Author Topic: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?  (Read 24827 times)

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Offline GromBeestje

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #200 on: September 17, 2020, 08:19:53 pm »
If some western manufacturer sold the "Blue Pill" boards for somewhere around EUR5 I would buy them.

You might have a look at Cypress. They used to have a  CY8CKIT-049  (PSoC 42xx series) for $4 on their website. Unfortunately they seem no longer available. But those have been around for many years. I'm kinda surprised that a board from a western manufacturer, at that price point, hasn't become popular in the hobby community.

For a slightly higher price,  $10, they still sell their CY8CKIT-043 (PSoc 42xxM series) and CY8CKIT-059 (PSoC5L series).
In Europe you can get them at RS. The -043 sells for € 8,62 and the -059 for € 13,08.
 

Online Doctorandus_P

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #201 on: September 19, 2020, 07:09:57 am »
I was unfamiliar with the PsoC, though I have a vague memory I heared taht letter comination sometimes.

A quick look at:
https://www.cypress.com/documentation/development-kitsboards/psoc-4-cy8ckit-049-4xxx-prototyping-kits

and it reads:
Quote
The CY8CKIT-049-42xx Prototyping kit supports the Arm® 32-bit Cortex-M0™ CY8C42xx device family with up to 32KB Flash and 4KB SRAM

The STM32F103C8T6 has 64kB Flash, 20kB RAM, and it's among the smaller parts of it's family.
On reason for choosing STM32 was a (nearly?) seamless grow path into uC's with more pins, power, and peripherals than I am ever likely to need in my uC projects.

In the last few years now I've been tinkering a little bit with the things and it took me quite a lot of hours of searching the web and experimenting to find a toolchain and development environment I'm reasonably happy with. I would have found those PsoC uC's interesting when I was doing comparisons of different uC's to get out of the limits of the small Atmel AVR's, but that was years ago.

The CY8CKIT-043 has more flash, but still Cortes M0, twice the price and comes with the attached programmer, which I want separate. I was thinking along the lines of buying 3 or 4 programmers for some redundancy, and 20 or so boards, so those other 15 attached programmers will end up in landfill somewhere.

It's for those relatively simple project where I don't want to design a PCB and have it manufactured in China, but just grab a uC board and dump it on a Matrix board for one -off projects.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 07:20:02 am by Doctorandus_P »
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #202 on: September 19, 2020, 07:17:40 am »
I was thinking along the lines of buying 3 or 4 programmers for some redundancy, and 20 or so boards, so those other 15 attached programmers will end up in landfill somewhere.

You apparently don't appreciate capitalism.

For kit 059 (PSoC 5LP), the kit comes with two chips, one target and one debugger (less FLASH), both are PSoC 5LP in identical package, and it sells for less than the price of one chip.

You could totally separate the two sub-boards (snappable by design) and use the target, while the debugger board has its own SWD brought out and you can totally reprogram it to do anything.

Or like me, you can hoard the debugger chip with a hot airgun and use it on custom PCBs.
 

Offline GromBeestje

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #203 on: September 19, 2020, 08:42:52 pm »
The programmers are snap-off. Their firmware can be switched between KitProg and CMSIS-DAP firmware. I would separate them before using them anyways.
And if you would get the 049, use one with them, as the 049 comes with some USB-UART instead.

The Cypress PSoCs, I guess, they are good for their analog features, like a current DAC.
But their software suite only runs on Windows. That's a downside in my opinion. You need that software to generate some code to run it.
 

Online Doctorandus_P

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #204 on: September 21, 2020, 11:33:00 pm »
I was looking for a new uC family when I grew out of the AVR's, and decided on STM32.
It's very unlikely I will be using any other uC family in the coming 10 years or so, and as this is an STM32 thread about the Blue Pill, please keep it a bit on topic.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #205 on: September 22, 2020, 08:02:19 am »
Anyone knows of bluepill pcbs with a lqfp64 STM32F1xx on it (also ok if fake).
I still have 10 pcs of original STs lying with 256kB flash and 48kB ram, i could just replace the uC or design own board, still weighing the choices.
 

Offline josip

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #206 on: September 23, 2020, 08:03:59 am »
If some western manufacturer sold the "Blue Pill" boards for somewhere around EUR5 I would buy them.

There is LPC845-BRK that is not powerful as Blue Pill M4, but for 5 euros you get CMSIS-DAP debug probe that can be used with any NXP device.

https://mcuoneclipse.com/2019/02/02/tutorial-transforming-the-nxp-lpc845-brk-into-a-cmsis-dap-debug-probe/
 

Offline profdc9

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #207 on: September 23, 2020, 01:13:25 pm »
I made a PCB that takes STM32F405RGT6 but can also take STM32F103R types with a few component swaps:

https://github.com/profdc9/STM32F4ThruPill

 
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Online Doctorandus_P

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #208 on: September 29, 2020, 01:55:44 pm »
I just bumped into the link below.

It's the globe upside down.

ST has made a chip that is pin compatible (and improvement?) with the Allwinner A13.

