Meeting Minutes for 2012-09-12

buildscc | 12 Sep 2012 | | meeting-minutes


This is the First Meeting

Officers introduced themselves

New and current members raise hand for interest areas

- mechanical, biomedical, electrical, computer engineering, programming
- rockets, robots, sound systems, arduino hacking,
- video game programming, graphics, network security, app development
- lockpicking

Introduction to builds

Projects for the meeting:


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Water Light Graffiti

Chris Woodall and Dan Gastler are building a water light graffiti wall, with LEDs and water sensors! They were both inspired by this French dude’s project and decided to make something similar/exactly like it. video and links to some other stuff

Trying To Do Science

Experiment 1: Water + Copper Tape

Experiment 2: Controlled Measured Sized Pads on a PCB

Experiment 3: Hell, lets put an LED on it


stm32f4 discovery dev board


Open Source Toolchain


Under linux this is rather straightforward. I was able to compile with toolchain without a hitch using [ these instructions], under OS X I would imagine its a tad more of a pain in the ass.

The programs/scripts being used are the following:

  • [ summon-arm-toolchain] : Downloads and compiles the arm-none-eabi toolchain which we will be using. I am not sure if it compiles with the STM32F4’s FPU support.
  • [ Texane’s stlink] : Allows us to program using the stlink on the STM32F4 Discovery board. We program using gdb to load the program into SRAM for now. If you link correctly you can flash too. In the future this should work to program other STM32 chips via the SWD link (if the jumpers are set correctly).
  • [ The official STM32F4 header files and libraries] : Not sure how compatible these are with our toolchain, but its probably worth grabbing them.


Thanks to [[Alex Whittemore]] there is some good documentation

[here] on one method of getting set up with Eclipse.

[[Chris Woodall]] would prefer to use emacs + a makefile to do his development, so the methodology is a little different.

First, you should make sure you have XCode installed, because that will install gcc and all of the development tools you need for some of the future steps. Now, lets get [ macports] if you have a Mac and some self respect you should already have macports anyway (or [ homebrew]).

Then we will install the arm-none-eabi toolchain, this might take awhile if you have never used macports before, while you are at it you should install git:

$ sudo port install arm-none-eabi-*
$ sudo port install git # optional

Now we will use git to grab texane’s great [ stlink program]:

$ mkdir ~/src #optional, but my preferred working directory for installations like this
$ cd ~/src # optional
$ git clone
$ cd stlink/gdbserver
$ make

Now we can actually load up an example program! So lets do that:

$ cd ~/src/stlink/examples/blink

Then connect to the debugger and try it out…

$ arm-none-eabi-gdb
(gdb) target remote localhost:4242
(gdb) load blink_F4.elf
(gdb) continue

You should see the Green, Orange, Blue and Red lights blink on and off. If this worked, then great success!

Makefile and Libraries

So I am using a modified version of the standard STM32 libraries. As I go I might start rewriting parts of the STM32F4 library code for myself. However, at the moment I am use the peripheral access provided by ST.

The library along with some boilerplate template code can be found on [ github (thanks to prattmic)]. I needed to change some CFLAG variables in the Makefile and a few compiler directives in the file ‘'’startup_stm32f4xx.s’’’.

All of these altercations are due to the fact that our compiler wasn’t compiled with support for the hardware FPU. LINK TO MY VERSION COMING SOON.