Beagle or Rasberry...What would you recomend to start working with first?
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Beagle or Rasberry...What would you recomend to start working with first?

by gergtech on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:44 pm

Greetings All.

I'm starting a new project in the new year and would like to start using either a Beagle Bone or Raspberry Pi for the project, and would like opinions on which type I should purchase first.
My back ground is mostly as a NOOB? I have programmed with the Propeller and the the Basic Stamp, but have very little experience with C or Linux.

Cost has no bearing on the final decision.

The main factors I am considering are;

Specific books on the boards, (recommendations would be great)
Software examples/plugins similar to Parallax's OBEX exchange
Education opportunity's/mentors/forums which one would offer the most?

All opinions are appreciated

Greg Pfrommer
Marietta GA
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Re: Beagle or Rasberry...What would you recomend to start working with first?

by thefatmoop on Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:46 pm

get a raspberry
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Re: Beagle or Rasberry...What would you recomend to start working with first?

by Chuckz on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:20 am

I haven't programmed either but I bought a Raspberry Pi and I like both. I'm not trying to point you in either direction but I want you to make your own decision. You can base your decision based on your skill level, hardware properties of each board and number of users involved in each board's community. If you are talking about using it in electronics, $35 dollars is a lot easier to replace than $89 dollars and you can buy more boards at $35/$40 dollars.

The Raspberry Pi has a magazine and forums whereas the Beaglebone seems to be for experienced users.
The Raspberry Pi seems to have good numbers of people involved in their product.
You might be able to get other languages like BASIC for the Raspberry Pi but both platforms (Raspberry and Beaglebone) use Linux. There is a video on how to setup Linux using virtualbox for the Raspberry Pi or you can buy an SD card with the operating system on it.

If you are worried about it, download some of the free issues of the Mag Pi for the Raspberry Pi and see if it is at your skill level or comfort level.

I'm still waiting for my order to come in so I can use my Raspberry Pi. There are still shortages on accessories unless you possibly get one of those bundles with everything in them.

Ti doesn't support the Beaglebone which is odd because their chips are in it. Some of the chips have very long datsheets. The chip in the Beagleboard is 2,500 pages or more to go through. It all depends on how much free time you have on your hands.

Linux seems to be a program that you want to learn to program in because you can possibly get a job in it. Spin is a little more specialized or localized for only one brand of microprocessors. I think everyone should try to be fluent in more than one programming language because that is what can help you in your programming skills and being more marketable if you choose to work in your hobby area. Basically, you learn what the job market is using because they are the ones who would be paying you and you have to go from this to man size projects to impress but the Raspberry Pi could be a stepping stone.

gergtech wrote:Greetings All.

I'm starting a new project in the new year and would like to start using either a Beagle Bone or Raspberry Pi for the project, and would like opinions on which type I should purchase first.
My back ground is mostly as a NOOB? I have programmed with the Propeller and the the Basic Stamp, but have very little experience with C or Linux.

Cost has no bearing on the final decision.

The main factors I am considering are;

Specific books on the boards, (recommendations would be great)
Software examples/plugins similar to Parallax's OBEX exchange
Education opportunity's/mentors/forums which one would offer the most?

All opinions are appreciated

Greg Pfrommer
Marietta GA
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Posts: 159
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 10:54 am

Re: Beagle or Rasberry...What would you recomend to start working with first?

by BruceF on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:58 am

Both the Pi and Bone are Linux/ARM boards, but there's a pretty important distinction between them, in my opinion. The Raspberry Pi is more or less a small, inexpensive, general purpose computer. The Beagle Bone is more like a very powerful microcontroller board, with much more I/O and a larger array of I/O options like ADC, PWM and the like than you'll find on the Pi.

Ask yourself:
Do I want a powerful Linux-based computing with perhaps a bit of GPIO? Raspberry Pi.
Am I looking for motor control or anything I see in a list of Arduino shields? Arduino.
Do I want more advanced Arduino-like projects? Maybe a Beagle Bone. (There are lots of other options here too.)

The Raspberry Pi and the Arduino are the boards with the biggest communities and the most resources around them. I'd say consider what kind of project you want to do and start with one of those.
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Re: Beagle or Rasberry...What would you recomend to start working with first?

by Static on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:52 pm

I'm pretty amateur when it comes to these things. Most of my experience is with Arduino's (about 4 years), and I've done a fair amount with them. I only really started learning about electronics a year ago. I didn't really have any experience with Linux until about two months ago.

I grabbed two Raspberry Pi's because it was a good friend's 30th birthday, and he's the kind of guy that can really have some fun with it (He is a linux poweruser and has a Python blog with actual subscribers). Four months later, my Raspberry Pi arrived, and I went nuts with it.

I took Python in college, and really enjoyed the language. I haven't used it that much in the last three years, but it is coming back pretty quickly.

I decided to build a network capable datalogger. Ideally this would be an inexpensive sensor node that could be part of a bigger banned sensor net. Each node would only need a couple of sensors, but would definitely need network connectivity. The Raspberry Pi is perfect for this. Between the I2C and half a dozen GPIO ports, I can do whatever I need. I can handle the datalogging and analysis right on the board or send it over the network to a host computer (or both). I can have the board perform some local interaction (activate a motor, light up an LED, drive an I2C display or even trigger a siren). The operating system is incredibly supported, and Python is pretty easy to use.

I'll admit, I bought the Raspberry Pi as a toy and looked for a problem for it (I've wanted to do this project for years).

Take a look at what you want to do with the board. A Raspberry Pi is about the same cost as a commercial Arduino. You get a fair amount of bang for your buck (USB ports, Ethernet, massive operating system, a couple of GPIO ports, almost universal video connectivity, audio, and I2C/SPI). The board doesn't have PWM (out of the box. I don't know how fast you can pulse the GPIO pins), or any ADC capability (I bought an I2C ADC, but I haven't used it yet). You do need a keyboard (maybe a mouse) and a monitor to use it (you probably already have those things lying around).
I'm loving the Pi. The learning curve is a little steeper than the Arduino (I haven't gotten an LED to blink yet, however, I am tracking the temperature and pressure of my office and generating a webpage to view it). I think once you learn the basics of driving the GPIO pins, you've essentially got an Arduino with extra shields built into it.

Getting to write my code in Python is a major selling point for me. It's an incredibly easy language to use, easier (I think) than the ArduinoC system.

I am worried about bricking the Raspberry Pi. Cost isn't the issue. Instead, I'm more worried about being able to purchase one. It really took four months for me to get the first two.


I don't know anything about BeagleBones. I really think you should compare the specs and consider your project.
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