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eForth for cheap STM8S gadgets

Turn cheap stuff from AliExpress into interactive development kits!

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STM8 eForth is a compact, structured and tested Forth framework for cheap µCs. Code and binaries are available for a range of STM8 devices and low-cost boards (e.g. the W1209 thermostat or the C0135 MODBUS board).

The list of supported Forth features include idle- and background-tasks, interrupt handlers, I/O redirection, 7S-LED and LCD drivers, analog and digital I/O, on-line evaluation, VOC and word list extensions, and the unique ALIAS feature.

STM8 eForth is based on Dr. C.H. Ting's STM8EF, an STC Forth that procuces machine code. The project uses a recent SDCC tool chain with STM8 assembler and linker for building the Forth kernel, and C can be integrated with Forth for scriptable applications.

The project supports a wide range of STM8 devices and serial interface options, provides a library, uses test automation with uCsim and Docker on Travis-CI, and enjoys e4thcom support for interactive programming.

What is it?

STM8 eForth is among the smallest user friendly Forth systems for µCs: it brings the simplicity of a 1980s style Forth to today's low-cost controllers. The project provides code for STM8 variants, board support for selected low cost targets, and docs. STM8 eForth has a long feature list but it uses very little memory. Innovative solutions, steady support, and an active community makes using it for new projects easy!

The code and binaries on GitHub can be used in many ways:

  • as an alternative firmware for Chinese commodity boards (e.g. thermostats, DCDC converters, and relay boards)
  • build embedded systems with an interactive shell (scriptable and extensible)
  • for creating smart sensors with SPI, I2C, or RS232 and a scripting shell, e.g. for RaspberryPi, Arduino, or ESP8266
  • as an interactive environment for exploring the STM8 architecture
  • for learning Forth - it's easy and fun (find out why in the text below!)
  • ...

Why a Forth for Cheap Chinese boards?

Because it's fun: cheap mass-produced imperfection is a playground for creativity :-)

The W1209 has long been my favourite target: it's a rather complete embedded control board with a UI at a very good price. It's as cheap as it looks, and the challenge is in it's imperfections: the guy who designed the board clearly didn't have a connected application in mind, and I had a lot of fun making it do things it was never intended to do.

There are challenges, like the lack of communication ports. The "sensor connector" can either be used as a a 2-wire RS232 "bus" or for sensing. If you need sensing and communication at the same time the project also provides a full-duplex 3-wire RS232 interface through the key pins (while keeping the keys functional). A plug-in system makes it easy to test new ideas, like using the "update connector" as a home brew field bus interface!

Which target boards are supported?

Besides generic targets for STM8S001, STM8S103, STM8S105, STM8S207 and STM8L051, there is currently support for the following boards:

Some more boards can be supported on request, e.g.

@Elliot Williams worked on using the ESP-14 as an IoT deviced (the ESP-14 module combines an ESP8266 with an STM8S003F3P6).

Programmable power supplies based on the XH-M188 and a cheap DC/DC converter are both work in progress. There are also several types of STM8S003F3 based voltmeters that are known to work.

Read more about possible future targets below.

Why Forth?

Again, because it's fun!

Forth starts out as a stack machine with a tiny instruction set and minimal hardware requirements. It fits in a few KiB, and the target, even a lowly µC, can even be used as the development system. The Forth stack machine is a minimalistic VM on a standard CPU, but there are also hardware implementations (e.g. for FPGAs, or a 144 core Forth processor). The VM is ideal for fast context switching and Forth easily meets hard-real-time requirements. It's no surprise that Forth was used in many NASA projects.

Consider this:

  • compared to other programming environments Forth is easy to understand fully
  • like Lisp, Forth has a REPL (Read-Evaluate-Print-Loop) which enables software testing in a way impossible with "Edit-Compile-Run-Debug" (e.g. Arduino)
  • it's easy to build Domain Specific Languages (one can literally program the compiler!)
  • the stack-oriented "factoring" method results in implicit data flow and modular code
  • Interpreter-compiler, basic OS functions fit in just 4K code :-)

A Forth programmer is in control of all levels of problem abstraction, a unique advantage in a...

Read more »

2157_stm8ef.zip

Original version of STM8EFalong with docs as received from Dr. C.H. Ting on 21/Nov/2016. The docs are worth reading, the eForth binary will run on the STM8S Discovery.

Zip Archive - 21.97 kB - 11/21/2016 at 20:13

Download

  • 1 × ST-Link V2 ICP adapter (e.g. $2.00 from AliExpress) The ST-Link on an STM8S Discovery Board can be used, too
  • 1 × serial interface adapter /w 3.3V signal level (e.g. $0.60) e.g a USB interfacea with a CH340, or better a PL2303, chip
  • 1 × STM8S target device as listed in the GitHub Wiki (e.g. a $0.70 "STM8S103F3P6 minimal system board") e.g. "STM8S103F3P6 STM8S development board" from your favorite China source
  • 1 × Some headers, patchwires, breadboard etc (about $2.00) and other things you fancy, e.g. a RC-servo, SPI display, LEDs ...

  • STM8 eForth Wiki Update

    Thomas7 days ago 0 comments

    I noticed that different portions of the docs directly went into technical details before motivating things and orienting the reader.

    That's bad style at best. At worst  it's the last thing casual visitors ever look at!

    The following sections got a makeover:

    The Idle Task page will later get more examples and a technical details section.

  • STM8: a Hypothesis about Selling More for Less

    Thomas12/01/2019 at 08:57 5 comments

    Yesterday I cleaned up the "STM8 low density devics" Wiki page. My initial target was to extend the scope from STM8S to STM8L devices, but I soon discovered that I had not had a clear understanding of the STM8S family variants when I had started that page.

    This is no wonder at all, since the ST marketing has employees to invent funny categories like "Value Line", "Access Line" and "Performance Line" when they don't mean "value", "access", or "performance". A good example is the "Value Line" device STM8S007C8 high density (6KRAM, 64K Flash) performant (20 MIPS) µC which they sell at an accessible price. It's a safe bet that the device has 128K Flash and 2K EEPROM and that, as a hobbyist or "maker" you'll find that it operates reasonably well at 120°C.

    While I was at it I had a closer look at the STM8S903K3, the "Application specific Line" device that's now quite cheap (around 30ct) and that I had earlier discovered to be the chip in the STM8S001J3M3, the STM8S in a SO8 package. At first sight there are two distinct chips in that line, the STM8S903 and the STM8SPLNB1, a DiSEqC slave chip. The datasheet gives it away as a STM8S903F3P6 chip that comes with an application for DiSEqC (i.e. program), and I assume that the NC pin18 is PD1/SWIM. If that's the case then case most of the function blocks in the datasheet's functional diagram are actually bit-banging software (i.e. there is only one HW I2C, namely SCL2).

    I have to admire the boost of creativity, especially in the marketing department!

    Overflows of creativity must have had an impact at other places, too, and if you're in the automotive market it's highly needed. Imagine you make a quote for an automotive micro-controller, e.g. a simple device for LIN slaves like the STM8AF6223: quantities are potentially huge but the environmental requirements are harsh (guarantee electrical parameters from -40 to 150°C operating temperature!), there is cut-throat competition, and the guys in the purchase department know their job!

    Ah, yes, and there is catch: you must commit to delivering the same device for a long time, let's say 10 years. That, of course, only works if you can make money out of operating a fab for that long!

    Also one should be able to "salvage" chips that have grades that are currently on short demand (e.g. chips that stay inside the specs from -40 to 85°C when there is only demand for, say, -40 to 125°C grade chips).

    Now it's clear what's the job of the marketing department: find "less demanding" markets that can absorb what's otherwise surplus (if you can find a "more demanding" market that's of course also fine, provided you don't create *any* extra effort for the serious "automotive oriented" production process guys ;-) ).

    That said, when I compared the STM8S903 and the STM8AF6223 datasheets I suddenly realized which kind of "application specific" requirements stands behind the luxury of producing two different STM8S low-density devices: the one from large automotive industry customers.

