Author Topic: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?  (Read 42451 times)

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Offline 22swg

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Agree , cheap is not the first option.. The microstick 2 would appear to fit most of suzyc's  shopping list  and at < 20GBP would not be a disaster if eventually rejected . it has some drawbacks as do most dev systems MPLAB X is one of them, but it did work first time and someone with good C , should be able to develop projects quickly and  not be fighting IDE / bootloader / device compatibility issues....   
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Offline Kjelt

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@Suzy
looking at it from a starters point of view you might want to check out this free book which practically runs you through starting up an IDE environment, RTOS etc. and practical examples of running peripherals and external hardware. It is based on the STM32Fxxx processors but that is not a bad thing if you look at it from a cost point of view. All the required hardware and demoboards in the book will cost you $50 and you are ready set and go.
It will keep you busy some time to get to know the Arm controller and afterwards you might be better able to make a decision on what manufacturer you will make your own boards/hardware.

Discovering the STM32 Microcontroller , Geoffrey Brown
www.cs.indiana.edu/~geobrown/book.pdf
 

Offline miguelvp

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By all means using the MiniProg 3 will get rid off any problems. I'm just playing with doing it the cheap way but there are no compatibility issues at all with the proper tool.

And once you use it with all of their ready to use and well documented programmable Analog and Digital components, it will save you a lot of headaches.

You can take a look at their components datasheets:
http://www.cypress.com/?app=search&searchType=advanced&keyword=&rtID=377&id=1353&applicationID=0&l=0

If you look at the pioneer schematic, the only thing you need to implement a full HID USB interface with the 5LP is 3 diodes 3 resistors a cap and two pins on the chip. All the code and configuration is available.

http://www.cypress.com/?rID=48924

Edit: and that is available for the PSoC 3 too, not for the PSoC 4, here is what the PSoC 4 offers as components:
http://www.cypress.com/?app=search&searchType=advanced&keyword=&rtID=377&id=4749&applicationID=0&l=0
« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 02:06:08 pm by miguelvp »
 

Online nctnico

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Those PsoC devices sound really nice. I think I'll look into those if I have some time to spare.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline miguelvp

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My local MicroCenter had two of the Schmartboard 5LP dev boards. Now they have one :)

http://www.microcenter.com/product/419393/PSoC_5LP_Development_Board_with_Boot_loaded_PSoC_5LP_IC

And it has one of the higher end 5LPs that sells for $13 quantity one

http://www.cypress.com/?mpn=CY8C5868LTI-LP039

It's also available at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Schmartboard-PSoC-Development-Board-loaded/dp/B00HKJW1RO

Ok, so I guess I'll take it all back about the schmartboard, lucky for me MicroCenter didn't have it even if they said they had two in stock.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/review-schmartboard-710-0008-05-psoc5lp-development-board-first-impressions/

So I might still get it, but be prepared to retouch the crappy soldering job.

« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 04:52:13 pm by miguelvp »
 

Online nctnico

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My local MicroCenter had two of the Schmartboard 5LP dev boards. Now they have one :)

http://www.microcenter.com/product/419393/PSoC_5LP_Development_Board_with_Boot_loaded_PSoC_5LP_IC
You have physical shops selling these kind of boards? It makes me kind off sad the market for such gear seems pretty limited over here. I'd have to order from Farnell. Still I think I'd go design my own board and get that up&running but that is just me wanting to gets my hands as 'dirty' as possible.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 06:49:59 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline true

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I think that those "Pioneer" boards ($25-30) are the happy compromise between the CPU breakout boards (which would be OK for embedded a PSOC4 in a project) and the $100 debugger full "eval kits."  I'm pretty sure you're supposed to be able to use the Pioneer to debug other PSoC chips...
http://www.cypress.com/?rid=77780

Only other PSoC4 :)

I'm working on a project that will be using PSoC4, and the $1/unit deal was a big factor in choosing it. Finding some annoying limitations in practice but nothing that cannot be overcome. Overall I like the product.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #82 on: September 01, 2014, 02:58:13 pm »
Quote
microstick 2

I looked at some documents for this thing. It is interesting in that it is a development board, debugger and programmer all in one: if you wire out the icsp pins, you *****may***** be able to program others chips using microstick.

