PX-HER0 Board

The expert field guide to embedded ARM systems

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Mar 09, 2020

Project update 3 of 16

Our Origin Story

by Pieter C

It all started way back in 1983 when I got a second-hand 8-bit Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K when I was 9. The detailed story is HERE, but the short version is that I taught myself to modify obfuscated machine code to turn my puny 16K into a 128K machine and it turned out to be an April fool’s joke. Fast forward 32 years… (insert obligatory 80’s cassette tape sound effect here)

During my career I got frustrated with hard to comprehend, poorly commented, unstructured code that I encountered in my industry and created px-lib to open a dialogue and demonstrate how it could be improved. It has been a passion project for over 10 years now.

At one stage I was the hardware engineer that wanted to find a wiring fault with a test fixture and wanted to put a GPIO pin in a specific state so that I could use a multimeter to trace the path to the DUT (Device Under Test) without bothering the overloaded firmware engineer on the project. That was the inspiration behind the CLI Explorer app and I try to build a small version of the CLI into every embedded device that I work on to test the hardware blocks and confirm that it works.

I used to be an Atmel AVR and Atmel SAMD21 man almost exclusively with the exception of a short crossover to the dark side (Microchip PIC24 series), but forced myself (pun intended) to learn the STM32 series about two years ago and this is where the journey with the PX-HER0 board started, because I wanted to map the route for people to follow. I started to consult independently a year ago and lady luck smiled at me: the majority of my work has been for the STM32L0 series, so the investment has already born fruit. Hint: there is an STM32L082 in the Murata Type ABZ LoRa module.

I hope that the concise STM32 intro and carefully crafted tutorials will pave the road to a deeper insight into the embedded C universe and create that Eureka! moment of enlightenment for you as the 8-bit Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K did for me.

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