Bell 202 is a quite old modem standard that is still used today in amateur radio for data transmission over VHF (Packet Radio and APRS) and industrial automation (HART). It is a very simple FSK modem. The speed is limited to 1200 baud, which makes it very easy to implement on any small microcontroller. My implementation is built on top of sinewave generator code for XMEGA described in a previous post.
The XMEGA is quite a leap from the “classic” AVRs. Some of the interesting features are the DAC and DMA. When combined, they can be used to generate all kinds of useful signals in the audio range.
This example uses the DAC, DMA, timer and event system to generate 1200 Hz and 2200 Hz sinewaves. I’ll show how to make a Bell 202 modem (think: APRS and AX.25) in another post.
Continue reading “Making sinewaves with XMEGA DAC”
Most popular microcontrollers come with IDEs and tools provided by the manufacturer, like NXP, STM, TI or Silicon Labs. IDEs are commonly based on Eclipse and creating a project for almost any chip in those IDEs is usually just a click away, so why would you ever want to make such a project from scratch, gather all header files, libraries and scripts? Read to find out why and how 🙂
Continue reading “EFM32 Cortex-M firmware project from scratch – step by step”
I use Git for version control of all my projects. Every repository of course has many branches that I try to systematize like: stable, devel, experimental, per-feature etc. Many times I have run into the problem of committing my changes to the branch I did not intended to. Git shows you the branch and changed files when entering the commit message, but when you do that 50 times a day you are doomed to loose focus (and commit your experimental stuff into a stable branch 🙂 ).
My solution to this problem is a simple pre-commit hook that reads the name of the branch and prompts for confirmation, if the name of the branch is on a watchlist.
Continue reading “Git – confirmation before commit”
Most STM32 microcontrollers feature an internal EEPROM. It is useful for storing settings or calibration data. Regular flash (that stores code) can also be used, but the EEPROM can be updated byte-by-byte and is independent from regular flash. This may come handy during application updating, as whole flash can be simply erased without affecting the EEPROM.
I wrote a generic driver for keeping settings in the EEPROM based on the standard peripherals library for STM32L, that is easier to understand than the official demos from ST. It was tested on an STM32L151RC.
Continue reading “Using the internal EEPROM of STM32L”
This is a fully open-source car datalogger that reads engine data using the OBD2 interface in real time and stores it on an SD card. It also stores GPS data. All communication is done directly by the MCU without a translator chip like ELM327 or STN1110. The datalogger supports all CAN and K-Line OBD2 protocols. All hardware fits into an off-the-shelf OBD2 connector enclosure.
This project is available on Github.
While working on a bootloader for a Kinetis KE06 I obviously ran in to the task of having to write the internal flash memory of the microcontroller. Freescale’s driver is over 1500 lines of code, exposes every single bit of the flash controller so the simple operation of erasing a sector and writing to it requires many function calls. I wrote my own driver that is less than 200 lines of code and has everything needed to make a bootloader.
Continue reading “Kinetis E – writing to internal flash”
I bought a pair of ePaper displays from Waveshare with the intent to use them in a wireless sensor network for displaying slowly changing data. The reference code from Waveshare is quite clunky and not so easy to re-use, so I made my own small, portable graphics library and display driver (with ARM Cortex-M in mind).
Microcontroller systems with graphical displays require a way to display text. In case of alphanumeric displays (like HD44780) it is easy – just send your ASCII bytes to the display. Graphical displays operate on individual pixels, so firmware must generate the graphics and texts on the fly.
In this post I show the complete multi-step process from a TrueType (.ttf) font file to autogenerated C code that can be used by a graphics library to display texts on a microcontroller. All code (including the embedded graphics library) is available on Github.
Continue reading “Making graphics and fonts for embedded systems”