Tag: firmware

New Dual Core CPU Up and Running

The new central processing unit (CPU) that will power the Talisman V2 is up and running! Yeah, whoop, whoop. This is significant because it implies / proves that ‘we have the technology’ (sorted) to wire up power to the chip, communicate to it in order to load an initial trivial program.

So it is now possible (for me) to use the new dual core CPU. With this first most basic of programs working, it is possible to move on with success adding more interesting programs.

In short, the rest of the firmware on the Talisman is just more of the same of this first program, whereas getting the first program required all the configuration, code editor program setup, coding language , compiler and other geekery.

First Light

This image shows a hand wired prototype that is used to confirm all electronic components. Of most interest is the right hand side white square with the two red push buttons. On this white square the WiFi radio module (with dual core CPU) can be seen within the right hand side white area. It is the metal covered square with the tall black square on it’s left.  Actual size 1 inch wide.

In the centre of this photo is another smaller white square with a single core, slower less powerful WiFi module. This is not being used, since the more powerful dual core module is now working.

The other component of note is the new upgraded power regulator, also wired up and working to power the circuit. This can be seen on the small green square board with the two tan circular ‘lentil’ looking components towards the top row of the photo. The actual power regulator is the tiny small black rectangle in the middle of the green square.

The remaining components have all been wired up and used successfully on the previous V1 Talisman. The next task is to programming the new WiFi radio module with the dual core CPUs to communicate to the previously used components. (vibration motor, accelerometer, LEDs, battery charger.)  Once this component confirmation is completed, the components can be arranged to fit on a printed circuit board with their tested wiring.



Status – Hardware and Firmware

The table below lists the current status of the hardware functional tasks and (when required) the corresponding firmware driver source code.

Function Hardware Firmware
Reverse protection for magnetic connector Tested not req.
Lithium-ion battery charging Tested todo
Battery level sensing Tested todo
Voltage regulation Tested not req.
In circuit device programming (dev only) Tested not req.
Microprocessor high speed operation Tested todo
Microprocessor sleep mode operation todo todo
Inbuilt flash storage reading todo todo
Inbuilt flash storage clearing and writing todo todo
Three full color LEDs 1 of 3 done todo
Bluetooth serial data link (master mode) todo todo
Bluetooth RSSI proximity measurement todo todo
Vibration motor todo todo
Accelerometer XYZ sensing todo todo
Accelerometer single tap detection todo todo
Accelerometer double tap detection todo todo
Bluetooth beacon with plug pack todo not req.
USB cable with BT and Win7 bridge program todo todo
Android Bluetooth bridge app todo todo

The not req. indicates that driver source code is not required for the particular functional area.

Boot Successful

The various tools for developing the firmware were installed on the mac, and a very simple basic program was coded to achieve the simplest test of being able to upload source code onto the device.


The prototype was successfully programmed to simply flash through the colors of the left hand side LED.

The flashing LED shows that the development tool, the compiler, and the programming dongle are working.

An error was found and fixed with two fine copper ‘bodge’ wires. The analog voltage supply and ground was left off. A future revision of the PCB would include these connections and remove the need for the manual addition of the two small fince copper bodge wires.