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DipCortex – GPIO Intro Video and Guide

To help get you up and running and writing your own code for the DipCortex we have started our own GitHub repository, written a guide and uploaded a video.


Be sure to view at 720p so you can read the code!

This video takes you through the setup procedure, importing our codebase from GitHub, running through the code. Building it and boot-loading the bin file over the USB connection.

These guides are applicable for both the DipCortex’s and the up coming SolderBridges that use the same processors. We hope they are useful, if you have a preference for the subject of the next guide let us know!

Library management in Eagle

So after a bit of furious work in Eagle laying out the SplashTag I decided I wanted to tidy up some of the libraries we had been working with. Carl had added an unrelated device to our library to make use of its PCB footprint, but considering that was all we wanted I thought we should remove the unneeded schematic part from the library. Now as with most things in Eagle, its possible, but not always immediately obvious. So this is how to if you’re struggling too.

  • Start Eagle, and open the library with the part you wish to remove.
  • Open any “device” (Button next to the print icon on the toolbar) from the library for editing.
  • Now go to the Library menu and hit the remove option and type in the name of the device you actually wish to delete.
  • Hit ok, and yes if you’re sure. Now the device has been deleted, leaving the Package and Symbol
  • To remove the Schematic Symbol as well, open up any Symbol  and again go to the Library menu. Hit the remove option and type the Symbol name in.
  • That’s it!

The subtlety here is actually opening a part from the library first. If you try using the remove option without opening a part from the library Eagle will throw you a “not found” error.

Code Composer Studio – Surprisingly Free

Part of making a product is selecting the right Microcontroller to do the job. There is a lot to consider, price, availability, features and the cost of the toolchain. Some compilers, IDEs & Jtags can cost thousands.

We have chosen the LM3S6100 (Didn’t have enough RAM) LM3S6432 for the SplashLight. TI (Texas Instruments) offer Code Composer Studio an eclipse based IDE which supports their entire range of microcontrollers. A quick look at the product page shows you can get a 30 day evaluation version but otherwise you will need to spend $495 per seat. Well that is unless you have a XDS100 based jtag which almost all TI’s LM3S dev kits come with! You simply activate the “Free Limited License” it’s only limit is that it will only work with XDS100 jtags, so no code or time limit. I guess they don’t like to shout about it so bigger businesses will just pay the per seat fee’s. But for Makers, Enthusiasts or people with no money it’s great! TI’s wiki page for the XDS100 lists all the suppliers for standalone XDS100 jtags, circuits to make your own or just pick up the cheapest TI LM3S dev kit you can find.

Continue Reading →

JTAG issues with Stellaris Cortex M3 LM3S

Whilst working on the software for our, yet to be named network light controller, I managed to stop the Jtag from being able to connect to our LM3S6100 ARM microprocessor.  All code composer would do when I pressed debug was to show me a very unhelpful dialog saying the “Frequency is out of range”.

Useful Code Composer Jtag Error Dialog - "Frequency is out of range"

I knew the board was okay as I had previously re-flashed it many times. Working backwards, my last change was code to control GPIO Port F. Referring to the schematic, Port F shares a pin with the TRST Line (PB7).  So it seems I had accidentally overridden the TRST line and made it a GPIO, stopping the jtag from gaining control of the device, opps!

Click “Continue reading” for the fix.. Continue Reading →

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