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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Arduino
Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD
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MapacheRaper



Joined: Feb 15, 2018
Posts: 150
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:37 am    Post subject: Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I have found this:

https://www.ebay.es/itm/1PCS-Arduino-IDE-kompatibles-Board-STM32-STM32f103C8T6-ST-ARM-32-bit-Cortex-M3/162707467072

Basicly is a arduino with cortex M3 at 2USD. So it´s like a teensy but costing peanuts. I wonder how it is possible and if someone has experience with this boards.

One of the drawbacks is that the XTal is 8Mhz... with does even less sense as the chip can run at 74Mhz.

Im about to order one and 74Mhz Xtals and try to run it at his top speed. Not sure if the voltage regulator is going to blown. Even if I have to change the regulator it seems like a bargain.

So if someone has insights or tips about it Im all ears
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MapacheRaper wrote:
One of the drawbacks is that the XTal is 8Mhz... with does even less sense as the chip can run at 74Mhz.


It probably has internal clock multiplication to make it run at multiples of 8 MHz, so no need to fix anything.

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Grumble



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Seen it on Alieexpress, is it compatible with the Arduino ide or just the pinout?
Delivery free of charge.
Any schematics at hand?


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ixtern



Joined: Jun 25, 2018
Posts: 104
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MapacheRaper wrote:
Hi,

I have found this:

https://www.ebay.es/itm/1PCS-Arduino-IDE-kompatibles-Board-STM32-STM32f103C8T6-ST-ARM-32-bit-Cortex-M3/162707467072

Basicly is a arduino with cortex M3 at 2USD. So it´s like a teensy but costing peanuts. I wonder how it is possible and if someone has experience with this boards.

One of the drawbacks is that the XTal is 8Mhz... with does even less sense as the chip can run at 74Mhz.

Im about to order one and 74Mhz Xtals and try to run it at his top speed. Not sure if the voltage regulator is going to blown. Even if I have to change the regulator it seems like a bargain.

So if someone has insights or tips about it Im all ears


I have wasted some time with such board. In general it has very good relation power/price but very bad relation regarding required programming time.
In general: has free development environment (System Workbench for STM32), doesn't work directly with Arduino (some guys done it but it's not so easy). It is hard to programming, to proper configure all required options. And it is easy to permanently lost connection with chip after programming with ST-Link (due to some bugs) happened to me several times - some kind of reset is needed then.
Cannot even start simple timer from the generic examples with it (maybe I am not a good programmer). So I threw it away and changed to Teensy.
But you can try. If you master it, it may be cheap and powerful horse in the Arduino-like world. And yes, it can run with a full speed.
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ixtern



Joined: Jun 25, 2018
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

And found a schematic. Although there were three or four versions...


STM32F103C8T6 Schematic.pdf
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MapacheRaper



Joined: Feb 15, 2018
Posts: 150
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
MapacheRaper wrote:
One of the drawbacks is that the XTal is 8Mhz... with does even less sense as the chip can run at 74Mhz.


It probably has internal clock multiplication to make it run at multiples of 8 MHz, so no need to fix anything.


I always learn something useful from you. I didn´t know that it was possible. Thanks!!
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MapacheRaper



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ixtern wrote:
MapacheRaper wrote:
Hi,

I have found this:

https://www.ebay.es/itm/1PCS-Arduino-IDE-kompatibles-Board-STM32-STM32f103C8T6-ST-ARM-32-bit-Cortex-M3/162707467072

Basicly is a arduino with cortex M3 at 2USD. So it´s like a teensy but costing peanuts. I wonder how it is possible and if someone has experience with this boards.

One of the drawbacks is that the XTal is 8Mhz... with does even less sense as the chip can run at 74Mhz.

Im about to order one and 74Mhz Xtals and try to run it at his top speed. Not sure if the voltage regulator is going to blown. Even if I have to change the regulator it seems like a bargain.

So if someone has insights or tips about it Im all ears


I have wasted some time with such board. In general it has very good relation power/price but very bad relation regarding required programming time.
In general: has free development environment (System Workbench for STM32), doesn't work directly with Arduino (some guys done it but it's not so easy). It is hard to programming, to proper configure all required options. And it is easy to permanently lost connection with chip after programming with ST-Link (due to some bugs) happened to me several times - some kind of reset is needed then.
Cannot even start simple timer from the generic examples with it (maybe I am not a good programmer). So I threw it away and changed to Teensy.
But you can try. If you master it, it may be cheap and powerful horse in the Arduino-like world. And yes, it can run with a full speed.


Super useful info!! Yeah that makes a lot of sense... So is not arduino compatible, or not directly/easy way.

It´s a real shame, because the possibilities are huge. I myself Im quite a newbie in the arduino ecosystem and it´s the first time I hear about the System Workbench for STM32 so I don´t know how far I can reach.