     I re-read the STM8S903 datasheet, and compared the configuration sections. The only real difference is that the UART is called "UART1" here and "UART4" or "LINUART" there. It's a safe bet that the STM8S001J3M3 can act as a standard compliant LIN2.2 slave, including baud-rate synchronization through -40 to +150°C without the need for a crystal. I'm sure that engineers in other markets will find a creative way to use such a nice feature.

    Now the question is: why in the world does ST employ people who's job it is the make chips look like they're less capable than they are, why do they sell more for less?

  • Well, that's cheap

    Thomas11/21/2019 at 10:05 3 comments

    STM8S003F3P6 for €0.16 / $0.17 a piece,  that's cheap. I ordered some, just to be sure that it's for real. Expect more small @oshpark  projects here in the future ;-)

    @Ken Yap found a similar offer around 11.11 but the seller wouldn't ship to Germany (for whatever reason), so I missed out.
     

  • STM8 eForth 2.2.24.pre1: improved modularity

    Thomas10/20/2019 at 20:21 0 comments

    STM8 eForth 2.2.24.pre1 allows creating new board variants in downstream projects.

    • the release archives contain source files and scripts for building a board configuration
    • the Makefile is now more modular so that application projects can have custom Forth binaries
    • the dictionary can be tailored more easily, e.g. for creating temporary dictionary entries for headerless core code

    On the application side I'm still experimenting (e.g. in the STM8 eForth Modbus project).

  • The STM8S001J3M3 is finally cheap (a small MODBUS sensor board)

    Thomas08/28/2019 at 19:44 2 comments

    Edit: there is now a HaD project for the STM8S001J3RS485 breakout!.

    It's been a while since I last worked with STM8S001J3 chips - ST's contested take on SO8 ATtiny85-like µCs.

    The STM8S001J3 is a member of the "STM8S Low Density" family but it's based on the "STM8S Access Line" cross-breed STM8S903 that offers some (undocumented) goodies.

    I ordered a 10pcs lot for $2.90 including shipping, and decided to make small RS485 nodes (e.g. for MODBUS RTU)  with DS1621S thermometer chips that I happen to have lying around.

    I made my last PCB with KiCad5.0 - updating to the latest version, especially the library handling, required some reading (I'm now using 5.1.4).

    A µC with merrily 5 GPIO pins is a good shield against feature creep, but the following things "had" to be included:

    • narrow PCB for a cylindrical sensor with less than 8mm diameter
    • 5V supply, 3.3V internal power supply
    • basic signalling LEDs
    • most GPIOs, including I2C bus and an analog input available on a header

    The design is really simple:

    Components occupy both sides of the PCB of 34mm x 1/4" (minimal width supported by @oshpark ).

    On the front side is the STM8S001J3M3, a LDO regulator and some caps:

    The RS485 transceiver and the thermometer chip live on the backside:

    The board has two intended applications: either a stand-alone bus coupled temperature sensor, or a minimal µC component, e.g. for a quick perfboard design.

    I ordered from @oshpark - uploading my KiCad 5.1.4 file worked right away, and creating Gerber files wasn't necessary!


    Files and docs are, as usual, on GitHub.

  • The STM8S003F3P6 is cheap again!

    Thomas08/03/2019 at 09:54 33 comments

    When I started this project the STM8S003F3P6, an STM8S Value Line µC with 8K Flash and 1K RAM in a TSSOP20 package, was the cheapest device in its class. Cheap enough to enable an industry of low-cost electronics control devices, e.g. thermostats or voltmeters, with the left-overs of mass production runs. This market for low-mid-range µCs encouraged Nuvoton to market the mostly pin-compatible N76E003AT20, an 8051 family device.


    For the initial goal of this project this was bad news:  from then on the Nuvoton chip was the go-to device on the spot market, a chip with an architecture utterly unsuitable for a self-contained Forth system!

    Right now, however, the STM8S003F3P6 is at a very low price point: I just received 10 pcs for $1.86, which is as low as it gets!

    Don't get me wrong, the Nuvoton chip won't disappear and it's very likely to receive a thermostat like the W1209 with an "non-hackable" chip but at least the TSSOP20 package can be soldered with ease.  

  • STM8 eForth 2.2.23 released

    Thomas05/28/2019 at 19:00 0 comments

    Don't expect  breaking changes - the STM8 eForth core is quite mature now.

    The default build environment got an update to SDCC 3.8.6 (but it was tested with SDCC 3.9.0, too), and the binary export from uCsim got an upgrade (it's a nice Python script now instead of a lean-and-mean AWK scriptlet).

    More internal constants can be exported with #require, STM8L chip got better support thanks to @Eelco. Coding with inline machine instructions is easier thanks to a number of bit copy and assembly interface words.

    And of course, there is more docs.

    More info is in the release notes:  https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/releases/tag/2.2.23

  • GitHub Project for STM8EF-MODBUS

    Thomas02/10/2019 at 21:54 0 comments

    STM8EF-MODBUS deserved a GitHub project, of course with Travis-CI build automation, and docs.

    Some of the properties are rather cool, e.g. the modular architecture and the clear separation of concerns between MODBUS protocol and other application logic :-)

    EDIT:

    Right now, on Aliexpress, the "MODBUS-RTU 4 way relay module STM8S103 MCU" is available at a good price: $6.65 incl. shipping.

  • STM8S eForth Interrupts Docs and other Wiki Updates

    Thomas01/20/2019 at 10:14 0 comments

    STM8 eForth is now a serious alternative to coding C coding for STM8 µCs, especially if Flash space is a premium or if interactive features or configuration in the field are required.

    Recently, many other pages got updates. Especially a lot of graft was moved from the STM8 eForth Programming introduction page to improved topic pages in the Wiki.

    The Forth VM makes context switching very efficient. In my opinion (I wrote many interrupt handlers for industrial and safety critical applications), implementing interrupts in Forth is easer than in C.

    The STM8 eForth Interrupts in the STM8 eForth Wiki explains the bit that there is to know. The MODBUS server and the nRFL01 libraries implement low level code using STM8 interrupts.

    As an example, here is the STM8S UART RX handler from the MODBUS library:

      \ RX ISR handler
      :NVM
        SAVEC
        \ P1H
        UART1_DR C@  ( c ) 
        rxp @ ( c a ) DUP rxbuf - ( c a len ) RXLEN < IF
          ( c a ) SWAP ( a c ) OVER ( a c a ) C!
          ( a ) 1+ rxp !
        THEN
        TIM tstamp !
        \ P1L
        IRET
    [ OVERT INT_UARTRX !

    This example contains many stack comments (the stuff in round brackets) and just a bit of code for copying characters from the UART to a buffer, protecting against buffer overrun, and providing a time stamp for the MODBUS "end of transmission" detection.

    The most striking point is that in this use case Forth is much more used as a macro assembler for a very simple virtual machine than as a programming language. The programmer builds the most simple "machine" that will do the job. No unnecessary abstractions.

    Links to these libraries are on the examples page.

  • New Pre-Release STM8 eForth 2.2.23.pre2

    Thomas01/12/2019 at 09:15 0 comments

    I kept STM8 eForth stable for a long time but now there is a good reason for preparing a new release:

    For the current work on a very lightweight MODBUS Server in STM8 eForth I needed some data from the target (e.g. clock frequency), and some other aides for low-level programming (e.g. an easy to use and stable interface between Forth and machine code).

    The implementation of MODBUS in Forth is a pleasant experience: Moore's problem oriented language approach works quite well for embedded control and protocol implementations. I simply design the machine so that it implements layers of a protocol, and I do that in a language that describes the problem well. Thereby a language emerges, because my abstractions either describe the problem well, or I change it so that it describes the problem better.

    It's safe to say that the implementation is very code efficient and highly functional at the same time (thanks to an interpreter-compiler on a MODBUS node).

