2 years, 10 months ago.

Second board: which one to buy?

Hi everyone!

So, I've recently had some rough time with my FRDM K64F board and even my professor at university told me that I should just probably buy another one as the bootloader is corrupted. I want to keep experimenting with microcontrollers, but I don't have a good understanding of the specific HW features of each board. So I ask you for a few tips about which board to use according to my needs.

I looked of course at Arduino boards, but I preferer to choose one that has ARM mbed enabled so that I don't have to learn a different coding style. I found the STMicroelectronics Nucleo boards. The main reasons for this are: they are cheap, they are both arduino and ARM mbed compatible and apparently I can use them to do the same kind of things I was doing with the freedom board (read inputs, compute something, control a specific output like LEDs and servos...).

What do you think about the Nucleo boards? Which one is the best for a beginner or most similar in terms of HW performance to the FRDM K64F I was using before? Also let me know if you believe I should check out other manufacturers that produce boards similar to the ones I'm looking for.

Thanks in advance for your help :)

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2 Answers

2 years, 10 months ago.

Are STM ones actually cheaper? (Too lazy to search for myself). Anyway the F401 would be a good choice if you go for STM. You can in general look through mbed supported STM boards with an M4 (stupidly you still can search for that in the boards page), or possibly an M7. But in general an M4 (preferably with FPU) is comparable to a K64F. The K64F has a ton of memory, if you actually need that much you should also take it into account.

If I checked correctly, the cost is 35€ for the FRDM K64F vs 13€ for the STM Nucleo F401RE which is a really good price IMHO.

I think I'll try the Nucleo board out :) Memory isn't probably going to be a problem as I'm only dealing with small applications for basic experiments.

posted by Nicolò Bagarin 08 Dec 2016
2 years, 9 months ago.

I'm using severals STM boards: The small F303K8 (about US$13), the average F303RE and F091RC (also US$13) and the mighthy F746ZG (about US$25). They are cheaper than other boards. But with ST several things are different (sometimes it's hard to find a library). The weakes point is theslower with digital in-out transition. I2C Addressed are different so... work with IMU, Accelerometer could need a deeper research. Some USART has IRQ and others doesn't.

For a begginner I'll recommend a started kit.

The Teensy 3.2 it is really mbed and arduino compatible. I doesn't have one.


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