Solving libhogweed.so.2: undefined symbol: __gmpn_cnd_add_n

After upgrading my server from Debian Wheezy to Jessie, I encountered the following error during apt-get update:

/usr/lib/apt/methods/https: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libhogweed.so.2: undefined symbol: __gmpn_cnd_add_n

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Posted by Uli Köhler in Linux

Accurate short & long delays on microcontrollers using ChibiOS

How system ticks work

In order to understand how delays work, we’ll first need to have a look at system ticks. Although ChibiOS 3.x supports a feature called tickless mode, we’ll stick to a simple periodic tick model for simplicity reasons.

A system tick is simply a timer that interrupts the microcontroller periodically and performs some kernel management tasks. For example, with a 1 kHz system tick (systick) frequency, the program flow is interrupted every millisecond. When being interrupted, one of the things the kernel does is to check if a thread that is currently asleep needs to be woken up. In other words, if your thread has some code like this:

// [...]
chThdSleepMilliseconds(5);
// [...]

and the kernel has a 1 kHz systick frequency, the kernel will set your thread to sleep, wait for 5 system ticks (i.e. 5 ms) and then wake up the

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Posted by Uli Köhler in Electronics, Embedded

Using burnout current sources for Wheatstone bridge detection

Many recent high-performance ADCs like the AD7190 include a builtin so-called burnout current source that can allegedly be used to detect an open circuit in the sensor. However, most vendors don’t provide an easy explanation on how this can be done.

In this blogpost I will attempt to explain how those current sources can be useful for practical applications. For this example, we will assume the ADC has one idealized differential channel and is connected to a simple wheatstone bridge strain gauge:

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Posted by Uli Köhler in Electronics

Querying framebuffer resolution in Linux

Problem:

You want to query the current resolution of a screen connected as framebuffer device (e.g. /dev/fb0). Continue reading →

Posted by Uli Köhler in Linux

Computing the LP2980 adjust resistor using Python

The LP2980ADJ is a 50 mA LDO that be configured for an output voltage from 1.23V to 15V using a pair of resistors.

The datasheet lists a formula for the output voltage, however no easy-to-use customizable software is provided that can be used to directly compute the correct resistor in a reproducible way. Continue reading →

Posted by Uli Köhler in Electronics, Python

Uploading multiple files to the tornado webserver

The following html code can be used to create an html form that allows uploading multiple files at once:

<form enctype="multipart/form-data" method="POST" action="upload.py">
  <table style="width: 100%">
    <tr>
      <td>Choose the files to upload:</td>
      <td style="text-align: right"><input type="file" multiple="" id="files" name="files"></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td><input id="fileUploadButton" type="submit" value="Upload &gt;&gt;"></td>
      <td></td>
    </tr>
  </table>
</form>

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Posted by Yann Spöri in Python

Normalizing electronics engineering value notations using Python

In electronics engineering there is a wide variety of notations for values that need to be recognized by intuitive user interfaces. Examples include:

  • 1fA
  • 0.1A
  • 0.00001
  • 1e-6
  • 4,5nA
  • 4,500.123 A
  • 4A5
  • 4k0 A

The wide variety of options, including thousands separators, comma-as-decimal-separator and suffix-as-decimal-separator, optional whitespace and scientific notations makes it difficult to normalize values without using specialized libraries. Continue reading →

Posted by Uli Köhler in Electronics, Python

Calculating the NCP380 Ilim resistor using Python

Problem

You want to calculate the correct value for the Ilim resistor for the NCP380 current limiter IC with a custom current limit. Continue reading →

Posted by Uli Köhler in Electronics, Python

Finding the nearest E96 resistor value in Python

Problem

You want to find the E24/E48/E96 resistor value that is closest to a given exact value programmatically using python. Continue reading →

Posted by Uli Köhler in Electronics, Python

Using Arduino Leonardo as an USB/UART adapter

In contrasts to older designs like the Arduino Uno, the Arduino Leonardo features a separate connection Serial1 for TTLUART whereas Serial is used for the USB CDC UART interface.

