Recently, I have been doing all of my hobby PCB design in KiCad. Coming from Eagle, I have been pretty impressed with the general usability of KiCad. Some things I feel that Eagle does better, and some things KiCad does better. The Link posted after the break is to a new, very extensive video tutorial series that Chris Gammell has graciously posted. Continue reading Chris Gammell Posts Extensive KiCad Tutorial Video Series
Only about 3 years ago I started listening to pod-casts. I typically listen to them on my way to work, and I have learned a lot from them. So far, many of the podcast episodes have been just incredibly interesting. Recently, I have come across the Making Embedded Systems Podcast by Elecia and Christopher White. I have only listened to a few of the episodes, but all of the episodes have been very informative, and well produced. I look forward to listening to the rest of the episodes, and I thought I’d go ahead and share it with you. Below is a link to the podcast:
Also, the image above is a link to her book. I just bought it, but I haven’t read it, so I am not yet recommending it, but, from the table of contents (the most important part of the book), it looks like it will be a very interesting read.
In this part of the tutorial we will be setting up eclipse to launch a full debug session where the processor can be flashed with the application, and ran. Once this part is successfully completed you will be able to set breakpoints and view memory, just like any expensive toolchain. This part of the tutorial was the most difficult for me to get right. Hopefully you will have fewer problems than I did.
For this part of the tutorial, we will be adding the Eclipse IDE to our toolchain. For this project, I will be using GNU Make to build my source code. When using Makefiles, there isn’t much set up to do in the IDE since most of that effort is spent on the Makefile. The Eclipse IDE is a very powerful IDE. You won’t have to use it long to find that it isn’t perfect, but even with its imperfections, I feel that it is far better than any paid IDE that I’ve used. This is a credit to the developers who are always making great improvements to this very useful IDE.
This post will describe how to download and test the ARM GCC, and GNU Make. GCC is a very powerful embedded software development suite. I feel that there is a fairly steep learning curve for becoming proficient with this collection of tools, but from my experience with paid development suites, once you get past the simple cookie cutter project, it can be very difficult, and sometimes impossible to configure your project exactly how you want it due to the level of abstraction introduced by the toolchain vendor. I feel that with the GCC once you’ve got past the learning curve, there is no limit to what you can do with your software projects. Once we get to the Eclipse IDE portion, we will introduce a level of abstraction that can, at times, be quirky and frustrating, but you can, at any moment, go back to the command line to troubleshoot your toolchain.
This tutorial series will describe how to build a free Eclipse based ARM GCC toolchain which uses a GDB client Eclipse plugin to communicate with the OpenOCD GDB server for debugging. In this tutorial you will build a blinking light program that will run on an STM32F4 development board made by Olimex.
This seems like the perfect First Post for an embedded systems blog.
I intend to use this blog to pass on whatever new thing I’ve learned. Whether it is something someone else did that I thought was interesting, a useful product, something I was curious about, and feel comfortable explaining, or a tutorial to help others get from point A to point B faster than I was able to. I look forward to working with new friends who share the same excitement that I have for embedded systems.