Author Topic: STM32 Boards  (Read 5134 times)

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Offline Fantasma25

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STM32 Boards
« on: May 16, 2015, 01:29:32 am »
Hello, I'm looking for a more powerful alternative for the Arduino UNO and I stumbled upon the STM32 Boards (more especifically, this one http://www.aliexpress.com/item/leaflabs-Leaf-maple-mini-ARM-STM32-compatibility/32214664071.html)

I found out that they can be programmed with the Arduino IDE. Has anybody had any experience with it? Any thoughts or recommendations? Thank you!!  :D
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 05:05:55 am »
few weeks back I had a similar question, there are a lot of good answers provided by the community, you can checkout the thread:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/stm32f103-any-good/

I've received the boards but I haven't had a chance to play with them yet, working on finishing an 8266 project I've been working on.
 

Offline Brutte

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 05:29:03 am »
Why cannot you buy a proper Discovery or Nucleo?
 

Offline Fantasma25

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 05:33:53 am »
Why cannot you buy a proper Discovery or Nucleo?

Because I want to integrate it into a project and I really like the smaller breadbordable form factor :p Also they are REALLY cheap XD

few weeks back I had a similar question, there are a lot of good answers provided by the community, you can checkout the thread:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/stm32f103-any-good/

I've received the boards but I haven't had a chance to play with them yet, working on finishing an 8266 project I've been working on.

Thanks! I'll check it out :D
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 09:37:38 am »
Why cannot you buy a proper Discovery or Nucleo?

Because I want to integrate it into a project and I really like the smaller breadbordable form factor :p Also they are REALLY cheap XD

Discovery or Nucleo is something like $9 and they include a proper debugger



 

Offline savril

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2015, 11:18:26 am »
Discovery or Nucleo is something like $9 and they include a proper debugger

Yes they integrate the ST Link V2.1 (sold in V2.0 as standalone programmer/debugger), so they are fully compatible with STM compatible tools. As you said, the biggest advantage is the debugger.

You can't use Arduino IDE but that's the occasion to go to a real IDE like Eclipse which will give you all the options (verification as you type your code, auto suggestion, debugger, ...). Having an official programmer/debugger is also an advantage: you don't have to make twisted configurations to get it work, you have all the functionalities pros have with the same level of quality and you don't ask yourself if your debugger really work.
For the price, the Nucleo F4 is a great value.

Nucleo are pin compatible with arduino Uno shield (although I think you need the compatible libs of course). The discovery F0 seem to be breadboard compatible but more powerful versions are not I think.

The maple is a project initiated at MIT in which they have ported the arduino IDE to the STM32 chip. However, I think you will be limited to the Maple compatible boards (there are like 2). With the Nucleo or Discovery, you have access to all the range of STM32. You won't be able to run your arduino code as is.

Me too, I was willing to start on STM32 some weeks ago. Finally I settled for the Nucleo for the above reasons. I've go a nucleo F4 waiting for me but I haven't had time for now to play with it but that will be surely my platform for my next project.
Setting up a complete dev env is more difficult than just installing Arduino IDE but that's more rewarding to have a real IDE with all the functions as a pro env. May be I'm a little biased because I come from the IT software dev and so I spent much time developing.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2015, 07:29:55 pm »
Quote
... I haven't had time for now to play with it ...
Setting up a complete dev env is more difficult than just installing Arduino IDE but that's more rewarding to have a real IDE with all the functions as a pro env.
The wonder of Arduino is that while you're "not having time" to get a "real" development environment set up and running, people using arduino have started and finished full projects :-)  (alas, Arduino is getting more complicated as well.  But I still remember the TI Launchpad instructions, where "take the launchpad out of its box" was step 25!)

Maple was initiated (and abandoned) by former MIT students, which isn't quite the same as "originated at MIT."
The company (http://leaf-labs.squarespace.com/about-maple/ ) has mostly moved on to other things, but left their code and designs around (in the best spirit of OS, IMO)  Maple Mini clones are available very cheaply from China, and other people ( http://www.stm32duino.com/ ) have (recently) picked up SW support (making use of the 3rd-party board support that didn't exist when leaf-labs started.)  I think they're also targeting some of the Discovery and/or Nucleo Boards.
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2015, 02:27:16 am »
Quote
... I haven't had time for now to play with it ...
Setting up a complete dev env is more difficult than just installing Arduino IDE but that's more rewarding to have a real IDE with all the functions as a pro env.
The wonder of Arduino is that while you're "not having time" to get a "real" development environment set up and running, people using arduino have started and finished full projects :-)  (alas, Arduino is getting more complicated as well.  But I still remember the TI Launchpad instructions, where "take the launchpad out of its box" was step 25!)

Maple was initiated (and abandoned) by former MIT students, which isn't quite the same as "originated at MIT."
The company (http://leaf-labs.squarespace.com/about-maple/ ) has mostly moved on to other things, but left their code and designs around (in the best spirit of OS, IMO)  Maple Mini clones are available very cheaply from China, and other people ( http://www.stm32duino.com/ ) have (recently) picked up SW support (making use of the 3rd-party board support that didn't exist when leaf-labs started.)  I think they're also targeting some of the Discovery and/or Nucleo Boards.

