Learning STM32 programming

Time changes and so do embedded chips. Having programmed numerous years on Atmel 8bits, PIC, 6502, Z80 and 80×86 I am now learning the 32 bit. Like probably many of us, you try to get a similar environment like my Arduino/Eclipse setup for all development platforms. Well I tried quite a few options on this one:

  • MBED.org. Great environment but only available online
  • MBED exported to Eclipse/gcc. Works fine but still needs quite some tuning
  • MBED generated from boards.txt & platform.txt. Actually got it working for the Nucleo L152RE. Downloading was done separately through the ST-Link utility. Downside was the rather large code footprint.
  • MBED generated for EM::Blocks. Now this is quite an efficient compiler. It works as expected
  • Eclipse. That got me nowhere

Eventually I guess I realized I was postponing the inevitable. I had to restart learning to program for the chip itself. I have a few boards at hand with the STM32F103xxxx and will start with these.

arm exp board Arm-cortex-m3-stm32f103c8t6-stm32-core-board-development-board

As expected, there is hardly any descent documentation available or even a schematic. So a lot of experimenting is required. Any I guess it is my lack of experience with these processors that definitely need an update. And time to leave Arduino style programming and get into the real deal.

My favourite environment currently is:

  • EM Blocks as compiler version 2.3
  • Doxygen is embedded
  • Version control is embedded
  • Use standard templates

I am making this a separate menu Item so I can share my experiences (and have a backup for tips and tricks myself).

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Create your own User commands in the AT demo for ESP8266

I made a small example of  how to create your own functions into the AT demo enabling you to extend the AT example. Of course there is always a risk that we might (probably) migrate soon to another new version of the SDK. To keep you code somewhat safe erasure, I will make a myFunctions.c and myFunctions.h where our functionality will be put in. The only adjustment to the original source code is the file at_cmd.h which contains an array containing all AT commands.

Just try it out. It is quite simple and straight forward. Have fun… and be imaginative!!!

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Installing ESP8266 under Ubuntu and using Eclipse to build projects

Since it seems that so far the SDK works fine in either the Virtual machine with Windows XP) or Ubuntu. I decided to get my own little ubuntu machine to enable me to build projects on a way I am used to. On this page I wil explain how I installed the SDK (following the excellent work of some of my fellow forum people (see ESP8266 forum) who have created the right environment and modified/created specific files), installed Eclipse and how to import the AT example.

For more information join us at www.esp8266.com . Now a very you forum with a lot of expertise.

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Playing with the ESP8266

Just on the market now for a couple of months is the ESP8266 WiFi module.

ESP8266-WI07c-Wifi-Module-02the great thing about it is the extreme low cost (us$ 4-5) making it very nice to use in IoT (Internet of Things) applications. I am still in the learning phase (who isn’t ­čÖé ) but this is certainly a module worth further investigating. see: My ESP8266 projects

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Microscope Holder using 3D printing

Needed some way to stabilize images from one of those cheap Chinese microscopes. Currently designing a stable frame using CAD and 3D printing.

Microscope holder_2

For more info check this out : details

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Working with WS2812B led streams

Currently doing an interesting project for a client working with a stream of over 300 WS2812B leds. More to follow.

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