Discoraged getting started building apps

I’m a bit discouraged. I have installed the SDK, installed eclipse, and have managed to build example applications and load them on a couple of the wixels without too much trouble. And having done some micro controller programming before in C and assembler, at least for PIC chips and embedded 386ex chips and some others, I was very excited about building some customs apps with the wixel without too much fuss, especially after seeing the article on “one byte as fast as possible” ( which was pretty close to what i needed to do as a starting point).

What is discouraging is that the example applications are nice demos, but they don’t provide the kind of extensive comments that would be helpful when you’re trying to get started with a new device. I guess I was naive thinking of this as a “hobby” kind of product, and so expected tons of code comments in the examples, at least enough to spare the weekend warrior like me me from having to dive deep into the underlying MCU right from the start. But no sense ranting, it is what it is.

Can anyone point me to the essentials I need to REALLY get started writing my own apps on this thing, with specific references to C development? I can write C code very well, but every MCU has its limitations and special expectations (for things like XDATA). I’m also sure I need a complete reference for the chip registers and usage, and any practical helpful guidelines for newbies, and tutorials geared to the Wixel and this chip (perhaps I missed a few that are already hidden in the sdk). I don’t expect to become an expert overnight. But I would hope to at least soon have all the reference material I need to answer the majority of questions for myself.

thanks for any help.


Hello, Randy.

Have you seen the CC2511F32 datasheet? This should be your main source of information about the chip itself, including all the registers and all the bits in those registers.

You should also know about the documentation for the compiler, SDCC. This will explain how the different types of pointers and data types work. This is available at SDCC’s website:

Have you seen the documentation for the Wixel SDK? Every function defined in our Wixel libraries is documented there, with comments about how to use them. For example, here is the documentation of the Wixel UART libraries. If you are familiar with C, you should be able to figure out how to use the libraries just be reading that documentation, but it helps to have some complete examples that show how all the different pieces fit together. That’s why we have complete apps in the SDK. However, you shouldn’t expect to totally understand the apps just by reading them; whenever an app calls a library function, you should refer to the Wixel SDK documentation so you can understand what that function does and what the overall purpose of the library is.

For more resources, please see the “Other Documentation” section on the from page of the Wixel SDK documentation:

That being said, SDCC and the CC2511F32 are not particularly friendly for beginners and there are relatively few tutorials out there. If you continue to struggle, you might consider using an Arduino or Orangutan as your main controller and just using the Wixel for wireless.

If you have more specific questions I would be happy to answer them.


Thanks Dave. I feel more at home already. I’m very hardware oriented and feel a lot better now having the actual chip documentation. I’m pretty at home with with the compiler, but I’m glad I saved its full documentation now so thanks for that pointer too. Also, I guess I just didn’t understand how to navigate to the actual library documentation, which was that part that really had me panicking. But now that I’ve found where the marbles are hidden, I think I’m off to a better start now. :slight_smile:

I did have a few more specific questions relating to my first project, but I added them in the post about “sending one byte as fast as possible” (Send 1 byte as fast as possible), as that is close to what I’m needing to do initially.

Thanks again!

One thing i would request is a simple step by step for starting a new application added to the existing docs at. pololu.com/docs/0J46/10

For now, would I simply copy a directory containing a similar project to the workspace, followed by renaming the directory and its inner files, and deleting the compiled files, or is there a cleaner way?

Yes, that would work, but some of the steps are unnecessary. Please see the “Creating Your Own Apps” subsection of the “Compiling an Example App” section of the Wixel user’s guide.


I did see the users guide, but some kind of “start from scratch” application steps would still be welcome, and I don’t see that included. For example… I’d assume its best to start by making a directory with the same name as your intended new project within the workspace. But does anything besides your new “c” file need to be in that directory in order for the makeall to work? and does the new app need to be added to a project file? Finally, lets say you start by copying a “C” file similar to your project into that directory, and rename it appropriately. Whats the proper way to add /import it into the eclipse workspace?

No, but if you want control over what libraries at linked in then you need to add options.mk.


Eclipse will automatically detect it; if it doesn’t you can press F5 in the area that lists the files.


Thanks! Well I’ve done my first “from scratch” project, actually just a combination of the transmit and receive test, except with a param to decide the steering logic as to which it will be. Thats a good start for me because my target app will be kind of small anyway, and might have to bother transmit and receive.

But anyway, that “options.mk” sounds like something I’d better know about. What happens without it… Everything but the kitchen sink gets linked in?

Please see this page for information about options.mk: