beaglebone (white) A6 host powered console hack anyone?


I am currently using some beaglebone white A6 for trainings. The fact that the board is USB host powered is a bit annoying, since with some PCs USB enumeration after powering off/on takes quite some time.

Ideally I would like to operate it like the beagle-xm where I just connect a FTDI RS232/USB cable, which keeps the /dev/ttyUSBx on my host even if I power down the target board.

Do you think it’s possible to hack the beaglebone hardware in such a way that it behaves like this:

*) FTDI (only) powered over USB cable
*) board powered over 5V barrel plug

and if so what would I need to do?

Currently I have a rather complex solution where I need to switch on/off remotely:

*) 5V barrel plug
*) power which comes over USB cable
*) RESET button

All this is used for a remote setup where you don’t need to have physical access to the board.



When connected via 5VDC, that powers the board no matter what the USB is doing. FTDI is disabled unless the USB client is connected to a PC. But the FTDI is powered over the DC in that mode via the system 3.3V regulator. Powering the FTDI over USB only, requiring a 3.3V regulator to be added, might be able to be done, however, if you ever plug in the USB first, you will blow the processor on the board.

Keep in mind that the FTDI is not connected to the USB port. It is connected to the HUB that is connected to the USB port.
Now, a lot closer to this setup you describe is the BeagleBone Black. It has a connector that you can connect a USB to serial cable to. That may work better for you.