My shipment finally came this week! It included the BeagleBone, a 5V wall adapter, and a wifi module.
After opening and inspecting everything, I plugged it in with its USB cable. For the most part, I followed this guide from AdaFruit. The drivers installed automatically with Windows Update, but later double-checked by installing the drivers from the BeagleBone website. In order to get a console into the board, I installed Tera Term. Scroll down that page and look for teraterm-4.76.exe. If you want to use something other than Tera Term, I’m sure the setup would be something similar as below.
Setting Up Tera Term
First, I needed to know what serial port the BeableBone was using. For Windows 7, I right-clicked on Computer and selected Manage. After clicking on Device Manager, I saw the serial port, COM4, underneath Ports like in the picture below.
I started Tera Term and went to Setup->Serial Port. I used the below settings.
I saved these settings by selecting Setup->Save Setup so I would not have to go through these steps again. I opened the connection by selecting File->New Connection and choosing the serial port in the bottom.
I suggest at least adding a root password. This is especially important if you plan on being connected to the internet. I did this by running passwd and typing the new password. I also added a new user by running adduser <username>; replacing <username> with username I wanted to use (don’t include the “<>”).
I bought the 5V adapter to use with the WiFi module. Since the module draws so much power, it will not work if the BeagleBoard is only powered by the USB port. Following AdaFruit’s guide, I updating Angstrom and installed the required package for the WiFi module. But, how did the author know that we needed the rtl8192cu firmware? Plug in the module and type dmesg. It should say something about the module and this exact chipset. Ok, author, I believe you now. After installation and even a reboot, I was getting flaky results so I did a reset with the reset button near the Ethernet port.
Now that I have WiFi working, I don’t always want to be tethered between the laptop and BeagleBone with the USB cable, so I’m going to use SSH. I first setup a static IP address by following a guide on GigaMegaBlog. However, while in this process, the WiFi IP and connectivity was being very flaky. Sometimes it would work, sometimes the interface would be up without an IP address, and sometimes the interface would not come up at all. I searched around and found this thread with someone dealing with the same problem. Before I jump to using Ubuntu, I’m going to mess around a little more with Angstrom and see if I can get it working. Doing a quick search for the rtl8192cu support in Ubuntu did not look very promising.
Stay tuned for the WiFi fix!