This allows one to use the Leonardo as an USB/UART bridge without having to resort to more expensive boards like the Arduino Mega 2560. In order to do this, use this sketch which can also be modified to provide an intelligent UART bridge.

Remember to adjust the baudrate for your application. This version of the sketch does not support automatic baudrate selection via the CDC peripheral.

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Posted by Uli Köhler in C/C++, Embedded

Accessing lwIP struct netif instance in ChibiOS

Problem

You are using the ChibiOS lwIP binding to access the network your microcontroller application.

You need to access the lwIP struct netif structure, for example to get the current DHCP IP address assigned to the network interface. However, the default ChibiOS implementaton in lwipthread.c does not export the interface structure.
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Posted by Uli Köhler in C/C++, Embedded

Solving undefined symbol __main_stack_size__ in ChibiOS 3.x

Problem:

When trying to compile ChibiOS 3.x you get one of these error messages during the linking stage:

undefined symbol `__main_stack_size__' referenced in expression
undefined symbol `__process_stack_size__' referenced in expression

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Posted by Uli Köhler in C/C++, Embedded

Engineering for the super-lazy: Solving equations without activating your brain

Preface

In electronics engineering, from time to time you have to use standard formulas to characterize your circuits. To what extent you need to calculate all parameters most often depends on the requirement.

For example, consider the formula for the -3dB cutoff frequency of a 1st order RC lowpass filter:

f_c=\frac{1}{2\pi RC}

Although this equation is fairly simple and most people won’t have any problem solving it for any particular variable in a few seconds, it can serve as a basic example on how to solve an equation symbolically.

One of the easiest ways of performing this task is to use SymPy, a Python library for symbolic mathematics.

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Posted by Uli Köhler in Python

Parsing the MeSH ASCII format in Python

Similar to our previously published UniPruot parser, MeSH provides an ASCII format that can easily be parsed using Python.

Just like the UniProt parser, this function yields MeSH entries represented by dictionaries. Example code is included at the bottom of the file.

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Posted by Uli Köhler in Bioinformatics, Python

Using python requests over Tor

Problem:

You want to use the python requests library over a Tor connection using the Tor builtin SOCKS proxy.

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Posted by Uli Köhler in Python

Reading the STM32 unique device ID in C

All STM32 microcontrollers feature a 96-bit factory-programmed unique device ID. However, for me it was hard to find an adequately licensed example on how to read it in a manner compatible with different families and compilers.

Here’s a simple header that defines a macro for the device ID address. While I checked the address for both STM32F4 and STM32F0 families, other families might have slightly different addresses for the device ID. Check the reference manual corresponding to your STM32 family if errors occur.

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Posted by Uli Köhler in C/C++, Embedded

Reading STM32F0 internal temperature and voltage using ChibiOS

The STM32F0 series of 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 microcontrollers contain a huge number of internal peripherals despite their low price starting at 0,32€ @1pc. Amongst them is an internal, factory-calibrated temperature sensor and a supply voltage sensor (that specifically senses VDDA, the analog supply voltage rail) connect to channels 16 and 17 of the internal ADC.

While I usually like the STM32 documentation, it was quite hard to implement code that produced realistic values. While the STM32F0 reference manual contains both formulas and a short section of example code, I believe that some aspects of the calculation are understated in the computation:

Section 13.9 in RM0091 provides a formula for computing the temperature from the raw temperature sensor output and the factory calibration values. However it is not stated anywhere (at least in Rev7, the current RM0091 revision) that this formula is only correct for a VDDA of exactly 3.30V.

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Posted by Uli Köhler in C/C++, Embedded

Fixing bad blocks on HDDs using fixhdd.py

Problem:

You hard drive or SMART tool reports errors when reading specific blocks similar to this message:

[3142.686141] end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 31415926

No matter how often you read the block, the hard drive still returns an error and does not reallocate the block.

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Posted by Uli Köhler in Linux, Python
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