ASK AND CONTRIBUTE
MinnowBoard.org is here to help you have a successful experience with your board. To seek answers to your questions, we recommend first do a search on this site, review the tutorials for your board, then visit our MinnowBoard-org project on GitHub, where you can search the issues database for answers, ask questions, or enter and track issues.
Community best practices
For more detailed instructions on how to use these and other facilities, refer to the tutorial Best Practice: Contributions.
If you are having a problem, search the issues database in the bugs-and-help Github repo for an answer. Type your search terms in the filter box.
Submit a Bug or Feature
If you are not logged into GitHub or do not have an account, the link will direct you to do so. For Feature Requests, use label “1_Feature-Request”.
How do I search the GitHub issues database for solutions?
Before you submit a new issue, take a moment to scan the existing open and closed bugs/issues list in GitHub MinnowBoard bugs and help, enter a few keywords, and check to see if your question has already been answered by the community. Feel free to comment or reply to those issues that have already been posted to join the discussion. You can also reopen a thread if it is the exact same issue.
Type your search terms into the search window after the already populated “is:issue” parameter. This makes sure you only see issue results and not pull requests or other repo events.
Is there a mailing list?
Yes. The MinnowBoard mailing list has been in place since the first MinnowBoard design, and has attracted a group of expert community developers that not only pose great questions, but also provide solutions. Submitting an issue to the GitHub repo is our recommendation (also linked at the very top of this page); however, the experts on our mailing list are a pretty cool bunch with a lot of history and experience, and they may be a good source for help. You can join the MinnowBoard mailing list and ask your question there.
I have a question, where can I get it answered?
We encourage users with general questions to post them to our GitHub MinnowBoard bugs and help page. Posting here means responses are easily searchable and visible to a broad set of developers, including those developers not subscribed to our mailing list. All MinnowBoard-related topics are appropriate, except UEFI firmware and firmware security issues. If you don’t have an account, it’s free and easy to create one. Before you submit a new issue, take a moment to scan the existing bugs list in GitHub MinnowBoard bugs and help, enter a few keywords, and check to see if your question has already been answered by the community. Feel free to comment or reply to those issues that have already been posted to join the discussion. You can also join our mailing list.
Are there previous versions of the MinnowBoard?
See the Compare Boards page for currently available boards. There are currently three primary iterations of MinnowBoard hardware including the MinnowBoard V1 (2013), MinnowBoard MAX (2014), and MinnowBoard Turbot (2016) in dual-core, quad-core, and two dual ethernet models. MinnowBoard MAX updated and replaced the original MinnowBoard in July 2014, and the Turbot boards updated and replaced the MAX in 2016. The MinnowBoard V1 and MAX are no longer commercially available. MinnowBoard Turbot boards are derivative designs of MinnowBoard MAX, are manufactured by ADI Engineering, a division of Silicom, and include a number of changes, updates, and fixes that enhance the board’s ease-of-use and addresses reported errata on prior boards. The MinnowBoard Turbot has the same form factor, user connections, connector locations, mounting holes, high speed expansion (HSE) connector, and low speed expansion (LSE) header as the MinnowBoard MAX, and runs the same MinnowBoard MAX software.
What licenses does the Foundation use?
Historically, MinnowBoard.org released collateral on a Creative Commons By Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC-BY-SA-3.0) license. As an open source project, we prefer that all improvements be “shared alike,” however, some developers were hindered by the need to “share alike” their added innovations. We recognized that there are developers that end up with a product idea that they want to productize, and we wanted to allow and support that avenue as well. As such, we have adjusted our default licensing to CC-BY-4.0, thus removing the hard requirement to “share alike.” See our Terms of Service page for more information, specifically the Intellectual Property Rights section. This is our organizational default. Note, however, that all collateral is licensed independently and stated explicitly. For an example, see the Turbot B Dual-Core License in GitHub. It is always important to verify the specific license attached to the specific collateral. We try to make the licensing self explanatory through our GitHub Design Files repo, but licensing can be complex. Reach out with questions.
What definition of open hardware does the Foundation use?
MinnowBoard.org supports the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA.org) principles and makes its designs publicly available so “anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design.” MinnowBoard.org also supports the OSHWA Open Hardware definition. As always, there are intricacies that come to the specific license and application.
How can I buy a board?
Visit the Where to buy page for links and lists of required and optional accessories.
What comes with the board when I purchase it?
The MinnowBoard Turbot ships as a stand-alone board, not including accessories such as a power supply or clock battery. This works well for many customers who already have the required accessories on hand; they don’t have to pay for duplicates, and we don’t contribute to electronic surplus/trash. For customers without, some suppliers offer accessory shopping carts to purchase additional accessories at the same time. For more information, see the product details directly with the suppliers listed on Where to buy page.
Can I email MinnowBoard.org Foundation directly?
Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there common reasons for an unresponsive board?
- The Turbot boards are 5-volt boards and can be destroyed if a power supply of more than 5v is used.
- The board can also appear “bricked” if a USB boot loader is used. The Turbot quad-core was developed with a UEFI boot loader, which will need to be used in order for the board to boot correctly – USB needs to be formatted for compatibility with UEFI. See the Updating the Firmware tutorial.
- Conflicts between 32-bit vs. 64-bit FW and OS install (must be the same).
- FW update went wrong/ failed. See the Updating the Firmware tutorial.
- There are two LEDs on the MinnowBoard Turbot, as explained in the Getting Started with MinnowBoard Turbot tutorial. The D1 LED is on whenever power is supplied to the board. The D2 LED indicates if the SoC is powered on.
- This troubleshooting tutorial may help you diagnose LED behaviour and debug power supply and boot issues.
What do I do if my MinnowBoard Turbot power LED is on, but the board isn’t working?
There are two LEDs on the MinnowBoard Turbot, as explained in the Getting Started with MinnowBoard Turbot tutorial. The D1 LED is on whenever power is supplied to the board. The D2 LED indicates if the SoC is powered on. If you plug in the board and the D2 LED blinks, this can mean accessories connected to your Turbot board are drawing too much power: the SoC tries to boot, draws too much power, and resets. Disconnect any extra accessories such as USB devices, other than a keyboard or memory stick, and try powering on again. If the D2 light does not come on at all, this can mean the board has been damaged by using a power supply greater than 5V.