Getting Started With AWS IoT - Marvell EZ-Connect

Today I decided to see if I could get the Marvell EZ-Connect Starter Kit that I was given for Christmas to talk to AWS.

For the most part, the Getting Started Guide in the documentation is thorough and easy to follow. However, I did run into a couple of hang-ups along the way.

Note: The instructions outlined below assume you're developing on a Mac. If you're working in Windows or Linux, just poke around in the provided links to find your particular OS version. They're nearby.

Let's Go!

First of all, unless you've maybe just bought the thing, chances are you'll have to update the firmware. Otherwise, halfway through the setup process you'll find yourself unable to add the AWS security credentials to the device.

You can do that by downloading the latest release here. - Just go ahead and grab the blob, There's no need to build it from source.

Next, make sure you have at least Python 2.7 installed (which you can grab here). - You probably already have it.

Next you'll have to set up your host machine (your Mac, in this case) by following this guilde. It's a bit technical, but not hard to follow.

It's not mentioned in the guide, but you can install Minicom with Homeborew via brew install minicom. Their example uses Macports, but mentiones homebrew for pervious steps - kinda weird, but it probably just got overlooked.

If you install via Homebrew, just make sure you don't change the lockfile location when configuring the minicom settings.

Once that's done, you'll be able to flash the firmware you downloaded from the link above by following this guide.

After flashing the firmware, you'll need to unplug your Thing from the computer and plug it back in.

Now that you've done all of that you can finally (and somewhat ironically) follow the Getting Started Guide to complete the setup.

Note that you may need to change your AWS region setting, depending on where you create your Thing in AWS. The easiest thing may just be to look at what region is listed in the API endpoing for your Thing when viewing its details in the AWS management console.

Now your Thing should be connected. Your counter should incriment when you push the pb button (GPIO_26) and you should be able to control the on-board LED by changing its boolean value in the shadow settings you set up in the getting started guide.

From here you can start building apps that talk to your Thing, start using the Thing with AWS Lambda, or build your own custom firmware if you're really hardcore.

A good next step would probably be to check the full pinout and learn your options for I/O.

If at any point you screw up horribly and need to reset the board to its factory defaults, just hold the pb_lambda button (GPIO_24) down for 10 seconds.

As for me, I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to build yet, but I have a few ideas.

Kelli Shaver

Kelli is a full-stack developer with over 15 years of experience. She's also the lead developer at StickyAlbums and the co-host of the Terrifying Robot Dog Podcast.