Progress Update – September 2016

I haven’t done much direct work on the RN-9090 in the past few months. I have been focused on migrating from Teensy/Arduino to the STM32F3 line of chips. This is part of a long term plan for the RN-9090 and future projects but I also wanted to learn about bare metal programming and see if I could write my own libraries to access the peripherals on the chip. I’ve been working with a ST-Nucleo F303 and I have been really liking it so far. I would have gone with Atmel if I had the chance. I really like the reference materials that Atmel put out. But, most of all, I love Atmel Studio. However, Atmel doesn’t really offer that great of selection for their ARM dev boards. How do these boards cost hundreds of dollars??? It’s crazy. And, it doesn’t even come with the debugger (which is an extra $70). The ST-Nucleo was $12 and that comes with a debugger. So, easy choice, right? Wrong. I came to find out that programming the STM32F3 was harder than expected for me. I can’t afford something like Keil and IAR so the best option left for me was SystemWorkbench which is the free IDE that STM has put out. It’s an eclipse based IDE and while it was serviceable as an IDE, I disappointed there was no auto-complete feature. That was all moot, as I could never get the thing to debug properly. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying. At one point, I was going to give up, install Linux, and see if I could do it that way. That was until I found VisualGDB. VisualGDB is an add-on for Visual Studio that has some amazing integration with ST’s stuff. I was programming and debugging in minutes after install. And, the best part is that it has Intellisense just like Atmel Studio. Perfect! So, now we are rocking and I’m finally ready to start migrating.