Configuring ez430 Chronos Wireless Development Tool in Ubuntu Linux


I have got my first wearable development kit in Watch form. This one is from Texas Instruments. It is called eZ430 Chronos Wireless Development Kit. It is based on 16-bit Ultra Low Power Micro controller Unit (CC430F6137). This Watch can be disassembled and use as development kit to deploy our own application. Its major attraction is RF transceiver. It comes with RF access point to communicate with PC and USB Emulator for In-System Programming and debugging. It has built-in temperature sensor, pressure sensor, battery voltage sensor and 3-axis accelerometer. The above set of rich configuration challenges developer’s creativity.

I ordered eZ430-Chronos-433 model, which works under 433MHz RF frequency which is acceptable all over the world.

Here is a summary of this kit from TI:

  • Fully functional sports watch based on the CC430F6137, MSP430 with integrated <1GHz wireless transceiver
  • Watch reprogrammable for custom wireless applications
  • Highly integrated watch includes on-board 3-axis accelerometer, pressure sensor, temperature sensor, battery voltage sensor
  • 96-Segment LCD display driven directly by CC430
  • Can be paired wirelessly with heart rate monitors, pedometers or other devices based RF transceivers like the CC1101 or SoCs such as the CC430 or CC111x
  • Includes an eZ430 USB emulator that connects the Chronos to a PC for real-time, in-system programming and debugging
  • Includes IAR Kickstart and Code Composer Studio integrated development environments which includes an assembler, linker, simulator, source-level debugger, and code limited C-compiler
  • Supports development with some 2xx Spy Bi-Wire devices (refer to Table 1-1 in MSP430 Hardware Tools User’s Guide for complete compatibility list)


Here is the package I unboxed and pictured for your reference.

Now let’s get into configuring the kit from Ubuntu Linux 10.10.

Ensure that it is detected as valid USB device.

$ lsusb

Bus 006 Device 003: ID 0451:16a6 Texas Instruments, Inc. BM-USBD1 BlueRobin RF heart rate sensor receiver
Ensure that it is rightly identified by kernel and right module (cdc_acm) is loaded.

$ dmesg


[11858.895836] usb 6-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 3
[11859.288948] cdc_acm 6-1:1.0: This device cannot do calls on its own. It is not a modem.
[11859.289003] cdc_acm 6-1:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
[11859.291695] usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_acm
[11859.291697] cdc_acm: v0.26:USB Abstract Control Model driver for USB modems and ISDN adapters

$ lsmod | grep acm

cdc_acm                14979  0

I have identified the device as /dev/ttyACM0 from the above messages.

$ ls -l /dev/ttyACM0

crw-rw—- 1 root dialout 166, 0 2010-10-06 00:39 /dev/ttyACM0

Install all the package dependencies.
$ sudo apt-get install tcl8.5 tk8.5 xdotool

Install and run the Chronos Control Center to test it and configure . You can find the installer “Chronos-Setup” binary file under “Software/Linux/eZ430-Chronos Installer” directory in the CD. Make it executable ($ chmod +x Chronos-Setup) and run. The installation is pretty blind click Next button. You are done with installation.

Run the Control Center TCL script “~/Texas Instruments/eZ430-Chronos/Control Center/Chronos Control Center/eZ430-Chronos_CC_1_1.tcl” (ensure that it is made executable, if not passed to tcl).

Follow the user guide “~/Texas Instruments/eZ430-Chronos/Documentation/SLAU292a.pdf” in CD on how to use the control center.

Here is the screenshot which shows data from 3-axis accelerometer through RF access point.

The below screenshot shows configuring Watch control keys to map with computer keyboards. This will help us to control the desktop application with Watch. It includes general mode, Media player mode and Presentation mode.

Watch can be made in sync with Control center to set Time and date. Temperature and Pressure can also be preset. The below screenshot shows this.

The below screenshot show the way to simulate Heart rate and pedometer signals.

Fine. Things have started very well. Now the next task is to setup development environment in Linux. Soon I will come up with a post on this.

Share this post


      1. I’m having the same problem, on ubuntu 11.10. I downloaded “”, unzipped to “Chronos-Setup”, did ” chmod +x Chronos-Setup”, and then “./Chronos-Setup”. I get no output; the next terminal line is back to my standard prompt.

        thank you,


        1. Same happened to me (Linux Mint 64bit). The problem was that my linux wasn’t supporting 32bit apps.
          After installing ia32-libs everything worked well.

  1. Hi Black God,
    a very useful post for ubuntu users.
    Btw. did you get your chronos watch shipped in India ? if yes, what was the duty you had to pay, if any ?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *