Tech Tips & Tricks

Programming the EPM240 devboard on Linux

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The supposedly simple task of programming a simple Altera CPLD took me a few days to resolve. Here’s what I learned. There’s no Open Source toolchain for Altera. So you must download the multi-GB Quartus Lite software. After installation, I followed the My First FPGA tutorial which mostly worked ok (apart from the ‘Megawizard Plug-in Manager’ thing). Pin mappings are of course different, but I found the schematic for the EPM240 minimal development board. Read More...

Reducing NodeMCU power consumption

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The ESP8266 is supposed to consume only 20μA in deep sleep mode, making it totally awesome for sensor projects that sleep most of the time and then upload their data using wifi. I use the NodeMCU v3 (Lolin) for prototyping, but when I want to attach it to a battery it quickly drains. After some experimentation (and reading a related blogpost about battery powering the NodeMCU v2) I found two reasons: Read More...

esp-stlink: free SWIM implementation for the ESP8266

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STM8S chips are probably the cheapest microcontrollers that you can get. A single chip from ~20¢, or on a board with pins, a button and LED ~60¢. Can’t really beat that. There’s an OK toolchain for development on Linux consisting of the small devices c-compiler (sdcc) and stm8flash, a free driver to work with the proprietary stlink devices which you needed until now to be able to flash STM8S MCUs. Read More...