Tessel Has Arrived!

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Origianlly posted June 23, 2014…

Last year in 2013, I backed one of the first projects on Dragon Innovation. It’s similar to Kickstarter but geared more for hardware and without the restrictions. Basically it’s a cross between an online shop and crowd sourcing mixed into one, since you can buy/support multiple of rewards. One of the launch campaigns was the Tessel. Tessel isn’t just another microcontroller platform, it’s platform that allows you to program it with Java but more specifically NodeJS! Pretty cool, ehh? There site has all the details http://tessel.io. But here are the specs from their site:

The Nitty:

  • Programmable via JavaScript
  • 14 different hardware modules for added capabilites
  • Compatible with 10,000’s of Node.js packages on NPN
  • Deploy over USB or remotely by WiFi

The Gritty

  • 180mhz ARM Cortex-M3 LPC1830
  • 32mb SDRAM
  • 32mb Flash
  • TI CC3000 WiFi radio
  • 20-pin GPIO bank for general prototyping
  • Micro USB or battery power

The plug in modules are ready to use out of the box, no soldering headers required. All it takes is some JavaScript and loading the right node for the module you are using. Pretty simple to get up and running. I just received mine a few weeks ago and have tested each module. Here are a few pictures.

Tessel Front

Tessel Rear


Top left: Ambient Top right: GPS Bottom left: NRF24 Bottom right: IR receiver and transmitter


GSMGPRS radio with support for extra power and micspeakers

My plan is to make a network based NTP server which gets its time from the GPS module.

Here is the power usage during start up and WiFi setup, measured using the USB Tester.

Tessel during boot-up


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