Description: The Intel® Edison is an ultra small computing platform that will change the way you look at embedded electronics. Each Edison is packed with a huge amount of tech goodies into a tiny package while still providing the same robust strength of your go-to single board computer. Powered by the Intel® Atom™ SoC dual-core CPU and including an integrated WiFi, Bluetooth LE, and a 70-pin connector to attach a veritable slew of shield-like “Blocks” which can be stacked on top of each other. It’s no wonder how this little guy is lowering the barrier of entry on the world of electronics!
The Console UART Block delivers power to the Intel® Edison while providing a simple console interface via a FTDI cable. This is the most minimal solution to get started using the Intel® Edison. This board can supply 4V and up to 500mA of current to power the Edison passed through it’s VSYS line and any other expansion boards you may add to your stack. This is a great board for low power applications that won’t require constant console access. By removing the FTDI USB-UART from the board, current consumption is minimal. When the FTDI cable is not inserted, it will be necessary to provide external power to the board.
If you are looking to add a little more stability to your Intel® Edison stack, check out this Hardware Pack. It will provide you with increased mechanical strength for stacking Blocks on your Edison!
Note: The 3.3V FTDI breakout will NOT work with this block, but the 5V version will.
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The UART functionality does what it is supposed to do. Unfortunately, if you power the Edison stack from this board, the serial data is corrupted and rendered worthless. If you power the Edison from some other breakout board, such as the Base board, then the UART board works great. If you are only using the UART board as your sole breakout board, or your sole means of providing power, rework your design. I’ve tried two different boards and both exhibit the same problem. Scope traces show high frequency noise at amplitudes near the signal voltage. I’ve had a phone call with Sparkfun technical support, which only advised me to log the issue via email. I logged the issue via email, and despite numerous inquiries, this problem goes unresolved. I know Sparkfun is a tiny company, but I had higher expectations than this. I thought they would test their board design to make sure it worked, but it doesn’t seem to have happened in this case.
Hi, I’m sorry for the issues. I have reported your findings to our Engineering team. Hopefully we can make a fix that corrects this issue.
The use of the TXB0104 level shifter was a mistake in my opinion. Because it’s a bi-directional shifter you have to be very careful with the loads you can put on the data pins, too much capacitance or too long a cable and the output will just oscillate at ~40MHz. Given it’s just a UART this could have been designed with a one-way level shifter and been much more reliable.
I also needed this to interface to a 3.3V device, which can be accomplished by hacking the board up a little. It would be nice if there was a jumper/switch to choose the external interface voltage.
After a few days of fiddling it’s working as expected.