    Before the release of STM8 eForth 2.2.23, I'd like to improve the compilation of Forth code in the continuous integration environment.

View all 136 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Get some cheap hardware (e.g. a STM8S103F3P6 breakout board for $0.65 and a ST-Link V2 dongle for $2). download the binary release, flash it, and have fun!

    If you like it, and you want to hack board support code for your favorite STM8China gadget, you need:

  • 2
    Step 2

    a Linux SDCC tool chain installation (installation instructions for SDCC & stm8flash are in the Wiki)

  • 3
    Step 3

    Clone the project on GitHub

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Discussions

mikael_lundgren_ak wrote 07/01/2018 at 17:21 point

Thanks for your good answer. 

For beginers a well dokumentet memory map for ram flash and eeprom if used for dichenary would be helpful. also a map of how dichenary entries are saved in ram ore flash. i have read the eforth dokumentation but i still is not totaly clear to me. wbr Mikael.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 07/01/2018 at 17:53 point

Hi Mikael,

did you check the (rather lengthy) explanation in the Wiki?

https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8-eForth-Compile-to-Flash

The STM8 eForth method is rather unique (at least that's what seasoned Forthers say), but it's also robust and, due to ALIAS words, even the EEPROM can be used to increase the available dictionary space.

Have a look at this page:

https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8-eForth-Alias-Words

Besides NVM and RAM there is a number of helper words, e.g. WIPE, PERSIST, :NVM, or EEALIAS. Please have a look at the example code in the lib/ folder.

  Are you sure? yes | no

mikael_lundgren_ak wrote 06/18/2018 at 07:28 point

how can I check all the different usage of memory; flash ram dictionary space user variable space etc. I would like to monitor the memory space automaticly used by the forth vm to understand more and know when i have consumed some area of memory. wbr mikael.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 06/18/2018 at 21:17 point

Check this out:

https://gist.github.com/TG9541/e8b5abf014b37132471e4e42aace56c0

 To check the free flash area I always use "NVM $A000 here - . RAM"

FYI: WIPE removes the dictionary entries in RAM, and, after defining variables in NVM mode, also moves up the dictionary start in RAM.

Regards, Thomas

  Are you sure? yes | no

mikael_lundgren_ak wrote 04/10/2018 at 13:57 point

Thanks for a good and fast answer, now I have som nice testing to do.

  Are you sure? yes | no

mikael_lundgren_ak wrote 04/09/2018 at 13:42 point

Hi Thomas 

I have been playing with your fantastic eforth now for a while and must say it is both extremly fanny/addictive yet powerful. For me the whole forth concept was new but quickly i got to like the speed of testing and clean way of writing the code. So thank you. I have som questions: for the real beginners more example code with comment would be great specially for using hardware like spi i2c timmers and more. If I build a program but then realize that one of my earliest building words need to be altered, how can i manage this? Is it possible to edit a word by decompiling with SEE and then edit and recompiling ? wbr Mikael

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 04/09/2018 at 18:45 point

Hi Mikael,

it's great to hear that you have fun with STM8 eForth!

Here is a (certainly incomplete) list of example code: https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8-eForth-Example-Code

If you need to recompile a word at the base of your dictionary, the Forth development cycle usually requires re-compiling code from the source. Since the source code in most cases isn't stored on the µC, tools like e4thcom, Manfred Marlow's nifty Forth terminal, or codeload.py, can be used to upload code efficiently (take note of the #include, #require, and \res statements in the examples). It's also possible to change existing code in-place, e.g. by replacing the code of an existing word with a JP to a new word (this has a twist due to the STM8 eForth ALIAS feature!). For a rather elaborate example check out the lib/CURRENT and lib/VOC implementations.

The STM8 eForth core consists of optimized assembly code (even the compiler does some optimizations), and therefore a simple SEE implementation will fail. In order to understand the core it's easiest to compare it with the code in Dr. C.H. Ting's "eForth Overview",

Best Regards
Thomas

  Are you sure? yes | no

BigVulcanDeal wrote 02/03/2018 at 13:23 point

'You haven't lived until this thing has thrown a 8" pair of vise-grips at you'

It seems the controller for many of the Harbor Freight cordless tools uses an STM8 mcu of some sort.

httpp://www.etotheipiplusone.net/?p=4187

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 02/03/2018 at 15:09 point

STM8S are used frequently, but I'd like to see some evidence before I buy that it's "likely a genericized or pin-and-code compatible version available on the Chinese market".
The Meloncraft, however, isn't half bad.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eelco wrote 01/24/2018 at 22:47 point

Hi Thomas

I am having an issue with MARKER. Compilation stops when I call a word that is defined just before in the same file. If I use MARKER from version 2.2.19 it works fine. Did I miss something, once again?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 01/25/2018 at 03:25 point

Hi Eelco, could you please let me know the version or git hash you're using? Also please provide a code example, e.g. in a GitHub Gist or even better, as an Issue :-)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 01/25/2018 at 06:27 point

On a second thought... could it be that you ran out of RAM? The available RAM didn't change much since 2.2.19 but its usage by library words might have changed.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eelco wrote 01/25/2018 at 08:31 point

OK, I found what I was doing wrong: I forgot to define a dummy word before calling MARKER. In version 2.2.18 ( I mentioned 2.2.19 but that should be 2.2.18, I skipped 2.2.19) this was done when you uploaded MARKER, in version 2.2.20 you must do it yourself.

My apologies.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 01/26/2018 at 05:40 point

No need to apologize, I still take the blame!
 
MARKER needs at least one word definition in RAM to operate, and that's not obvious. I'm rarely ever confronted to that because of the "#include STARTTEMP ... TARGET ... ENDTEMP"  template I apply. In my main.fs, TARGET is usually defined as ": TARGET NVM ;"  before STARTEMP in the first module even issues "#require MARKER" ( https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/blob/master/lib/STARTTEMP ).
Maybe I should  re-introduce a dummy word in MARKER. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eelco wrote 11/18/2017 at 14:09 point

Hi Thomas

I am encountering strange behavior when allocating ram to variable arrays.

e.g.  NVM variable qqq variable zzz RAM

qqq $20 allot drop

zzz $20 allot drop

qqq $20 $AA fill

zzz $20 $BB fill

qqq $40 dump

  80  AA AA BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB  ________________
  90  BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB  ________________
  A0  BB BB  0  0  0  0  5 61 6C 6C 6F 74  0  0  0  0  _______allot____
  B0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  ________________ ok

It seems the second array is using the same space as the first one.

I am trying to communicate with sdhc cards FAT32 file systems in SPI mode. Using one array for 512 byte data buffer works great but now I try to define a second array as a filename buffer and I run into this problem. Do you have a solution? Btw I tried with the latest version, 2.2.20.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 11/18/2017 at 15:48 point

Hi Eelco,

there are two issues with your code:

One is related to how VARIABLE works in NVM mode: memory is allocated from a small pool (just 32 bytes) which is reserved during COLD. The implementation is described here: [ https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8-eForth-Compile-to-Flash#forth-variable-in-nvm-mode ]. Of course you can allocate more memory than there is in the pool, but then you'll have to cycle through cold before using it.

The second is a "Forth thing". You'll have to allocate memory directly after defining the variable. Of course it's possible to create a malloc()-like device, but variables are static.

The following log shows the procedure:

reset
STM8eForth 2.2.20
here . 160 ok
nvm variable qqq $1e allot ram ok
nvm variable zzz $1e allot ram ok
cold
STM8eForth 2.2.20
here . 224 ok
qqq $20 $aa fill ok
zzz $20 $bb fill ok
qqq $30 dump    
  80  AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA  ________________
  90  AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA  ________________
  A0  BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB  ________________
  B0  BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB  ________________ ok

I assume that you use a low density device with just 1KiB RAM. You can try using the EEPROM for storing the second buffer - writing it is slow but for manipulating the FAT it might be sufficient.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eelco wrote 11/18/2017 at 17:05 point

OK, thank you very much, this works. I will study the link again. I am using a board with stm8s103f, 1KiB ram indeed.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Roy wrote 11/17/2017 at 14:22 point

Just hooked up a MINDEV STM8S103 directly to an HC12 wireless serial communication module at 9600 baud and have 100% console eForth results over many hundreds of metres.

