Using the FRDM-KL25Z as USB Keyboard


I miss my old DELL laptop. Ok, the new one I received from IT services is not bad. It is faster and has a better screen. But I’m not really happy with the new keyboard. With the previous keyboard I was able to do a ‘PrtnScrn’ with a single key press. With the new one I need to press Fn + PrntScrn. And this is impossible to do with one hand:

Impossible to reach Prnt Scrn

Impossible to reach Fn+Prnt Scrn with one hand!

Yes, I have two hands ;-). But many times I need to do ‘print screen’ while having my other hand on the mouse :-(.What else can I do?

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Freedom Track Robot with IEEE802.15.4/SMAC


My other robots based on the FRDM-KL25Z use Bluetooth as connectivity. This one is using a Freescale IEEE802.15.4/ZigBee/SMAC module:

Robot with SRB MC13213 Board

Robot with SRB MC13213 Board as Remote Controller

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Low-Level Coding with PDD (Physical Device Driver)


As with any software drivers: they are never perfect. The same applies to the Processor Expert components delivered in CodeWarrior for MCU10 or the DriverSuite too. That’s why I have created many more components which are available on GitHub here. All these components are using other components to reach the hardware. But what if a functionality is not exposed through the low-level component? Or what if I want direct access to the hardware? Up to now I had to choose either the Processor Expert way, or to do it in the ‘traditional’ way using an SDK like CMSIS or vendor supplied header files.

With MCU10.4, I noticed that there is another way: PDD (Physical Device Driver).

PDD in the Components View

PDD in the Components View

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A new Freedom Board: FRDM-K20D50M with ARM Cortex M4


Freescale/Farnell/Element14 announced last week a new Freedom Board: the FRDM-K20D50M :-). As you can expect, I was not able to resist, and ordered one from my local Farnell store right away. So I did my first steps with it on this sunny and wonderful weekend (yes! we skipped Spring Time and entered Summer Time right away!).

I do not need to compare the board with the previous Freedom boards, as I have found an article here. I a nutshell: I get pretty much the same as with the FRDM-KL25Z, but instead of an ARM Cortex-M0+, it has an ARM Cortex-M4!

The new FRDM-K20D50M Board

The new FRDM-K20D50M Board

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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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Tutorial: IAR + FreeRTOS + Freedom Board


Maybe Eclipse is ‘too much’, and you are looking for something different? The cool thing with Processor Expert is that while this is Eclipse based, you can use it easily with other tool chains like IAR Embedded Workbench. So you have the choice, and I have explored things a little with porting FreeRTOS for Cortex-M0+ to IAR :-).

IAR Embedded Workbench with FreeRTOS

IAR Embedded Workbench with FreeRTOS

In this tutorial I’m showing how use IAR with FreeRTOS and the Freedom FRDM-KL25Z Board, using Processor Expert components.

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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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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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