2012 in review: Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading and following this blog, for all the comments and suggestions and the encouraging feedback!  And many new exciting projects are waiting for 2013 :-).

Happy New Year!
Erich

PS: If you believe in statistics and numbers, then here is something for you: The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A new Freedom Board: FRDM-KL05Z

Christmas and New Year time is great: Gifts and time to work on my home projects. But this post is not about one gift I have organized for myself: a Raspberry Pi ;-)). No, this post is about a gift I have received from Freescale: a *new* Freedom board, the FRDM-KL05Z :-).

FRDM-KL05Z Board and Box

FRDM-KL05Z Board and Box

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PWM and Shell for a LED

Controlling a LED is a great starter for any embedded project: simple and you immediately get feedback if it works :-). Even better: as driving a LED is not different from working with another digital I/O or controlling a solenoid, the ‘LED’ concept and driver is very universal. I recently have simplified my Processor Expert LED component, so it might be a good time to add some more functionality again ;-). Let’s add support for PWM, and adding a shell interface on top of it. That way the LED is dimmable, plus I can do everything with a command interface as well:

LED Properties

LED Properties

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An Idea for the New Year, and Asking for Your Opinion

The year 2012 is coming to an end, and luckily the end of the world is postponed :-). So time to make plans for the year 2013! And here is one I would like to ask your opinion about it: A public repository for Processor Expert components.

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A Processor Expert Component to Help with Hard Faults

Ahrg! Again my ARM application crashed somewhere and I ended up in a HardFault exception :-(. In my earlier post I used a handler to get information from the processor what happened. But it is painful to add this handler again and again. So I decided to make things easier for me: with a special HardFault Processor Expert component :-).

After adding this HardFault component to my project, it automatically adds an entry to the vector table. So no manual steps are needed: having the component in the project and enabled will do the needed steps.

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Migrating Kinetis-L Projects from Beta to Final MCU 10.3

I have successfully used CodeWarrior for MCU10.3 beta version for many projects. With the advent of the final CodeWarrior for MCU10.3, I want to migrate my existing projects to the new and final version. First: my existing projects work as well in the final version, which is good news. But there are two things to change to take advantage of the final 10.3:

  1. Linker file memory split
  2. ARM Micro Trace Buffer (MTB) support

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LED’s for Kinetis, simplified

Sometimes it takes a while until things get better. Same thing applies to software: from time to time a refactoring and simplification makes sense. Especially if the underlying technology has been improved. With CodeWarrior for MCU10.3 available, it is time to refactor the LED component.

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CSI Crime Scene Investigation with I2CSpy and Freedom Board

The CSI is one of my favorite crime drama television series: not because it reflects the true reality, but because it is fun watching how they always find new ways how to investigate a crime scene with ‘close to reality’ tools. Real CSI is different: you only do a small part of the investigation chain. As for myself, I’m engaged in a research project at the university to develop hardware and software for crime scene investigation :-).

One area of that research project is to retrieve and data from credit card (ATM) skimming devices: these are devices are attached or inserted into credit or debit card machines and ‘skim’ the card information and the PIN code used. With that information, it is possible to clone a credit card for credit card fraud. Such devices are a big problem, and newer devices are very hard to spot. Simply ‘google’ for pictures for “skimming device” and you will get an idea of the diversity and madness of such devices :-(.

Microscopic investigation of skimming device

Microscopic investigation of skimming device

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HD44780 2×16 Character Display for Kinetis and Freedom Board

In my earlier Nokia LCD post I described a ‘free of charge’ way to add a LCD display to my FRDM-KL25Z board. If that Nokia display is not available, or an alphanumeric display is enough, then the Hitachi HD44780 display is a low cost option as well.

The HD44780 (or compatible) display is one of the most common displays available. And they usually conly costs around $10 or less. I have used a ‘blue’ 3.3V version of such a display already in my lectures with a Freescale S08 microcontroller. So I thought it would be nice to port the driver to the Kinetis and the KL25Z on it.

LCD Boards with FRDM-KL25Z

LCD Boards with FRDM-KL25Z

A recent post of TKJ Electronics about such a really inexpensive (only $5) HD44780 display caught my attention. And finally I had two of such TKJ displays in my postal mail box yesterday. Time to have some fun on a weekend 🙂

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