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questcape.rst

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Quest Institute QuestCape

QuestCape is a LEGO MINDSTORMS compatible daughterboard for BeagleBone produced by The Quest Institute to perform experiments on the International Space Station as part of their ISS program.

Note

The design is based on the :doc:`FatcatLab EVB <evb>`, so the hardware driver links on this page all point to the EVB docs.

Setup

Since the QuestCape does not have an EEPROM to electronically identify it, some manual configuration is required to enable it. This is done by editing the uEnv.txt file in the boot partition:

# QuestCape
cape=quest

Power

QuestCape is powered from the 5V jack on the BeagleBone. The motors are powered separately via a connector on the QuestCape. There is no battery voltage indication (it is expected to be powered by a fixed power supply).

Motors can be powered from the 5V jack on the BeagleBone, but it is not recommended.

Sensors and Input Ports

The QuestCape input ports are basically the same as the input ports on LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. There are some caveats though.

  • It uses Molex connectors on the circuit board instead of the RJ11-style connectors used on the EV3.
  • A small number of NXT/I2C sensors require 9V (battery voltage) on input port pin 1 (e.g. the LEGO NXT Ultrasonic sensor and the Codatex RFID sensor). EVB does not provide this voltage.

More information is available in the hardware driver documentation.

Motors and Output Ports

The output ports on the QuestCape are virtually identical to LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. It uses Molex connectors on the circuit board instead of the RJ11-style connectors used on the EV3.

More information is available in the hardware driver documentation

Display

EVB has a 2.2" 220x176 pixel color display (16bpp). The backlight is adjustable.

The display board is separate from the main circuit board and can be detached.

Buttons

QuestCape has a small joystick for directional input (up, down, left, right) and center (enter) plus a separate button for back (backspace). Pressing more than one button at a time is not supported.

The joystick/button board is separate from the main circuit board and can be detached.

More information is available in the hardware driver documentation

Sound

QuestCape does not have a speaker.

LEDs

QuestCape does not have any user controllable LEDs.

There are LEDs for power indication (5V and battery voltage).

Bluetooth

EVB does not have Bluetooth capabilities. A USB Bluetooth dongle can be used if needed.

Wi-Fi

EVB does not have Wi-Fi capabilities. A USB Wi-Fi dongle can be used if needed.

More information on USB Wi-Fi dongles is available on the wiki.