STM32 Programming Tips and Tricks




I remember that once in the beginning I said that I don’t want to buy a programmer/debugger hardware for learning a new MCU like the STM32 and also STM32s already come with built-in bootloader to facilitate programming via USART just like Arduino. Still the second is true. Well what about the first? To my own surprise I actually acquired a number of STM32-related stuffs since the time I started playing and exploring them. I actually bought both ST-Link 1 and 2 programmer-debuggers and several STM32 boards from Waveshare Electronics (http://www.wvshare.com). I believe learning new stuffs is more valuable than anything else.

ST-Link Programmer/Debugger

ST-Link 1 (AKA ST-Link) and ST-Link v2 are both basically the same programmer/debugger hardware with some minor exceptions. ST-Link 2 has 5V tolerance for JTAG interface, it has a bicolour status LED and it also has a separate programming interface for STM8 micros unlike ST-Link 1. There is also an ISOL version of ST-Link2 that galvanically isolates it from its target using optoelectronics.

STM32 Programming Tips and Tricks




’m not going to recite all the feature chatters of ST-Link programmers here. All I’ll say is if you want a device that can save your time and efforts from all the procedure involved with serial bootloader, do pro-level works with STM8/STM32 and debug your codes then you should consider having a ST-Link programmer-debugger. It doesn’t matter much which version it is. For more info on ST-Link programmer-debuggers refer to these links:

http://www.st.com/web/catalog/tools/FM146/CL1984/SC724/SS1677/PF251168?sc=internet/evalboard/product/251168.jsp

http://www.st.com/web/catalog/tools/FM146/CL1984/SC720/SS1454/PF219866
There cheap and compact clone variants of ST-Link programmers too but I won’t recommend them simply because they don’t have easy plug-in JTAG interface cable, they have poor documentation and they are not genuine. Y the way I’m not tell not to buy those. I leave it to the reader. In my experience buying a genuine programmer is always a long-run benefit while keeping a clone alongside the genuine one is like bonus.

Hardware driver installations are not complicated and I’m thus skipping this part too. Anyone familiar with Windows environment will figure out everything related to software and driver installation. JTAG/SWD (Serial Wire Debug) interface terminal is available in most STM32 development boards and can be located by a distinct 20 pin black header that looks like a PC’s IDE cable connector. ST-Link connects with a STM32 via JTAG/SWD interface. Just be sure that both ends of the header connect according to the notches.
Waveshare Electronics make a variety of STM32 development boards. Their boards are as much as robust as that of MikroElektronika’s. A salient feature of their boards unlike other ARM development board available in the market is the modular plug-in system for connecting external hardware like nRF24L01 modules, TFT displays, flash memories, RTC, etc. In terms of board layout, vivid labelling and user-friendly orientation, I guess Waveshare’s boards are just awesome. I personally use and recommend Waveshare products for their outstanding quality.




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