 5th resistor (R173) ADD one of resistors you removed earlier.

If you want to add a SSD or 2.5 inch harddisk you will also need to make a power cable that takes the 5V and GND signals from the JP4 expansion header.

October 7 2013 - Wandboard Icecream Sandwich Wannabe


Our beloved Wandboard as any freshman in college sometimes gets homesick and just want cuddle old friends.

So touching and heartwarming. Wandboard at minus 17 degrees Celsius running Android Jellybean in the fridge side by side with his IceCreamSandwich buddies.

September 23 2013 - bigboards.io and Wandboard

20130924-wb-bigdataTell us a bit about yourself/team

As our website http://bigboards.io indicates, we are 4 professionals with various backgrounds in software and technology. In the past years we all have become firm believers in the possibilities and opportunities that Big Data can offer. However, we all look at it from a different angle: business, marketing, software stacks and hardware. But that actually makes us a stronger team.

What project are you currently working on?

Our experiences in the field of Big Data convinces us there is an enormous lack of a good educational platform to learn Big Data technologies. Note that these are intrinsically all cluster technologies, hence, you need multiple computers to truly experience the implications. You not only have to make an extra financial investment to buy the hardware (nodes, power, network, cases, cables, etc) but also (and moreover) the additional investment in time because of the extra complexity in the software setup, deployment and management. We experienced these issues hands on when we were running hackatons at bigdata.be for enthusiasts wanting to learn Big Data technologies.

For multiple years, we have been toying with various ideas in diverse areas. Finally we hope to bring a lot of them together in BigBoards:

• A big data cluster should consist of a number of identical nodes (obviously)
• One big data node should be only a sandwich of a motherboard and a harddisk to bring the processing as close as possible to the data
• Use ARM technology to reduce the power consumption of one node
• Scale out a cluster instead of scaling up a single node.
• The ratio of reduced power consumption per node and the number of nodes in the cluster will favor the power consumption of the whole cluster
• Use a chimney design to bring multiple nodes together. Use natural convection to cool down the nodes.
• After some first 3D designs, we naturally came to an hexagon layout with an integrated network switch and power distribution as bottom- and backplane. (Cfr. sketches)

How did the Wandboard help you to kick-start your project?

The idea behind BigBoards came rather quickly, but we still needed to validate the idea. We wanted to create a prototype, install a big data platform on it and start doing some tests. Since we do this in our spare time, we have a limited budget so we were very glad when we found out about the Wandboard. We quickly ordered 6 Wandboards and a few days later we got started on building the prototype. The result can be viewed at http://ow.ly/i/2R9tw

Why you picked the Wandboard and how does it fit in your project?

BigData is all about bringing processing close to storage. Because of that we need an energy efficient board which still has plenty of memory and most importantly, a SATA connector to connect a 2.5” harddisk. We have searched a long time for this combination but the options that we found either had insufficient memory or lacked a SATA port. Eventually the Wandboard fits most of the needs. To be honest, we could do with more memory, but nevertheless the Wandboard really gives you value for your buck.

The Wandboard is completely opensource, is this important for your project?

We were not specifically looking for open source hardware when we started out with BigBoards. Actually, we barely knew about the fact that hardware had been open sourced. But having access to the designs, especially the 3D ones, really helped us to create the 3D printed parts we needed. No need to measure everything, just take the 3D design and engineer the custom parts you need.

You can imagine that we will dive into the schematics of the Wandboard a lot more in the next steps of our project. Having the possibility to do so really, speeds up our work

What are your next steps and will you use the Wandboard in your final design?

So, after buying the 6 Wandboards, we 3D printed some supports (cfr sketches) to bring the Wandboards and harddisks together in our hexagon layout. We also bought some temperature sensors, which we hooked to some Arduino’s. That's our continuous data logger.

Right now we are setting up our lab prototype to have it run a perpetual data sort which continuously pushes out it's measurements to the internet. That way we will create a live stream on our site. The goal is to prove that this setup can actually run big data workloads and that the chimney design is efficient enough to cool the various components without the need for active cooling.

We would like to use the Wandboard EDM modules in the final design since they have a small footprint and allow an easy upgrade path when more powerfull modules come out.

How can people that have a Wandboard join your project?

We try to open up as much of the designs and tools as possible. This way we hope other people can benefit from the things we try out and experiment with. In a later stadium we will bring out software packages called droplets which we will have to test. Of course feedback, comments and ideas about BigBoards are always welcome.

If you have a new project. Will you use the Wandboard again?

We are really charmed by the Wandboard and it is certainly at the top of our head when we would do a new hardware related project.

