eWheel Velo Bling-Bling Freescale Project

So here is a really, really cool project: eWheel Velo Bling-Bling:

Velo Bling-Bling with km/h (Source: Peter Schmid)

Velo Bling-Bling with km/h (Source: Peter Schmid)

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Tutorial: IoT Datalogger with ESP8266 WiFi Module and FRDM-KL25Z

In my earlier post “Tutorial: Web Server with the ESP8266 WiFi Module” I  used the ESP8266 WiFi module to run a local web server. This is a cool way to control devices inside my network. But to use that web page from the internet, I would need to open up my router which I don’t want to do for obvious reasons. Why not going the other way: host the web page in the internet, and have my board communicating with that internet page? This is exactly what this hype around IoT (Internet of Things) is all about :-).

ThingSpeak Channel for ESP8266

ThingSpeak Channel for ESP8266

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Tutorial: Web Server with the ESP8266 WiFi Module

It has been a while since my first post about the ESP8266 (see “Cheap and Simple WiFi with ESP8266 for the FRDM Board“). The ESP8266 is a new inexpensive ($4.50) WiFi module which makes it easy to connect to the network or internet. Finally this week-end I have found the time to write up a tutorial:
how to implement a WiFi web server for the ESP8266 WiFi module and the Freescale FRDM-KL25Z board:

WSP8266 Web Server

WSP8266 Web Server

FRDM-KL25Z with ESP8266 WiFi Module

FRDM-KL25Z with ESP8266 WiFi Module

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Tutorial: Playing MP3 Files with VS1053B and FRDM Board

I want to make some noise with this post!!! This tutorial is about adding music and sound capabilities to the Freescale Freedom board, and to have a lot of fun with it :-). I need this ability for a larger project working on for a while. But I thought I share that sub-part how to play sound files. So with this tutorial I can turn my Freescale Freedom board into a music or sound player :-). And adding sounds is a cool way for any project, and as the music is stored on an SD card it fits easily hours of music or sounds.

MP3 Player with FRDM-KL25Z

MP3 Player with FRDM-KL25Z and Adafruit Music Maker MP3 Shield

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NeoShield: WS2812 RGB LED Shield with DMA and nRF24L01+

In my earlier post I used a hacked together shield for building a clock based on Adafruit’s NeoPixel/WS2812 (“LED Clock with Kitchen Hot Pan Protector“). The new design supports now 8 parallel data streams, integrated realtime clock and wireless connectivity with the nRF24L01+ module.

NeoPixel Shield for FRDM Boards

NeoPixel Shield for FRDM Boards

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Illustrated Step-by-Step Instructions: Updating the Freescale Freedom Board Firmware

I have received a bunch of Freescale FRDM boards to be used in an Embedded Systems programming crash course. There are multiple issues with the boards coming from the factory:

  1. They come with an old bootloader which is not compatible with Windows 8.x
  2. They have an old and outdated firmware on the board only supports a MSD bootloader

This post is a step-by-step instruction how to update Freescale FRDM boards (e.g. FRDM-KL25Z) to the latest firmware.

FRDM Board

FRDM Board

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Cheap and Simple WiFi with ESP8266 for the FRDM Board

How cool would it be to add WiFi support to any projects or IoT? Why not using WiFi with a microcontroller which has only few KBytes of RAM and FLASH. For less than US$5? Dreams came true, and intrigued by an article at Hack-A-Day, I searched a supplier for that ESP8266 module. And this evening I have found the four ESP8266 modules I have ordered for $4.50 each from ElectroDragon in my mailbox. Of course I did not want to wait for the week-end, so I hooked it up to my FRDM-KL25Z board.

ESP8266 Module

ESP8266 Module for US$ 4.50

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User Interrupt on NMI Pin with Kinetis and ExtInt Component

While my beef brisket (see “My First DIY Smoked Beef Brisket: Day 1“) is smoking on ;-), I have time to investigate a problem I was running on in my lecture on Friday: For the Joystick shield (see “JoyStick Shield with the FRDM Board“) on the FRDM-KL25Z board, I wanted to use an interrupt if I press the green button:

No Interrupts for Button C

No Interrupts for Button C

However, that did not work :-(.

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BBQ Smoker Monitoring Robot

I have to admit: I’m not a vegetarian. I love BBQ, and no offense to vegetarians! Today is perfect day for another BBQ session, and this time I plan to enhance it with electronics. No, not eating electronics, but doing BBQ with a little DIY electronic helper. There are different ways to cook meat on an open fire pit, and each region of the world has its own way to do it. Traditionally, in my area we are ‘grilling’ the meat: high temperature, for a few minutes, done! I like that ‘fast food way’ too, but there is an even better version: Slow food smoking!