Based on the schematic for the original microstik (1), the chips to be programmed are low-voltage types. No idea how / if the firmware is limited to just those chips provided with the stick.

Not sure if anyone has tried it. If true, it is another low-cost multi-purpose programmer for some PICs.
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Offline 22swg

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #83 on: September 01, 2014, 08:12:28 pm »
danny f   the USB interface half of microstick 2 seems to ba a Pickit3 clone , MPLAB reports it as that on loading , documentation says supports only PIC24 KA or KM , comes with KM but i found I got on better with KA  I seem to be swimming against the anything_uino flow, but once you sort of understand MC's mcu implementation its rewarding even fun to get PIC ideas / projects working ...If i could just finish one before i start the next ! ;D     
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 08:14:44 pm by 22swg »
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Offline dannyf

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #84 on: September 01, 2014, 08:35:33 pm »
Interesting. Have you tried to use it to program other LVP-compatable PICs?
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Offline paulie

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #85 on: September 01, 2014, 08:39:35 pm »
Which ARM does best work to graduate to that has the economy of programming time, as well as the cost conveniences I have described

So far this thread is a perfect example of how everyone will try to convince that their particular favorite is The One. In reality there is a device which pretty much stands alone as cheapest and most popular ARM. A quick search on Ebay for "arm cortex board" (clicking on buy it now & lowest cost) will show what is virtually the only choice in the first few hundred listings. If you dont mind soldering, a small but perfectly functional development platform can be assembled in a minute or two for a dollar and change. For those who prefer to skip hardware DIY then the $7 board in those listings is ready to go. For mfg fanboys ST sells a compatible Discovery for about twice that. Because this is literally the "Most Common Arm Chip in the World" dozens of free toolchains are available. A fully functional ICE type debugger can be had for $5 from there too.

I'm sure someone will come along soon and challenge this assessment but mostly hacker types who insist on a new "chip of the day" each and every day. The more complicated and obscure the better. However overwhelming number of those listings tell the truth. I suggest Ebay, Aliexpress, TaoBao, and similar websites are an excellent weather vane for these kind of things.

BTW this is not my personal "favorite". ATM I'm satisfied with a completely different 8 bit platform and not particularly involved with ARM development. But did find it a bit thrilling to be able to program and flash an ARM device within 1 minute of download and debug/tracing few minutes later. YMMV (and probably will, often the best advice disappears in the noise).
 

Offline paulie

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #86 on: September 01, 2014, 08:40:24 pm »
Which ARM does best work to graduate to that has the economy of programming time, as well as the cost conveniences I have described

So far this thread is a perfect example of how everyone will try to convince that their particular favorite is The One. In reality there is a device which pretty much stands alone as cheapest and most popular ARM. A quick search on Ebay for "arm cortex board" (of course clicking on buy it now & lowest cost) will show what is virtually the only choice in the first few hundred listings. If you dont mind soldering, a small but perfectly functional development platform can be assembled in a minute or two for a dollar and change. For those who prefer to skip hardware DIY then the $7 board in those listings is ready to go. For mfg fanboys ST sells a compatible Discovery for about twice that. Because this is literally the "Most Common Arm Chip in the World" dozens of free toolchains are available. A fully functional ICE type debugger can be had for $5 from there too.

I'm sure someone will come along soon and challenge this assessment but mostly hacker types who insist on a new "chip of the day" each and every day. The more complicated and obscure the better. However overwhelming number of those listings tell the truth. I suggest Ebay, Aliexpress, TaoBao, and similar websites are an excellent weather vane for these kind of things.

