Author Topic: TI Hercules Launchpad  (Read 5005 times)

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Offline Fantasma25

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TI Hercules Launchpad
« on: November 19, 2013, 08:26:43 pm »
So I bought a Hercules Launchpad from Newark because I want to learn the ARM architecture. Does anybody have any experience with this board?  Any general recommendations for ARM newbies?
This board has an ARM Cortex R4 based MCU.
 

Offline remixed123

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 07:29:33 am »
The Hercules ARM Cortex R4F microcontroller is designed specifically with safety features in mind, and is targeted at safety critical applications - Automotive, Medical, Industry etc. Not sure what sample code and examples are available, but the are likely targeting those areas.

I am working a fair bit with TI's Tiva C ARM Cortex M4F LaunchPad, this is the most popular ARM MCU from TI and has a bit of a following in the hobbyist circles. It comes with software called TivaWare with a bunch of examples, you also have the BoosterPacks for all manner of uses.

I guess I am saying if you are feeling a bit lonely and the examples are not great, then check out the Tiva C LaunchPad.


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Offline poorchava

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 07:56:43 am »
If you want to learn using cortex microcontrollers, the you should definitely go with M-series. R-series is for high reliability stuff, and there's very little info on the internet in comparison to M-series. This is because companies assume, that if you are developing HiRel stuff you can afford private training, have your designated support person @ IAR, Keil or whatever and all that.
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Offline Fantasma25

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 12:51:30 pm »
Haha, I guess I should have made a little bit of research before buying it. Anyway, its not a huge loss, it was one of the cheapest dev kits I found ($30 usd including intl. 2 day shipping and taxes). And it is still a usable mcu, but I guess I'll have to read the technical manual a little bit more in depth.
 

Offline poorchava

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 09:11:27 am »
For learning ARM I would suggest STM32VLDISCOVERY or maybe even STM32F4 DISCOVERY. They contain an onboard StLink debugger which works rather well with GDB. STM32 controllers are also supported by all IDEs and toolchains (for example can't say the same about EnergyMicro, NXP, Atmel - only Keil and IAR for most parts).

You can also go with Kinetis series from Freescale, but there are some serious "openness" related issues (eg. they won't provide details of comm interface protocol to DGB developers). Recently they've added CMSIS-DAP mode, but it's still kind of a 'soft'-debugger, not a real jtag state machine.
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Offline andersm

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 07:35:51 pm »
The ARMv7-R and Cortex-R4 documentation is available on ARM's website (though you may have to register). Architecturally, the Cortex-R is probably closer to Cortex-A than the Cortex-M microcontrollers.

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2013, 12:14:54 pm »
As remixed123 mentioned, this uC is targeted to automotive and extra-safety applications, but it is still a great general purpose microcontroller and has a performance edge over the CortexM devices. In my opinion one of the highlights of this family is its graphical peripheral configuration software that has a weird name - check it here and this companion page.
There's other stuff in their software page, although it looks a bit confusing.
Apart from the architecture books mentioned before, there are some articles (here and here) that I found useful to make some sense of this branch of the Cortex family.
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Offline MrAureliusR

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 12:49:47 pm »
Dude this LaunchPad is excellent -- it doesn't matter that it is with safety features in mind.

I've done a small review on it over at element14. It's a great development platform because all pins are broken out, it's JTAG over USB so programming it is a breeze, it has an on-board light sensor connected to the ADC, couple buttons, LEDs. Plus the software is really cool, check out HALCoGen! It basically creates all the drivers for you. Messing around with registers just got a lot easier!

PM me if you want help with this board, I've had it for a while now and I'm getting quite good with it. I think I might have the other variant of the board but they're almost functionally identical. Mine has the TMS570LS04x ...
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Offline jancumps

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 11:21:05 pm »
I've been trying various things with mine. I tried the ADC, (Mib)SPI, HET, GIO, low and high level interrupts, the saftety features, RTI and running freeRTOS.

I also failed to implement an DMA example - because the TMS570LS04x doen't have the DMA module  :-[.

At the moment I'm trying (babysteps) to port FatFS to it so that I can use an SD card.
I've built an adapter boosterpack from proto-PCB so that I can mount the lcsoft.net SD card interface, but am nowhere yet with the software.
I've created empty implementations for all required FatFS ported functions. The plan is to implement them step by step until I have a fully functional library.
But you know how plans turn out...
I've prepared a GitHub repo to store the attempt.



 

Offline Fantasma25

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Re: TI Hercules Launchpad
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 11:54:42 pm »
Dude this LaunchPad is excellent -- it doesn't matter that it is with safety features in mind.

I've done a small review on it over at element14. It's a great development platform because all pins are broken out, it's JTAG over USB so programming it is a breeze, it has an on-board light sensor connected to the ADC, couple buttons, LEDs. Plus the software is really cool, check out HALCoGen! It basically creates all the drivers for you. Messing around with registers just got a lot easier!

PM me if you want help with this board, I've had it for a while now and I'm getting quite good with it. I think I might have the other variant of the board but they're almost functionally identical. Mine has the TMS570LS04x ...

Yeah, I think it is a really cool (and cheap :P) board. Once I am finished with all my finals, I'll experiment with everything it has.

I've been trying various things with mine. I tried the ADC, (Mib)SPI, HET, GIO, low and high level interrupts, the saftety features, RTI and running freeRTOS.

I also failed to implement an DMA example - because the TMS570LS04x doen't have the DMA module  :-[.

At the moment I'm trying (babysteps) to port FatFS to it so that I can use an SD card.
I've built an adapter boosterpack from proto-PCB so that I can mount the lcsoft.net SD card interface, but am nowhere yet with the software.
I've created empty implementations for all required FatFS ported functions. The plan is to implement them step by step until I have a fully functional library.
But you know how plans turn out...
I've prepared a GitHub repo to store the attempt.


All those projects are really cool! You are the guy that makes youtube videos with this board, right? Once I learn a little bit more about embedded systems, I'll try to use the FreeRTOS included with HALCoGen.
 


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