Silverjaw Hardware Setup



The following describes how to physically connect the Silverjaw Lure to the Minnowboard Max using the standoffs included with the Silverjaw, insert an mSATA harddrive and connect the Minnowboard Max to a host Linux computer. Completing these steps will ready the Minnowboard Max for installation of a Linux distribution to the mSATA drive.

Connecting the Silverjaw to the Minnowboard Max

The Silverjaw Lure connects to the Minnowboard Max using the high speed connector 60-pin header on the bottom of the Minnowboard. To connect the Silverjaw to the Minnowboard, hold the Minnowboard in one hand and the SIlverjaw in your other hand. Carefully align the Silverjaw’s 60-pin male header with the 60-pin female header on the bottom of the Minnowboard and gently push them together. Note that you could also lay the Silverjaw face down and mate the headers from above by pushing the Minnowboard down into the Silverjaw’s header, however, this has the potential to bend the mSATA and mPCIe port’s metal tabs that secure cards in place, so it’s not recommended. Here are photos of the Silverjaw pre-insertion and post-insertion:

With the Silverjaw connected to the Minnowboard Max secure it with the standoffs provided with the Silverjaw. You should have 4 standoffs, 4 spacers, and 4 screws:

This step can be a little tricky to align the spacers with the mounting holes on both boards while inserting the screws. An easy way to do this is as follows:

  • Stand the paired boards on end and gently insert a spacer between the two boards aligning it with the board’s mounting holes as closely as possible. To do this, gently pinch the boards together with your free hand.
  • While continuing to pinch the boards together, insert a screw from the Minnowboard side of the boards through the Minnow, the spacer, and the Silverjaw.
  • Place a finger over the head of the screw to keep it from pushing back through the boards while carefully screwing a standoff onto the Silverjaw side of the boards.

NOTE: Others find it easier to insert the spacers between the boards with the boards laying horizontal. Although this method is possible, you will run the risk of bending the metal latches on the Silverjaw if you put too much downward pressure on the boards.

Connecting a mSATA Hard Drive to the Silverjaw

With the Silverjaw connected securely to the Minnowboard, proceed to connect a mSATA hard drive to the Silverjaw Lure. The following describes one way to connect a mSATA drive to the Silverjaw. Other methods may be more comfortable for certain users. Be certain not to put to much pressure on the top or bottom board surfaces to avoid potentially damaging components.

  • Holding the Minnowboard in one hand, carefully insert a mSATA hard drive into the expansion slot on the Silverjaw labeled “mSATA” at a 45 degree angle.
  • Using your thumbs, press gently just below the mounting holes on the mSATA card bringing the card in contact with the two metal latches on the Silverjaw. Push firmly enough that the latches click over the mSATA card to hold it in place.
  • If connected properly a side view of both boards and the mSATA card will look like the following image:

Connecting the Minnowboard Max Peripheral Hardware

With the mSATA hard drive installed in the Silverjaw Lure and the Silverjaw connected to the Minnowbaord Max, proceed to connect any peripherals you may have to the Minnowboard Max as follows:

  • Connect a HDMI monitor to the Minnowboard Max via a micro-HDMI cable.
  • Connect a network cable to the Minnowboard Max ethernet port.
  • Connect a USB Hub to a USB port on the Minnowboard Max. If you’re not using a USB Hub but are using a USB keyboard and mouse, plug the keyboard and mouse into the USB ports on the Minnowboard Max. Note that a USB Hub is recommended as it provides more USB ports than found on the Minnowboard.
  • Connect the Serial Cable to the Minnowboard Max 6-Wire Serial Console Port and connect the other end of the Serial Cable to an open USB port on your host computer. Note the position of the black wire of the Serial Cable and match it to pin 1 on the Minnow. Pin 1 should be indicated by a ‘1’ written directly on the board.

First Boot and mSATA Card Detection Verification

The following assumes that a mSATA Hard Drive is properly inserted into the Silverjaw Lure, the Silverjaw is connected to the Minnowboard Max, all peripheral hardware is connected to the Minnowboard Max, and the Serial Cable is connected to a host Linux computer via a USB port.

  • This procedure utilizes the GNU Screen program. Verify that screen is installed on your host computer with the following command:
$which screen

If screen is installed, you will see the location of the screen binary executable similar to or exactly like:


If you do not see a location for the screen binary, you’ll have to install screen using your systems package manager. This is beyond the scope of these procedures, but a quick search using google for your distribution will help.

  • Assuming you have screen installed, open a Terminal on your Linux host and enter the following command:
$sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

You should see a blank, black terminal window with no output at all. What we just did was tell screen to listen on the ttyUSB0 port at a speed of 115200 baud.

  • Now apply power to the Minnowboard Max. Do this by connecting the barrel connector of the power adapter to the Minnowboard Max’s power connector:
  • You should see some activity in the blank Terminal window on your Linux host computer. It will look like:

Additional Resources

For a detailed description of the High Speed Expansion port, please see the following wiki page: High Speed Expansion

Next Steps

At this point you can proceed to install an operating system to the mSATA hard drive in the Silverjaw.

See Installing Linux to the mSATA Harddrive

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