I found about the nRF24LE1 chips a while ago and they seem perfect for really small applications that require RF since they are the same as the well-known nRF 24L01 but include an 8051 MCU and memory.

But I can't seem to find much information on how to develop software for them. What I found was:

  • nRFgo SDK: This is the official SDK from Nordic, but it seems it's very Keil-oriented, and licensing is very, very expensive (about USD 5000).
  • DeanCording's version of the SDK: This seems to be an adaptation or complete rewrite (I'm not quite sure) of the SDK, and more friendly with SDCC. But this version hasn't been updated in 4 years, so the project seems to have been abandoned.

The Keil option is completely off the table for me.

There are guides on how to run SDCC with Eclipse, with the eclipseSDCC plugin. I haven't had much luck with these. On Windows, I get a NullPointerException when trying to run the "MCS51 Project" that the plugin adds, and on Linux (Ubuntu) the plugin seems to do nothing. It's worth noting that the plugin last release dates from 2006.

Has anyone been able to develop software for this device using free tools lately?

I was able to set up an SDCC toolchain on a Windows PC and manually compile example code from the libraries. But this is not practical for me and I'd really prefer to have an IDE instead of just a text editor.

  • \$\begingroup\$ After you compile it with SDCC, how do you flash it to the device? \$\endgroup\$ – rustyx Apr 26 '19 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rustyx I didn't get SDCC working but I used Keil in free mode to generate an HEX file and flashed it with an Arduino and this: github.com/polkabana/nRF24LE1_Programmer \$\endgroup\$ – hjf Apr 27 '19 at 2:12