Tessel: Review

Tessel is a micro controller that runs JavaScript. It is NodeJS compatible – that means you can take advantages of npm and all the NodeJS awesomeness with it. The key attraction for me was the built in Wifi, makes it very easy to connect to the internet. Tessel has a good collection of modules which you can connect to the board to extend it’s functionality. The modules are listed here: https://tessel.io/modules. Each module has a dedicated npm package. You just have to install the package and require it to interact with the module. Cool, no?

I ordered a Tessel from their website on June 14. I got the board at hand today, July 20. They shipped via DHL global mail.

Here’s the tessel main board:
Tessel Main Board

I also purchased a GPRS module to interact with mobile networks. Here’s a photo of the module connected to the main board:
Tessel with GPRS Module

Setting It Up

Setting up was easy. I already has NodeJS installed. I installed the tessel command line tool.

After tessel is installed, I tried listing the devices:

Then I copied the example blinking codes and tried them out. All worked fine. So my tessel was working! Then I tried listing the available wifi networks:

I connected to my home wifi:

It connected to the Wifi just like that! Awesome!

Then I tested out the instructions on the “Tweet” section which uses the recently connected WiFi to send out a tweet.

The WiFi is working excellent!

The GPRS Module

Now I connected the GPRS module and tested out the sample codes. I used a spare Banglalink SIM to send out the SMS. It turns out that you don’t need to type the number in international format. The 017******** format works too 🙂


Just a quick note: If you follow the official example (it sends a text on gprs.ready event), and then kill the process by hitting Ctrl + C, you might have issues controlling the GPRS module without restarting it. So I think for testing, we can use the Tessel REPL from the command line:

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