Setup MicroPython sandbox

Introduction

You mean it. Thanks for listening already and enjoy the ride.

This part of the documentation covers the installation of the MicroPython firmware development environment and other software components it relies on.

The setup process has been confirmed to work on Linux, macOS and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (Win10).

The first step to using any software package is getting it properly installed. Please read this section carefully.

About

The programming environment is driven through different make targets and the accompanying documentation is based on a successful installation of these tools.

We consider these tools essential for efficient MicroPython development.

Setup

Prerequisites

To perform the next steps, please install the following software packages on your machine.

On older Debian/Ubuntu distributions, use:

apt install make patch wget curl lftp expect telnet git python python3 python-virtualenv

On newer Debian/Ubuntu distributions, use:

apt install make patch wget curl lftp expect telnet git python2 python3 virtualenv

Depending on your operating system, add your user to the group dialout in order to allow access to Serial. On Debian:

addgroup $USER dialout
# relogin or run
# su - $USER

Acquire source code

# Initially, clone the source code repository.
git clone https://github.com/hiveeyes/terkin-datalogger
cd terkin-datalogger

# Later, update the source code.
git pull

Setup development sandbox

The MicroPython firmware pulls in some packages and programs like the rshell utility from the MicroPython standard library and beyond. The following installation step will create a Python virtualenv and download the required packages into it.

make setup

Setup desktop notifications

These steps are optional but offer convenient desktop notifications which will inform you about what’s going on when operating the sandbox.

Linux/Windows:

.venv3/bin/pip install py-notifier

macOS:

.venv3/bin/pip install pync

Windows:

.venv3/bin/pip install zroya

Pre-flight checks

Check serial interface connectivity. Example:

make list-serials
USB Serial Device 04d8:ef98 with vendor 'Pycom' serial 'Pye090a1' found @/dev/cu.usbmodemPye090a1

Configure serial port

After connecting the device to your USB port, you should tell the sandbox about the UART device the MicroPython MCU is now connected to. Running make list-serials might help here.

Example:

export MCU_PORT=/dev/cu.usbmodemPye090a1

Pre-flight checks

You might want to invoke some commands here in order to check board- and device-connectivity.

List all boards connected to workstation:

make list-boards
pyboard @ pyboard connected Epoch: 1970 Dirs: /flash /pyboard/flash

Display device information:

make device-info

Pycom MicroPython 1.20.0.rc11 [v1.9.4-0a38f88] on 2019-05-14; FiPy with ESP32
Type "help()" for more information.
>>>
>>> import os ; os.uname()
(sysname='FiPy', nodename='FiPy', release='1.20.0.rc11', version='v1.9.4-0a38f88 on 2019-05-14', machine='FiPy with ESP32', lorawan='1.0.2', sigfox='1.0.1')
>>> took 1.079 seconds

Sandbox control commands

At this point, you should take a minute to have a look at getting started with Pycom MicroPython. It will be worth it as it will walk you through essential commands and function keys you will definitively need after taking the red pill.