My experience with tessel part1

  • Last Post 03 June 2016
masteroleary posted this 02 June 2016

following up this post

I ordered a tessel2 from the website when it was finally available again (out of stock up through late january 2016)

Took a month or more to arrive. As did all the additional modules.

Also ordered their servo module. Supports multiple servos but for some reason they dont sell the same servo that comes in the module package separately. So you are forced to buy a different servo from another manufacturer.

Tessel 2 didn't work on Windows 10. Just got it working after back and forth on their forum a couple weeks ago (5 months sitting around unusable). I did try their steps which included multiple CLI tool installs. Got through all the steps until the last. Luckily they did come out with a final solution to flash the tessel 2 with new firmware that required fewer steps.

After successfully doing that I ran into another issue but resolved it by reinstalling the t2 client.

Finally it works! Followed steps to connect to wifi. Went smoothly. Now can run code on it without being tethered, that is cool.

Went to play with the wifi:

/* the wifi-cc3000 library is bundled in with Tessel's firmware,
 * so there's no need for an npm install. It's similar
 * to how require('tessel') works.
var wifi = require('wifi-cc3000');

But when run I got an error message saying "cannot find module wifi-cc3000"

Went to the forum to report it and get some community help in case i am doing something wrong, but the forum has a 500 server error.

Overall experience is very terrible. The idea that I can get into hardware using javascript and plug and play modules without needing to know circuitry immediately is what sold me. But it feels like this is an ambitious pet project that a small group of people are supporting in their free time. The hardware, firmware and website are all premium products when they work, but all of the pieces have failed me along the way. Definately not something you want to use to prototype a serious project.

About me: I am a seasoned .net and front end web developer with little to no hardware experience. This was my experience and opinion. There are plenty of working complex project videos which tells me that others have had better luck. But I felt that I should share.

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Circuitbeard posted this 02 June 2016

Wow! That does sound bad. I'm very suprised to hear that as as an outsider, it appears to be a very polished product.

I'd agree with you that my expectation would be an easy to setup and run piece of hardware as that's what JS is all about.

Thanks for your thoughts on the product, I guess it might just be a case of hanging fire and letting all the issues get ironed out (although it has been out a  while already so I'm suprised it still has that many issues).

Have you given the espruino any thought? Not wifi OTB, but I've had good experience working with it, and it's been easy to get to grips with. I guess it depends what you want out of it for your project though.

Keep up the hacking!


masteroleary posted this 02 June 2016

Haven't looked at espruino yet. Thanks for the tip.

I know that other people share the same poor experience with shipping times and until recently, the Windows 10 issues. In the forums, a Tessel member stated they mostly use Macs so that explains the oversight. I am not sure why the forum is down. It has been down for me several times and has broken links. I REALLY want them to succeed so I hope things start going more smoothly for them.

masteroleary posted this 03 June 2016

After asking them about their structure it turns out it is a community of volunteers, not a business. FYI