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Robot Dyn Black Pills

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:04 am
by RogerClark
I received 4 "Black Pill" boards from Robot Dyn this morning
Robot_dyn_black_pill.jpg (69.48 KiB) Viewed 656 times
I like the boards, but there are a few things which could be a problem for new users.

The Boot0 and Boot1 headers are not soldered in place and to make things worse they don't provide the jump link, so even if you solder the header, you would need to find your own jump link.

I did install the bootloader by connecting a ST-Link, and even with Boot0 and Boot1 floating, the boards normally seem to boot into the bootloader, however if I deliberately put my fingers on the Boot0 pads and apply power I can get it to go into the internal serial bootloader (which is what I expected to happen)

I can understand that Robot Dyn are trying to save on costs by not soldering the headers or the STLink or the Boot0 / Boot1 headers, but I will write to them to ask that in future they supply a jump link.

The other thing I noticed is the 32Khz crystal on the back of the board is one of those cylindrical types and is held onto the board by a blob of glue, but not very much glue, so that one of the 4 crystals was basically loose.

Gluing the crystals down is not a problem if the use the right glue and use enough of it, but on these boards the glue is very rubbery and thee is not enough of it.

I think if they intend to ship without a jump link, they need to permanently pull Boot0 low with an additional resistor.

I'll probably just permanently solder Boot0 low and leave Boot1 floating. As I doubt I'll ever need to install the bootloader or anything else using the internal Serial bootloader

Re: Robot Dyn Black Pills

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:31 pm
by Ollie
I did like the fact that the boot pins are missing. I didn't even use a resistor, but a direct soldering of the boot0. It has been working without any problems for many weeks.

Re: Robot Dyn Black Pills

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:32 pm
by RogerClark
I have directly soldered the 2 pins which are the same as the jump link to ground.

Re: Robot Dyn Black Pills

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:38 pm
by RogerClark

I had an email from RobotDyn about the lack of jump links and also the fixing of the crystal

They have said that in the next release of the PCB, the cylindrical crystal will be soldered down.

They are also going to check to make sure they don't send out boards without jump links.

I've asked them, whether they should perhaps consider doing what one of the other Pill boards does, which is to only have a jumper for Boot0.

And also I think what would be even simpler is always pull Boot0 to GND (via 100k), but have another 10k resistor, connected to VCC and one side of a 2 pin jump link.

Then if someone wanted to pull boot0 high they could solder the pins and fit the jump link, but if they didnt solder the pins, the board would still work fine for uploading via STLink or for the bootlader once its installed.

Re: Robot Dyn Black Pills

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:02 pm
by stevestrong
I received my black pills today, and wanted to solder boot 0 to 0, and use boot 1 as IO pin.

And the first issue: which boot row is actually boot 0? Near to the reset button or on the chip side?
I could not find any info about this...

Re: Robot Dyn Black Pills

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:47 pm
by RogerClark
i agree. there should be text on the silk screen to show which is boot0 and boot1, I will email robotdyn again ( but they did not reply to my last email)

Boot0 is closest to the USB connector