Introducing: Hardware Development Kit

We’re excited to announce that we are launching a Hardware Development Kit for the Tidbyt hardware :tada:. This community supported firmware will allow community members to greatly expand the capabilities of the Tidbyt display and be able to create completely custom experiences with our hardware :heart_eyes: .

:star2: Have a GitHub account? Please give the hdk repo a star!

Current State :baby:

We’ve launched an open source project that allows developers to flash a custom firmware to their Tidbyt. Not to worry! There is also a mechanism to get your Tidbyt back to normal :sweat_smile:. All that’s needed is the Tidbyt, charging cable, and a computer with a free USB-C port.

At the moment, the custom firmware can be configured to work with a local Pixlet server and refresh the graphic every 10 seconds.

Final Piece :jigsaw:

Our developer platform has a dynamic editor that enables rapid development of apps for the Tidbyt display, a publishing platform with over 400 community contributed apps, and as of today, a hardware development kit that allows complete customization of the underlying hardware. All of these components are open source and publicly available for extension and modification :nerd_face: .

World of Possibilities :earth_americas:

With the introduction of an open source firmware, developers have everything they need to create completely custom experiences with the Tidbyt. Self hosting, unpublished apps, and local endpoints are now possible with our platform. @par is really hopeful someone puts together a Home Assistant integration faster then we can :crossed_fingers:

Feedback Wanted

What are your thoughts? What are you going to build? Let us know in the comments below.


Is this project something that the community should strive to enhance with PR’s or just as a jumping off point for our own projects ? I ask because it could really use a wifimanager and other improvements but it could also be a headache to decide what’s appropriate to merge.

Very cool! It might be time to dust off my Axilla project which is a way to host pixlet on the web. Could be used to serve apps to flashed tidbyts

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So my first few days messing around with the hdk is ok. However, the IDF nature of the project is making it very complicated to try to use any Arduino libraries. As a maker, I’m pretty well versed in platformio and esp devices but trying to work with esp-idf is still quite daunting and a hurdle.

Since the functionality of this firmware is very basic I wonder if it would be better to publish a pure Arduino version that would be much easier for a hobbyist to work with.

EDIT : I just made one for anybody to use. It’s very basic but it works :slight_smile:

If this HDK firmware is flashed are we still able to access the tidbyt apps that have been developed or does this wall the device off from that?

You will lose the ability to control the tidbyt with the phone app.

I figured that would be the case. Thanks for the answer!

so maybe you can help me i loaded pixlet and pio on my ubuntu appliance. now im stuck what exactly what todo next, what i want todo is locally have one of my tidbyts get its data form my server only i want to use 3 community apps and 2 apps i modified since im unable to be successfuly getting a couple existing ones. corretced / changed to suit my needs. Can anyone tell me step by step what todo to run my apps - the hdk gitub readme, dont say much nor give valid examples unless im blind, I’m Not understanding either how to update the firmware I assume the main point of that is so it will connect to my server and then have my maps run on the interval I want, for example i want a clock to run 5 seconds, then a weather, then a seperate custome app to run for 30 seconds etc., s o I assume all i need is a repeating shell script with the sleep() set between each pixlet server command, dont know any help will be appreciated.

make sence what i want todo?
note- I only want 1 of my displays to run the local hdk stuff, its brand new not even plugged in yet, so never been setup at all.


more update: how do I know if the baud right?
ot@channelsdvr:~/tidbyt# pio run --environment tidbyt --target upload
NotPlatformIOProjectError: Not a PlatformIO project. platformio.ini file has not been found in current working directory (/root/tidbyt). To initialize new project please use platformio project init command
root@channelsdvr:~/tidbyt# python3 -m pip install -U platformio
/usr/bin/python3: No module named pip
root@channelsdvr:~/tidbyt# pio device monitor
— Terminal on /dev/ttyUSB0 | 9600 8-N-1
— Available filters and text transformations: colorize, debug, default, direct, hexlify, log2file, nocontrol, printable, send_on_enter, time
— More details at Redirecting...
— Quit: Ctrl+C | Menu: Ctrl+T | Help: Ctrl+T followed by Ctrl+H

also notice error not sure how to update firmware, got a little futher, I assume a backup of installed firmware worked, but if baud wrong I dont know,

this is link Ive been following and its way to vauge on what exactly todo.

Ok got a little futher, how are parms sent when using pixlet server command with , ill get example in a bit as definately a bug in henrys clock and I cannot seem to figure out how to fix it as its a par that needs set.