|Product Performed to Expectations:||2|
|Specifications were sufficient to design with:||8|
|Demo Software was of good quality:||8|
|Product was easy to use:||8|
|Support materials were available:||10|
|The price to performance ratio was good:||7|
|TotalScore:||43 / 60|
First of all, I would like to thank Element14 Community for selecting me as an official Road Tester for NXP LPC8N04 Dev Board. This was the first Road test I was doing with an product from NXP.
I usually don't like NXP as they are so Business minded that they have least community impact (That is purely my perception). They do have a good community but their dev boards are professionally targeted. This one here is an Exception fro that trend. (Maybe they learned something from Freescale's FRDM line of kits after they acquired them)
Coming to the review here are couple of photos of the kit and a reference pic of BC Micro:bit platform.
This kit features an LPC8N04 Micro-controller boasting an Arm Cortex M0+ MCU clocked at 8 MHz (Specially taking care of Low power there )
It has One user programmable button
One switch to select the power
5x7 Led Matrix something similar to BBC Micro
There is a On board Speaker with amp
Plus there is no dev board without debugging section
KIT UNBOXING AND REVIEW
So, here is a Kit Review of the NXP LPC8N04 Dev Board ,
Interestingly I took a snap short of memory map and you can see within a APB peripherals there is a Temp sensor followed by a memory map of RFID/NFC an RTC and finally the 4 KB EEPROM, 8kB SRAM and 32 Kb on-Chip flash
Coming onto the most important part of the review, the problems faced, I am SAD to say that I don't have anything to write as the Board did Not function !! the only thing I was getting was an LED Blink on the LED Matrix which is supposed to be there but nothing beyond that.
Another Issue I think is with the quality of the components used, The CR2032 Coin cell connector was of a really bad quality, and during my first time use only I damaged the locking mechanism of the Debugger section.
Thirdly, The selector switch for the LED Matrix / Speaker / Debugger are based on small 50 Mil Headers and I feel, NXP should give extra jumpers as they tend to loosen out and fall.
In this part I tried the Demo App, Unfortunately neither the iPhone 7 which I have nor the OnePlus 3T of my dad was able to recognise the NFC Connection ?
P.S> I have tested both the devices with standard NTAG213 Stick on tag I had laying around from my previous project and both of them recognised the tag and was able to read the NDEF string on them. (The Android phone was able to write too. )
This was what I was constantly getting on my Mobile.
NOTE :: IPHONE DO SCAN AN NFC TAG AS SHOWN IN THE SCREEN SHORTS BELOW , This is a SONY Bluetooth Headphones scanned on an IPHONE.
So, the Board should also have been detected as it also uses the same Tag Emulation ??
I was not able to download the MCUXpresso IDE initially, it tool couple of E-Mails and Opening a Querry to NXP. But I am glad NXP Respong Quickly, apparently there was some issue with my account and it took about 4-5 days for them to resolve the issue after which I Was able to download the Software.
You do need to download a separate package for the board support, or you can get that during the installation.
I yet have to test the Board with the NXP, but first I am working on debugging on what is the real issue with the board ?
In conclusion this is the first board I have seen with really low clock speeds running an ARM architecture. If you are interested in developing NFC based apps, specially Terminal apps/ accessory look no further. And given that NXP is the best selling NFC IP you can't go wrong.
But if you want a cheep Dev Board play with I would suggest get an NFC Expansion board with something like STM8/MSP430 and Vola you are all set for the journey.
Also it would have been great if NXP would have provided some Tags to play with as
1. They are cheep
2. The kit supports NFC emulation
Thanks and Regards
PS. I yet have to test few functionalities of the kit , I will post the comments on those later as a blog post