BBB in Cold Weather

It seems my BBB locks up at temperatures under 25F and then will not power on until it warms up.

Any ideas -besides a heater :slight_smile:

Build a BBB with mil-spec or industrial parts ?

Special Computing has BeagleBoneBlack derivative with Industrial/Wide Temperature parts for commercial use.

Thank you. Any way to modifying an existing?

What components sort of die in the cold?

All it take is one. You would need a new processor and memory for sure. Most of the passives should be OK.


I am actually surprised to hear this! I have run several BBBs in outdoor winter environments for outdoor winter shows for 3 years in a row with no problems. The temperatures @ my outdoor shows routinely get down to 0degF and I have never had a problem. Check out the first page of my 7-part tutorial here, which shows some pictures of the BBBs in some animals out in the snow. I wonder if you are using uSD cards that cause the problem? In all of my cases, I used the built in 2gb eMMC for the OS. The first year ran angstrom and node.js services…this past year ran debian and python services. Not sure why you are having temperature related problems, except perhaps the uSD card.

Put your board in the freezer, take it out and selectively warm up the
components till the board starts working
that way you will see whats not functioning at cold temps.

I would suspect the processor or EMMC. I have had bad luck with flash at
cold temps in the past on other projects.

Unfortunately the specs will list lowest temps but some parts will work
lower then spec and some wont
its hit and miss.

Only way to be sure you have a board that will work at low temps is buy
a commercial spec'd board
I saw a link to one here some time back. Search list for that solution.

you nailed it, they are running on the uSD. they are 4GB uSD, but do not come with any eMMC. I have several BBB with 4GB eMMC. It is running a customized OS on the uSD. I have tried taking an image of the SD and writing to the eMMC but no luck.

Not sure why you say “You would need a new processor and memory for sure.” The BBB uses the Sitara XAM3359AZCZ100, and according to page9 of this datasheet, it says it should operate down to -40degC. Even this eMMC datasheet says it will operate down to -20degC.

Not sure what is happening here, but I have had the 2GB model work fine down to almost 0degF (-18degC), although I never did keep track of how cold it really got. I can see now that I was pretty close to the edge of trouble. Admittedly this past december2015 show only got below 0degC once or twice, but I had 9 BBBs outside running without trouble.

BBB uses the AM3358 processor.


I remember seeing a note/errata somewhere talking about "XAM3359xxxx" where
actually mis-silkscreen parts we used on the BBB..


Yes, that was a while back and is covered on the WikI. They were special screens when we first started. Max frequency and an AM3359 is 800MHz. These were screened for 1GHZ operation.


It seems one solution would be to run on the eMMC? so any advice on what I may be doing wrong:

I have BBB with no eMMC (probably a stripped China copy, that is running off a 4GB uSD.

I would like to take an image of this 4GB uSD and write it to the 4GB eMMC of the full version of the BBB.

I have tried using the backup restore instructions but it does not work. What should I check for to figure out my problem?

Luckily all of mine are “A5C” and the processor says XAM3359. I got lucky on that one and will pay closer attention to that in the future for cold temperature operation. Thanks!

Yes, A5C was the fake AM3359.


I still have an omap3-xm running on the roof:

it's seen many winters, including a few around -40C/F..

I believe the important thing, air sealed box and those moisture sucker
packets, moisture on the pcb/components can wrack havoc.


Well, if you board has no eMMC, then it is not a real BBB. And, there is no way of knowing what parts on there are really the best parts. So it could be anything on it that does not like cooler temperatures.



Attached are two pictures of the two boards, I am trying to take image from 4GB uSD card on left and write to 4GB eMMC on right.

Where did you buy these things?


They came as part of some equipment from China.