McuOnEclipse Components: 06-May-2017 Release

I’m pleased to announce that a new release of the McuOnEclipse components is available in SourceForge, with the following changes and updates:

  • SEGGER SystemView updated to V2.42
  • More components to work with MCUXpresso SDK: GenericSWSPI, FXO8500 and SimpleEvents
  • SSD1351 display driver supports 128×128 pixel resolution and Adafruit 1.5″ breakout module
  • Extended FreeRTOS debug helper settings
  • GenericI2C: added ReadWordAddress8() and ReadWordAddress8() functions
  • RingBuffer with new Getn() and Update() functions
  • Utility with map(), constrain(), random() and randomSetSeed()
  • XFormat: new xsnprintf(), contributed by Engin Lee
  • OneWire protocol component with Maxim DS18B20 temperature sensor
  • Many smaller bug fixes and enhancements
SourceForge

SourceForge

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Disabling EzPort on NXP Kinetis to Solve Power-On Issues

I’m using the NXP FRDM-K64F board in several projects: it is reasonably prices, has USB, Ethernet, micro SD card socket and connectors for Bluetooth classic and Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ 2.4 GHz transceiver:

NXP FRDM-K64F Board

NXP FRDM-K64F Board

But one issue I have faced several times is that the board works fine while debugging and connected and powered by a host machine, but does not startup sometimes if powered by a battery or started without a debugger attached. I have found that the EzPort on the microcontroller is causing startup issues.

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McuOnEclipse Components: 12-Dec-2016 Release

Time is passing by so fast, and the year end is approache fast! I’m pleased to announce that a new release of the McuOnEclipse components is available in SourceForge:

  • Percepio Trace V3.1 for FreeRTOS which includes both Segger RTT continuous streaming and snapshot tracing in a single API
  • Generation of sources and drivers so they can be used without Processor Expert using McuLibConfig, removal of dependency to NXP Kinetis SDK: components use a generic API approach to have them working with other SDKs.
  • New contributed ExceptionsHandler component
  • Callback Setter and Getter in USB CDC stack for simpler option handling
  • GenericTimeDate with flexible RTC support and added Unix Timestamp functions
  • LongKey events in Key component
  • FreeRTOS with optimized task selection on Cortex-M4/M7
  • Many smaller bug fixes and enhancements
SourceForge

SourceForge

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McuOnEclipse Components: 30-Oct-2016 Release

A new McuOnEclipse components release was long overdue, so I’m pleased to announce that a new drop is available with the following major changes:

  • Segger SystemView library with kernel time reporting
  • GenericTimeDate supports different hardware RTC devices
  • Utility with little endian packet handling functions
  • Shell Standard I/O handlers for USB CDC, Segger RTT and Bluetooth
  • FreeRTOS and stack size reporting
  • printf() support in Shell component
  • Various small bug fixes and improvements
SourceForge

SourceForge

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McuOnEclipse Components: 31-July-2016 Release

Time for a new major update of the McuOnEclipse components, with the fillowing main features and changes:

  • FatFS component updated to R0.12 with patch 3 and exFAT support
  • Extended support for Cortex-M7
  • Extended support for Kinetis SDK V2.0
  • USB component support for Kinetis SDK V1.3
  • Improved FreeRTOS for NXP FreeRTOS TAD plugin
  • Added C++ wrappers to multiple components
  • Many smaller fixes and improvements

    SourceForge

    SourceForge

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McuOnEclipse Components: 25-June-2016 Release

SourceForge

SourceForge

A new release is available on SourceForge, with the following main changes:

  • Support for FreeRTOS and Cortex-M7
  • Segger SystemView updated to V2.38
  • Components for NXP Kinetis SDK V1.3
  • Fixed bug in Wait component (register handling for GCC and ARM)
  • FatFS supports FreeRTOS V9.0.0 with static memory allocation
  • FreeRTOS shell and task list with static memory allocation
  • Floating point conversion routines in Utility
  • FreeRTOS component shows NVIC mask bits

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McuOnEclipse Release 10-Jan-2016

With the start of the new year 2016 I have published a new McuOnEclipse component release with the following major updates:

  1. Updated Segger SystemView and Real Time Transfer (RTT): added terminal functions and extra interfaces
  2. Improved USB CDC with serial number handing
  3. FreeRTOS TaskList shell command
  4. USB Stack: added MSD Host support for MCF52259, added support for K24FN120 and for the 100 MHz K20 devices
  5. New NEOMatrix component for Adafruit NeoPixel Matrix displays

    256 NeoPixel Matrix with FRDM-KL25Z

    256 NeoPixel Matrix with FRDM-KL25Z

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Overview: Processor Expert

In “Overview: From Snippets to Code Generation” I discussed several tools used in my development process. On tool which helps me a lot to get things done is Processor Expert. In this post I’ll give an overview about this tool and reasoning for the pros and cons of using it.

Processor Expert

Processor Expert

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Debugging Failure: Check List and Hints

I think the biggest frustration point for any new or even seasoned engineer is the debugging phase: my application finally builds fine, but I’m not able to connect and download it to the target board :-(. In my view the debugging part is the most fragile part of the development process. I’m always very relieved if I can connect to a brand new board, because I know if it does not work, then the problem could be a very bad one, costing my several hours or even days to overcome it.

Remote Communication Error

Remote Communication Error, what now?

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Step-by-Step: Updating OSBDM/OSJTAG Debug Firmware

While new Freescale boards come with the OpenSDA debug firmware, I still students using boards with the OSBDM/OSJTAG. And with new CodeWarrior tools, it might be that there is a new OSBDM/OSJTAG firmware, and when I download to a board with an older firmware, the tool will prompt me to update the firmware. To me, after doing this several times, not a big deal. But for someone who sees this the first time, it might not be that easy. So to avoid any further questions, here we go with a step-by-step tutorial how to update the OSBDM/OSJTAG firmware.

