When it comes to single board computers and dev boards, the Raspberry Pi and Arduino often take up much of the project spotlight. Those are great development platforms, but BeagleBoard’s BeagleBone can hold its own and even out-perform.
In fact, Beaglebone boards often excel in industrial applications. Just as the Raspberry Pi and Arduino can be outfitted with HATs/Shields for increased functionality, the BeagleBone uses Capes, giving it new capabilities like driving motors, providing different power options and relays for home automation.
In this roundup we’ll take a look at some of the more exciting Capes on the market for the BeagleBone platform and what they bring to the table. Bear in mind that some Capes will only work with the original BeagleBone, while most others are strictly for the Black or Green edition (these will be denoted for each entry).
(Image credit: Yantrr )
Yantrr’s Industrial ModBus 3xHD Cape gives the BeagleBone the ability to interface with sensors and instruments via industrial-grade I/O using RS232/422/485 serial ports. The Cape is outfitted with 3X half-duplex RS485 ports with up to 256 devices support on each. It sports a pluggable 3.5mm 3-pin terminal header for each port, offers up to 500Kbps data pass-through, and has a 36V to 9V w ide-input range, 5V output (up to 3A, 15W), and DC-DC power conversion. The Cape also uses standard UART (Linux-based) drivers and provides power to the BeagleBone and any other Capes connected to the system.