PineTime Mynewt

So I recently bought a PineTime dev kit. It is a development kit for a smartwatch. It is complete, but not fully assembled. The back is loose, so that you can program your own software. Pine64 is a hardware company, which expects the community to write open-source software for it.


After seeing some great work of lupyuen I got inspired to do some of the ground work to make the PineTime upstream supported by the mynewt operating system. It is a small operating system that is focused on IOT type devices and it has a powerful Bluetooth Low Energy stack. It appears to focus on good practices, like security and management standards.

So I started to work on a PineTime Board Support Package. This is the configuration of the OS, so that it knows which hardware it will run on. And is contains instructions for the newt tool for programming the device.

It is now accepted upstream, so that means it can be used more widely. However there are some gotchas you need to be aware of, that is the reason for this post.


I am very pleased with the documentation of mynewt. I was able to start making software in no time. So I contributed a tutorial of my own.

The turorial will guide you to a blinking backlight on the device. First you need to do need to setup the mynewt toolchain using this page. The you need to read up on project blinky here. Then you can start the tutorial here.

I have two additional note:

  • I had to use the upstream OpenOCD to make this work. I build the master branch of this repository.

  • Before doing newt upgrade you need to select the master branch of mynewt, as the PineTime BSP is not released yet. You need to open project.yml and set vers to 0-dev for the repository apache-mynewt-core. Then do the newt upgrade and you will see that the 0.0.0 master branch version is selected.

For the rest the tutorial will guide you to a working application.


Then a note on the drivers for the PineTime hardware. The current BSP supports the System-On-a-Chip that is used in the PineTime. It also supports the Nimble BLE stack. But most of the other chips on the device are not supported. I plan to slowly add some drivers as I need them.