Impressive dev boards for your STM32 dev boards


It seems there are a lot of people who have the same complaint about the STM32 Discovery boards; it can be difficult to add external hardware to them. Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate all of the pins being broken out (as opposed to the Stellaris Launchpad which we think has too few available). Here’s [Scot Kornak's] solution to the problem. He created three different baseboards which the STM32 Discovery plugs into. Each is for a different model of dev board: the VL, F3, and F4. But he also thinks the baseboard we saw in this other project is a good choice for an F4 solution.

These large PCB add-ons bring functionality in two different ways. The first is by using expandable ports for drop in modules like serial communications connectors or Analog/SPI/I2C modules. For us, the second method is the most desirable. He routes each GPIO port to a 2×8 header and uses IDC cables (rainbow cable in these images) to connect them to a breadboard. Seeing this makes us wish STM had used discreet clusters of 16 pins instead of those super long dual pin headers.


  1. Søren Friis says:

    This seems like a nice connection board as well.

  2. Palatine says:

    I spotted the other day, you can get hold of a base board, camera module and LCD screen for the STM32F4 Discovery at element14:

    There is also a free IDE available (CooCox) to use the code examples with.

    Nice and easy :)

  3. Ren says:


  4. Yo dawg, we heard you like dev boards, so we put a dev board on your dev board so you can develop while you develop.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist it when I saw the post title.

  5. aemg says:

    that’s why i bought a ZL27ARM dev board, it’s awesome.

  6. vonskippy says:

    I often curse at my dev boards, but I’ve never re-cursed them.

  7. Gege says:

    Other interesting dev board for STM-Discovery (an other device) can be found here :
    I also available on ebay (just search for open407).

    I think buying one for my F4. Their advantage is that you can keep the expansion boards you have (LCD, UART, …) and just change the motherboard if you change the device.

    • ewertz says:

      Being able to use one’s peripheral boards is certainly nice. It’s unfortunate that ST wasn’t able to have the pinouts for the Discovery boards be more directly compatible with each other (as, dare I say, is mostly the case with the Arduino — at least with the core set of pins). Probably not quite as practical though for boards which have 80-100 pins and whose peripheral set diverges so much across multiple families.

      The pricing on the Discovery boards is great — I wish they were popular enough to push the pricing down on the expansion boards though. Having a very low-function baseboard with just Pmod or UEXT connectors (and perhaps a few ultra common ports like DB-9 and SD) would minimize the cost of the baseboard for the really low-end parts’ Discovery boards. It’s unfortunate that both Pmod and UEXT are solderless-breadboard-unfriendly (with their double-row connectors)

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