Over the past week I've been working on various parts of my project - designing the front panel, starting on the panel electronics, as well as optimising the sound engine software. All of these things are only half-finished so I don't want to document them in a blog post yet, however one small yet important thing I have completed this week is the wiring and soldering of the BeagleBone Proto Cape, so I thought I'd do a quick and short (for a change!) blog post on how I've used the proto shield.

 

beaglebone proto cape

The BeagleBone Proto Cape

 

The Proto Cape is important for my project, and probably for most serious BBB projects, as it allows you to solder your connections to the board so that things don't accidentally become unconnected during use. Saying that, the idea of permanently soldering all of my connections on my BBB didn't appeal to me, so instead I soldered a set of screw terminals to my proto cape (like I did with the MIDI interface circuit for my project), allowing me to disconnect certain connections and circuits from the BBB if needed (which is very useful during development), but at the same time providing a way to securely connect everything when needed.

 

Here are a couple of photos of my proto cape:

 

beaglebone proto cape top

beaglebone proto cape bottom

beaglebone proto cape side

 

As can be seen from the above photos I've attached four pairs of screw terminals to the cape. These are for the following connections:

  • Three pairs for connecting my keyboard, panel, and MIDI interface circuits to the BBB via the UART serial pins (both TX and RX for each circuit).
  • Two pairs for providing 3.3V power to my three circuits (leaving one terminal currently unused)
  • Two pairs for connecting the GND of my circuits to the BBB (leaving one terminal currently unused)
  • A spare pair, just incase.

 

Here's a photo of the cape in use, with the keyboard, MIDI interface, and panel fully connected:

 

beaglebone proto cape in use