The Tessel 2 is equipped with a slew of on-board features including two 10-pin module ports to add sensors and other external hardware, two USB ports for camera peripherals and flash storage, a 10/100 supported ethernet port, and a microUSB connector for power and tethered programming. Each Tessel 2 offers an 802.11 b/g/n WiFi setup, a 580MHz Mediatek router-on-a-chip, a 48MHz SAMD21 coprocessor, and 64MB of DDR2 RAM with 32MB of flash.
Needless to say, the Tessel 2 has been designed from the ground up with the fastest possible path to producing your projects. Simply plug and play multiple modules and high-level APIs and you have a development board that is levels ahead of most other development boards!
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 4 ratings:
Once you start Access Point, it stays there until disable() is used. If the board is switched OFF and ON again, AP is up again automatically. Trying to install WiFi client when AP is active will not succeed, without notification and AP is not disabled.
Now that I have been successfully trough all the examples, there is still a lot to learn to be able to set-up the practical application I have in mind because I am also a beginner with Java. I'll get there. Eventually.
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We bought it with all the materials specified in the tutorial "Environmental Monitoring with the Tessel 2", and only to find out later that the Phant no longer works. The tutorial was not updated, there was no suggestion that part of it no longer works and we were trapped. The suggested replacements for Phant was not even explained clearly. Worse, we bought a new air conditioner just for this. Now, the air conditioner cools our kitchen while the Tessel2 rests in the trash bin. It seems like you just tricked us into buying it and all the other materials. And one more thing, your technical experts not only reply late but also without clear solution. Hope you either bring down that tutorial, update it or warn anyone who will order. For now, we believe we were cunningly deceived.
Sorry that this happened to you. Right now we've had some issues with Phant and had to take it down, the reasons are outlined here: https://data.sparkfun.com/ We're currently in the process of revising our tutorials to not contain the Phant.io system. Again I apologize for the misfortune that occurred.
Please contact us and we would be happy to work with you to find a resolution for this issue.
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Is it possible to power this with a battery? How is the low power options exposed?
How customizable is the embedded node.js system? Can I upgrade it? Can I use npm to install global packages? Are there limitations? Most importantly, is this running some sort of embedded Linux?
Yes, yes, and OpenWRT. Tessel 2 is very picky when it comes to what version of Node.js you run on a host dev machine, 4.2.x is the ticket currently, but any OS can be used. Support on Windows 7, 10 until recently was a little sketchy, but it's working pretty well now. Using the T2 from a Linux environment such as a RPi actually works quite well. On any OS, you are able to deploy code via USB, WiFi or LAN, which is pretty nice. I was a supporter of T2 on Kickstarter and have many hours of "fun" under my belt now, but as I said, things are pretty stable and working as intended at this point.
The datasheet for the Mediatek MT7620 says this SoC has five ethernet adapters. Are these broken out to the female header, or ... ?
Not really, and it's a waste: pin-mapping
If you are interested in small router boards, here is an OSHW Realtek based one: OLinuXino RT5350F
Also there are PDF schematics avaiable in the provided GitHub repo for convenience.