The BeagleBone Black Wireless is the latest revision of the BeagleBone family adding WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. Not only does it have wireless capabilities but there are also a few minor changes to the board compared to the previous revision such as the SoC is now an Octavo OSD3358 which allows quicker manufacturing and offers a single chip solution. They have also changed the USB programming port from a mini to a micro, which should allow better compatibility with common cables and power supplies .
The BeagleBone Black Wireless (BBBW) uses the same wireless chip as the BeagleBone Green Wireless (BBGW), which is the WL18MODGB TI module. Unlike the BBGW the BBBW does not have a built-in antenna therefore solely relies on the provided external antennas. This revision has also removed the Ethernet port and as such users will have to rely on the WiFi for Internet connectivity.
Unlike the BBGW, which boots up an Access Point Mode (AP) and allows you to connect to it wirelessly to configure the WiFi connection to your local router, on the BBBW you will have to connect it to your computer and configure it using the terminal window.
Out of the box the board comes supplied with a micro USB cable to connect to your computer and also to provide power to the board. Connect the cable to your BeagleBone and then connect to your computer, it will take a few moments to boot up.
Once booted you should see that the BeagleBone has connected as a media drive. This is where you can install the drivers for your operating system.
BeagleBone Media Drive
Install Drivers for your Operating System
Once you have installed the drivers you may be required to restart your machine. Once done so re-connect your BeagleBone Black Wireless, you should be able to open the following url in your internet browser:
Now we are going to connect to the board using SSH in a terminal program. If you are using windows then you can download PuTTY or on Linux or Mac OS X you can just open the terminal window. To connect to the board type the following in the terminal window:
Once connected you should see the BeagleBone command prompt.
BeagleBone Command Line
Unlike other Linux boards, normally you would have to edit the /etc/network/interfaces file and add your wireless credentials in their and then reboot the network interface. The BeagleBone Black wireless has a built-in network manager program that can do all this for us called “connmanctl”. To connect to your Wireless network type the following command in the terminal window:
connmanctl> enable wifi
connmanctl> scan wifi
Scan completed for wifi
connmanctl> agent on
connmanctl> connect wifi_506583d4fc5e_544e434150413937414239_managed_psk
You should now be connected to your local wifi. You can check that you have an IP address by typing the following in the terminal window:
You should now see an IP address under Wlan0 and you can now connect to this IP address in the future to program your BeagleBone Black Wireless.
BBBW Connected to the WiFi