BTW this is not my personal "favorite". ATM I'm satisfied with a completely different 8 bit platform and not particularly involved with ARM development. But did find it a bit thrilling to be able to program and flash an ARM device within 1 minute of download and debug/tracing few minutes later. YMMV (and probably will, often the best advice disappears in the noise).
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #87 on: September 01, 2014, 08:56:55 pm »
Googling microstick and pickit3 yields this link:

So it does seem that you can use the stick to program other chips - PIC24F/KL in his case.

It is just an unknown at this point how restrictive the firmware is.
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Offline 22swg

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #88 on: September 01, 2014, 08:57:38 pm »
Danny , No I have sort of stopped my mcu philandering at PIC24  you probably know PK3 has to download a device AP so it would rely on some embedded restrictions with the microstick 'starter kit'  see no reason why it could not jumper it to an external device... but i dont have many other PIC flavors at the moment.
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Offline 22swg

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2014, 09:01:48 pm »
Danny Re your link...  And I bought a second PK3  :palm:
Check your tongue, your belly and your lust. Better to enjoy someone else’s madness.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #90 on: September 01, 2014, 09:16:03 pm »
[So far this thread is a perfect example of how everyone will try to convince that their particular favorite is The One. In reality there is a device which pretty much stands alone as cheapest and most popular ARM. A quick search on Ebay for "arm cortex board" (clicking on buy it now & lowest cost) will show what is virtually the only choice in the first few hundred listings.

Ok, so this is a cheap minimal board. How does this qualify to be 'easiest to graduate to'?  I don't see in these ebay listing any schema, tools, libraries, examples, manual, nothing. If you claim that it's easy to graduate to this chip you need to provide more information because it's not obvious.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #91 on: September 01, 2014, 09:20:12 pm »
See the free book i posted a  page back, all you need to know to start with those stm32f103 boards  ;)
If you dont use that book you need the forum each time you,re stuck
 

Offline paulie

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #92 on: September 01, 2014, 09:36:31 pm »
Ok, so this is a cheap minimal board. How does this qualify to be 'easiest to graduate to'?  I don't see in these ebay listing any schema, tools, libraries, examples, manual, nothing. If you claim that it's easy to graduate to this chip you need to provide more information because it's not obvious.

It's not common for Ebay listings to contain all technical info for all components in the product. Maybe a link or two if you're lucky. These guys want to sell not hold hands. A message to them does often get you on track however. Those with a little experience might know to google the part number. When I did so there were literally hundreds of schematics for that board. Also available from ST since it is basically the reference design for that part.

As far as libraries and examples ST is again the place to go. How else would I be able to download examples within a minute of receiving the board? Or maybe you just didn't believe me. Anyway several different GCC packages are available with various "shells' like Eclipse. Since this was not of extreme interest at the time I took the bare-metal/CL approach and was rewarded with the ability to write and test code withing minutes instead of months. So again, Google is your friend.

If enough interest is shown it might be possible for me to put together a presentation similar to the one at my local ham club that got everyone going so quickly. A mind blowing experience aftr reading all the baloney. I think most here are so brainwashed by the "no pain no gain" line it's virtually impossible to imagine there's an easier way.
 

Offline paulie

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #93 on: September 01, 2014, 09:53:35 pm »
@Suzy
Discovering the STM32 Microcontroller , Geoffrey Brown
www.cs.indiana.edu/~geobrown/book.pdf

Yikes! Where did that come from?

A couple guys at the club did have a Discovery board but I didn't quite appreciate at the time. I knew it had STM32f but see now that one of the MCUs is actually the STM32F103. Being a huge cheapskate I took the $1 approach instead. Browsing that book you linked it's excellent and going to be a great hit at the next meeting. Thanks. I might have taken this a bit more seriously if I knew it existed. Maybe follow my own google advice better.

