First look at the simplecortex

Today a Dutch product, manufactured by Iteadstudio arrived – the simplecortex. I ‘discovered‘ this board just before holidays started, so it took some time before I could really hold one in my hands. Now I can.

The board comes with a mini CD with several tutorials on how to get started, example code and a CoIDE tutorial. It looks like the contents of this CD has been produced about 4 months ago, so I decided to download the libraries and the rest I needed to get going from the simplecortex website, especially since it’s such a new product where it’s not uncommon that libraries on the website are newer than on the CD.

The board looks very nice – I think that lots of Arduino shields will fit even better on the simplecortex than on a Arduino Duemilanove with its big USB socket! The only thing I’m missing are mounting holes. And a micro SD card inserted into the slot sticks out – maybe this was done on purpose, but I would personally prefer the micro SD card to stay within the PCB dimensions of the simplecortex.

I had already installed CoCenter & CoIDE, so all I had to do was install the USB drivers and I was good to go. After a first ‘blinking LED‘ example to test if everything was installed correctly and working like it should, I decided to take a deep breath and start trying!

First thing I noticed is that the CoIDE is a big improvement compared to the Arduino IDE:

Just hover over a function call and you can see the code behind it – and if it doesn’t fit in the popup, the F2 key enables you to scroll through it; Esc makes the popup disappear again.

Flashing the simplecortex is also amazingly fast compared to the Arduino platform,  wow. And I haven’t even scratched the surface yet, so there are probably many more surprises to come 😉

I bought a TFT LCD with Touch some months ago and I thought it would be a nice exercise to get this LCD working with the Arduino pin compatible simplecortex, even though I know almost nothing about the simplecortex and its components yet. I saw a simplecortex Graphics LCD library, but unfortunately this library could only be used with TFT LCD shields that use different pins than the TFT LCD I have here. So now I’m trying to adapt this library to my LCD; I think I’ll have a lot more to tell when I’ve accomplished that.

And after that.. who knows, what other tasks the simplecortex will get in my Home Automation system!

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4 Responses to First look at the simplecortex

  1. Mark says:


    I already bought the device based on first post. When you start with Ethernet functionality I am interested how you are going implement it. The libary is far more complex than the arduino one…

    • Hi Mark,
      Yeah, I saw the >250 pages of documentation of the uIP TCP/IP stack and thought to myself: lets not immediately start with too complex stuff 😉
      It would be very nice if I could get a messaging client running on the simplecortex though; but that will probably take some time to accomplish.

      • Mark says:

        Well I got tcp running (sending and receiving) and udp partially. But for me as a beginner it looks like allot of complex code for something which look so easy on a arduino.

        I’ll keep watching the blog for your experiences!

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