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jpnorair

New Chronos Kit

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http://www.ti.com/tool/ez430-chronos&DCMP=Chronos&HQS=Other+OT+chronos

 

I noticed that the users' guide was recently updated, so I took a look.  About 14-18 months ago, I did some work on a 5509 + CC1101 USB stick that was a poorly-kept secret.  It seems as though TI finally got the bugs out of the board and started replenishing their Chronos kits with it.  In the users' guide, TI refers to the old kits as "BLACK" and new kits as "WHITE".  Of course, it is the silkscreen they are talking about, but the boards are entirely different.

 

Anyway, I would make sure to get the WHITE Chronos.  The BLACK RF Gateway uses a CC1111, which is an 8051 core with an entirely different toolchain.  The WHITE one can use the normal MSP430 toolchain.  The 5509 is better than the CC1111 is terms of power (8051 is slow and has poor code density), but it is still a bit anemic (24KB/6KB).  I can't really figure why they didn't use the 5503, considering that the ADC is unused, but I guess TI probably makes more 5509s, so it is easier for them to source (just guessing).

 

Last year when I was working on this kit, I did manage to squeeze a full server build of OpenTag on it.  I don't think other cool stacks (namely Contiki) can fit, but it might be worth a shot.  In any case, it's a lot more hackable than the old kit was.

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I received my Chronos as part of the back-to-school promo a few days ago, and got the white version.  

 

A word of warning with the white one, backup your firmware before you start tinkering - the precompiled firmware that is part of the Chronos download is designed for the black board, and doesn't recognise the accelerometer & pressure sensor on the white board.

 

I've had a bit of a look at the sample code etc, and think it will have potential for being rewritten in C++ with classes with virtual classes. When I get a bit of spare time that will be one of my next projects.

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Also got my white kit, though I would also recommend being very careful with the ez430 connector on the white USB board, I've ended up soldering .1" headers to the test pads after already breaking it.

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