Basically I'm a PIC dude and admit to being slave to the almighty Microchip Corporation. Old habits... but I must say it's nice being able to buy dozens of download interfaces or several  STM32 debuggers for what my one PICkit2 cost (no exaggeration). I was just trying to help Suze but maybe this is worth taking another look as a potential go-to chip for yours truly.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 10:03:35 pm by paulie »
 

Offline zapta

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #94 on: September 01, 2014, 11:02:26 pm »
If enough interest is shown it might be possible for me to put together a presentation similar to the one at my local ham club that got everyone going so quickly. A mind blowing experience aftr reading all the baloney. I think most here are so brainwashed by the "no pain no gain" line it's virtually impossible to imagine there's an easier way.

If you think you have an path to upgrade to ARM a writeup will be useful. So far I am not convinced that your cheap board is easier than other options. Saying that there are 'several tool chains' and 'use google' does not add confidence for the fitness of your board for easy upgrade.  Try to substantiate your claims.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline paulie

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #95 on: September 01, 2014, 11:38:05 pm »
So far I am not convinced that your cheap board is easier than other options.

It's not "my" board and there is nothing magical about it or this particular chip. It's simply the most common and lowest cost option among hundreds. By a wide margin. Judging by those listing by an order or orders of magnitude. The procedure I mention is where the real trick lies. And it's not my invention. The tools have been mentioned and discussed in this forum many times over. It's the no-nonsense approach from one of the club members might benefit some who want to get into ARM with less clamor and fuss.

The batch files and linker scripts are still on my hard drive and just verified working with a single keystroke. To do this properly it will take a day or so to collect links and notes etc. and start a thread. I'm not sure it, or anything for that matter, will convince you based on previous comments:

Ok, so this is a cheap minimal board. How does this qualify to be 'easiest to graduate to'?

I gather your theory is that only the most "maximal" and overpriced boards fit that bill. However since you asked I'll see what I can do. Possibly others less (or maybe more) experienced might see an advantage. Imagine you are a rank beginner and try to keep an open mind with that perspective.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #96 on: September 01, 2014, 11:42:52 pm »
So far I am not convinced that your cheap board is easier than other options.

It's not "my" board and there is nothing magical about it or this particular chip. It's simply the most common and lowest cost option among hundreds.
As I wrote before: going for the cheapest board is usually a bad mistake. Cheap components are highly overrated. Better look for a component which gets the job done in a quick & easy way.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #97 on: September 01, 2014, 11:50:03 pm »
I gather your theory is that only the most "maximal" and overpriced boards fit that bill.

You are making things up. An easy solution will have an out of the box working board + tools + examples.  Has nothing to do with board size of price. 


However since you asked I'll see what I can do. Possibly others less (or maybe more) experienced might see an advantage. Imagine you are a rank beginner and try to keep an open mind with that perspective.

Let see the substance. So far it was just claims and arrogance.

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline paulie

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #98 on: September 02, 2014, 12:03:36 am »
I'm sure someone will come along soon and challenge this assessment but mostly hacker types who insist on a new "chip of the day" each and every day. The more complicated and obscure the better.

Hmmmm... looks like I have superhuman ability to predict the future too.

Just to reiterate:

ARM hardware $1 and change.

Ability to start coding and flash in about a minute after downloading tools. In fact the package chosen is so compact this most likely includes  download time too.

$5 debug dongle (seen in a pic in the "ghetto" thread) also minutes to start tracing.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: HELP! What MCU (greater than 8-bits of smarts) is easiest to graduate to?
« Reply #99 on: September 02, 2014, 12:12:31 am »
Quote
A quick search on Ebay for "arm cortex board" will show what is virtually the only choice in the first few hundred listings. If you dont mind soldering, a small but perfectly functional development platform can be assembled in a minute or two for a dollar and change.
got links?  I found lots of $7 STM32F103C8T6 boards but no bare chips or bare boards near the $1 price...

I'm with Zapta, though "cheapest" or "Most popular in an ebay listing" is a poor indicator of "easiest next step."  Not that the STM32F103C8T6 doesn't seem like a reasonable chip.
 


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