So the last few weeks have been a carnival of trial-and-error, and I had to make use of all my available skills, and each time I had to use a different one, I thanked myself for acquiring it in the past.
Most if not all of these aren't the fault of anyone else but me, I'm a relentless tinkerer and I always do stuff to my stuff This is why I decided to write about this kind of experiences in a blog, separate from my work-in-progress Beaglebone AI Roadtest review.
So, it all started with my wish to better protect the BBAI when carrying it from place to place. I ordered a SeeedStudio Skeleton Beaglebone case (bad idea, I don’t recommend it!) and tried to mount the BBAI in it when it arrived. It had some skirted screws for mounting the board inside the case, that were too big and one of them took out a resistor on the board by pushing it sideways. I tried soldering it back with the help of a digital microscope, but I gave up after a few tries and also my attempt at soldering a jumper over it didn’t work. Thanks to BBAI being open-source, I looked at the BRD file and the BOM and it looks like its R420, a 10kOhms 0402-size resistor. I have a few friends who are more SMD-capable than me and I’ll ask them for help with this. The board still works fine, I’m having just some issues with the breakout pins.
Specifically, the bad news was that now my power pins for the cooler were not working anymore so I had to power the cooler some other way. Mmmmmm… USB! I remembered that usb power cables only use two wires, so i cut one open and soldered its wires to the cooler. Now I had cooling again!
Before getting to this solution, I had tried a simple apt-get-update & apt-get upgrade just to see it shutting down in the middle of the update process because of overheating. So nothing could be done until I had figured out the cooler issue, first I thought the cooler had died but I checked it on an Raspi and it was working, so I figured out it was the pins.
I also bought a Trust HD 720p webcam for my computer vision experiments that I have in mind for the BBAI. I now had to either get an usb hub in order to have them both, webcam and cooler, attached to the BBAI, or to power the cooler through another usb port on a different device, or maybe its own 5v power adapter.
OK, now that we had cooling, lets do the updates again and start working.
I was in a different place, different wifi network, so, lets try and connect. I spent the better part of a morning trying to connect to the internet via wifi and it just wouldn’t connect, and no internet stack-overflow-type solution helped. Then I realized I had an ethernet-plugged pc nearby, got its ethernet cable, put it in the BBAI and BAAM! it worked like a charm for updating the packages and downloading the ones needed for my experiments!
So, a lot of trial-and-error these days! Now onto the programming and in the meantime maybe I'll also 3d print a case for my AI + cooler (I have my eyes on this open case made by Sean_Miller : ).