HC12      STM8S

TXD        RX  PD6

RXD        TX  PD5

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 11/17/2017 at 20:02 point

The HC12 is quite good! I experimented with running Forth on the STM8S003F3P6 that powers the HC12. Maybe I'll continue with it at the end of the year.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Roy wrote 11/12/2017 at 12:02 point

\ C0135 display data 4 bits and power relays with LED for HI nibble

\ 12 NOV 2017 RS
RAM
VARIABLE Var
VARIABLE Varloop
VARIABLE Byte
VARIABLE Addr
VARIABLE Startaddr
VARIABLE Finaddr

HEX
$1000 Var ! \ inner delay
$40 Varloop ! \ outer delay
$8090 Finaddr !
$8080 Startaddr !

NVM
: vardelay Varloop @ 0 DO Var @ 0 DO LOOP LOOP ;
: newflasher2
 CR
 Finaddr @
 Startaddr @ DUP addr !
 DO
  Addr @ DUP . C@ DUP . Byte ! CR
  Byte @ $F0 AND $10 / \ mask and rotate hi nibble
  $10 OR OUT! \ also turn on LED
  vardelay
  Byte @ $F AND OUT!
  vardelay
  Addr @ 1 + Addr !
 LOOP ;
RAM

newflasher2

8080 0
8081 0
8082 5A
8083 26
8084 F7
8085 CC
8086 80
8087 68
8088 CC
8089 80
808A EC
808B 5A
808C 5A
808D 1F
808E 3
808F 51
ok

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 11/12/2017 at 18:31 point

Got one? A nice little board, isn't it?
Also have a look at this one:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-XH-M194-time-relay-control-module-Multiplex-timing-module-5-way-relay-time/32715874624.html
I don't know why they call it "5 way relay time control panel" when it has 6 relays, but I ordered one yesterday. The 11.11 price was just $10.35 (€8.87, ₤7.85).

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Eelco wrote 10/28/2017 at 14:19 point

Hi Thomas 

I am trying to use a timer interrupt similar to your description (https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8S-eForth-Interrupts) .

I think I had to rewrite IVEC!:    (: IVEC! 2* 2* $8008 +  ULOCK ! LOCKF ; )  to be able to write to the interrupt vector address. 

: timer_4_interrupt SAVEC 0 $5344 0 b! OUT! IRET ;    \ Simple interrupt routine.

' timer_4_interrupt 23 IVEC!    \ Link interrupt routine to IRQ23 (TIM4 update).

But as soon as an interrupt occurs the chip reboots. How should I proceed to use timer interrupts?

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Thomas wrote 10/28/2017 at 18:31 point

Hi Eelco,

what a coincidence! I continued working on the interrupt features, and I also got reboots. I'm currently debugging, and as soon as I've figured out what goes wrong I'll let you know!

Thomas

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Thomas wrote 10/28/2017 at 19:53 point

OK, that was easy but I've got no idea why it ever worked. 

Here is the fix (a new pre-release will be out soonish):

;       SAVEC ( -- )
;       Minimal context switch for low level interrupt code
;       This should be the first word called in the interrupt handler

        HEADER  SAVEC "SAVEC"
SAVEC:
        POPW    Y
        LDW     X,YTEMP
        PUSHW   X
        LDW     X,#(ISPP)       ; init data stack for interrupt ISPP
        JP      (Y)

;       IRET ( -- )
;       Restore context and return from low level interrupt code
;       This should be the last word called in the interrupt handler

        HEADER  RESTC "IRET"
RESTC:
        POPW    X               ; discard CALL return address
        POPW    X
        LDW     YTEMP,X         ; restore context
        IRET 

Edit: the bug was even worse than I thought - the above code does the job.

By the way: you don't need ULOCKF / LOCKF if you set the interrupt vector in NVM mode. I'll also put the interrupt vector addresses into the STM8S103.efr file so that setting an interrupt works with a simple ! (store), and IVEC! is no longer needed.

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Eelco wrote 10/29/2017 at 09:59 point

Hi Thomas

Wow, that was really fast. I should have asked you a week ago, would have saved me a lot of time.

I tried setting the interrupt vector in nvm mode but with 2.2.17 this forced the chip in a strange loop, even after a power cycle. I then had to reflash the mindev board. (I think I really need to get into assembly). 

Thank you very much for solving this issue.

Eelco

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Thomas wrote 10/29/2017 at 20:22 point

The bug clearly was on the silly side. Next time please drop me note when it looks like you're stuck :-)

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Thomas wrote 10/28/2017 at 21:11 point

I updated the example code:

https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8S-eForth-Interrupts

I used a headerless interrupt handler but with the patch above your code should now work as intended :-)

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Thomas wrote 10/28/2017 at 22:08 point

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Roy wrote 10/06/2017 at 09:31 point

Microchip produced a humorous self-critical video about the failings of the PICkit 3 vs the older 2. Perhaps ST Micro should be shamed to do the same with their products. I realise that this is off topic but still a good example of how not to do things and take ownership for getting it wrong. My ST Visual Programmer is 3.4.0 Jul 12 2017.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Roy wrote 10/04/2017 at 17:23 point

Having lived in Quebec a long time ago, there is a local swear word that sounds like ST. This is what I say every time I use ST software and hardware. STVP does not even show the latest factory ST-LINK/V2 as an option - 'ST-LINK All Versions' would be useful. The thing never connected as I tried a few times a year over many years. They do nothing to alert you that the target device needs external power. I always had clones that did the job so there was no great urgency to learn it.

Many (all?) of the cheaper USB - STM programming adaptors had figured this out a very long time ago. Even Microchip PICkit 2/3 monitors power on the target but gives the option to power their external devices.

Simply logging in to ST to get free software goes into an email / validation death spiral loop that is a complete waste of our valuable time. If the people of ST responsible for this nonsense worked for me, then they would be all unemployed.  

...ST

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Eelco wrote 09/30/2017 at 16:11 point

Hi Thomas

I saw you solved the issue. Great! Thanks.

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Eelco wrote 09/27/2017 at 18:13 point

Hi Thomas, I am enjoying your project for more then a year now. Today I joined hackaday to be able to participate. I bought a couple of W1209 and mindev boards to play with. I also have an ssd1306 i2c oled display (about $3 at Aliexpress). I managed to drive it using the i2c capabilities of the chip, no bit-banging. This was a few months ago, with version stm8ef-bin.2.2.8 and a MINDEV board. I used $" to compile the text to be send to the display (e.g. : txt $" text" ;) I upgraded to more recent versions, up to 2.2.16, but executing a word that contains $" freezes (or reinitilizes, as with COLD) the board. What am I doing wrong here? Do I have to raise a flag in globconf.inc? Can you point me in the right direction?

Btw, I'm happy to share the code if anyone is interested.

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Thomas wrote 09/28/2017 at 06:07 point

Hoi Eelco,

thanks for letting us know about your work! Your contribution in the I2C field would be very much appreciated!

Also thanks for reporting the issue with $": this is a regression. It's tracked here https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/issues/75, and I'll fix it as soon as possible.

The root cause is insufficient testing. Some of the progress for building a test infrastructure is tracked here: https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/issues/76

I would love to have you in the team at GitHub. I'm quite sure that the other team members would say the same.

Met friendelijke groeten,
Thomas

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Eelco wrote 09/28/2017 at 08:43 point

Hallo Thomas

Thank you for your kind reply and invitation, I would like to join. I have to warn you though that I have little coding experience but I am learning thanks to projects like yours. How do I proceed to upload the code?

