Dabbling into ESP32 and FreeRTOS

Dipping a toe into the FreeRTOS ESP32 world.

Not impressed. That’s got to be my overwhelming opinion at the moment. I know better than to try to blog when I am frustrated so this is not going to be a technical diatribe.

I spent a lot of time this weekend trying to get FreeRTOS running on the ESP32 following the AWS Getting Started Guide. I submitted a lot of suggestions for doc improvement, and frankly never got it working. I did build a binary, finally, but it just crashed constantly.

My good friend, mentor and former boss Scott Francis suggested I look at the NXP LPC54018, so I bought one. In the embedded world, it’s all about the quality of the total ecosystem. Libraries, docs, support forums. NXP is solid, he says.

My experience with the Espressif ESP families (ESP32 and ESP8266) is that in the Arduino universe they have that ecosystem. Mostly the libraries work, and since there are lots of folks using them there’s at least some support. The IDF kits for writing code are solid, in my experience. They just work.

I suspect it’s really an investment thing: Arduino and makers are where the ESP family makes bank. Put the money there. For more “serious” or “professional” projects that might require FreeRTOS the tooling and ecosystem is different. That’s my guess.

Anyway, I have a backlog of projects now. My weather station kit arrived so I need to instrument that. I was planning on FreeRTOS/ESP32 but now I’ll go back to the working Arduinio code I had running. WORKING CODE WINS. I’ll hold my nose at the Arduino ecosystem, this time…