Gettting eclipse configured can be a bit of an uphill battle if you haven't tried it before, but something like CooCox CoIDE
(also based on eclipse) just works out of the box



 

Offline Muxr

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2015, 02:46:44 am »
One of the main reasons I like Arduino IDE, is because it's cross platform since OS X is what I use. Great ecosystem with tons of examples and tutorials out there is another reason Arduino is great.

It's really quite nice actually, I mean you get quick prototyping without feeling restricted when you need to break out of the mold and do some inline assembly or whatnot.

Haven't had a chance to do any work with the STM32 Arduino yet, but I've been using Arduino ESP8266 with great results.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2015, 09:10:26 am »
Quote
something like CooCox CoIDE(also based on eclipse) just works out of the box
Sure.  After you download the gcc compiler from ARM, and the IDE from CooCox, and (perhaps) painfully extract the vendor libraries and/or .h files from some huge package that they want you to install...  Piece of cake!
 

Offline zapta

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2015, 09:50:33 am »
...I've been using Arduino ESP8266 with great results.

Same here. The esp8266 is one of the best arduino mcu's and is dirt cheap.

If you are looking for an arm MCU,  take a look at NXP. The ide is very easy to install on all the platforms.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline savril

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2015, 09:53:34 am »
Quote
something like CooCox CoIDE(also based on eclipse) just works out of the box
Sure.  After you download the gcc compiler from ARM, and the IDE from CooCox, and (perhaps) painfully extract the vendor libraries and/or .h files from some huge package that they want you to install...  Piece of cake!

I installed my STM32 eclipse platform with gcc this afternoon. Took me 2 hours to go through the installation to the led blink example, most of the time was spent downloading the packages (several hundred of MB). Sure it was not as simple as install Arduino IDE -> Open blink LED sketch -> upload to Arduino, but it was doable. Vendor specific stuff is limited to the STMCubeMX to configure the chip I/O and ST/Link programmer/debugger.
This tutorial can help : http://www.carminenoviello.com/en/2014/12/28/setting-gcceclipse-toolchain-stm32nucleo-part-1/

To me, the harder is to write the code, not to install an IDE. Arduino is nice if you stick to the limited set of chips that it support natively with its nice libraries. Outside of that, you're on your own with the chip datasheet.
Arduino is usable as long as you don't have a large codebase to manage. My project will provide a graphical touch interface with smartphone like features (swipe, ...), so it will have a large UI code. For this, the Arduino IDE simply isn't usable, it is in no way meant to manage code this large : there's no project management with multiple files, it compile the full code each time, ...
 

Offline senso

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2015, 10:16:59 pm »
You might want to take a look at uGFX, don't know if it supports swipe moves, but it supports touch interaction with the GUI, so it might be an almost magic bullet.
 

Offline gmb42

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 07:28:27 am »
I installed my STM32 eclipse platform with gcc this afternoon. Took me 2 hours to go through the installation to the led blink example, most of the time was spent downloading the packages (several hundred of MB). Sure it was not as simple as install Arduino IDE -> Open blink LED sketch -> upload to Arduino, but it was doable.

You might want to take a look at ChibiStudio.  This is an all in one download of Eclipse etc. for Arm, primarily STM32 and it does have Nucleo examples among many others.  You don't have to use the associated ChibiOS but I've found it to be a well designed and useful RTOS.
 

Offline savril

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2015, 09:41:59 am »
You might want to take a look at uGFX, don't know if it supports swipe moves, but it supports touch interaction with the GUI, so it might be an almost magic bullet.

Thanks. it seem like a good UI library, free for hobby use. It is compatible with a bunch of RTOS and has a windows app to build the UI. So it seem really easy to use.
I don't know if I'll use it because I have the idea to make some animations in the UI, so I more in need of something at lower level like a sprite animation toolkit.
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2015, 07:07:34 pm »
You might want to take a look at uGFX, don't know if it supports swipe moves, but it supports touch interaction with the GUI, so it might be an almost magic bullet.

Thanks. it seem like a good UI library, free for hobby use. It is compatible with a bunch of RTOS and has a windows app to build the UI. So it seem really easy to use.
I don't know if I'll use it because I have the idea to make some animations in the UI, so I more in need of something at lower level like a sprite animation toolkit.

for ST there is also STEMWIN, it's what is running on the stm32f429 board http://www.st.com/web/catalog/tools/FM116/SC959/SS1532/PF259090

 

Offline poorchava

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2015, 07:35:52 pm »
I've also found that EM::Blocks (now being renamed to EmBitz) is a decent IDE for STM32s. Particularily if you look to work on STM32F2xxx which CooCox doesn't support yet. The ide is based on Code::Blocks and works much faster than Eclipse based IDEs.
I love the smell of FR4 in the morning!
 

Offline BennVenn

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Re: STM32 Boards
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2015, 11:13:56 am »
I love these leaf maple boards, I'm have one running my vintage VW beetle's fuel injection. They are very good little cores, keep in mind that no attention to detail was paid to the ADC supply and it is very noisy (at least in the clones)

I code in Assembly via Keil uVision (Free under 32k). Simple installation and programming via SWD.
 


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