I just saw you have a separate project with W1209 thermostat boards. I use two of such devices in my household: one as a replacement thermostat in a refrigarator. The other one in the boiler of the central heating unit. Maybe I can make small contributions on that project too.

mit freundlichen Grüßen

Eelco

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Thomas wrote 09/30/2017 at 12:20 point

Hi Eelco,

the only way to gain coding experience is coding. There is still a lot you can do, e.g. write tests (which improves coding skills significantly!), or write library code (e.g. I2C), or do a review (also a great way to learn), or spread the word... Please let us know your GitHub ID, and you'll receive an invite!

A warning about W1209 in safety critical applications:
* only use hobby stuff for adding features that aren't safety critical
* always rely on built-in safety features of the product
* make sure to get a review of your design from someone who knows safety

Creating a HaD-project is a great way to get feedback from experts!

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richard wrote 10/05/2017 at 03:08 point

Hi Eelco,

I would welcome seeing your code. I'm likely to use i2c one day and your code will give me a head start.

Regards

Richard

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Eelco wrote 10/05/2017 at 08:47 point

Hi Richard

Here is the link: https://github.com/Eelkhoorn/forth-oled-display

Please let me know if  you have recommendations for improvement.

Regards

Eelco

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richard wrote 10/05/2017 at 15:04 point

Hi Eelco,

thanks for the code below. Already I have learned about the B! word from reviewing your code. That's going to help me enormously with my W1209 project where I want to turn an input port into an output port for some of the time.

You've done a much better job than I would have. Thanks again

Richard

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eelco wrote 10/05/2017 at 21:59 point

Hi Richard

You're welcome, I am glad it is of use to you. I uploaded another file on my github account with io-manipulating words: io.fs. These words use a numbering of the gpio-portpins. The word io. displays the state of the IDR,ODR,DDR,CR1 and CR2 for a portpin. (e.g. $15 io.  displays these bit states for the  second port (Port B), pin 5. Maybe useful for you as well.

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Peter wrote 08/21/2017 at 14:11 point

I'm a newbie and have implemented eForth on a STM8S103F3. While I have successfully implemented the "mystart" boot example which remains in NVM  following a power reset, I just can't seem to get any other created word to be available. Could I have some guidance please? 

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Thomas wrote 09/24/2017 at 07:24 point

Hi @Peter, sorry, I noticed your message just now, which is very unfortunate. Yesterday I independently found the problem you were facing. The problem, which existed since 5/August/2017, has been fixed. A new binary release is being prepared.

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Thomas wrote 09/24/2017 at 08:38 point

I just released v2.2.16 to fix this issue.

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Peter wrote 09/25/2017 at 20:56 point

Hi Thomas. On my second MinDev I was able to re-programme it using STVP ID 3.4.0. However as it says "stm8eForth v2.2" which is identical to other boards, how do I distinguish it elegantly via communication? Incidentally the first board which has been running a blink programme as an endless loop on "problem 2.2.13" refuses to re-programme via SWIM reporting not blank though ROP is off. Any suggestions on recovering it?

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Thomas wrote 09/29/2017 at 18:06 point

Hi Peter,
you have a point there.  @barewires already filed an issue. I'll be looking into it!
https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/issues/68

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Peter wrote 10/13/2017 at 13:50 point

Hi Thomas, small update to follow. I don't know whether it's my ignorance but I was expecting to be able to reply as another indent to your reply 09/29/2017 at 18:06 but replying via 09/24/2017 at 07:24.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Peter wrote 10/13/2017 at 14:28 point

To cover my experience described earlier I'll split it into two responses in case anybody wants to work on that part of it. I have not been doing any compiling but just running STVP in windows burning IHX files as required. Any compiling I'm likely to do will be in Windows as I've found setting up a Linux similar to what I use a challenge (...ST). Zorin I'd suggest is a better start that many.

I solved how to re-programme a stubborn STM8S103F3P6 mentioned by specifically selecting the Option Byte window tab and then using Program > Current Tab.  Then I was able to program as I normally do so by using Program > All tabs.  Possibly a glitch but nothing else worked.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Peter wrote 10/13/2017 at 17:59 point

To distinguish between the different versions of 2.2.xx appearing as v2.2 I've started to modify the IHX file so that the same 4 bytes now display 2v17 for example. I'll explain the procedure for newbies like me used to Windows.

1. Copy the IHX file and rename including the version and change the file type to HEX. e.g. C0135.IHX becomes C0135-2v17.HEX.

2. Open the file using STVP and choose the Program Memory tab to display both the hexadecimal and ascii contents.

3. Go to around line 000081E0 and you should see in the ascii columns on the right  stm8 eForth v2.2. Put the cusor on the v and update. The hexadecimal will change.

4. Save

Now on STVP default settings the files are easily accessible. For me the approach above is easier than directly locating the file with STVP and using the Save As to create the HEX copy. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 10/13/2017 at 20:25 point

Hi Peter, thanks for updating on the Windows tools!

I'm currently working on `codeloadTCP.py` - it should mirror the properties of e4thcom (require, \ res, \\ Example). Maybe the same is achievable on Windows with `loadserial.py`.

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jeff1937 wrote 07/29/2017 at 07:38 point

Just wondering does anyone know if it could it be possible to read the temperature of a W1209 via wire serial communication ?

In other words I just want to log the temperature to a computer, but still leave the W1209 to function as a thermostat.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 08/05/2017 at 13:08 point

Yes, that's possible. The steps are as follows:

1. determine the R_ntc to voltage function (e.g. using a trimmer and an unmodified W1209, 5 values, e.g. 0 deg C, 80 deg C, and 3 values around (and including) the temperature you care most about)

2. flash W1209-FD from the v2.2.13 release

3. determine the ADC6 values for relevant R_ntc from 1.

4. create an interpolation function from 3.

5. write a simple background task that does thermostat control by reading ADC6 and using 4.

6. read the temperature value from 5. using console commands from your computer. Alternatively send the values in the background task

If you describe your use case more precisely, I can write something to get you started


  Are you sure? yes | no

jeff1937 wrote 08/06/2017 at 00:47 point

Thanks Thomas for the helpful reply.

My applications are to turn off a immersion heating element in a cooking pot when the water reaches near to boiling and secondly to operate a fan in a solar dryer at a temperature around 100C, with computer logging every 10 minutes or so.

Thanks for your kind offer of assistance, but I will try to get some unmodified W1209s operating in a circuit, just to get started first.

If I was able to reflash them, I would hope to retain the 3 digit temperature display.  Which sounds easy as you say they are fully supported by STM8EF vectored I/O.

I guess the key pins don't operate when they are used for serial connection, which is OK because the temperature points could be hard coded in software.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 08/06/2017 at 05:07 point

Jeff1937, thanks for the info! How do you think about making a small project out of this? I've got a feeling that quite some people would be interested in using this :-)

Know what, I've got a couple of spare W1209 boards here. I'll start a new project, and invite you as a team member. Does this sound good?

  Are you sure? yes | no

jeff1937 wrote 08/06/2017 at 06:54 point

Also was thinking that you could use a datasheet for an NTC 10K.

http://eecs.oregonstate.edu/education/docs/datasheets/10kThermistor.pdf

It shows a resistance table between -55 to 125°C.

eg 25°C = 10,000Ω, 80°C = 1,068Ω,  100°C = 549Ω

Then calculate the theoretical voltage at PD6 with a 20k pull-up to 5V.

This would need a later calibration correction adjustment, but should give a good starting point.

  Are you sure? yes | no

jeff1937 wrote 08/06/2017 at 06:59 point

Yes I would like to have a go at making this a project, or helping.

My W1209 boards haven't arrived yet, but there's plenty to learn in the meantime.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 08/06/2017 at 07:02 point

Good idea, at least to validate the temperature readings we get.

By the way, I started a HaD project for this. Let's continue with our discussion there!

https://hackaday.io/project/26258-w1209-data-logging-thermostat

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 08/06/2017 at 07:16 point

Ok, great! Get's let started. Please visit the project page, and "Follow" the project to get a notification when there is something new.

There is a first project log, where you can add comments. I also added a GitHub project for code and docs.

