Hacking the EZ430 Chronos Watch on the Mac

Today my TI EZ430 Chronos Watch arrived, and I spent a little bit of time hacking it on my MacBook Air. It turns out that even though the documentation seems to require either a Windows machine or a Linux box, you can communicate with the watch from the Mac by modifying the serial port information in the TCL source. I learnt this from a Google Groups post, and I’ve copied the modified TCL source onto my Github account.

I then tried compiling the OpenChronos source code to build some custom firmware. In order to build the firmware, I had to install the following Mac Ports:

  1. sudo port install msp430-gcc
  2. sudo port install msp430-binutils (actually is probably installed with msp430-gcc)
  3. sudo port install msp430-gdb
  4. sudo port install msp430-libc

I then did a msp430-gcc -print-search-dirs to find out where msp430-gcc include files were. For me they install to the /opt/local/msp430/include/ directory. Following the Readme for OpenChronos, I did a sudo cp gcc/intrinsics.h /opt/local/msp430/include/.

When I tried compiling OpenChronos, the build failed with lots of warnings and quite a few errors. This is because OpenChronos was built using the older msp430-gcc4 project. I fixed the compiler warnings/errors and built an image. I copied the generated build/eZChronos.txt file over to my Chronos-Control-Center directory, and uploaded the image to my watch. Everything seemed to work OK, and the watch is currently running my newly compiled custom firmware!

My modified OpenChronos source is available from GitHub.