The A13 and ST32FM15x are Linux capable SOC's, and although "slow" by today's standard, that is not relevant when they fit in industrial processes where it's enough to get the job done. I also find the temperature range from -45c to +125c impressive.

https://olimex.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/industrial-grade-4585c-stmp1-som-is-almost-completely-routed-and-pin-to-pin-compatible-with-a13-som/
 

Online thm_w

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #209 on: September 29, 2020, 09:03:24 pm »
ST has made a chip that is pin compatible (and improvement?) with the Allwinner A13.

The SOM (system on module) is pin compatible.
 

Offline robca

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #210 on: October 10, 2020, 07:27:45 pm »
Just leaving this here.

I was disappointed in discovering that the good old Blue Pill was dead as a development platform thanks to all the clones and fakes around. So while looking at replacements, I found that the STM32F4x1 "Black Pill" https://stm32-base.org/boards/STM32F411CEU6-WeAct-Black-Pill-V2.0.html are a much better board for just about the same price as the original Blue Pill (before the huge price drop due to the fakes)

Especially the STM32F411 variant has a ton more memory (flash/RAM), faster at 96/100MHz (need to set the clock to 96MHz if you want to use the USB) and ART flash caching, much better M4 core, and USB C connector. There is also a slightly cheaper STM32F401, but I'm not sure it's really worth it for the tiny cost reduction. Same footprint as the Blue Pill

And, at least so far, no reported clones of the STM32F411 chips...
 

Offline profdc9

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #211 on: October 11, 2020, 03:31:14 pm »
I have made versions of the Bluepill for LQFP-48 and LQFP-64 parts that can be fabricated at SMT populated using JLCPCB:

https://github.com/profdc9/STM32F4surface
https://github.com/profdc9/STM32surface

It's slightly more expensive in small quantities than the cheapies ($5 to $6 a piece for Qty 5 , PCB fabrication and population), but the quality is better.  You can also substitute STM32F303CCT6 in the BOM for STM32F103CBT6 if you want for the LQFP-48 part.

 

Online HB9EVI

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #212 on: October 11, 2020, 04:41:22 pm »
I was disappointed in discovering that the good old Blue Pill was dead as a development platform thanks to all the clones and fakes around. So while looking at replacements, I found that the STM32F4x1 "Black Pill" https://stm32-base.org/boards/STM32F411CEU6-WeAct-Black-Pill-V2.0.html are a much better board for just about the same price as the original Blue Pill (before the huge price drop due to the fakes)

it's a question of time until those boards are cloned too.
A safe bet for developing are ST's Nucleo Boards; they have a fair price compared to its features and they are readily available from reliable sources like Digikey or Mouser.
 

Offline phil from seattle

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #213 on: October 11, 2020, 08:20:55 pm »
Yes, part of the problem with the "pills" is there is no official definition so engineering and market entropy sets in pretty quickly.

I agree with the Nucleo suggestion though I truly loathe the Arduino form factor. The pill/stamp/teensy/... form factor is so much easier to use - both on a solderless breadboard or a pcb of your own creation.
 

Online newbrain

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #214 on: October 12, 2020, 08:20:00 am »
I agree with the Nucleo suggestion though I truly loathe the Arduino form factor.
Nucleo boards come in three sizes:
  • Small, Nucleo-32: Arduino nano format.
    Cores: F031K6, F042K6, F301K8, F303K8, L011K4, L031K6, L412KB, L432KC
  • Medium, Nucleo-64: ~Arduino uno format.
    Cores: F030R8, F070RB, F072RB, F091RC, F103RB, F302R8, F303RE, F334R8, F401RE, F410RB, F411RE, F446RE, L010RB, L053R8, L073RZ, L152RE, L452RE and L476RG
  • Large, Nucleo-144: A bit larger than an Arduino uno.
    Cores: F207ZG, F303ZE, F412ZG, F413ZH, F429ZI, F439ZI, F446ZE, F722ZE, F746ZG, F756ZG, F767ZI and H743ZI
WRT a blue/black pill, they all have an integrated ST-Link 2.1 (so with virtual serial and mass storage for easy flashing) and the build quality is not even comparable.
On the larger sizes, the ST-Link can be snapped off and/or be used stand alone.
While the choice of MCU on the 32 models is somewhat limited, it is still quite good.

Edit: Link to Nucleo-32 is now correct, thanks robca.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 07:49:42 am by newbrain »
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Online HB9EVI

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #215 on: October 12, 2020, 11:39:58 am »
for my projects, I'm mostly using 48pin STM32, so I use a matching Nucleo-64, skipping the not available pins on the 48pin series, so mostly PORTC and PORTD that I can easily port later to the smaller chip for my project matching PCB
 

Offline robca

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #216 on: October 13, 2020, 06:53:32 pm »
I agree with the Nucleo suggestion though I truly loathe the Arduino form factor.
Nucleo boards come in three sizes:
  • Small, Nucleo-32: Arduino nano format.
    Cores: F031K6, F042K6, F301K8, F303K8, L011K4, L031K6, L412KB, L432KC
Just FYI, your first link is to the Nucleo 144 (duplicate of the last), methinks you wanted to use this one https://www.st.com/resource/en/user_manual/dm00231744-stm32-nucleo32-boards-mb1180-stmicroelectronics.pdf

