basics for NUCLEO-F411RE STM32F411RET6 STM32 Nucleo Development Board

When you are a beginner, you have to consider that what you need more than a powerful platform, strictly from a hardware point of view, is support. A lot of support and easy to get and of good quality. You need to click your way to answers repeatedly (or, forbid, read a book or two). Those characteristics are far more important for a beginner who wants to know how to put stuff together.

There is nothing wrong with that board as per my brief look, but I can tell you that the support that you can find as a resource will be dwarfed by something like the simple Arduino UNO.

Maybe not what you want to hear, but it is what I will say.
 
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crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
23,362

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,028
What "stuff" do you want to learn?
Exactly.

If you are trying to learn electronics, this will do nothing for you. If you are are wanting to learn microcontrollers, there are better options. If you are trying to learn STM32 specifically, then maybe it is a good starting point.

Bob
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
3,884
If your goal is to develop an understanding of circuits and electronics then you do not need to start with programming a computer. There are many books that will introduce you to the basics and lead to an understanding of circuits. There are also many sources that will show you how to make neat toys from parts that they sell you and while you might learn something about programming you will not learn anything at all about how circuits function.
 

MeSat

Joined May 16, 2019
16
I will second the suggestion to go with an Arduino package. Massive amount of support available and the starter kits and options will fit almost anything you may want to do. Even with years of electronics experience, I still started with and Arduino kit for interface and programming experience.

At work, one person ordered a Microcomputer trainer kit and when they started to try to get it working, they ran into so many problems. The Arduino kit I had was up and running in minutes. Longest part was installing the IDE which was a simple download.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
3,884
I will second the suggestion to go with an Arduino package. Massive amount of support available and the starter kits and options will fit almost anything you may want to do. Even with years of electronics experience, I still started with and Arduino kit for interface and programming experience.

At work, one person ordered a Microcomputer trainer kit and when they started to try to get it working, they ran into so many problems. The Arduino kit I had was up and running in minutes. Longest part was installing the IDE which was a simple download.
What do you learn about electronics from playing with an arduino? Writing code does not teach you how circuits work or how a transistor amplifies or how an op-amp works. If you want to learn programming that is one thing, but if you want to understand how electricity and electronics work that is an entirely different thing. Please do not confuse learning to write programs with learning how circuits function.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,567
@MisterBill2 - Arduino is more than just writing code! If you're connecting and communicating with other devices, optimizing for power usage, etc.. then you're going to learn a lot about electronics. Simple projects, for example make a device that records knock patterns, like a secret knock on a door. Get the right knock and it unlocks. Or a footstep detector using a geophone, which requires a preamp circuit and use of the ADC on the arduino, etc.. You can do a ton of stuff with an arduino, and coding is only part of the equation.

But I agree with the crowd; if you're jumping in for the first time, the arduino platform will probably be the most user friendly.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,612
What do you learn about electronics from playing with an arduino? Writing code does not teach you how circuits work or how a transistor amplifies or how an op-amp works. If you want to learn programming that is one thing, but if you want to understand how electricity and electronics work that is an entirely different thing. Please do not confuse learning to write programs with learning how circuits function.
A rebuttal post

Then again? With a μP, complicated circuits can be implemented, allowing the beginner to concentrate on the basics.

You want to light an LED with an Arduino? You better learn how an LED works, what Vf means, how to set current with a resistor and how to calculate what resistor you need. You want to control servos? You better understand PWM, how to calculate frequency and duty cycle. How about controlling a motor? You need to understand PWM again, what an H-Beidge is and how to budget for current. You need to drive an external device? You need to understand how BJTs or MOSFETs work, how collector current relates to base currrnt. and how to calculate the necessary resistor values. Or how to wire a MOSFET so that it turns on or off when you want it, too.

So learning about μP doesn’t mean you don’t learn the basics. What it DOES do for the beginner is allow them to attempt more complex projects in a shorter time. And why is this important? Noobs get a sense of accomplishment right away.

If they need it, μP will give them more time, with less frustration, to become more skilled in electronics.

IMHO
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
6,467
Noobs get a sense of accomplishment right away.
That is true, and I agree with almost everything you said ... my only observation is that it will later be harder for them to learn the basics of analog electronics. Most likely resulting in a much steeper learning curve.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
3,884
I based my comments on the projects that I have seen in that publication "Nuts and Volts." I quit looking at it because every project was a cookbook recipe using an arduino when a simple circuit would do the same thing and cost a whole lot less. And those projects had not one word on how the circuit functioned, only about making program changes.
And one other thing is that if a circuit does not include a processor then there is no need to have anything to program it with. One less expensive tool required, and no software to fight with.
 

MeSat

Joined May 16, 2019
16
If you want to
What do you learn about electronics from playing with an arduino? Writing code does not teach you how circuits work or how a transistor amplifies or how an op-amp works. If you want to learn programming that is one thing, but if you want to understand how electricity and electronics work that is an entirely different thing. Please do not confuse learning to write programs with learning how circuits function.
I don't. But for basic operation, the Arduino kit I got did teach how leds worked and went on to other common components for a real world.

If you want to learn how things really work then you need test equipment as well which quickly adds to the cost of learning properly. I tried to use a 150 in one electronics kit to help someone learn electronics once and it was a disaster without test equipment to help understand the basics like R/C time constants.

There is another item I saw once that made circuits by connecting magnets but I never have tried it.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
3,884
The entry level textbooks have explanations and they mostly explain how things work. When you can understand the relationships described by the equations you are well on your way. That does not take any equipment except reading. Then at some point you need to be able to write and do the basic math to solve the equations. My point being that developing an understanding does not require any equipment. When it comes to actually doing the experimenting and demonstrating a simple multimeter is what you need, and while the precision ones cost more, a hobby-grade multimeter can be purchased for a lot less. That meter will let you see voltages and resistances and even measure currents. But you do need to understand what you are doing to be able to know what you are seeing. That is where the knowledge from study becomes valuable. It is a bit like building a house or a road, in that first you need a foundation to support what you are doing.
 
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