It’s been a great week for the campaign, we’ve reached the 74% funded mark!
Long before we decided to do a crowdfunding campaign for manufacturing Blip, we have been been using Blip in a lot of our own internal projects, and to do prototyping for our embedded consulting clients.
We were doing many things with it which may not come up in the documentation, for example we were experimenting with Thread networks. Blip works well as a NCP (Network co-processor) using code from OpenThread, that we attached to a Raspberry pi to create a Thread network in the office to play around with.
Zephyr is another thing we had been looking at for various reasons at the time, so we made sure all features of the board work with Zephyr (and that it was convenient to use). We made multiple contributions as PRs for drivers, west, samples, bug fixes, and bug reports to Zephyr along the way.
Once we did decide to do a crowdfunding campaign, we saw the value in adding support to other platforms to make them easy to use for people. The first thing we wanted to add support for was Arduino. The original nrf52 core maintained by Sandeep Mistry, of which we are also users and made some small contributions to (Bluey and hackaBLE), did not support nRF52840, because of a different version of softdevice. Adafruit however had a fork of this core, and are maintaining it for their nRF52840 boards, so we forked that and added support for the onboard debugger and made sure everything works.
There were a number of other hardware features that we wanted to give Blip to make it on par with other official development boards. In terms of board usability, we want Blip to be able to run at really low power, and support current measurement, and just like the official board, and also like our Bumpy debugger, to be able to program and debug other boards using Blip.