I will try to run some basic sketches in case I manage to learn something interesting I will post it over here.

Anyway, for less that 2USD is not a great lost. The time and frustration is another history... Smile

Thanks for your feedback! Wink
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ixtern



Joined: Jun 25, 2018
Posts: 104
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Super useful info!! Yeah that makes a lot of sense... So is not arduino compatible, or not directly/easy way.

It´s a real shame, because the possibilities are huge. I myself Im quite a newbie in the arduino ecosystem and it´s the first time I hear about the System Workbench for STM32 so I don´t know how far I can reach.

I will try to run some basic sketches in case I manage to learn something interesting I will post it over here.

Anyway, for less that 2USD is not a great lost. The time and frustration is another history... Smile

Thanks for your feedback! Wink

You can try starting from this page:
https://wiki.stm32duino.com/forums.html?title=Blue_Pill
and this:
https://wiki.stm32duino.com/forums.html?title=Installation
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Grumble



Joined: Nov 23, 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very nice, will bookmark this page Laughing
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MapacheRaper



Joined: Feb 15, 2018
Posts: 150
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: Arduinos cortex M3 at 2USD Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ixtern wrote:
Quote:
Super useful info!! Yeah that makes a lot of sense... So is not arduino compatible, or not directly/easy way.

It´s a real shame, because the possibilities are huge. I myself Im quite a newbie in the arduino ecosystem and it´s the first time I hear about the System Workbench for STM32 so I don´t know how far I can reach.

I will try to run some basic sketches in case I manage to learn something interesting I will post it over here.

Anyway, for less that 2USD is not a great lost. The time and frustration is another history... Smile

Thanks for your feedback! Wink

You can try starting from this page:
https://wiki.stm32duino.com/forums.html?title=Blue_Pill
and this:
https://wiki.stm32duino.com/forums.html?title=Installation


Bookmarket too. Thanks!!
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MapacheRaper



Joined: Feb 15, 2018
Posts: 150
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I have found a github with some examples that runs on the blue pill:

https://github.com/ChrisMicro/BluePillSound

My blue pill should arrive in a month or so, so Im in code accumulation mode
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gabbagabi



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

even on the risk you guys will laugh on me:
is the 20k SRAM = 20k*8Bit |or| 20k*32Bit
?
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Grumble



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

20kBytes


https://www.st.com/resource/en/datasheet/stm32f103c8.pdf

I have ordered 2 to tinker with Laughing

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mosheen



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I found that once I got the bootloader running on it and the Arduino tool-chain running correctly it was easy to program in the Arduino IDE. That may take you a bit of effort though since some of the guides don't match the libraries 1:1. Work on uploading the Blink LED example and once you get there you know that at least the IDE is setup.

https://wiki.stm32duino.com/forums.html?title=Installation
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MapacheRaper



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

g.gabba wrote:
even on the risk you guys will laugh on me:
is the 20k SRAM = 20k*8Bit |or| 20k*32Bit
?


Good question... I think memory bytes are always 8bit, but Im not dead sure Wink
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JovianPyx



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

While I've seen different definitions for "word", I've never seen a deviation from 8 bits for bytes when used as a specification for a CPU chip. In my experience, all devices with RAM, including FPGAs are spec'd in 8 bit bytes regardless of what the native data width might be. For example, 32 bit ARM chips are spec'd in bytes of RAM even though the RAM is organized in 32 bit words noting however, that the addressing system allows access to single 8 bit bytes. On some rare occasions in the serial data comm world, I've seen 9 bits spec'd for bytes because of the addition of a parity bit and for 10 bits when there are parity and/or device select bits added, but even there, the data portion is 8 bits. And there is the 7 bit "word" as well, often coupled with a parity bit, but again, this is serial data comm stuff, not a specification for a CPU chip. When the spec is just in K with no units, one usually assumes bytes, such as 20K which would be 20Kbytes unless the documentation specifies a unit elsewhere.
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MapacheRaper



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, I received the blue pill, but it needs a dedicated 2usd programmer and a bit tedious first time booting "format". All is explained here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbiT6IxGP0

Now I understand why it costs 2€ and why people move to teensy or another platforms. It takes quite patience to get the thing running
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Grumble



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I guess next week my blue pill will show up, I ordered an usb programmer to go with it (smart me Cool )
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MapacheRaper



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Grumble wrote:
I guess next week my blue pill will show up, I ordered an usb programmer to go with it (smart me Cool )


Well done. I wasn´t as smarter and I will have to wait one more month for the programmer... grrr.

By the way the great scott has another video with the blue pill explaining how to boot it and some counters setup code(keywords: great scott smt32)

What do you plan to do with it?
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Grumble



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
What do you plan to do with it?


dunno yet Very Happy
I buy a lot of stuf just because I like to, and only later I figure what to do with it

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