Run the atom headless


It appears from the atom datasheet that it is possible to run it headless(Chapter 4 of the datasheet). Has anyone tried this? Or am I misreading the documentation?


Hi Brian,

The current rev of the Atom doesn’t expose these capabilities. (That part of the data sheet is outdated unfortunately and we’ll have to get it updated.) However, all hope is not lost. The next rev of the Atom will most likely feature these capabilities (though it’s some months off). We’ll keep you posted as it comes together.

In terms of footprint and processing power, do you have any idea what sort of app you would run on the Atom directly if we exposed a processor on it?



I’d simply just like to be able to monitor the IO directly on the atom. If it could have some sort of “report on change” feature where no programming would be required would the most ideal situation.


Got it. So this specifically isn’t possible with the current Atom but will be something that will be straightforward with the next version. I’ll make sure you know about it when it before it lands.



Hi, I am sorry for reviving old thread, but the same question came to my head as soon as I read a few pages and checked out the document of an Atom and saw there are fair amount of I/O connectors.

So I thought it is possibile to connect eg. one wire devices to it.

If it is not possibile could you share what are those I/Os are for?



Hi Titus,

The short story is that we put various types of I/O on the Atom for future proofing but never used most of them (for a variety of reasons). The good news is that the next version of the Helium module (slated for the end of this year) will expose various I/O and make this sort of thing a lot easier. Until then, in order to plug in something like a one wire device, you’ll need to do it via something like an Arduino / Pi or another processor.

Do you have any specific sensor / app you’re thinking about building on Helium?



Hello, thanks for answering.

Well few of us are thinking enrolling into the “competition” and just thinking about what and how to use.

It is quite “expensive” necessity for the Atom to use additional hardware for data transfer. But I guess I do not understand the concept yet.
I do not want to have 50 Atoms in deployment and 50 Arduinos along with them.


Hey Titus,

I definitely understand the concern over needing a host MCU in addition to the Atom module. Our current modules act as a peripheral device and we have not exposed the I/O to use the Atom as a host for the development kits. Our next rev is designed differently and I delve into that in more detail if you like. Can you ping me on or send me your email so we can set something up?

As for the contest, you don’t need to buy and deploy a mass scale solution unless you feel compelled to do so. We are confident that if you can set up the sensing application individually, you could set up many more of the same kind. This is, of course, assuming you do not intend to create 50 unique devices for your overall application.