See you there!

  Are you sure? yes | no

jeff1937 wrote 08/06/2017 at 08:02 point

OK, will follow you there, thanks Thomas

  Are you sure? yes | no

richard wrote 07/22/2017 at 02:02 point

My first attempt at using a W1209 board has been very rewarding. A couple of suggestions for anyone starting out and for the project team:

 

1. I had no success flashing the board with the suggested ST software on http://www.st.com/en/development-tools/st-link-v2.html.  You may also consider the ST software used by the person who published the schematic of the W1209. It can be found at http://www.st.com/en/development-tools/stvp-stm32.html

 

2. When putting the header on for the SWIM connector use 5 pins instead of 4. The 5th pin is a convenient place to tie one end of the diode to for the half duplex link.

 

3. While the SWIMCOM binary may work on the W1209 board, for the newcomer there is a lot of reward in seeing the "4th" string on the LED display once the binary is flashed. With that feedback you know it is just a matter of getting the serial comms to work.

 

4. With the extra pin the SWIM connection would be a much better place to have half duplex communications. It would prevent the serial communication from disrupting measurements on the sensor pin while debugging and gives you a pin that your push on connector holds better.

 

5. Is there a place to share code snippets? For instance, I wanted to blank the display before sending another character to it. I used

 : Clrdisplay \ clear anything showing

        32 E7S 32 E7S 32 E7S ;

 

I also wanted a delay between displaying “On” and “Off”. I used the following but I suspect there is an easier way:

VARIABLE timer

variable bigtimer

 

: tSet TIM 1000 + timer ! ;

: tTest TIM timer @ - 0 < ;

: delayInner tSet begin ttest until ;

: delay 0 bigtimer ! begin delayInner 1 bigtimer +! 25000 bigtimer @ - 0 < until ;

 

If there was a way to share these snippets it may prove useful to the newcomer. Maybe I just don’t understand the features of github well enough *grin*.

 

Anyway, I can recommend this forth implementation to anyone looking to hack one of these boards. I’m having a blast . I only wish I had found about this project before I built my electric gate controller with an atmel avr chip programmed in assembly. I could have just brought a cheap relay board and achieved the same thing without having to fabricate a board, populate it then program it in assembly.

 

Keep up the great work team.

 

Kind regards

Richard

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Thomas wrote 07/22/2017 at 08:49 point

Hello Richard, thanks for your comment, it's higly appreciated!
Here are a few pointers to related actions, some new, some in the making.

1: the Wiki is updated https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8S-Programming

2, 3, 4: using a 5-pin header and a diode is a good idea! I'm currently experimenting with using the W1209 key GPIOs (PC4, PC5) for full-duplex communication, which has several advantages. What do you think?

The usability of STM8EF programming is currently under active development.   Especially a. and b. should be helpful for new users:

  a. improved full-duplex serial code, e.g. for W1209 https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/issues/41
  b. e4thcom support with libraries
  c. temporay "scaffolding" code in RAM
  d. board hex file generation in uCsim

5: I created a GitHub Gist with your code snippets - let's see if that works as advertised: https://gist.github.com/TG9541/69fa106e88f8ca3a482a79e572c45463 

I created an issue on GitHub https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/issues/42
It would be great if you could contribute to  taking the decisions for a better W1209 support. Also feel free to open an issue on GitHub for topic oriented discussion.

Thanks again for your contribution.

  Are you sure? yes | no

richard wrote 07/22/2017 at 10:04 point

Thomas,

great stuff. I've been at it all day so real life drags me away for now. I don't have much to contribute on full or half duplex serial. I used Teraterm and slowed it down (25ms each character, 500ms for each line return) so the compiling could keep up. I was happy with that.

The Github Gist is interesting. Over time it could be really useful. Perhaps the main Github wiki needs to alert readers to it's existence?

I'm happy to help out with the W1209 where I can. You've no doubt heard of the saying "the blind leading the blind". 

The W1209 is a great platform and it is very exciting to think that much of what I used F-PC for years ago I could do on something costing so little. I plan to contribute as much as I can. 

Regards

Richard

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 07/22/2017 at 12:59 point

Richard,

the voice of users is important, especially in a hobby project where there is no such thing as "market research" - users know very well what makes a product  useful for them. One I'd like to figure out is if connecting a serial interface to the keys "+" and "-" is acceptable (the keys will remain usable), at last during interactive programming. The other thing is whether support for "sensor header COM" needs to be maintained, or if I can simply replace it with something better :-)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 07/22/2017 at 17:06 point

FYI: issue #41 is closed (which means that full duplex communication now works without character delays). I'll make a pre-release.

EDIT: please check the project log

  Are you sure? yes | no

RigTig wrote 02/27/2017 at 21:59 point

Thomas mentioned that a better file loader would be nice. Here is my attempt. Simple to start with, but obviously capable of being expanded with features later. It is in Python2 and runs from the command line of the host machine (mine is LinuxMint).

<code>

#!/usr/bin/env python2

import serial
import sys
import time

port = serial.Serial(
    port='/dev/ttyACM0',
    baudrate=9600,
    parity=serial.PARITY_NONE,
    stopbits=serial.STOPBITS_ONE,    
    bytesize=serial.EIGHTBITS,
    timeout=5)

if len(sys.argv) < 2:
    print('Usage %s ... [fileN]' % (sys.argv[0]))
    sys.exit()

def upload(path):
    with open(path) as source:
        for line in source.readlines():
            time.sleep(0.2)        
            line = line.strip()
            if not line: continue
            if len(line) > 64:
                raise 'Line is too long: %s' % (line)
            print('\n\rsending: ' + line)
            port.write(line)        
            port.write('\n\r')
            chin = ''
            response_buffer = []
            while chin <> '\v':
                response_buffer.append(chin)
                while port.inWaiting() > 0:
                    chin = port.read(1)
            response = ''.join(response_buffer)
            sys.stdout.write(response)

for path in sys.argv[1:]:
    print('Uploading %s' % path)
    upload(path)

</code>

Usage: Save this code as a file (say named loadserial.py) and change its permissions to be executable (just the lines in between the code tags). I put loadserial.py in my local /bin folder. Edit loadserial.py so the port matches what you use when using a terminal console to connect to STM8 machine.

WARNING: I've just noticed that the indentation was inconsistently displayed, and python is indentation sensitive. So be very careful with just copy-and-paste. I'll put a copy of it up on RigTig's Big 3d Printer project here on hackaday.io.

Either put FILE on first line of the file to be sent, or type it into a terminal console and close it, then use a local command line interface thus: <code>  filename file2send </code>. Enjoy!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 02/27/2017 at 22:26 point

Hi RigTig, this is cool! Now the last reason not to learn Python (the haploid language, as I use to say) has gone. I'm going to need it in my job, anyway ;-)

PS: I just added the tag v2.2.8.1.snapshot, and this means that the binary size of CORE is below 4096 bytes, complete with the new "transparent" VARIABLE feature

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 03/04/2017 at 11:07 point

I just tried your loadserial.py script - the handshake seems to work, and compiling code to NVM is very fast compared to the "worst case delay" method!

However, I had to interrupt the script with ctrl-c after the transfer was finished. The reason was that my Forth code ended with "HAND", after which loadserial.py waited in vain for the handshake signal.

I can imagine that an improved uploader does the following:

* handle FILE and HAND (no need to include those in source file), or

* terminate transfer when the response is anything but the handshake character

The next thing on a programmer's wish list is a way for including source files (nested, of course). I can also imagine testing if "base code" has already been transferred, e.g. using some query-response between the Forth system and the uploader.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 02/27/2017 at 22:26 point

Hi RigTig, this is cool! Now the last reason not to learn Python (the haploid language, as I use to say) has gone. I'm going to need it in my job, anyway ;-)

PS: I just added the tag v2.2.8.1.snapshot, and this means that the binary size of CORE is below 4096 bytes, complete with the new "transparent" VARIABLE feature

  Are you sure? yes | no

RigTig wrote 02/23/2017 at 05:44 point

Thanks Thomas for a great environment in which to have lots of fun. I needed VARIABLE to be defined in NVM, but to keep its data in RAM. Some variables need to change for every data line processed (megabytes of GCODE), so using NVM is just not going to cut it for real use. Besides NVM access is slow. So, here is my replacement definition for my project:

: variable create here , 2 $6e +! does> @ ;

Now, this works only in NVM mode, because it makes no sense to use it in RAM mode anyway. Besides the DOES> part would be wiped every COLD or restart. The magic address of $006E is the address of next available RAM when in NVM mode.

