Beaglebone Black with Radio Cape

Can I use a Beaglebone black board with the radio Cape. I have a BeagleBone
Black board and was wondering if I could use it and just purchase a radio


  • Yes, If you've a fairly recent black I'm 99.99% sure it will be OK.
    If you have a early one might pay to say how much onboard storage it has.
    You can of course try installing the software without the Cape.

    Make sure you source a good linear supply and don't try to power it through the Beaglebone.

    73 Stu
  • I will have to look at the specs on the board. I am not sure if having the extra
    electronics on the board for the HDMI display might cause any RFI problems
    even though no display will be connected. The version of my board dose not
    have WiFi. I already have a KiwiSDR up and running but do not want to disturb
    the setup. I bought the kit from MassDrop a while back. I was watching for another
    kit offering but have not seen one for a while. So I thought about just buying the
    Kiwi SDR Cape. I do have the Metal case for my second build and have to see if
    all of the cut outs for connectors are ok.

  • Hi Mike,
    I've a Black Wifi (used off Ebay) and it was different to the BBG but fine from memory.
    I stopped using it due to frustration with the WiFi connection dropping rather than any EMI issues.
    I'm pretty certain many public Kiwi's are based on BBB's.

    The only issue I remember was a thin power lead meaning I had issues powering it with just the Kiwi jack, fixed with a proper lead (with some real copper in) and about 5.3V.

  • jksjks
    edited May 2020
    A standard BBB will work fine. The software on the Kiwi sd card doesn't include a window system so the HDMI is not activated. In any event, without an EDID signal present from an attached HDMI cable the HDMI won't be active either.

    The enclosure end plate is designed specifically for the BBG and isn't a very good fit for the BBB. You can just leave it off or file/nibble the cutouts.
  • Thanks for the info. This will save me a few dollars in getting my second KiwiSDR up and running. I think in the early development a
    BBB was used and probably switched to a BBG to save a few dollars. I bought my first KiwiSDR kit on the MassDrop web site. I am
    hoping they offer the kit again otherwise I will purchase the radio cape and just use it with me BBB board.
  • jksjks
    edited May 2020
    Yes, original development was with the BBB. But when we selected Seeed as the Kiwi manufacturing partner it became obvious that the Seeed BBG could be substituted on the Kiwi kit bill-of-materials and save a few dollars, making it easier to hit the MSPR. Later, the BBG had the benefit of having a convenient place to plugin the fan power (Grove connector) that the BBB didn't.

    I'm not sure what happened with Drop/Massdrop. It's been over a year since they last offered a drop despite the interest counter on their Kiwi drop page continuing to go up. I can only speculate. Maybe other distributors felt they were being undercut. Maybe it was tariff problems. Who knows..
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