Nordic Thingy:52

Nordic Thingy:52

The Nordic Thingy:52® is a compact, power-optimized, multi-sensor development kit. It is an easy-to-use development platform, designed to help you build IoT prototypes and demos, without the need to build hardware or write firmware.

Features

  • 6x6 cm plastic and rubber case
  • Environment Sensors (temp, humidity, pressure, air quality color and light)
  • 9-axis motion sensing (accelerometer, gyroscope and compass)
  • Speaker for playing pre-stored samples or tones
  • Microphone
  • Configurable RGB LED and button.
  • Long battery life with Li-ion battery and charging via USB.

Buying

Nordic has a list of distributors on their website.

Getting Started

Note: Nordic Thingy devices do not have Espruino pre-installed. You'll have to update the firmware yourself.

There are two options:

Over the air firmware updates

This can be done with any iPhone or Android phone/tablet from the last few years, but will take a few minutes.

Note: After following these instructions your Thingy will only be able to run Espruino unless you buy a nRF52 DK and use that to write the original Thingy:52 firmware back (see the second option for updating firmware).

If you haven't installed Espruino on the Thingy before:

If you haven't installed Espruino before, you need to change the SoftDevice on your Thingy.

  • Install the nRF Toolbox app on your device
  • Go to http://www.espruino.com/binaries and download espruino_*_thingy52_softdevice.zip and espruino_*_thingy52_app.zip to your device.
  • Pull off the Thingy:52 case
  • Turn the Thingy:52 off if it was on (using the sliding switch)
  • Hold down the silver button on the top of the Thingy while turning the power on. The LED should quickly start pulsing Yellow, showing the Thingy is in bootloader mode.
  • Open the nRF Toolbox app
  • Tap the DFU icon
  • Tap Select File, choose Distribution Packet (ZIP), and choose the espruino_*_thingy52_softdevice.zip ZIP file you downloaded
  • If choosing the ZIP file opens the ZIP and displays files inside (it can do on some Android 7 devices) then hit back, long-press on the ZIP, and choose Open in the top right.
  • If a Select scope window appears, choose All
  • Tap Select Device and choose the device called ThingyDfu
  • Now tap Upload and wait. The update will take around 90 seconds to complete

Now, you need to follow the next set of instructions:

If you have installed Espruino on the Thingy before:

  • Turn the Thingy:52 off if it was on (using the sliding switch)
  • Hold down the silver button on the top of the Thingy while turning the power on. The LED should quickly start pulsing Yellow, showing the Thingy is in bootloader mode.
  • Open the nRF Toolbox app
  • Tap the DFU icon
  • Tap Select File, choose Distribution Packet (ZIP), and choose the espruino_*_thingy52_app.zip ZIP file you downloaded
  • If choosing the ZIP file opens the ZIP and displays files inside (it can do on some Android 7 devices) then hit back, long-press on the ZIP, and choose Open in the top right.
  • If a Select scope window appears, choose All
  • Tap Select Device and choose the device called ThingyDfu
  • Now tap Upload and wait. The update will take around 90 seconds to complete
  • Turn the Thingy off and back on
  • If the Red LED doesn't blink once when you turn the Thingy back on, you need to force it to delete any saved information. Turn it off, then turn it on and then press the button as soon after as you can. This may take a few attempts as pressing too soon will cause the Thingy to enter bootloader mode (pulsing yellow).

You now have Espruino installed!

Updates with the nRF52 DK

This has the advantage of allowing you to use 'cutting edge' Espruino builds, and is much faster. However you will need a Nordic nRF52 DK and a 2x5 pin 0.05" ribbon cable to program your device.

  • Pull off the Thingy:52 case
  • Attach the ribbon cable to the Thingy and to the Debug Out port on the nRF52 DK
  • Plug the nRF52 DK in and turn the Thingy:52 on
  • Go to http://www.espruino.com/binaries (or http://www.espruino.com/binaries/travis/master/ for the absolute latest builds) and download the latest file named espruino_*_thingy52.hex
  • Save it to the JLINK drive that should have appeared on your computer and wait for the LEDs on the nRF52 DK to stop flashing
  • The red LED on the Thingy should flash to show Espruino has started. If it doesn't, power the Thingy off and back on.

