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Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-21-2015

Most Frustrating Hardware Ever (Si4010 Keyfob Dev Kit)

[ Edited ]

I'm a reasonably decent programmer now coming off the Arduino platform and coming to this has been nothing but frustrating over the last few days.

 

Between overtly-technical/unclear datasheets and kit documentation, and the lack of clear answers in the community forums, I can't even load a basic example following the instructions in the documentation or from the forums.

 

I did exactly what is said in the documentation: install Silicon Labs Simplicity IDE, integrate Keil toolchain, open .wsp file for keyfob_demo2 and when I try to run/burn the program to the DKPB434 development board, and there is ZERO selectable options to burn/compile/run. Forget about debugging too, it just gives me a "Unable to Launch: the selection cannot be launched, and there are no recent launches" error. I also tried to download your 8-bit microcontroller IDE and the installer just fails and says "find another installer."

 

It says in the datasheet these demos are pre-compiled, well then why won't they run? And why does your Simplicity Suite not support your own product? (Si4010) You can select every other kit and load demos, but with Si4010 you have to do some roundabout way to get it to work? Why don't you just stop making it if you don't want to support it in your own software? You made something and then practically threw it in the garbage can for everyone and said "here, you guys figure it out..." That's like making a cake recipe and saying "this cake is the GREATEST cake recipe in the world, its vanilla but with the push of a button, can become chocolate or a combination of both! WARNING, this isn't supported with our oven kit you purchased, you'll need to figure out how to bake it, we hear blowtorches work, try that, good luck and go SiLabs!"

This isn't a problem with me or anybody else posting about issues with this kit in the forums, this is a problem with Silicon Labs support and products. You guys need to sit the most untechnical marketing person down and get them to understand how these development kits work, this is not intuitive in the slightest, even for someone who can program. If they can understand it and write down step by step instructions, then you're on to something. Because as far as I see right now here are the steps to use this kit:

1) Receive your kit and unpack

2) Become frustrated

3) Go get your PHD in electrical engineering

4) Return and remain frustrated

 

Also, if you make a product, SUPPORT it. 

 

 

 

Administrator
Posts: 112
Registered: ‎09-15-2015

Re: Most Frustrating Hardware Ever (Si4010 Keyfob Dev Kit)

Hi John,

Si4010 has been on the market for more than 5 years. Millions of parts have been sold around the world (and it still keeps going). I admit, the documentation has not been reviewed and accomodated to the new image of Silicon Labs. But you probably understand that we have to focus on new and upcoming products, rather then fixing the doc for old products. It also applies for the new development tools. Newest products first, then all the rest, the oldest will be the last one probably.

You have probably overlooked but the Si4010 Development Kit User Guide does not mention Simplicity. So looking for Simplicity IDE is not the best idea. Si4010 is an old 8-bit product, so if the link provided in the pdf is broken, then I would look for Silicon Labs IDE 8-bit (not Simplicity). I know, these names make people crazy (even us, sometimes), but you have to name that new product somehow...

So you can get to this page: https://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/Pages/8-bit-microcontroller-software.aspx

The Tools what you are looking for are in the middle section of the page (probably have to scroll down). The top of the page is about Simplicity Studio, which supports C8051F, but nothing else of the 8bit world yet (as you mention).

So just scroll down.

 

BTW, why did you buy that kit? I usually go after the thing before spending money on it.

 

Please let me know if you succeeded to step ahead. We can help you go further! Si4010 is still a great/cheap product!

Jose 

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-21-2015

Re: Most Frustrating Hardware Ever (Si4010 Keyfob Dev Kit)

I ended up switching to ESP8266 and NodeMCU (not SiLabs products) for the product I'' building. Much easier to use. $160 for that stupid kit of yours that I bought, what a waste of money...the ESP8266 is $4! And supports WiFi. Best of luck to you guys though.
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎11-28-2016

Re: Most Frustrating Hardware Ever (Si4010 Keyfob Dev Kit)

I bought one kit for fast development before to arrive my pcb prototype. The first kit i bought was broken and the receiver does not work. I wasted one two days and project delay.

I received a second kit.

Working on it, i have found all the bugs and fails (led and switch in the emitter, EBID bad programmed in certain kits, not supported 9.55 version for demo projects,...).

I wasted a lot of time again.

I hope to finish my project on time