Playing electronics with kids

The kiddo got bored during holidays around Christmas and New years eve so I thought we could build something simple and since his reading is not really there yet (he’s six after all) I didn’t want to use a micro controller.

So after giving it a bit of thought I decided to scrape together a simple multivibrator with the things I have lying around in the workshop.

And since creating a PCB would be way too big of a project I’ve decided to use a breadboard and even wanted to have a nice image of the scheme on the breadboard so I searched for the software for that and found Fritzing. It has some quirks, but great tool to use.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 20.29.01

I just could not find the way to mark the elements, so the capacitors are (from left to right) 100nF and elco 10uF and resistors are 10k by the LEDs and 1k on the left and right of potentiometer (100k) – I guess you can use whatever you have lying around, so experiment a bit.

Anyway – it’s a quick way of playing with kids and getting them to know a bit of electronics.

Happy holidays.

Raspberry pi compute module

Not sure about the naming of the module, but compute module always sounded to me as a “math module”.

Anyway – after playing with Armadeus I was quite impressed by the idea of little module with Linux (ok uCLinux) on it… and than (or maybe before that) it dawned on me, that there is also a Raspberry Pi module with similar form factor… and it’s called: Compute module.


Rather impressive 120 GPIO in DDR2 SODIMM form factor.

Where is my bucket list?

Create a library in VX-toolset for ARM

Doing some work in the VX-toolset I’ve come to the idea to start creating some libraries to use … well, later ūüôā

Anyway, the procedure is pretty simple:

1. File | New | TASKING ARM C/C++ Project

2. In the shown dialog enter project name and expand TASKING ARM Library and select Empty Project

3. Select proper processor (STMicroelectronics | STM32F439 | STM32F439ZI in my case)

4. Finish by clicking the button.

In the created project (currently Active – hopefully) create a Source File (File | New | Source File) and Header File (File | New | Header File) in proper way of creating a library.

That’s it regarding creating a library.

Let’s go into usage:

In the project you want to use the library you need to add the library and header paths.

Right click on the project name and select Properties from the dropdown menu.

Expand C/C++ Compiler and in Include Paths add path to created header file.

Regarding adding library you need to expand Linker and under Libraries add path to the created library.

Using private libraries in LPCXPRESSO

We have seen how you can create your own private library. But the question is how to use it.

Here we go:

1. Click on the project name.

2. Select Project | Properties.

3. Select C/C++ Build | Settings.

4. Under MCU Linker | Libraries.

5. Under Libraries (-l) add library name by clicking Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 23.32.41 and obviously type in the name of the library

6. Under Library search path (-L) click the same icon and add the path to the library

So we have added the library, but we need to add the path to header file also. This is what the MCU C Compiler | Includes is for. The procedure is the same, so click the icon and add the path (to inc).

Aaaaaand we’re done.