I want to connect wireless sensors to a BLE enabled device like a smartphone or tablet. I am also interested in long range/low volume sensor data transmission (Sub-1GHz).

  • the small footprint (32 x 41 mm) allowing for integration in an existing project (for example via UART) thus enabling BLE/Sub-1GHz connectivity without having to deal with RF board design,

  • the comprehensive set of available sensors.

Getting started with the SensorTag wasn’t as easy as I hoped and this is a write-up of the problems I encountered.

Source code related to this note can be cloned from the compagnion repo.

1. Introduction

The name CC1350STK is the official part number for the development kit, I will also use the term SensorTag hereafter. A similar product SimpleLink™ Bluetooth low energy/Multi-standard SensorTag CC2650STK with single-band capability is also available Getting started with the TI SensorTag CC2650.

2. Problems

The problems encountered and discussed on the TI E2E™ support forums revolve around several topics:

  1. the SensorTag App [e2e1], [e2e2], [e2e6]

  2. installation problems [e2e11]

  3. software availability [e2e9]

  4. choice of the debug probe [e2e4], [e2e5], [e2e8]

  5. project configuration files [e2e4], [e2e8], [e2e12]

  6. connection problems [e2e4], [e2e10]

3. Hardware Preparation and Requirements

I used the following hardware:

and the following software;

  • Linux Mint 18.2

  • Code Composer Studio 9.1 (CCS)

  • SimpleLink CC13x0 SDK, version [st-sw3]

The Sensor Tag comes with a lithium coin cell. For development, I prefer a stable lab power supply:

Figure 1. The CC1350STK without coin cell slot ready for an external supply (1.8V - 3.8V)
Do not leave the coin battery inserted during debugging. The battery will be drained in less than a day.

3.1. Using the XDS110 debug probe

The XDS110 JTAG Debug Probe can be hooked up to the SensorTag via a JTAG cable and a small adapter board.

while the connection between the probe and the SensorTag is electrically correct, I was unable to get the XDS110 to work in with the SensorTag.
JTAG connection
Figure 2. JTAG connection between the XSD110 debugger and the CC1350STK ( the small adapter PCB is part of the XDS110 deliverable)

3.2. Using the SensorTag DevPack

The SimpleLink SensorTag Debugger DevPack is the recommended probe for the SensorTag.

Figure 3. The DevPack probe mounted onto the CC1350STK
Remove the coin battery, it will be quickly drained by the debug connection.

4. Loading the sample project

I used the uartecho_CC1350STK project because it not only serves as a basic sanity check for the environment but also as a proof that the serial-over-USB host-target connection works as expected.

Download and install the project from the Resource Explorer:

sample project
Figure 4. Loading the sample project into the IDE

Verify that the required products are installed and selected:

required products
Figure 5. Required products

Verify the target configuration:

target configuration
Figure 6. Target configuration

And the debug settings:

debug settings
Figure 7. Debug settings

Ready to start the first debug session with the uartecho_CC1350STK_tirtos_ccs sample project. The companion tutorial Getting started with the TI SensorTag CC2650 shows how to activate ../3-CC2650-ST/index.html with the System Analyzer for the CC2650 SensorTag. The procedure is the same for the CC1350STK.

5. Conclusion

The SensorTag is not a full blown development kit and there is a reason why the product page Simplelink CC1350 SensorTag Bluetooth and Sub-1GHz Long Range Wireless Development Kit recommends to use a suitable LaunchPad rather than the SensorTag for development. However, the corresponing LaunchPad has a much larger footprint and no sensors, therefore the SensorTag can provide value for small projects and prototypes where dual BLE/Sub-1GHz connectivity and additional sensors are desirable.

6. References

TI E2E support forum

dicussions started by the author