I am experimenting with the Bifferboard since few weeks; it is a very interesting platform.
I installed Debian without too many troubles; you need to have some basic knowledge in Linux still.
Here are my finds:
- USB hub: I had some troubles with several hubs (Kernel panic or some adapter not working well with certain hub, the UVC camera in particular). I am using a cheap hub without brand.
-Wifi : working fine (rt73) but adapter big for my project and also is getting quite hot – I wish I can install a smaller Wifi Dongle (rtl8187 based) but I cannot compile the driver.
-Camera: UVC is working fine, I can stream video smoothly, the camera chip is also getting very hot – what a waste of power… I am doing some tests with 2 cameras
-Serial: FTDI (PL2302) working fine –(note: I didn’t obtain good results with a CP2101)
- Sound: working fine with a cheap &small USB audio adapter – can play wav files or Text to speech but not enough power for MP3. Sadly the sound quality is deteriorating if I have video streaming at the same time, I don’t know if it is a lack of power or noise generated by the camera
- Display: I am experimenting with a USB 1.8’ keychain picture display (see: http://picframe.spritesserver.nl
). The small display purpose is to show a live stream from a remote webcam (or from the onboard webcam)
I tried to use the Bifferboard without the support board (with only 4 cables: 1.8 v, 3.3v and USB data). It is working but the supply power must be very well stabilized or the board will fail to complete the boot.
-BIFFERBOARD + NANO ROBOT
The Bifferboard fit nicely in the Nano back, between the servo connectors.
I stuffed the 4 ports USB hub+ 4 Go Micro SD card reader + Usb Serial inside the board. A wifi stick and a camera are connected thanks to light plugs. (note: I get rid of the erthernet + USB board to save weight and space)
The Bifferboard is powered by 1 single Lipo (1000Mah) . A LVBoost step up a steady 5V . The Board + the USB adapters are consuming around 1A, I can stream video for 40 min at least, maybe more.
A Python script takes handle the communication between the Nano serial port and a TCP/IP socket.
I am remotely controlling the Nano from a Flash interface. The Vstone controller serial communication is very well documented and allow master/slave control of the servos, command control, battery power feedback,…