Hello

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MartynC
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Hello

Post by MartynC » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:16 pm

New to the STM32 but I have used various Arduinos/Arduino compatibles for a while now. Looking to get started with the STM32 boards.

Saw the Arduino for STM32 a while ago but didn't get interested until I decided to try programming the NRF51822 via the Arduino IDE. Followed Rogers videos and blog posts, decided to try making my own Blackmagic Probe so needed an STM32 module. Since I was buying one I decided to buy more (always a bad idea but I do it every time). This all ended with my buying a few STM32 boards, a Jlink, a ST-Link. I also have a couple of the "simplified" Maple Minis on order (should get them early next week).

Now looking for a good place to start. Something that will take me through the first steps to programming the STM32 board using the Arduini IDE.

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RogerClark
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Re: Hello

Post by RogerClark » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:25 pm

Hi Martyn

I think there is a niche for the STM32F103 as a good value workhorse, but there are soooo many other MUCs available nowadays.

I have not had time to do much with my nRF51 or nRF52 boards recently, as having to write code for Android using Cordova etc, to receive the BLE data is time consuming and often infuriating because of quirks with different versions of Android.

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mrburnette
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Re: Hello

Post by mrburnette » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:58 pm

MartynC wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:16 pm
New to the STM32 but I have used various Arduinos/Arduino compatibles for a while now. Looking to get started with the STM32 boards.

Saw the Arduino for STM32 a while ago but didn't get interested until I decided to try programming the NRF51822 via the Arduino IDE. Followed Rogers videos and blog posts, decided to try making my own Blackmagic Probe so needed an STM32 module. Since I was buying one I decided to buy more (always a bad idea but I do it every time). This all ended with my buying a few STM32 boards, a Jlink, a ST-Link. I also have a couple of the "simplified" Maple Minis on order (should get them early next week).

Now looking for a good place to start. Something that will take me through the first steps to programming the STM32 board using the Arduini IDE.
Actually, I have been rather vocal for years about buying more than 1 of any Chinese micro-controller board. If you do like it, then you would have to wait weeks to get a 2nd one by slow boat. If your's arrived not working when tested, is it a bad board or a user problem? Yea, gotta have at least 2. So, one board to work with and one board to hold-back as a hardware test unit. So, what about your first project, going to use your development board? So, three is the minimum I ever consider ordering and I feel that one or two more (to get a discount or free shipping) is even prudent.

If you do not like 'em, stick them on eBay.

If you intend on using the ArduinoIDE with out "bootloader", you will likely fall into one of 2 categories of users: It works great or it does not work great. Chinese boards often have issues with how the serial reset line is handled. The good news, it is a problem easy to work through with plenty of searchable examples in the forum. Some boards have USB enumeration issues, too: again, some users have a variety of fixes available.

As you have used "Aarduino compatibles" for some time, you do realize that each flavor of uC has a rather complicated core module and several scripts that describe compile/linker options. Our STM32duino core for the F1xx is rather good due to the efforts of several diligent forum members. Roger has also sweated to get pull requests tested and uploaded and Roger has made some self-changes to the bootloader and boards.txt file that has eased use of the various colors of boards.

I have a few rather old, lackluster projects for the Maple Mini clone here. As you can tell, I get bored rather quickly with these uC's and have been playing with the RPi Zero_W for a while but now I'm off in ESP32 land with Arduino and microPython. But, with the holidays upon us here in the U.S., I am likely not to do much of anything until after New Years.

Welcome and good luck. Lots of great folk here, self excluded :lol:

Ray

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RogerClark
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Re: Hello

Post by RogerClark » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:03 pm

mrburnette wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:58 pm
.....

But, with the holidays upon us here in the U.S., I am likely not to do much of anything until after New Years.
...

Well, for me the "holidays" (Christmas) are an excuse to try out some addressable pixel strands I bought earlier in the year ;-)

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mrburnette
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Re: Hello

Post by mrburnette » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:14 pm

RogerClark wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:03 pm
<...>
Well, for me the "holidays" (Christmas) are an excuse to try out some addressable pixel strands I bought earlier in the year ;-)
About all I will be addressing is a few Christmas cards to folk that take offense to getting an eMail.

But we have Thanksgiving next Thursday and I have a 3yr 8mo grandson who will be joining us. The lab is off limits so I have to stay out or he will find his way down... he loves all the lights on the test equipment and will turn off the room lights to watch all the colorful stuff!

I've tried the forum a few times with my non-PC devices; cellphone and tablet and while I can read just fine, posting has been less that 100% successful. But, those things are meant for consumption, not creating content IMO. Plus, even with glasses, I have some difficulty reading with pinching-zoom!

Ray

MartynC
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Re: Hello

Post by MartynC » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:21 am

RogerClark wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:25 pm
I think there is a niche for the STM32F103 as a good value workhorse, but there are soooo many other MUCs available nowadays.
I doubt I will do anything constructive with them beyond (hopefully) getting them to work. I have done a fair few projects and have found the Arduino Nano is almost always capable. The one project where it wasn't quite up to the job I simply used 2 of them.

