Status of the Bangle.js

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  • As everyone on this forum I cannot wait to receive the watch and start playing with it.
    It was said that the watches will be send out at the latest in March, but probably earlier.

    Is there any news about the progress?

  • Hi! I'll try and do a KickStarter update when I have solid news either way (in 5 days).

    Basically the watch production is on track. There's a chance that the watches will be able to be shipped around the 20th Jan (earlier than expected) but it looks like the factory has a bit of a backlog, so it may not be until after Chinese new year.

    I should get them maybe 5 days later, and then it's a matter of programming the Bangles and getting them in the post to you. If they do arrive early then I may delay things a little in order to make sure I can put a full-featured, well-tested firmware on them though since there's still bags of time in hand.

    There's been a lot more interest than I expected (plus I've had to do all the accounts for the KickStarter campaign), so right now I'm basically having to spend the entire first half of the day on admin before I can get any actual work done which is delaying the software side of things a little.

  • ...and the owners of the beta units do their best to keep Gordon busy

  • Awesome!

    Glad to hear everything is going perfectly.
    And glad to hear the beta testers are doing their job ;)

  • @Gordon:
    I know you reverse engineered several watches before deciding for that specific model. The same manufacturer also has watches with a round display. Is it feasible to assume that with the experiences gathered there could be Bangle.js ports to other models too? Or maybe another KS campaign?
    Ooops, holding you off of the more important work... ;-)

  • Yes, it's definitely possible as long as they use an nRF52 chipset. @fanoush actually has a port to the ridiculously cheap DS-D6 smartband that predates Bangle.js and there is a port in GitHub to the F5 smartwatch which was something I considered before the F18 used for Bangle.js.

    There's a bit of work to do to make them as clean as Bangle.js though - there's been a lot of work put in to the display and to make sure you can always recover Bangle.js if you write bad code and for instance that won't be in DS-D6.

    I think if choosing a watch you'd need to be a bit careful about the screen. As PineTime have elegantly illustrated if you have a high res screen that's just connected via SPI it's extremely difficult to get it to run fast.

    However as I hinted at in that thread, there are some really interesting-looking watches with always-on screens that could be a good target for future Espruino devices

  • Is it feasible to assume that with the experiences gathered there could be Bangle.js ports to other models too?

    You think about doing the port yourself for specific watch? Yes, that is possible due to espruino being open source and lot of work done for Bangle. As for same manufacturer the F5 is there in some state done by Gordon (if you can still buy the device ) and then we know the No.1 S10 is SDK11 based and the board design looks very similar to F18 (a bit thinner, missing compass and gps). Then there is DT28 which is even thinner has only two buttons but full touchscreen and we know this one has signed firmware so you need to open it via screws on the back and use SWD. As for other form factors and manufacturers - there is plenty of options, but to reuse stuff done for Bangle so far, you need something with similar display, buttons and also external SPI flash inside for the storage. Fortunately lot of them has such flash (used for storing chinese fonts) but some don't. Anyway it is all doable but needs some time and effort.

  • @fanoush, excellent explanation!!

    Looking various device options suggested in that post, I am really impressed with DT28 watch with its round display and also the nRF chipset used.

    So I really want to try flash espruino on Dt28 (via SWD as it is only option).
    So what do I need to compile espruino for DT28? a new file? What about the GPIO pin out for board file? Is is same as F18?


  • For a start I think you can just flash the MDBT42Q, as that firmware is pretty bare bones. But you have to figure out the pins.
    I have one, but first want to grab some info about the communication, as there is no visible marking on them (at least couldn't figure out).
    The LCD for example must be SPI, not parallel as there are not enough traces in the flatflex going to the display.
    Also it a has a different touch controller with more than two touch areas.
    And can measure more than just hearth rate, so there must be some differences there too...

  • @AkosLukacs thanks for suggestions. Just wondering if you have any plans to flash your DT28 in coming days?

  • Probably won't have time to do it...

  • The MDBT42Q firmware works on the DT28. You have to open it, and there is some kind of glue, so you need a sharp knife to open the back. I don't think it will be water proof without that glue.
    The flash is protected, so you need something that can erase it. The 1-2$ "ST-link" clones can't do it with the default firmware, but should work with black magic probe FW. Or a j-link clone, or a raspberry, or...
    There are a lot of test points on the PCB, soldered wires on them, and recorded the boot sequence with a DSLogic. Uploaded here:­uff/tree/master/DT28

    But broke the LCD on mine, so I think that's the end for now...

  • @AkosLukacs, sorry about your watch and lcd. But thanks for information.

    I am pretty much new to the business so I will take my chance in coming time.

    However I just ordered a nRF 51 based (at least seller claims) fitness tracker as a starting point and let’s see how it goes.
    32/256 ram/rom.

    Hear is the eBay listing­­%2F164001458274

    I hope that the DFU via nRF connect will not work straightaway and I will brick my device in first attempt. :)

    Then I will try to cut open the tracker and use my rpi zero w to flash Espruino.

  • @ Abhinav, I hope you read thru these posts:

    I've gotten myself a micro:bit a while ago and was a bit disappointed what is left to work with because of the even more constraint memory resources... and I second hesitating no second what forum posters comment about the very limited use and timing constraints due to processor having to tend to communication as well (almost like ESP8266). Another thing I noticed is bluetooth version difference... So I would not surprised seing you in deep work waters with it.

  • Honestly I am very much inspired by @Gordon by reading this post.

    I am not sure how far I will go but just wanted to do until my BangleJs arrives.

  • Well, nrf51 was good choice few years ago, but for that price, and if you get it fast (says ships from UK) and you really get what is described (you often get other random chips inside) then it make some sense and you can learn a lot with that ;-) H band app means it can be nrf51 with 32KB indeed, there are lot of firmware files for that app for nrf51/32KB. I wouldn't bother with nrf51 today but I guess it can be done with lot of pain. Try to figure out firmware version or hw model number, if you can get firmware update you'll know what SDK/Softdevice it is so you can better build DFU package for that. It will be something old so you can't build Espruino for that without doing some changes and backporting (or getting old 1.x espruino version from git) or updating softdevice and bootloader to something recent (which is tricky to do without taking apart). With DS-D6 I started with espruino 1.87 which was still using SDK11 but maybe you need something even older. Or if it can be opened easily without damage, using SWD to reflash it saves a lot of effort. Anyway, I guess "Official Espruino Boards / Bangle.js" is not best topic for discussing all that.

  • @fanoush

    Yes!! you are correct. Moving this topic to another category.

  • @Gordon Do you have any update on the watches? Is the factory still shut down?

  • I asked when I got back from holiday and I'm still waiting for a reply. I'll let you know as soon as I do!

  • Ok, so I just got an update: The company are back at work (although not at full capacity) and they are hoping to ship the Bangles at the end of next week - so we're still on track for you to get them in March!

  • Wohoooo! :)

  • So excited! It's getting closer and closer...!

  • Any updates about the watches?
    Now I've lots of time to play with it ;)

  • Mine was shipped last friday by Gordon. Probably there are a lot of packages to send, but I think it should be shipped any moment, if not already shipped. Check your spam / junk folder maybe.

  • I'm incredibly hyped to get my watch! Mine is a relatively late (February 10th) pre-order; I'm still kicking myself for somehow not opening the email I got from the original Espruino Kickstarter announcing Bangle.js. Gordon definitely has his work cut out for him preparing all of the orders, but I'm hoping everything goes even smoother than expected.

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Status of the Bangle.js

Posted by Avatar for SLGeertsema @SLGeertsema