RoadTest: TI CC2650STK SimpleLink™ IoT SensorTag
Evaluation Type: Independent Products
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?:
What were the biggest problems encountered?: The device was not recognized by the TI software tools. The Flash Programmer did show the connected SensorTag as serial device and recognized the XDS110 debugger, but it could not distinguish the device as a CC2650. Even when manually selecting the 2650 from the dropdown menu it was not possible to connect to the device in order to flash a different firmware. The SmartRF Studio did not even recognize the debugger/device. Neither did IAR Embedded Workbench. So i could not try, what i initially wanted to use the SensorTag for.
This was kind of a surprise, because the whole developement kit was neatly packed up and not like some other dev kits you get, where you need to connect several cables and sometimes have to solder on pin headers.
The SensorTag came in a small plastic encasing, which also houses the battery (which was seperated from the contacts with a plastic latch) and a see-through plastic cover and a seperately boxed debugger board, which connects easily on top of the SensorTag.
2. Setting it up
"Assembling" the kit was very easy. Pull the latch in order to connect the battery, the debugger can simply be put on top of the devKit after removing a breakout-plastic-plate.
Connecting the sensorTag to the mobile app is very easy as well. Simply press the button on the side to make it "visible" and it is found instantly on the app.
3. Using the App
The app shows all the data, the sensors are collecting. It is very well designed. Data of every sensor is shown as a graph, which is refreshed with new data every second.
4.1 IR Sensor:
This one was quite a surprise, since i didn't expect an infrared sensor. It is fairly accurate (tried to measure temp of various items) and jitters a little (up to +/- 0.4°C). However, the transparent plastic cover seems to block the sensor, as the temperature does not change, when it is attached.
4.2 Humidity Sensor
Very accurate sensor. However, moisture is kept in by the transparent plastic cover, so when going from high humidity values to low humidity, it takes a while to get accurate readings.
4.3 Motion Data
Combination of gyroscope, accelerometer and compass, which gives you all necessary tools to create movement tracking software/devices. Could not try it out though, since i did not get any readings from any of the three.
The SensorTag comes also with a luxometer and a barometer, both of which seem to be working fine at first glance.
5. The CC2650
The 2650 is a great controller, that is very low-power and offers plain 802.15.4, ZigBee, 6LowPan and BLE all in one package. It has a powerful Cortex M-3 and the only sore point is its limited flash memory of 128k.
The SensorTag seems to be a pretty good device for starting to create sensor collecting applications and sharing them (cloud support!). Price/Performance is good- for 29$ you get a number of sensors all on a single board, paired with a great low-power MCU. Only the clear plastic cover should be redesigned for a better performance of the sensors (see above).