RogerClark wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:25 pm
I have not had time to do much with my nRF51 or nRF52 boards recently, as having to write code for Android using Cordova etc, to receive the BLE data is time consuming and often infuriating because of quirks with different versions of Android.
I'm using App Inventor 2 and the new BLE extension. There are a couple of limitations (like hiding the characteristic properties behind the scenes) but overall it is looking very good.

mrburnette wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:58 pm
Actually, I have been rather vocal for years about buying more than 1 of any Chinese micro-controller board. If you do like it, then you would have to wait weeks to get a 2nd one by slow boat. If your's arrived not working when tested, is it a bad board or a user problem? Yea, gotta have at least 2. So, one board to work with and one board to hold-back as a hardware test unit. So, what about your first project, going to use your development board? So, three is the minimum I ever consider ordering and I feel that one or two more (to get a discount or free shipping) is even prudent.
There are (or should be) limits though. I live in Hong Kong and work in China so buy from Taobao. This tends to mean very cheap stuff so I go overboard and have a habit of adding things that may come in useful later just to make up the value. As a consequence I have boxes of stuff I will probably never use. This is a problem in Hong Kong where homes are very small. Buying Arduino Nanos in bulk is useful because I have a habit of killing them.

mrburnette wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:58 pm
As you have used "Aarduino compatibles" for some time, you do realize that each flavor of uC has a rather complicated core module and several scripts that describe compile/linker options. Our STM32duino core for the F1xx is rather good due to the efforts of several diligent forum members. Roger has also sweated to get pull requests tested and uploaded and Roger has made some self-changes to the bootloader and boards.txt file that has eased use of the various colors of boards.
I would say I am aware rather than familiar. I know there is a lot happening behind the screens but could not explain it to somebody. For example, I know what a make file is but have never created one nor used one directly. I do appreciate the work others are doing though.
mrburnette wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:58 pm
I have a few rather old, lackluster projects for the Maple Mini clone here. As you can tell, I get bored rather quickly with these uC's and have been playing with the RPi Zero_W for a while but now I'm off in ESP32 land with Arduino and microPython. But, with the holidays upon us here in the U.S., I am likely not to do much of anything until after New Years.
microPython (Phthon in general) is one of the things I added to my try to learn it later lists. I have a lot of interest but not a lot of time.

I bought a couple of the ESP32's when they first came out (early release of the official dev board). They are in one of the fore-mentioned boxes. I do remember plugging one of them in to see if it worked. Now that there is an Arduino BLE library for it, it may be time to find them. I have only just learnt how to properly use the ESP8266 though.



Anyway, looking forward to getting started with the STM32.
Last edited by MartynC on Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RogerClark
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Re: Hello

Post by RogerClark » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:07 am

MartynC wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:21 am
RogerClark wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:25 pm
I think there is a niche for the STM32F103 as a good value workhorse, but there are soooo many other MUCs available nowadays.
I doubt I will do anything constructive with them beyond (hopefully) getting them to work. I have done a fair few projects and have found the Arduino Nano is almost always capable. The one project where it wasn't quite up to the job I simply used 2 of them.
I used to use Arduino Pro Mini's for a lot of projects because they are small and cheap and generally capable of doing what is needed.

However, I never really liked some of the quirks of the AVR architecture e.g. the PROGMEM and F macros stuff, and often found 2k of RAM wasn't enough.

So I mainly stopped using any AVR boards over a year ago.

There are still some times I need to try some stuff on an AVR because a library is only available that works for AVR, but this situation is getting less frequency as library writers no longer tend to just write for AVR, and usually have to consider the ARM Arduino boards (Due and Zero etc) as well as the ESP866



Re: App Inventor

I recall looking at it, but I don't like trying to code in those sort of graphical coding environments.

I have been using Cordova, but with Android 6 and newer I started to get a lot of issues with both of the 2 main BLE plug-ins.
And also on Android I find incompatibilities between different manufacturers hardware , e.g. I could not get a Samsung J5 phone BLE to scan using Cordova.

So I'm not generally as keen on using BLE as I used to be.

MartynC
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Re: Hello

Post by MartynC » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:31 pm

I have a few other boards that I have tried but always come back to the Arduino. They are so so easy to use and they are the reason I got in to microprocessors in the first place (or should say came back to after many years). They can be limiting but I've found the limitations have lead to learning new stuff. A few years ago I developed a solenoid value controller and ran out of memory, this lead me to learning about using the 328 chip sans Arduino and without boot loader. Ran out of memory again, this lead to learning about PROGMEM which then also lead me to learn about pointers. I also realise that I use a lot of pre-existing code and have no idea what it does under the hood.

For the same valve controller I wanted to create a controller app. Initially I started with JAVA but found progress slow so I jumped to App Inventor simply because it was very quick to get started. I then discovered it could do a lot more than I expected so I stayed with it. It does not produce the fastest apps but nothing I do is speed critical.

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