I’m gifted that I had the opportunity to experience the Texas BBQ culture: slowly cooking the meat, at low temperature, and ‘smoking’ it: Cooking the meat around 80°C prevents that it gets dry (because the water does not vaporize, see this article on Wikipedia). There are different ways how to do this, but I love the way how it is done at the Salt Lick in Austin/TX with an open fire pit:

BBQ Pit in Austin Texas

BBQ Pit in Austin Texas

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LED Clock with Kitchen Hot Pan Protector

When I showed my 60 NeoPixel LED clock prototype to my daughter and her girlfriend, and they both wanted to have one right away :-). Well, that clock was just a proof of concept, with lots of temporary wiring. So I decided this week-end to beautify it and to make it look nice and clean(er). There is nothing like a week-end project with adding a few more LEDs and features :-).

Adafruit Neopixel Clock with 60+24+12 LEDs

Adafruit Neopixel Clock with 60+24+12 LEDs

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Adafruit NeoPixel Clock with 60 LEDs

After the problems with level shifters (see “First Adafruit NeoPixel Blinks with the FRDM Board“) I received the ordered 74HCT245N. Put it on a bread board, wired it up, … only to find out that the device gets very hot… turned off power, and realized that had the device put in with a wrong orientation 😦 oh darn! That’s why I always order things like that in quantities of 3 or more :-). Corrected the mistake, and things are running (or blinking) again 🙂

74HCT245 Wiring for WS2812

74HCT245 Wiring for WS2812

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First Adafruit NeoPixel Blinks with the FRDM Board

LEDs are getting smarter these days. An amazing example are the WS2812(B) or ‘NeoPixels’ from Adafruit: RGB LEDs with a built-in constant current controller and shift register! With a single wire data wire hundreds of RGB LEDs can be controlled. Exactly what I need for a project I had in mind for a very long time. So I ordered a bunch of different LEDs from Adafruit to experiment. Exactly the right thing on dark and rainy week-end. And the result is, well: bright and colorful 🙂

Adafruit NeoPixel LED Ring

Adafruit NeoPixel LED Ring

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UART printf() for the FRDM-K64F Board and Kinetis Design Studio

I had great plans for this Saturday: to work on really cool project. But as so many times, things turned out to be different. Maybe you have read my recent posts about printf()? A colleague wanted to use that article to the same thing with the Kinetis Design Studio on the FRDM-K64F board. I used the FRDM-KL25Z board, so I expected this to work out of the box for him too. Well, turned out that I was wrong about this, and my Saturday was used for debugging and googling about a printf() problem 😦

While things work as expected for the FRDM-KL25Z (ARM Cortex-M0+) and using the standard GNU GCC ARM Embedded from the launchpad, the application traps on the K64F (ARM Cortex-M4F) in initialise_monitor_handles() with KDS:

Trap in initialize_monitor_handles()

Trap in initialize_monitor_handles()

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printf() and scanf() with GNU ARM Libraries

In “Semihosting with Kinetis Design Studio” I’m using the debugger with semihosting to output text with printf(). But how to use a physical serial connection instead?

printf() and scanf() in action

printf() and scanf() in action

This post is about how to enable and use printf() and scanf() with GNU ARM libraries. I show it both for the Freescale Kinetis Design Studio (KDS) and for stock Eclipse Kepler with the GNU GCC ARM Embedded (launchpad) toolchain and libraries. The principles are the same, just the details are different ;-).

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Showcase of Student Project Exhibition 2014 in Horw

Yesterday Friday afternoon, the students at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Horw showcased their last semester project work to the public at the university. There were many, many interesting projects, so here are a few to give an idea what has been accomplished …

Part of the Exhibition Area

Part of the Exhibition Area

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Snake Game on the FRDM-KL25Z with Nokia 5110 Display

So I have a graphics driver for a Nokia display (see “Zero Cost 84×48 Graphical LCD for the Freedom Board“), I have a joystick shield (see “JoyStick Shield with the FRDM Board“) and I do have a Freescale Freedom board: why not creating a simple game for it? Snake!

Snake Game with FRDM-KL25Z Board

Snake Game with FRDM-KL25Z Board

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Programmable Ultrasonic Sensor Shield for FRDM Board

“Note to myself: post articles about what students have done this semester…”

Students have turned in their semester project work. I have set for myself a goal to briefly describe to the ‘outside’ world what they did, as an inspirational source :-). So here is a first article about the project completed by Christoph Bühlmann who developed a shield for the FRDM-KL25Z board: a programmable ultrasonic shield:

Ultrasonic Shield with FRDM-KL25Z

Ultrasonic Shield with Freescale FRDM-KL25Z (Source: Christoph Bühlmann)

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Combining GPS Data Logger with Google Earth

So I have now a portable GPS data logger (see “Tutorial: Freedom Board with Adafruit Ultimate GPS Data Logger Shield“). What to do with it? It would be cool to see the data and tracks in Google Earth? Yes, that’s doable in a few steps…

GPS Logger Waypoint Data with Googl Earth Street View

GPS Logger Waypoint Data with Google Earth Street View: Riding through Schwyz towards the Mythen Mountain peaks

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