Introduction

 

For those who don't know, First Dates is a British reality television programme that has aired on Channel 4 since 20 June 2013 (source: Wikipedia). Each episode shows people on dates, all of whom have not met each other before and at the end of the date, the couples are interviewed together and asked whether they would like to see each other again.

 

This seemed a nice format to apply here, especially as it's so soon after Valentines.

 

A special thanks goes out to Randall and the team from Element14 who paired me up with the Silicon Labs BGX13P Bluetooth Xpress Evaluation Kit (hereinafter called  BGX13P-EK) and its chaperone the EFM8 Busy Bee Starter Kit (hereinafter called  EFM8-BB).

 

So how did it go?

 

Well, read on to find out.

 

 

First Impressions

 

It started very well. UPS dropped off  BGX13P-EK and EFM8-BB at our pre-arranged meeting place on time. Being on time is so very important, in my opinion.

 

They were very neatly packaged when they arrived and I managed to take a couple of photo's of their fine attire.

 

 

{gallery:autoplay=false} Unboxing

 

 

Getting to know them

 

EFM8 Busy Bee Starter Kit (SLSTK2000A)

 

The chaperone, EFM8-BB, certainly stood out as queen bee. When we met I was handed a card to help me get to know what it was capable of.

 

The card certainly got to the point.

 

As a man of few words myself, I quite liked this approach. I grabbed my laptop and typed in the URL.

 

The EFM8 landing page was a nice clean design and well presented with 5 steps to lead you through the getting to know you process and how to use the product.

 

Within Step 1 was a list of all the EFM8 dev kits.

 

The chaperone was the SLSTK2000ASLSTK2000A model. If I then clicked on the link it took me to a product specific web page.

 

I rather liked these drill down options for each model.

 

Steps 2 and 3 involve Simplicity Studio, which is the Silicon Labs IDE.

 

Step 4 informs you how to run demos and finally Step 5 provides a number of training videos and some good marketing push telling you that EFM8 is the future of 8bit microcontrollers.

 

After watching the videos I just had to turn EFM8-BB on!

 

 

 

Bluetooth Xpress BGX13P Evaluation Kit (SLEXP8027A)

 

It was fun but now EFM8-BB had to wait on the sidelines while I got to know BGX13P-EK a little better.

 

The BGX13P-EK also had a similar style of intro card.

 

Typing in this URL took me here:

 

Here too I was given steps to follow. If I clicked on the link (SLEXP8027A) within Step 1 it took me to the product page.

 

You could definitely tell that EFM8-BB and BGX13P-EK were related as the look and feel were remarkably similar.

 

Step 2 on landing page gave details of how to download the Android and IOS mobile app called the BGX Commander.

 

Steps 3 & 4 related to the Simplicity Studio IDE.

 

Step 5 asked that you run the BGX Commander and connect to the BGX13P and finally Step 6 was a single video exploring the resources available with a link back to the SLEXP8027A product page.

 

We had certainly broken the ice and I was ready to connect via Bluetooth and the serial terminal.

 

 

 

Summary of first date

 

 

I had to keep reminding myself that the date was with BGX13P-EK and not the EFM8-BB and its space invaders game.

 

So, what's it like?

 

Well, the BGX13P-EK would make a great poker player as it does not reveal much to start. When you power the board up all you get is a tiny power on LED. Loading the Android app for the first time is even more disconcerting as there is no run time information telling you that the app is scanning for devices. It is just a blank canvas. But once you break through it starts to reveal itself.

 

So, yes I will be meeting up with BGX13P-EK again to explore more.

 

Stay tuned for my forthcoming road test review on Element14.