This is a progress report on my RoadTest for the NXP Sensorless Motor Control Eval Kit + Motor RoadTest for Element14. I had planned on doing a weekly report but this RoadTest isn’t as involved as I had thought.
I took a foray into FOSS with this kit. Thus far that foray turned out to be a failure. The state of Windows running in a VirtualBox on Linux these days is horrid. About the only Windows OS that is tolerable is Windows XP. Unfortunately not all of the software would work in my old XP vbox. My next attempt was using Wine. All of the software installed and was workable in Wine. However, I believe at this point the USB driver for the programmer and debugger are too robust to work as a simple serial port. However, I may revisit this now that I have a working Windows 10 install with a successful spin up.
One advantage of GNU/Linux Operating Systems distributions is their package managers. A package manager is a piece of software that ensures that all applications and their dependencies are deployed in a compatible manner. Installing all of the software for this project was no simple task. There were several vendor websites to visit and multiple credentials needed. This is certainly not a problem unique to NXP. I was at another manufacturers workshop recently and it took even more software than this to get their reference product working. Which brings me back to the intro of this paragraph – there seems to be a need for a package management type system for one step installs of these reference designs. The entire install took a little over an hour and a half. This is an hour and a half that could be used for productivity.
Code Warrior – Online or Offline
The difference between the online and offline install wasn’t very clear. With the online version, only the online installer needs to be downloaded. Otherwise, for installation at non-networked locations, all of the upgrade files are available for download.
OSBDM driver, login needed or link sent to email
PE Micro requires a login or you can have a link sent to your email address. I didn’t have an email address set up on the Windows machine I was using so I had to right click on the link and copy and paste it into a text file to print out, then hand type it. However, I did get this successfully installed twice (once in Wine and once in Windows 10).
No link back to the quick start package.
Runtime Debugging tool download kind of confusing.
There were several links offered on this page. Only the first one seemed to be needed. I got everything to spin up and could control the motor with only this download from this page at any rate.
Folder for debugger in wrong location.
This caused 100 errors in project. C:\NXP\AMMCLIB needs to be copied to C:\Freescale to work.
Errors at first trying to get debugger to connect.
This may have been operator error. Make sure debugger is running, disconnect, then hit the stop button in Free.
All in all this was as easy to get going as any other reference product I have worked with. Aside from the above improvements the only thing in general that would make these projects easier to work with would be a single package management system to install a meta package with all the dependencies in one shot. I’m not even sure if that is really possible in Windows since the Windows OS doesn’t track installs with the precision that linux distros do. But, we can always dream. Our dreams keep us going.