Problem with those small boards is that you have fewer pins than a F411-based black pill (20 or 22, depending on how you use the OSC pins), which has 28 fully usable pins, plus USB and SWDIO (which if really needed, you can also repurpose). On the other hand, there is an integrated STLink, which for some can be great. And the many solder bridges can be used to configure, not to mention higher quality layout and noise immunity

And still cost 3 times more than an F411 black pill. I bought a few and I consider them almost disposable for quick projects. After seeing the Blue Pill cloned and ruined, I decided to buy enough not to worry about future clones 8). Especially for USB-centric projects those are great, allowing a simulated mouse or joystick to send data to a PC at 1kHz rate (1ms polling). Quality can be all over the place, granted, like many direct from China electronics
[/list]
 

Offline paf

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #217 on: October 13, 2020, 08:09:26 pm »
One reliable source of "Pills" could be these guys:
https://robotdyn.com

My experience with them: 

1- The pins are very easy to solder and have the right size for using them on breadboards.
2- They sell you "blues pills" in "black" with a real STM32F103C8T6 or a cheaper version with the APM32F103CB.

 
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Offline GromBeestje

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #218 on: October 26, 2020, 06:33:55 pm »
I just took a look at AliExpress. It looks like the price of Blue Pills is rising. Any idea what's going on?
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #219 on: October 26, 2020, 06:45:03 pm »
I just took a look at AliExpress. It looks like the price of Blue Pills is rising. Any idea what's going on?
$1.35 - $1.85 tens of sellers, what are you talking about ? Of course fake no real ST but that was already known.
 

Offline GromBeestje

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #220 on: October 26, 2020, 07:37:13 pm »
I just took a look at AliExpress. It looks like the price of Blue Pills is rising. Any idea what's going on?
$1.35 - $1.85 tens of sellers, what are you talking about ? Of course fake no real ST but that was already known.

I was looking at the "free shipping" option. I guess it's the shipping that has gone up these days.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #221 on: October 26, 2020, 10:13:25 pm »
Depends if you choose ali shipping, then it is $2 something but you can order many pieces  before that increases again.
 

Offline ColCon

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #222 on: October 31, 2020, 02:31:25 am »
No CAN tho on those 401/411.
 

Offline GromBeestje

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #223 on: October 31, 2020, 11:37:54 am »
I guess I see it now. The price went up on eBay but not on Ali.

Other things of note: It seems other variants have hit, F030 and F072 boards are now for sale as well. (They existed for long time, but only sold in China it seems). Their price seems to be within the usual Blue Pill range, so check what you buy.

Furthermore, it seems vcc-gnd.com made a new revision of the Blue Pill.  vcc-gnd.com also has done a Black Pill (F4), with different pinout then the WeAct one.
Also, WeAct (the designer of the F4 Black Pill) also designed a Blue Pill. Like WeAct's Black Pill, it has 5 volts where the vcc-gnc.com Blue Pill has GND. So check the pinout.

Also, there are some more Pills on the market. A seller named FeedoK got some variants out there with chips in the L0, L4, F4 and G4 series, and a GD32 board. FreedoK is a bit more expensive then your usual Pills.
 

Online Doctorandus_P

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Re: Cheap Bluepill, very likely it has fake STM32 right ?
« Reply #224 on: October 31, 2020, 10:14:36 pm »
I think you mis -spoke (-wrote) here:
FreedoK is a bit more expensive then your usual Pills.

I consider none of these boards "expensive".
In US language, "cheap" seems to be a curse word, as some connotation between low price and low quality, and that is exactly what the average "Blue Pill" board has become. Quality has deteriorated that I would not accept the USD1.5 boards if someone gave them to me for free.

[Edit:] Clarification: Figuering out which of the "clone" chips it is, because the type number has been erased and reprinted as "STM", or even if it has one of the 8 other type numbers on it, and then trying to keep track of the incompatibilities costs more of my time than the USD1.5 price of these boards. With the Robotdyn boards you can be reasonably sure it's a real STM part (if you buy the second cheapest they have), and that is well worth the extra money to me.
Other quality issues are the mediocre PCB layout. I have not used the ADC yet, but apparently you can get 8 or 9 "true" bits out of the 12 bit ADC. and over 11 true bits if you have a good PCB layout.

I had a look at
http://vcc-gnd.com/
Not much language I can understand there, the shop redirects to taobao, which is a bridge too far for me, and on top of that, I find the stuttering and moving background annoying.

Also had a look at FeedoK:
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/STM32/5565045_518691931.html
Could be interesting if you want a particular chip (they have 50+ variants), but for prices between USD7 and USD14, it adds a bit up if you want to buy a few handfuls for "generic" projects.

Robotdyn still seems to be the best choice for me. Very reasonable prices (Around USD 3.5) with a promise to have real STM chips and they have some affiliate connection with (almost) local shops here in the EU (And also on other parts of this world).
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 10:59:23 pm by Doctorandus_P »
 


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