Where can people get more information about your project and get in touch with you?

Very soon we will be selling our prototypes on demand that are built from standard components (incl. 6 Wandboards), a 3D printed skeleton and a custom case.

All information of our progress and final product is available at http://bigboards.io

September 11 2013 - Wandboard User Showcase



Working on a project where you use the Wandboard in your design and want to share it with the world?

Above you find a few examples :

Wandboard with a multitouch 7 inch screen assembled in a plexiglas enclosure
Wandboard with a hardisk used as a in car media streaming server
Wandboards (6) packed with HDD's for bigdata cluster applications
Wandboard with a USB LCM display
Wandboard module carrier connector board for slimdevices streaming servers        

Now there is a place to show off your project and/or find team-members to bring your project idea to reality.

http://forums.wandboard.org and go to the "Showcase and success stories" subforum

September 5 2013 - Wandboard Unplugged


Did you know that you can use Wandboard unplugged from it's connector board by connecting a 5V poweradaptor to the 2 thru-hole pins next to the camera connector?

This will make it possible to use the Wandboard EDM Module unplugged as a wireless camera, a bluetooth to WiFi gateway or any other application where you simply just need a wireless interface and a few signals that are available on the camera connector.

The connector that you need for this is a simple MOLEX power connector.        

MOLEX : http://www.molex.com/molex/products/datasheet.jsp?part=active/0436500200_PCB_HEADERS.xml

Buy the part online at Mouser/Digi-key

Mouser : http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=HlEFOAM0q6XGaAJJj3Pssw%3d%3d&;utm_source=eciaauthorized&utm_medium=aggregator&utm_campaign=538-43650-0200&utm_term=WM1860-ND&utm_content=Molex

DIGI-KEY : http://search.digikey.com/scripts/dksearch/dksus.dll?pname&;WT.z_cid=ref_neda_dkc_buynow&site=us&lang=en&name=WM1860-ND

August 23 2013 - Wandboard compatible carrierboards start to launch

We got our hands on a EDM1-FAIRY-START board from TechNexion and we checked it out with the Wandboard core module to make sure that you can exchange and create new carrierboards to extend and add new features to the Wandboard easily.

What we did.

1. Run Android Jellybean on the Wandboard
2. Power-off the Wandboard and remove the Wandboard core module
3. Assemble the Wandboard core module on the TechNexion EDM1-FAIRY
4. Apply power to the EDM1-FAIRY + Wandboard core module and boot the same software SD card

The TechNexion designed EDM1-FAIRY brings the following interfaces to the Wandboard when you exchange the carrierboard.

1. Multiple display options : TTL display, LVDS for panels or HDMI.
2. Touchscreen interface
3. PCIexpress with SIM card for a 3G module
4. Sensors ranging from lightsensor, compass and 3-axis movement sensor.
5. SATA (with data + power connectors)
6. Serial port (RS-232/RS-422/RS-485)
7. Multiple USB host ports
8. external backed up RTC + battery

As well all interfaces that you already have on the Wandboard are available

a. gigabit LAN
b. audio in/out/microphone + SPDIF
c. USB
e. SD cardslot

You can find the complete schematics AND gerber files of the EDM1-FAIRY on the TechNexion homepage.

We hear the board starts to ship to distributors next week and online buy options are available at the EDM1-FAIRY product page.

August 12 2013 - Wandboard gets a Wiki

Are you working with a Wandboard and you have something interesting that you want to share with others.

Or you want to help writing tutorials to get started with the Wandboard.

Join us at the Wiki and help our new community members getting their feets wet.

Start contributing : http://wiki.wandboard.org/.

PICO-IMX6UL for Android Things

pico imx6ul kit android things

Wandboard Specifications

Processor NXP i.MX6 Solo NXP i.MX6 Duallite NXP i.MX6 Quad
Cores Cortex-A9 Single core Cortex-A9 Dual core Cortex-A9 Quad core
Vivante GC 880
+ Vivante GC 320
Vivante GC 880
+ Vivante GC 320
Vivante GC 2000
+ Vivante GC 355
+ Vivante GC 320
Memory 512 MB DDR3 1GB DDR3 2GB DDR3
Audio tag tag tag
tag tag tag
HDMI tag tag tag
tag tag tag
Micro-SD slot 2 2 2
Serial port tag tag tag
tag tag tag
USB tag tag tag
USB OTG tag tag tag
Gigabit LAN tag tag tag
WiFi (802.11n)   tag tag
Bluetooth   tag tag

79 USD

99 USD

129 USD