Around one year ago I ordered some of those supposedly wonderful TI eZ430 “Hackable” Watches but only received them last October since I had to wait for the 433Mhz version. Three months later I finally decided to have a go at trying it out and wrote a Python library for in the process.
Silly video first…
It is quite a neat little watch for $50, the default factory firmware has enough features on it for most purposes that you wouldn’t need to touch it to use it in a typical application. I know someone who is using it as a watch…
There’s enough information floating on the Internet about this already, with very useful information on the TI Wiki. Annoyingly though, most of the information floating around is in bits and pieces and in some cases plain wrong. I ended up writing a quick Python library and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to access most of the watch functions, the main ones of being able to read the accelerometer and button press data.
With a Python library in hand, I tried using it to remote control the Mecanum Wheel Rover. And as seen in the video above, not very impressive results and the problem wasn’t in my code.
I’m not sure if it is the 433Mhz version and the fact that there isn’t enough space for a decent antenna, but the range was horrendous. I would lose complete control of the rover at around 2.5 metres and anything over 1.5 metres was hit and miss. Considering the average human height, the Chronos (or at least my 433Mhz one) is pretty must useless for direct remote control purposes. Using it as a wireless door lock mechanism? That’s probably a good use for it 🙂 Any other ideas what I can use this watch for?
Back to WiFi/RFM12Bs and nRF24L01+s for remote control!
If anyone is interested, here is a slightly messy Python library for interfacing to it :-
I’ll tidy it up later when I have time or when I come up with a use for the watch 🙂