NXP I.MX RT1050 EV KIT and Display - Review

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RoadTest: NXP I.MX RT1050 EV KIT and Display

Author: collink

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: I'm not actually aware of anything that similar. On paper this development board seems phenomenal! The performance to price point is great. The features on-board are top notch.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Support for it is garbage. The LCD connects stupidly and there's no good place to put it. The ribbons on the display are too short, the connector goes on backward from the way it should. Virtually nothing about the LCD or the software support was well thought out at all.

Detailed Review:

Unfortunately, I did not get a lot done with this development board as I found it infuriatingly poorly executed. The LCD is nothing short of comically bad. The connectors it goes on weren't immediately obvious, partly because you'd expect them to be on the opposite side of the board. It makes no sense for them to install stand offs on the board and then put the LCD on the bottom. Well, maybe that'd work if the LCD cabling was long enough to see the whole LCD with the board on it's stand offs. You can't. So you have to flip the board over to install the LCD. Now the cabling is only long enough for you to set the LCD onto the board. This is not ideal as the back of the LCD is pure metal and it likes to short to the through hole pins that are nearby - ask me how I know. In short, the placement of the LCD is just about as badly executed as it possibly could be.

 

Picture of the board with the stand offs on the table like you'd expect (with the LCD installed):

 

Picture of LCD installed the way it seems they wanted me to. It likes to touch things it shouldn't:

 

Picture of the way I found it best to install the LCD. It barely reaches outside the board:

 

 

 

Setting up MCUXpress and compiling for the board is much easier and smoother I'm glad to say! It's not hard to get it set up and compile things for the board. However, I was able to find no example code or libraries for the LCD. It doesn't help to have an LCD if nobody has bothered to write drivers for it. Perhaps they exist and I just couldn't find them - it could be my fault. But, I searched for a while and found no support or libraries for the LCD and gave up. If they care so little about the LCD then so do I.

 

Another infuriating aspect of this board is the built-in file folder that comes up when you plug it in. The board says it is MBed compatible. Great! That opens up a lot of support for compiling existing code. So, click on mbed.html and we'll get started!

 

Not so fast! It says I'm not authorized even if I sign in.

 

 

That's weird, so I'll go find it in the list of boards for mbed... what... it's not there. Even at this late time mbed still seems to have no support for this board at all. I have no idea why they put that webpage link on the board and claim it is mbed compatible if it isn't. Once again I looked long and far and expended my patience and found no evidence that this board is supported by mbed at all.

 

The end result is that I couldn't use the LCD, I couldn't seem to find MBED support, and MCUXpress works fine and uploading to the board seems to be reliable. I just became too irritated with the extremely poor implementation of the board and its support files to keep going. Seriously, this is the worst execution I've ever seen with a board. And, that's a real shame. Other than the stupidity surrounding the LCD the board appears very well laid out and *VERY* capable. I will probably eventually get over my aversion to the crummy support and try to use the board for something in the future but I was very disappointed with my experiences so far.

Anonymous