MCF52259 Tower Board with OSBDM Firmware

MCF52259 Tower Board with OSBDM Firmware

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FreeRTOS V8.0.0 Final Release available as Processor Expert Component

The final FreeRTOS V8.0.0 has been released last week: time to update the Processor Expert component for it, and this time it is really a major release 🙂 : from V7.5.0 to V8.0.0:

FreeRTOS V8.0.0 Processor Expert Component

FreeRTOS V8.0.0 Processor Expert Component

FreeRTOS V8.0.0 comes with many small changes, especially it now includes many of the extra casts I have contributed to avoid compiler warnings. And additionally it has a brand new feature: Event Groups.

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RNet Stack for 8bit MC9S08QE128 Microcontroller and MC13201 Transceiver

I admit: I have used ARM Cortex cores a lot in the recent months. Yes, I think with the ‘ARM domination of the world’ over time the ARM core will blast away probably all other cores, except for niche players? Still, there are reasons to use non-ARM cores, and even if it is just that I have a board at hand :-).

DEMOQE with MC9S08QE128 and MC13201 Transceiver Card

DEMOQE with MC9S08QE128 and MC13201 Transceiver Card

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Bit-Banging I2C with ResetBus() Functionality

The good thing with the internet is: it allows engineers to collaborate. And here is an example: Marc is a reader of this blog had a problem with the I2C hardware of a Freescale Kinetis ARM microcontroller. In his case, the I2C bus could be stuck, and there seems no way to reset it with the I2C hardware on the microcontroller. So a solution would be to reset it with software instead.

Bit Banging Software I2C Driver

Bit Banging Software I2C Driver

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New CodeWarrior for MCU10.5

On Friday, Freescale has updated CodeWarrior for MCU10 from V10.4 to V10.5, available on http://www.freescale.com/cwmcu10. I have not had much time to use it over the week-end, but here is a list of the things which in my view will make me switch my projects over to 10.5 and use it in my university classes:

  • Smaller: smaller setup and less disk space
  • Faster: faster debugging and flashing
  • Features: Eclipse Juno, detachable editor views, ‘unlimited’ breakpoints, simplified debugger attach/connect/download, and more.

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FreeRTOS V7.5.0 released

A week ago, the updated FreeRTOS V7.5.0 has been released on FreeRTOS.org. So time to have my Processor Expert FreeRTOS component updated as well :-).

FreeRTOS V7.5.0

FreeRTOS V7.5.0

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Hacking the Heating System for Cooling – Geothermal Drilling with extra Benefits

Summer finally has arrived in Switzerland. Yes, I live in a moderate climate zone, but if the outside temperature goes above 28-30° Celsius as these days, then sleeping at night is not that comfortable as it should be in my view. Luckily, I’m in a good constructed house with good insulation, so it takes a few days until it heats up. But I love to keep the temperature below 25° Celsius, especially at night. I do have a heating system which combines geothermal and solar heating. The question is: how can I use it for cooling during hot summer days? The solution: some extra plumbing, a Freescale Tower system and the Freescale FRDM-KL25Z board 🙂

FRDM-KL25Z with Arduino Data Logger Shield

FRDM-KL25Z with Arduino Data Logger Shield controlling Heating/Cooling System

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Low Power with FreeRTOS: Tickless Idle Mode

It took me a while to find the time to upgrade to FreeRTOS V7.4.2, but finally it is done :-). What caused me to move from V7.2 to V7.4 is a low power application on the FRDM-KL25Z board. V7.4 comes with two major new features: Queue Sets and Tickles Idle Mode (see this article). The last one if of interest here.

FreeRTOS runs an IDLE task. This one runs when there is no other active task. That task calls an optional Idle task hook which is a perfect place to put the microcontroller into low power mode:

Task T1 Running

Task T1 Running

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Bluetooth with the Freedom Board

I’m working now on a lecture robot project using my Freedom Board. And for this I need a wireless communication. I already have IEEE802.15.4 (SMAC) working, but I wanted to add Bluetooth as a low-cost option. I have found an inexpensive Bluetooth module which is available for only around $4-8 which we use in another university class project. The module is an AT command module: that means the microcontroller communicates with AT serial commands with the module, and the Bluetooth stack itself runs on the module. In a minimal configuration I only need 3.3V, GND, TX and RX plus a CMD (Command) pin:

Bluetooth Module

Bluetooth Module

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A Generic I2C High Level Driver

I’m working with the I2C bus recently a lot. I’m using it in a project to reverse-engineering skimming (credit card fraud) devices. I needed to improve one of my applications for the lecture classes where a MCF52259 is communicating with a TWR-LCD display over I2C. And I want to add RTC (Real-Time-Clock) capabilities to my Arduino Data Logger Shield which requires I2C.

The same time I want to have things working with ARM Cortex-M4 and M0+ devices. And here the challenge started: using the I2C_LDD (Logical Device Driver) Processor Expert components for the ARM Kinetis devices is definitely not simple and easy. I want to use my software compatible for both the ARM cores and say for S08 and ColdFire cores. So what I ended up is to write a ‘generic’ I2C driver on top of the low level Processor Expert components: named GenericI2C.

Generic I2C Component

Generic I2C Component

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USB Component Splitted and Updated

Checking the download statistics of my Processor Expert components on http://www.steinerberg.com/EmbeddedComponents/, there is a clear winner: FSL_USB_Stack 🙂

It has been a while I presented that universal USB CDC component in this blog. The component has received a larger re-architecture, I wanted to support more than just USB CDC. For this, the CDC part is now present in a separate sub-component:

FSL_USB_Stack with Sub-Components

FSL_USB_Stack with Sub-Components

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