If you want to test after a restart or COLD, you need to adjust the address of next available RAM to be after the last used address by a variable. In my case, the last used address was $009e. Note that in RAM  mode, the address of next available RAM is at $006A. So, I typed

$a0 $6a !

and then initialised all variables and they just work. Now this hack is not for every project (obviously), but does show what can be done when a need arises. Enjoy!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas wrote 02/23/2017 at 21:35 point

Hi RigTig! That's indeed a nice hack, and it is much along the lines of what I had planned.

I'd like to propose the following solution: 

1. some memory below the user dictionary in RAM shall be set aside by adjusting the reset value of USRCP
2. the next variable address for NVM routines shall be stored in the (new) variable USRVAR, which shall be initialized from USRCP
3. when switching from NVM to RAM the reset value of USRCP shall be set to the value of USRVAR

I'd like to check if it's possible to make VARIABLE work transparently in NVM and RAM mode. Most likely writing a different word is easier.

  Are you sure? yes | no

RigTig wrote 02/24/2017 at 04:09 point

Thanks for compliment. I haven't really tried to make VARIABLE work in both RAM and NVM, but I am sure it'd work. The key is just understanding that there is one level of indirection (address of value instead of value), so RAM variables use an extra 2 bytes over the non-indirect version. Nice to avoid wasting ram, but not really a show-stopper. Coding in assembler should be far more memory efficient than the Forth version, but it's the joy of Forth to be able to do these kinds of things at all (and optimise later when you find that it is really a good idea!).

A hard reset or even COLD needs to preserve the ram space needed by variables, but I prefer not to lock in a pre-determined limit on the number of variables. I also hate wasting valuable resources by committing them for just-in-case scenarios. 

So let's consider the use cases. Is there a need to support programming to NVM, then RAM, and back to NVM? If we say that all NVM variables need to be defined before RAM gets any code, is that reasonable? At least all the ram needed is in one block in this case. Probably a bit hard to communicate to programmers, and practically impossible to enforce.

Even if there is some code compiled into ram before or after NVM variables are created, the only thing needed is to set the ram space used for parsing commands to be above the last used ram for any variable. This happens anyway until COLD or hard reset. Maybe all that is needed is a persistent vector stored in NVM to be used instead of the $0080 for start of ram space for code and variables. Now the incentive is for the programmer not to waste space, so it becomes 'obvious' that defining all NVM variables before using ram for anything else is just better management of the limited ram. VARIABLE needs to update the persistent vector each time, based on current ram pointer. Variables defined in ram waste space after a COLD, but that might just be a price to pay (and is quite ok during interactive development, methinks). Mmm... and RESET needs to reset the vector to first available ram for code and variables back to its compilation default ($0080).

I am sure to have missed something in this ramble, but hey, that's what hacking is about isn't it? If I knew what I was doing, then it is not real hacking! And what other language allows you to play around with how the language itself works, so Go Forth.

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Thomas wrote 02/24/2017 at 06:41 point

RigTig, we're on the same page :-) 

If you read me previous comment carefully you'll find that the "machine" needed for implementing is mainly coded in the difference between "the reset value of USRCP" and "USRCP" (there is one error though: point 2. should be "in the new variable USRVAR which shall be initialized from the reset value of USRCP"). 

One could argue that this means waste of RAM, but actually it's just a buffer for certain use cases. You already mentioned some uses cases, and how much they would "surprise Joe Programmer".

My model for the programming workflow is this:

1. start a session with COLD, reset, or flashing the µC

2. write some test code in RAM (i.e. do the things you'd normally do with the original STM8EF)

3. run COLD and set the stage (e.g. define helper words like here: https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/wiki/STM8S-eForth-Programming#low-level-interrupts-in-forth)
4. run NVM, define words, variables etc as you like

5. run RAM, make pointers to the newly defined words, and also to USRVAR persistent

6. return to 4. (write more persistent code) or to 2. (test your code, preferably automated)

Of course, the casual user may miss the finer parts of the "Stage/NVM/RAM/Test/COLD" cycle, but they will notice quickly that words defined in RAM can't be compiled-in (only interpreted) in NVM, and that code compiled in NVM is lost if they forget to run RAM.

As you pointed out, a certain coding style, like defining variables first, isn't difficult to get used to. Setting aside a small buffer (e.g. 32 bytes) as a variable space wouldn't be a big deal, and it would enable the "setting the stage" use case without the risk of immediately overwriting words like IVEC. It's of course also possible to cycle through the steps 2..6 more often (also as a part of the source code) , but a buffer would add some flexibility. In the extreme case (use many variables, use a huge stack), writing test code in RAM would suffer. But hey, when testing words one tests the units, not the whole program where the stack reaches its maximum size.

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Thomas wrote 02/26/2017 at 09:35 point

@RigTig

Please have a look at this: https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/tree/variable

The new code has the features discussed above. The behavior of VARIABLE and ALLOT is transparent in NVM mode, and in most cases there is no need to manage RAM allocation. Only if one allocates more than 32 byte RAM in a session it's necessary to cycle through COLD before using variables newly defined in NVM mode.

Edit: preliminary documentation of the new feature is here: https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/issues/16#issuecomment-282547170

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RigTig wrote 02/27/2017 at 01:08 point

Thomas, I have to say that your approach is just brilliant. I love the idea of being able to just get more variable space if needed, and not wasting any ram either. 

P.S. We might be both on the same page, but I'm only partway down. I am still getting my head around the STM8EF code. I keep going back and changing the options for a new flash image and it is installed in a second or two. What fun to play with!

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Thomas wrote 02/27/2017 at 07:17 point

@RigTig: thanks for your support! I just pushed a "size reduced" revision to the variable branch. Since I had to do some shuffling, some "review" and "testing" by "an independent person" would be great (in a hobby project that's what's known as "playing with the code" :-)

Currently some RAM gets wasted, but that could be bettered by giving the programmer control over the headroom for RAM allocation (which would be easy).

By the way, I ordered two of the radio modules you've been working on.

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Elliot Williams wrote 01/23/2017 at 08:55 point

Hiya Thomas,

Got an ESP-14-powered device up and running and installed in our basement.  Long story, must write up.

Have you played around with power saving modes on the STM8?  I'm trying to get the part into the AWU / active-halt mode.  

For one, I need the assembler's HALT command, which I've been doing in the worst brute-force means possible: HERE $8e81 , EXECUTE.  (That's HALT and RET in machine code.)  

It halts, at least.  :)  

Coming back out of halt is messy -- it looks like the clocks aren't returned to their original states and so on. I'm probably going to need to implement some start-up code.  Heck, for my purposes, hooking into COLD for a complete reset will work too... That's what I'll try next.

Just wondering if you've worked on any of the low-power modes.  Either WFI (wait-for-interrupt) or the active-halt/AWU look tasty.

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Thomas wrote 01/23/2017 at 19:14 point

That's great :-)

The power saving modes (like the watchdog) still are on my "important things that I plan to do" list. You know, that's the list on the sheet after "new and exciting things I want to play with", which in turn comes after "bugs I must fix now".

