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Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:25 pm
by efftek
Hi Guys,

Yes, Cyprus AND Sunderland - I spend two weeks at one then two weeks at the other.

OK, I have been writing code in C++ since the late eighties (Ok that makes me OLD - you have a problem with that?)

A few years ago, I got a raspberry Pi and have been writing code using QT4 and QTCustomPlot. I designed an ADC breakout board which sold very well on eBay.

ABout a year ago, I moved to the Arduino and have developed an ADC shield for it which is more like a Swiss Army Knife as it has so many other periferal module options available. I have also developed a more specialised ADC shield for my own use but given the limitations of the Arduino - speed, memory etc. - I decided to move to the STM32duino platform. I'm finding it difficult as its not just like installing the arduino IDE and getting on with it, it involves much more than that. Won't somebody PLEASE write a set of ABC,123 instructions for us OLD guys? You know our brains are addled by too many Laphroaig's (well mine is).

Anyhow, I guess you'll be seeing me asking daft questions here and there and answering any I'm capable of too.

All the best, Steve.

Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:09 pm
by RogerClark

We have a FAQ which answers most questions including how to get stated


I did a video tut ages ago (hence the IDE version in the video should be ignored, and you should use the latest IDE)

I also wrote a blog article (again ages ago, so IDE version etc is out of date) ... 1-5-x-ide/

Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:03 am
by BennehBoy
Mmmm Laphroaig :)

Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:22 am
by ahull
BennehBoy wrote:Mmmm Laphroaig :)
Mmmmm Glengoyne.

Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:28 pm
by Ollie

What kind of wiring technology you are using for the sensors connected to your ADC boards? For Arduino Mega, I have found a nice sensor shield at Aliexpress for 3 wire Dupont connections for AI, DI, and DO signals. I have been looking a similar solution for blue pill and similar smaller boards, but there seem to be none available.

Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:29 pm
by efftek
Hi Ollie, my board has screw terminal connectors for the analog inputs. There are four digital outputs and two input pins connected to interrupts 2 & 3. These are all header pins. The board also features header connectors for an rtc, bluetooth, lan, uSD and esp wifi modules as well as a hd44780 lcd interface with a trimmer pot for contrast. The adc is an mcp3208 12 bit, 8 channel and has 3.3 or 5v selectable ref voltage.

I have a photo but im having dificulty attaching it from my tablet.

Regarding a shield for the bluepill, what exactly do you want? Lets design one. Maybe its something we could sell on ebay. Can you send me a link to the one on aliexpress?


Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:56 pm
by Ollie

Thanks for the additional info. In applications with large number of sensors and servos, a significant challenge is to arrange the common ground and supply voltage for those 3 wire connections. A normal breadboard is not very good on that due to extra cap between signal and common lines, extra caps in the common lines, and different order in common lines between left and right side. At the same time, it is the best available common solution.

For Arduino Uno and Mega, there are shields addressing these issues. For my Mega appliucations I have been using this shield ... 10099.html

I did pay under $3 for them, but the prices have been going up. In my case, I did add an IMU unit and voltage regulator for 2x26650 batteries (7.4V) as shown in this picture ... Shield.jpg

Now, I would like to see similar solution for small STM32 boards. For a general solution, there could be two simplified versions connected to both sides of the boards. First, it would just connect the board pin for I/O and next to that there would be connections for power and ground. In the second version, it will take the two board pins and connect them to 6 pins on the distribution board for the 2 signals, 2 powers, and 2 grounds. If these are female connectors, then it would be like a mini breadboard.

If you will do just one version, it should be for 2x20 connection with two columns of 3 wire connections. With a proper design, there could be a similar solution for Raspberry PI boards.

Another starting point could be a mounting for the Blue Pill boards with one column of 3 wire connections on both sides of the board.

If you can deliver those, I would be interested to use them

Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:55 pm
by efftek
Hi Olie,

Im sure we could come up with a suitable board which has headers for the blue pill to connect to and a number of headers and terminal connectors, whatever you desire. A voltage regulator and any other additional circuits you want. But your description has me a bit baffled. Maybe you should draw some sort of diagram starting with the blupill represented by a rectangle and 20 pins either side with an explanation of what you want on each pin. I can certainly help you, i just need to understsnd what you want.


Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:13 am
by Ollie

In this picture

you have the original Blue Pill above. Below that, you have the modified Blue Pill with female pins for the original signals in the blue rows. Next to that at 0.1" distance, you have female connectors for the ground and next to that, you have female connectors for the 3.3 V power supply.

In ideal case, the red connectors will have the pin names in white text as you can see in many new Arduino boards.

No additional voltage regulators are required. I mentioned that only to explain one of my applications for Arduino Mega sensor shield.

I paid $6 for Arduino Mega and $3 for the sensor shield. I would not mind to pay $5 or $6 dollars for this improved Blue Pill - even when it is 3 times the price of a normal blue pill and there is no micro SD and mini prototype area. The smaller size, easier access to wires, and higher performance are worth of that.

For bigger boards, I would like to see separate ground for analog inputs and other signals.

For this version of Blue Pill, the board should be a little bit longer to allow 4 mounting holes in the corners.

Re: Greetings from Cyprus/Sunderland

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:41 am
by efftek
Hi Olie,

I pay around $30 for ten boards up to 100 X 100 mm to be made ie $3 per bare board including postage. Now, if the board size is less than 50mm wide, we can get two boards printed as a panel ie $1.50 per bare board. If I designed a board and had them sent to me to be soldered, then I would also have to charge postage to you so the question is, can you solder SMD components. There's just 2 voltage regulators and four capacitors. They can be soldered with a soldering iron if you're careful but hot air is best - that's how I'd do it.

I'll happily design you a board - just coz I can, not for any payment, and tell you where to get them made if you're capable of assembling them.

Now I have already knocked up a design (incomplete) just to see about sizes and if I put two rows of headers for the X-pill to plug into with a row of pins either side for access to the pill's pins,a row of 3V3 pins, a row of GND pins and a row of 5V pins, I can't get two boards out of 100X100 but if I did away with the 5V rail, I can get two but as the Pill is longer than 50mm, we might as well make the boards 100mm long so there is space to put a separate bank of 5V pins. The first pic shows a board of 55X100 as an example. Of course you could use the full 100X100 and have all sorts of headers on bringing several of the Pill's pins together with 3.3, 5.0 and grd in a convenient arrangement. The second pic shows how much space 100X100 gives you and you can label every pin

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