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.

14 thoughts on “Impressive Dev Boards For Your STM32 Dev Boards

    1. No useful technical information about the baseboard on the website, just a marketing brief (and it’s been out for months). Might as well buy undocumented boards right from China on Ebay and cut out the middleman. e14’s value-add is a one-page glossy and a big markup.

        1. e14 support was able to point these out for me. Any other distributor/shop would put product-associated links on the product page (and is one of the multiple reasons that I don’t care for e14).

          Thanks for pointing that out though.

    1. 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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