Let's put it on the "important new features for pilot applications" list :-) 

What we need is:

* a word HALT that contains the HALT instructionknow

* a word SLEEP, that stops unnecessary interrupts (user defined, and application specific). This word should run HALT. When the execution continues right after HALT, SLEEP shall re-enable "waking" interrupts

* if required a word to restore clock settings (RM0016 mentions something in 10.2.2 and in 9.9.4 "Clock master switch register (CLK_SWR)", but right now I don't undertsand why the clock changes)

Do you plan to trigger a wake-up through console events? The simulated COM port should support this use case!

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Thomas wrote 01/23/2017 at 19:45 point

I added the HALT word, and it works better than expected. Here is a demo with a blinky:

    : g tim 40 and 0= out! ; ok
    ' g bg ! ok
    HALT
The when I press enter after HALT the LED stops flashing. The "ok" after HALT appears after I press enter a second time.

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Elliot Williams wrote 01/24/2017 at 11:52 point

Woot!  

re: clocks: I read something somewhere sometime about them needing a reset.  I can't find that anymore.  I may be crazy.  

I saw some other STM8 code (http://blog.mark-stevens.co.uk/2014/06/auto-wakeup-stm8s/) that runs the AWU without re-clocking, strongly suggesting that I'm crazy.

That code, though, makes it look like (if interrupts are enabled) the AWU reset lands in the AWU ISR, which is uninitialized ($0000) in the vector table at $800C.

I just ran your BG example above, and it halts, but never returns until hit with a hard reset. I wonder if your code is working b/c it NOPs off to the next ISR and you got lucky.  Or does it actually try to execute whatever's at $0000?

So: how do we set up ISRs in eForth?  (Or, how do you write bytes directly to flash?)

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Thomas wrote 01/24/2017 at 19:23 point

TL;DR: the quick-fix: an AWU "driver" that does it all but I would prefer a Forth solution and this requires some design decisions.

Long version:

Due to limitations in the SDCC tool chain any interrupt must be declared in main.c. Writing ISR vectors to Flash might work, but it requires a good approach for registering (and unregistering) interrupts to be viable (I'm thinking of RESET). Also Forth VM context switching would have to be done before executing any Forth code.

Another approach would be a "catchall" interrupt handler for several interrupts that then redirects to Forth code. This has the advantage that the context switch can be handled in a uniform way, but the dispatching won't be very efficient (or again a lookup).

This brings us to the next problem: some interrupt sources require resetting some bit in some peripherals control register. Leaving that to user code is very error prone, and a "catchall" interrupt handler would have to do it for all possible sources or leave it to user code.

What do you feel about of a middle way?
* Interrupt handler declared in main.c
* basic handler code in assembler or c to do a context switch, and to clear the trigger source
* handler code in Forth registered through something like BG

A last point: how many concurrent "Forth code interrupts" can we allow?
* Level0 we have the console
* on Level1 is the BG interrupt
* on Level2 is TIM4 (for COM simulation)

I guess that some stuff like TIM4 shouldn't have to compete with other code (the current code is efficient as it gets). Most likely it's possible to drop the interrupt level in BG code to Level0, and use Level1 for Forth handlers without character-I/O. The latency would still be in the lower µs range.

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Elliot Williams wrote 01/25/2017 at 12:43 point

How does the 'BOOT mechanism work?  If you could do placeholders for the various ISRs like that, the user could write their handler function and store its address in the right place?  That seems very Forthy to me.  <code>: awu-isr stuff ; ' awu-isr ISR_AWU ! </code> or something.  One of these functions / memory locations per IRQ and you'd be done?

On resetting the flags as you leave the ISR: I think that should be user code rather than bloating up the system with it.  Yeah, it's going to hang the system if you do it wrong.  If I could count the number of times I've pressed the reset button...

On context switching in ISRs:  I'm not sure I understand the full details.  Unlike C, there's not necessarily any context to switch?  If the ISR maintains stack balance then there's no need for any context?  Leave whatever's on the stack, and it'll still be there when the interrupt is done?

For me, personally, I'd just be stoked to have a pointer to an address that I could set to execute when the AWU IRQ fires.  The rest, I can handle in code, I hope. :)  (Assuming that the return from interrupt works right.)

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Thomas wrote 01/25/2017 at 20:20 point

'BOOT is simple: it returns the address of the "Parameter" field (like DOVAR). To safe code I used it to get the address of the whole following table of initialization values for USR variables. After switching to "NVM" it's possible to simply overwrite all these values. There is a 2nd copy to restore these values, e.g. to "forget" user vocabulary in Flash memory with RESET.

Yes, the 'BOOT method can be used in for interrupts, too, but that would require one more level of indirection.

About context switching:

my first approach was to re-use the Data Stack, but I quickly learned that X isn't always a valid Data Stack Pointer: it does that at the start and the end of a word, but not always in between ("always" is a very important attribute when writing interrupt code). Before implementing the background task, I tried  to make sure that X always represents a valid stack pointer in all primitive words. However, I failed to get it working until I started using a 2nd Data Stack for the background task (which I didn't like since it appears wasteful). Later on, I applied coding techniques that use X for reducing code size. Of course, it's possible to re-factor the code. It would be interesting to compare other multi-tasking Forth implementations. 

I went in a different direction: In several refactoring rounds I removed the following variables entirely: TEMP, XTEMP, PROD1, PROD2, PROD3, CARRY, and I also made the I/O context leaner.

Now, for code without character I/O only YTEMP must be saved. Otherwise also BASE, PAD, and HLD must be taken into consideration. And, of course, we need a stack. One approach would be to have a floating "stack pad" to work around the "X!=TOS" problem.

I guess it will take some time to implement a full featured solution for Forth interrupt handlers.

A minimal solution might look like this:
* a word IVEC! to set an interrupt vector
* a word SAVEC to save the context
* a word RESTC to restore the context, ends with IRET

The application could then define a word in the following way:  

: handler SAVEC ( some stuff ) RESTC ;

 ' handler 1 IVEC! \ set the AWU interrupt handler

Now that I'm looking at it, this doesn't look too bad.

Edit: I made some corrections, added some details, and added one more option for a solution

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Thomas wrote 01/25/2017 at 22:23 point

I added the solution above for testing to the develop branch. Due to the mentioned limitations it's currently necessary to initialize the interrupt to priority low (0:1) (it shares the data stack with the ticker).

I also changed TIM4 to prio "highest", which might allow to implement all user defined interrupts with priority "high" later on. This would then require 3 data stacks with the sizes normal (console), medium (background task) and small (interrupt handler).

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Thomas wrote 01/26/2017 at 20:48 point

@Elliot Williams:

Here is a starting point for Forth code user interrupts and AWU usage:

  nvm

  : awuint savec awu_csr1 c@ drop restc ;

  ' awuint 1 ivec!

  : initawu 38 awu_apr c! 1 awu_tbr c! 16 awu_csr1 c! ;

  ram

When I run HALT with this code, it returns immediately. Since I didn't find the time to make sense of the AWU configuration, I simply took the AWU timing values from the page you mentioned before.

Please not that this currently only works when I run HALT from the console (I still need a solution for the Data Stack problem). Running HALT from the background task would change the contents of the first element on the stack (which would work if the stack were empty).

A quick fix here is to assume that X represents TOS when HALT is executed (which is the case), and skip initializing the stack. Please note that this only works for HALT, and not in the general case.

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Thomas wrote 01/23/2017 at 21:51 point

Changes are in the develpp branch on GitHub. The 2.2.6.snapshot release contains new binaries :-)

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Youlian Troyanov wrote 01/26/2017 at 04:51 point

please write your long story about esp-14 :)

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Thomas wrote 01/27/2017 at 22:19 point

Elliot, in order to get a simple and practical solution, I now propose the following:

1) In RAM code IVEC! (its only used once for setting an interrupt handler

: IVEC! ( a n - -  ) 2* 2* $800A + ! ;

2) Implement HALT as a user word:

: HALT  ( -- ) [ $8E C, ] ;

3) Implement your interrupt handler using SAVEC and RESTC (make sure not to use more than 8 cells on stack)

This will work for any interrupt. Please make sure to change the interrupt down from highest to high.

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