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leshy – Less Expensive STM32F0-Hosting Prototypes

A cheap, small prototyping board for a cheap, small STM32F0 controller

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This little board is designed to speed up the prototyping process of applications driven by a STM32F030F4P6. The latter is a low-end Cortex M0 controller, really cheap, but more than powerful enough for a whole range of applications.

Its usefulness comes from the general-purpose 0.05" prototyping area and its carefully aligned and connected on-board peripherals. Source code examples, which work as starting points for various use cases are included in the GitHub repository.

A while ago, I discovered the STM32F020F4P6. It is the lowest-end Cortex-M0 microcontroller ST offers and it is happily supplied by various Chinese stores for 30 to 80 cents per piece. Albeit being very cheap, it offers quite a lot of functionality! It runs at 32 MHz, has 16K of flash and 4K of RAM, an 12 bit ADC, SPI, I2C, a bunch of timers, …

It is a tiny controller, but for most of my applications it's more than enough. Read in some sensors, control some outputs via a state machine, datalog something to a SD card – why should I use a giant controller when I can have a cheap, small and simple solution?

This project started because I wanted to have a nice prototyping platform for that particular controller, just to test some things before I design a real PCB for the project. Yes, Chinese-made boards exist. Yes, I could just step up to F1s and use a cheap “Blue Pill” board like everyone else. But all those readily available boards have, in my opinion, one major flaw. Read more »

  • 1 × STM32F030F4P6 The controller it's all about
  • 2 × Pushbuttons One for reset, one for all the other purposes
  • 6 × LEDs 1 as a power indicator, 5 freely controllable
  • 1 × Micro-SD card holder (type TFP-09)
  • 1 × MCP1700-3302 or compatible (SOT-23) Small 3.3 V LDO

View all 7 components

  • New demo project: Soldering iron controller

    fruchti05/21/2018 at 19:30 0 comments

    So far this has only been a page for a prototyping board with nothing about actual prototypes. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there's no harm in some inspiration for possible uses for the board.That's why I decided to add a small weekend project here: A simple controller for a Hakko-907-style soldering iron (because Chinese fakes of these and the appropriate tips are widely and cheaply available).

    For this application, the STM32F030F4P6 has the perfect size with just the right number of pins and absolutely sufficient capabilities. The leshy has just enough prototyping area for the display and the few extra components the controller needs. To be fair, the encoder and jack for the soldering iron wouldn't fit on the PCB, but those look well in their panel-mount configuration here.

    Being built over the last weekend, it of course isn't perfect, but I think it has some reusable components for accelerating development. Well, apart as being useful as a soldering iron for me. Code, schematic and documentation are on GitHub.

  • The second board revision is finished!

    fruchti11/27/2017 at 18:51 0 comments

    As my boards start to run out, I had to order new ones. On this occasion, I made some changes to the boards, mainly:

    • The SD card can now be switched off via a small MOSFET. An SD card can draw a lot of power for battery-powered applications, so having the option to turn it off is nice. The MOSFET is connected to PA1 and is shorted via J5 per default, so the MOSFET isn't required.
    • There's way more silkscreen text. The backside had free room which I used for some helpful labeling.
    • Minor improvements of the layout, of course.

    The overall look hasn't changed much from

    to

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emeryth wrote 05/21/2018 at 21:58 point

Yes, the F030 is amazing.

What is more amazing is that GigaDevice is manufacturing F030 "clones", but with a Cortex M4 CPU! See https://lcsc.com/product-detail/GigaDevice_GD32F330F4P6TR_C182133.html

  Are you sure? yes | no

fruchti wrote 05/22/2018 at 17:40 point

Thanks! I've heard about the GigaDevices chips, but not of that particular series. That's pretty handy if you need a drop-in performance upgrade.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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