And you're ready to go! Follow the Getting Started Guide for details on getting the IDE connected wirelessly.

On-board peripherals

On-board peripherals are exposed via the Thingy library:

// Button
BTN

// R/G/B leds
LED1/2/3  

// MOSFET outputs
MOS1/2/3/4

// External IO outputs
IOEXT0/1/2/3

// Get repeated callbacks with {x,y,z}. Call with no argument to disable
Thingy.onAcceleration = function(callback) { ... }

// Get one callback with a new {x,y,z} acceleration value
Thingy.getAcceleration = function(callback) { ... }

// Get repeated callbacks with {accel,gyro,mag} from the MPU at 10Hz. Call with no argument to disable
Thingy.onMPU = function(callback) { ... }

// Get one callback with a {accel,gyro,mag} value from the MPU
Thingy.getMPU = function(callback) { ... }

// Get repeated callbacks with {pressure,temperature}. Call with no argument to disable
Thingy.onPressure = function(callback) { ... }

// Get one callback with a new {pressure,temperature} value
Thingy.getPressure = function(callback) { ... }

// Get repeated callbacks with {humidity,temperature}. Call with no argument to disable
Thingy.onHumidity = function(callback) { ... }

// Get one callback with a new {humidity,temperature} value
Thingy.getHumidity = function(callback) { ... }

// Get repeated callbacks with air quality `{eC02,TVOC}`. Call with no argument to disable
Thingy.onGas = function(callback) { ... }

//Get one callback with a new air quality value `{eC02,TVOC}`. This may not be useful as the sensor takes a while to warm up and produce useful values
Thingy.getGas = function(callback) { ... }

// Get repeated callbacks with color `{r,g,b,c}`. Call with no argument to disable
Thingy.onColor = function(callback) { ... }

// Get one callback with a new color value `{r,g,b,c}`
Thingy.getColor = function(callback) { ... }

// Returns the state of the battery (immediately, or via callback) as { charging : bool, voltage : number }
Thingy.getBattery = function(callback) { ... }

// Make a simple beep noise. frequency in Hz, length in milliseconds. Both are optional.
Thingy.beep = function(freq, length) { ... }

// Play a sound, supply a string/uint8array/arraybuffer, samples per second, and a callback to use when done
// This can play up to 3 sounds at a time (assuming ~4000 samples per second)
Thingy.sound = function(waveform, pitch, callback) { ... }

// Record audio for the given number of samples, at 8192 Hz 8 bit.
// This can then be fed into Thingy.sound(waveform, 8192). RAM is scarce, so realistically 1 sec is a maximum.
Thingy.record = function(samples, callback)

You can also enable the graphical editor blocks for Thingy:52 in the Web IDE by clicking Settings -> General -> Graphical Editor Extensions-> Nordic Thingy:52

Tutorials

First, it's best to check out the Getting Started Guide

Tutorials using Thingy:52:

Tutorials using Bluetooth LE:

Tutorials using Bluetooth LE and functionality that may not be part of Thingy:52:

Information

Serial Console

When power is first applied, the Thingy checks if pin D3 is at 3.3v (which will be the case if it is connected to a Serial port's transmit line). If it is, it initialises the on-chip UART on D3 (Thingy RX) and D2 (Thingy TX) and puts the Espruino console (REPL) on it at 9600 baud.

To use it, connect to a 3.3v output USB to TTL converter as follows:

Thingy USB->TTL converter
GND GND
D2 RX ( -> PC )
D3 TX ( <- PC )
3V 3.3v (Optional - to run without a battery)

You can now use the normal Espruino Web IDE, or a serial terminal application at 9600 baud.

When you connect via Bluetooth, the console will automatically move over. To stop this, execute Serial1.setConsole(true) to force the console to stay on Serial1.

Note: Serial1 is not enabled by default because it requires the high speed oscillator to stay on, which increases power draw a huge amount. If you connect the UART but don't power down and power on the Thingy, you won't get a serial port.

Firmware Updates

As of writing, the Thingy:52 bootloader is signed with a private key, so you need to write firmware using an nRF52 DK board. See the Getting Started guide above.

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