Bubble Development Board – first prototypes received

A couple of days ago I received the first examples of the Bubble Development Board and started testing them.

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Much to my joy, the board fits neatly into a low-cost plastic case from Farnell, part number 1526699. With front and rear panels suitably cut out, it should be well protected and easy to connect things to.

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But does it work? Well, yes, largely. Here are the results so far.

  • Power: the LEDs (green for +5V input, orange for VDD_IO from the Bubble) come on and the Bubble board starts up reliably.
  • Reset button: does what it says on the tin.
  • Serial port: console works.
  • USB host: tested to work with a memory stick and a USB-to-Ethernet adapter.
  • USB slave: working. USB networking connection successfully established to a desktop PC as documented at http://www.balloonboard.org/balloonwiki/USBNetworking.
  • Audio: output works, straight into a pair of headphones, and quality seems good with no unpleasant background noises. Haven’t tried input yet.
  • HDMI: the Bubble board I was using was set up to drive an LCD panel, but by installing fbset and fiddling around with the settings (making them roughly 800×600, 60Hz) I managed to get a display on a monitor connected to the HDMI port. However, the image tends to disappear every few seconds and then come back again with some flickering, so something’s not quite right. I tried another monitor via an HDMI-DVI cable with the same result.
  • Micro SD socket: not working yet. The kernel reports an error during boot and /dev/mmc* devices don’t appear. I’ve noticed that other implementations of the SD card socket from Bubble have pullup resistors on all the data and clock lines which I neglected to put on this board. This might be an easy fix because the wiring looks right.
  • JTAG, Samosa, Raspberry Pi header, Ethernet: not tested yet.

Here’s another picture with the Bubble board turned over so you can see what’s on it.

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One thought on “Bubble Development Board – first prototypes received

  1. Pingback: Bubble Development Board – progress | martinjonestechnology

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