SparkFun Block for Intel® Edison - Console

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 Block is one of the simplest ways to power and communicate with an Intel® Edison. This is a minimal solution to get started using the Intel® Edison. This board can supply 4V and up to 1.5A of current to power the Edison passed through it's VSYS line and any other expansion boards you may add to your stack. Utilizing the FTDI 231X, this creates a USB to serial bridge that is level shifted to the proper 1.8V required by the Edison.

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!

SparkFun Block for Intel® Edison - Console Product Help and Resources

General Guide to SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison

January 5, 2015

A general guide for using SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison in your next project!

Installing libmraa on Ubilinux for Edison

January 5, 2015

libmraa is a tool kit for interacting with various Intel single board computers.

Loading Debian (Ubilinux) on the Edison

December 5, 2014

How to load a Debian distribution (specifically Ubilinux) onto the Edison.

Programming the Intel® Edison: Beyond the Arduino IDE

January 7, 2015

Intel's Edison module goes beyond being just another Arduino clone. Check this tutorial for advice on how to get the most out of your Edison by writing code in C++!

Edison Getting Started Guide

December 5, 2014

An introduction to the Intel® Edison. Then a quick walk through on interacting with the console, connecting to WiFi, and doing...stuff.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #795447 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Hi, I am using this board and trying to print to serial port using Serial.println, however it doesn't seem to be working. I was wondering why this is the case and if anyone can direct me to hardware that allows for that? Thank you!

  • ozchrisb / about 10 years ago / 3

    I got my Edison starter pack, which includes this board, last week. It looks like I can't update the firmware with this console block, you need the "base block", For a starter pack I'd kind of expected this functionality. And the blocks are the same price, so why not give us the useful one?

    • Agree with you ozchrisb. First thing I wanted to do today when I started to use it was to flash the OS to Ubilinux. Can't do it. Why wouldn't they ship the base block with the starter kit, instead of the base block? Oh yea, you can't order the base block yet. Only pre-order.

    • BrentBoren / about 9 years ago / 1

      SparkFun has had the Base Blocks in and out of stock several times since this comment was posted, so you might have got past this problem already. On the off chance that you guys are still fighting this, I posted a comment under the UART Block comments describing how to use the console connection (which you get with this block or the UART block) to set up wifi, flash the latest Yockto update, and download the Arduino shield code to an Edison. It might help get you up and running.

    • Member #332315 / about 10 years ago / 1

      Me too. I got the starter pack, but then I had to wait a month for the back ordered base block to arrive before I could update the firmware and make the Edison useful. I'm not sure what the console block is good for once you have wifi connectivity.

  • Member #2129 / about 10 years ago / 3

    FYI the Schematic needs sheet 2 added to it. Only sheet 1 of the 2 sheets shows up when clicking on the link. Not to get picky on the spelling but Scematic should be Schematic. Thanks.

  • tetsujin / about 10 years ago / 2

    Given that there's only $5 difference between the FTDI version and the TTL-only version, the TTL-only version seems a bit extraneous. Perhaps in the next revision you should add a footprint for a TTL pin header so this board can serve both roles.

    • SFUptownMaker / about 10 years ago / 3

      Not a bad idea, but the TTL version is nice because you can use that port to connect to any logic-level device, like an XBee, for communicating with the Edison.

      Ultimately, it'll be sales that decide the matter. If one does way better, we'll kill the other. We just wanted to provide some options!

  • Member #91718 / about 9 years ago * / 1

    EDIT: NOTE: Make sure you get the "BASE" block NOT the "CONSOLE" block or you will NOT be able to update the Edison firmware OR upload any programs! If you don't have the "Arduino Breakout Kit" you cannot start out with this board like it says in the desc.

    • Member #91718 / about 9 years ago * / 1

      EDIT: NOTE: Make sure you get the "BASE" block NOT the "CONSOLE" block or you will NOT be able to update the Edison firmware OR upload any programs unless you have the "Arduino Breakout board"!

      • M-Short / about 9 years ago / 1

        Sorry you are having problems with the Edison boards. Please email for assistance on getting your Edison up and working. Also, please review our comment guidelines.

        • Member #91718 / about 9 years ago / 1

          I have emailed tech support and have gotten the issue resolved. I've also updated my comments to be more appropriate to the root issue. You might make a note in the item desc that you can't update the firmware with this block and thus you cannot use it as a starting point if you don't own either a "base" block or "arduino breakout board".

  • drazvan / about 9 years ago / 1

    I've just received mine from CoolComponents UK but I think it's DOA. I've inserted the Edison and tried 4 or 5 different microUSB cables, both with an USB port on my computer and with a wall charger. Same result, no LEDs light up on the Console board, the Edison doesn't appear to power up. I do get prompted to install the FTDI drivers, so at least that chip is powered on, but it doesn't appear to pass any kind of power to the Edison board.

    The Edison board is fine, I've moved it back to the mini breakout board and it works great, it's just the Console board that it doesn't work with.

    • M-Short / about 9 years ago / 1

      email and they should be able to help you out and help you get a replacement if needed.

  • ErieRider / about 10 years ago / 1

    I've been trying to load Debian onto the Edison using this Console Block that I got as part of my starter pack using the instructions [] here. I am having no success - the the flashall.bat utility just will not connect to the Edison. Can I change the VID and PID in the flashall utility to make this work, or as Member #45485 comment seems to indicate, is this is a lost cause?

    • Unfortunately, you need the Base Block to get any access to the OTG. The Base Block should be coming out at the end of the month.

  • Member #618405 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I am curious as to why there are 74 pads for the DF40 header on your edison boards when there are only 70 pins. Are you able to tell us the logic there?

  • Member #623679 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Is this block, and more generally all edison blocks, going to be open source like many of your other boards? This would be wonderful because I want to develop some blocks as well that don't do what your current blocks offer.

    • Have you seen our home page post? We have provided a template for you to make your own blocks. In addition, once we begin shipping blocks this week, we will be posting the schematics and board files. Good luck with your blocks!

      • Member #623679 / about 10 years ago / 1

        Wonderful thank you. I had not seen that news release. That is perfect for my needs. Hopefully you will be adding them to Upverter as well :)

  • Member #457417 / about 10 years ago / 1

    thanks for the hardworking ! they are in stock now!

  • Member #620381 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Does this base unit solve the problem of dropped TTY characters from the FT231X? The Intel Edison Breakout board and the Arduino Breakout board both suffer from a design flaw that causes the USB Console port to drop the first typed character when the Edison powers up from sleep. The reason is that they use a two wire TTY connection instead of a four wire. Does this board use a four wire connection? Has anyone verified if this issue is fixed?

    • SFUptownMaker / about 10 years ago / 2

      The dropped character issue is fixed in the latest revision of the Linux distro for the Edison. If you update your Edison image, you'll find that to be solved. has some info on how to do this.

  • Member #43839 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Looking at the console and the Battery blocks, it appears that the USB connectors line up. Given the close stacking of the boards, does this mean that only one can be connected at a time? Could the USB connectors be staggered so they don't interfere with each other?

    • That is something we are working on. Staggering the connectors is not feasible due to the limited real estate already. It may require some clever stacking of boards to get multiple cables connected.

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