One of the best things this holiday season was my decision to get a Pcduino board. It is a dev board, combining a mini pc architecture with Arduino system. The board costs about a 100$ in Bulgaria and I bought a cover for it as well since I need it because my cat really enjoys meddling with my stuff.
The specs for the board are1:
|CPU||1GHz ARM Cortex A8|
|GPU||OpenGL ES2.0, OpenVG 1.1 Mali 400 core|
|Onboard Storage||2GB Flash, microSD card (TF) slot for up to 32GB|
|OS||Linux3.0 + Ubuntu 12.04; Android ICS 4.0|
|Extension Interface||2.54mm Headers|
|Network interface||10/100Mbps RJ45|
|Overall Size||125mm X 52mm|
For power supply I am using one of my chargers from my Asus tablet.
Unfortunately this version of the board does not come with a WiFi, but there is an availability for you to add WiFi with a stick. The board also needs a usb keyboard and mouse, which takes all the available usb ports and you will definitely need a usb hub.
I have also added a 16GB sd card on which I installed ubuntu, since the Lubunto that the board loads from NAND was not satisfactory for me.
But before I go into the SD card with the OS, I had the go and put the board in the cover I bought. It was somewhat tricky because the cat was extremely interested with all the small parts, but all was well at the end.
Once it was all assembled, it booted from NAND for several seconds. I have to say I was very happy to see how easy it is for a beginner to start their work on the board with minimal effort.
Although I have no Arduino parts yet, I have found there is a folder in Lubuntu where several files are already assembled for people to start thinker with programming them once connected to the Duino. Of course the Arduino headers on the board as I’ve seen are not allowing you to plug a shield directly and some voltage translations are necessary.
But I am leaving the Arduino parts for later experiments. For now I am setting up this board as a web server for various projects to try. First is the building of a library catalog for my extensive collection of ebooks and materials collected throughout the years. For that I am using an external HDD, which connects through a usb port and has stand alone power.
I will post later about the SD card and all the customization going into it.