Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Boards based on the GigaDevices GD32F103 microcontroller
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cazimirb
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Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby cazimirb » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:55 pm

I don't know if it's a silly idea (or not :D ) , but:
I am planning to perform brain surgery on a red/blue pill: replace the microcontroller with a GD32F103CBT6.
Which board would you recommend: red pill or blue pill (I have read the topic on the comparison of the two)?
Besides replacing the 8MHz quartz crystal with a 12MHz one, are there any other changes required?

Thanks!

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Rick Kimball
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby Rick Kimball » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:19 pm

Buy one of each and decide for yourself. They are so inexpensive, no need to waffle.

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cazimirb
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby cazimirb » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:47 pm

Rick Kimball wrote:Buy one of each and decide for yourself. They are so inexpensive, no need to waffle.

Thanks, that's what I am going to do. So, I understand it's a feasible idea..

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mrburnette
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby mrburnette » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:27 pm

cazimirb wrote:
Rick Kimball wrote:Buy one of each and decide for yourself. They are so inexpensive, no need to waffle.

Thanks, that's what I am going to do. So, I understand it's a feasible idea..


I did not read "feasible" into Rick's statement/suggestion. What I interpreted was that it could go either way and that only an experiment will determine the outcome.... said experiment requiring the physical board; hence his suggestion to purchase same.

Ray

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cazimirb
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby cazimirb » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:55 pm

Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6 and 12MHz crystal works ok. Tested with GD32duino bootloader and 120MHz clock.

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RogerClark
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby RogerClark » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:31 pm

I tried to put a GD32, taken from one board, onto a Maple mini, but my soldering was not good enough, and I basically destroyed :-(

shame really, as it would have been interesting.

I should have cleaned the Maple mini very carefully first to remove and bumps of solder on the pads, and likewise with the GD32 chip from the other board.

But I know from past experience, these boards are not rugged enough to have more than one or two attempts to get the chip off the board and put another in its place, as the pads seem to come loose from the PCB quite quickly

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cazimirb
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby cazimirb » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:29 pm

Taking out the old STM32 chip was pretty easy, using the hot air gun..but putting the new GD32 chip in place was quite difficult in terms of pin alignment..I tried to avoid as much as possible using a soldering iron..and put it at 300C..
The GD32 chips I bought from taobao for something like $1.5 a piece..

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RogerClark
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby RogerClark » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:30 pm

I was using a GD32 from another board, so it hard traces of solder on it.

I guess if I did it again, and made sure I got rid of as many small blobs of solder as possible it would be OK

Incidently I was thinking of ordering some STM32F103C8's from AliExpress, so perhaps I should take a chance and get some GD32's instead

But I've given up on Taobao, after I had a major screw up with my order, and ended up with twice as many boards as I wanted (albeit it was my fault as I didnt understand YoyBuy's terrible UI with multiple purchasing options) - but I also got slugged an extra $10 as they decided to put one of the orders in a heavy cardboard box, where as one came in an envelope, and there was 1 board missing....

I think I'll stick to AliExpress.

BTW.

Do you think the package / pin alignment is actually different, or just difficult to align ?

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cazimirb
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby cazimirb » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:49 pm

RogerClark wrote:
I think I'll stick to AliExpress.

BTW.

Do you think the package / pin alignment is actually different, or just difficult to align ?


Aliexpress is definitely better, if you can find what you need. The package and pin alignment are the same, but keeping the physical alignment is difficult, because of the solder bumps.

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mrburnette
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Re: Red/Blue pill with GD32F103CBT6

Postby mrburnette » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:00 pm

cazimirb wrote:
RogerClark wrote:<...>
but keeping the physical alignment is difficult, because of the solder bumps.


This is simply the correct application of the "reflow methodology." The proper solder in the proper quantity applied by a quality stencil, the proper flux, and the proper temperature profile. Parts will self-align when the gods smile on a board undergoing reflow.

For the hobbyist working in the garage or basement, controlling the reflow process is do-able but does take some time and experience and the use of consistent supplies. The fact that many great boards are turned out by using the "skillet" process proves to me that the experience part is the heavy-weight in the success formula.

Of course, when one purchases a dedicated piece of equipment, one wants it to work as advertised!


Ray


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