McuOnEclipse Components: 12-Mar-2017 Release

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

  • Wait: Busy-Waiting using ARM DWT cycle counter
  • Percepio FreeRTOS+Trace: Updated to version 3.1.1, simplified usage of streaming and snapshot mode
  • GenericSWI2C: MCUXpresso SDK can be used with the bit-banging I2C driver support
  • FreeRTOS: includes updates of the 9.0.1 release, ‘optimized task selection, enabled MPU support (experimental)
  • Graphical GUI drivers for screens, windows, icons, headers, text widgets and more
  • SSD1351: display driver for Solomon Systech SSD1351 display
  • More components are now supported by the McuLibConfig settings
  • Many other smaller bug fixes and enhancements

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nRF24L01+ 2.4 GHz Wireless Connectivity with the tinyK20 Board

I’m using the tiny and inexpensive Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ transceiver (see “Tutorial: Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ with the Freescale FRDM-K64F Board“) in many projects: it costs less than $3 and allows me to communicate with a proprietary 2.4GHz protocol in a low power way (see “IoT: FreeRTOS Down to the Micro Amps“). I have that transceiver now running with the tinyK20 board too:

nRF24L01+ Transceiver with tinyK20

nRF24L01+ Transceiver with tinyK20

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How to Add Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Connection to ARM Cortex-M

In many of my embedded projects I’m using successfully the Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ (see “Tutorial: Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ with the Freescale FRDM-K64F Board“) and the HC-06 Bluetooth transceivers (see “Getting Bluetooth Working with JY-MCU BT_BOARD V1.06“) for wireless communication. However, the nRF24L01+ is using a proprietary protocol, and the HC-06 does not work with Apple products (it does very well with Android devices). To close that gap I decided to add Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, or Bluetooth 4.x). So this post is about how to add Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to NXP (formerly Freescale) Kinetis devices:

BLE Enabled Kinetis

BLE Enabled Kinetis

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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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Tutorial: Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ with the Freescale FRDM-K64F Board

For some time I’m using the Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ transceiver successfully in many projects (see “Tutorial: Ultra Low Cost 2.4 GHz Wireless Transceiver with the FRDM Board“). Since that tutorial things evolved a lot with the introduced RNet Stack. To honor the popularity of the Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+, Freescale has put a socket on the FRDM-K64F board. So time to make a new step-by-step tutorial how to use the nRF24L01+ with the FRDM-K64F.

Two FRDM-K64F Boards with nRF24L01+ Transceiver

Two FRDM-K64F Boards with nRF24L01+ Transceiver

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FRDM with Arduino Ethernet Shield R3, Part 4: MinIni

I admit: my Ethernet Shield project got stuck because of too many urgent other priorities. I was not happy with the way the project was using configuration data from FLASH memory: I have now multiple ethernet shields in use, and configuring the IP address for each shield is a pain. I have not got DHCP working (yet), so why not using the SD card on the shield for configuration data? And right on time I received a tip from Marc about MinIni: perfect, exactly what I need!

Ethernet Shield with SD card

Ethernet Shield with SD card

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First Steps with the Freescale TWR-K64F120M

Naturally, I have several project ideas lingering around. No time to make them all (for now). One of it is interfacing the Raspberry Pi camera with a microcontroller. To store the images, I need plenty of RAM on the device, and so far the Kinetis microcontroller did not have that. Finally, Freescale announced the K64F120 a few months back, and my ordered TWR-K64F120M board arrived on my desk, waiting to be used: Finally I get an ARM Cortex-M4F with 1 MByte of FLASH and 256 KByte of RAM :-).

TWR-K64F120M Box

TWR-K64F120M Box

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IoT: FreeRTOS Down to the Micro Amps

University research projects can be a lot fun, and are very challenging the same time. The good thing is that there is always someting new to learn :-).

This week-end I was working on my Internet of Things (IoT) project, based on a Freescale KL15Z and a nRF24L01+ transceiver. In essence it is a wireless data logger. For this, I only can afford a few micro amps consumed by the whole board over an extended period of time. I mean 21 micro amps for running a whole board with sensor, EEPROM, wireless transceiver, operating system and an ARM Cortex-M0+ ready to crunch numbers at 20 MHz 🙂

21 micro amps for wireless sensor node

21 micro amps for wireless sensor node (when not sending)

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FRDM with Arduino Ethernet Shield R3, Part 3: Embedded Web Server

This is Part 3 of an ongoing tutorial to use the Arduino Ethernet Shield R3 with a Freescale FRDM-KL25Z board (or any other board you like).

In Part 1 I worked on the SD card, in Part 2 I have added basic network connection. Now time to run a web server with my FRDM-KL25Z :-). With this, I can get access to my board through the network, and the board will host a web page where I can do pretty much everything: showing status, or adding functions to turn on things like an LED 🙂

Web Server with W5100 on FRDM-KL25Z

Web Server with W5100 on FRDM-KL25Z

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FRDM with Arduino Ethernet Shield R3, Part 2: Ping

In Part 1 of this series I have covered the SD card on the Arduino Ethernet shield. In Part 2 I’m hooking up the board to the network and will be able to ping it 🙂

Arduino Ethernet Shield with FRDM-KL25Z

Arduino Ethernet Shield with FRDM-KL25Z

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FRDM with Arduino Ethernet Shield R3, Part 1: SD Card

Sometimes it takes a very long time to realize a project. Adding the Arduino Ethernet Shield R3 to one of my Freescale FRDM boards is one of it: it took me a year until I have found a few days to work on using the Ethernet Shield with my FRDM-KL25Z.

FRDM-KL25Z with Ethernet Shield

FRDM-KL25Z with Ethernet Shield

I have not everything in place yet, so I decided to publish things in parts. So this is about part one: using the Micro SD Card on the Shield.

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Tutorial: Ultra Low Cost 2.4 GHz Wireless Transceiver with the FRDM Board

For my embedded systems lecture I need a wireless connection to the robot we will develop during that course. So far I have SMAC (IEEE802.15.4) and Bluetooth worked out. But that IEEE802.15.4 (ZigBee) is expensive, and the cheap Bluetooth modules are great for robot-to-host connection, but not for swarm robots which need to communicate to each other. Alex Vecchio (see this post) pointed me to a $2.75 (!) wireless module featuring the Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+. Exactly what I needed, with an incredible low price :-).

nRF24L01+ Module Detail

nRF24L01+ Module Detail

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