Copyright 2019-2020 Moddable Tech, Inc.
Revised: October 21, 2020
This document provides information about Moddable Zero, including details about its pins and other components, how to build and deploy apps, and links to other development resources.
Moddable Zero is a hardware module that makes it easy for developers to experiment with the Moddable SDK on inexpensive hardware. Moddable Zero is no longer for sale but continues to be supported. You can follow the instructions here to build your own Moddable Zero, or purchase its replacement, Moddable One.
The two main components of Moddable Zero are the ESP8266 module and resistive touch screen. The ESP8266 module includes a Wi-Fi antenna and 4 MB of flash storage memory. The touch screen is a 240 x 320 QVGA display with 16-bit pixels driven by an ILI9341 display controller and an XPT2046 resistive touch controller.
To build and run apps on Moddable Zero, you'll need to:
- Install the Moddable SDK
- Install ESP8266 tools
- Follow the instructions in the Building and Deploying Apps section below.
After you've set up your host environment, take the following steps to install an application on your Moddable Zero.
Attach your Moddable Zero to your computer with a micro USB cable.
Make sure you're using a data sync–capable cable, not one that is power-only.
Build and deploy the app with
mcconfig is the command line tool to build and launch Moddable apps on microcontrollers and the simulator. Full documentation of
mcconfig is available here.
Use the platform
-p esp/moddable_zero with
mcconfig to build for Moddable Zero. For example, to build the
mcconfig -d -m -p esp/moddable_zero
The examples readme contains additional information about other commonly used
mcconfig arguments for screen rotation, Wi-Fi configuration, and more.
See the Troubleshooting section of the ESP8266 documentation for a list of common issues and how to resolve them.
The Moddable SDK has over 150 example apps that demonstrate how to use its many features. The vast majority of these examples run on Moddable Zero.
That said, not every example is compatible with Moddable Zero hardware. For example, the ESP8266 does not have BLE capabilities so BLE examples do not build or run. Some examples are designed to test specific display and touch drivers that are not compatible with the Moddable Zero display and give a build error.
All the documentation for the Moddable SDK is in the documentation directory. The documentation, examples, and modules directories share a common structure to make it straightforward to locate information. Some of the highlights include:
commodetto subdirectory, which contains resources related to Commodetto--a bitmap graphics library that provides a 2D graphics API--and Poco, a lightweight rendering engine.
piu subdirectory, which contains resources related to Piu, a user interface framework that makes it easier to create complex, responsive layouts.
networking subdirectory, which contains networking resources related to network sockets and a variety of standard, secure networking protocols built on sockets including HTTP/HTTPS, WebSockets, DNS, SNTP, and telnet
pins subdirectory, which contains resources related to supported hardware protocols (digital, analog, PWM, I2C, etc.). A number of drivers for common off-the-shelf sensors and corresponding example apps are also available.
If you have questions, we recommend you open an issue. We'll respond as quickly as practical, and other developers can offer help and benefit from the answers to your questions. Many questions have already been answered, so please try searching previous issues before opening a new issue.
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