Anyone still using the Portenta?

Seems like interest in the Portenta has waned over the last year.

I am still very interested, but feel like only a few others are still using the board. The latest Arduino MBED Core release 1.6.1 has a few improvements and a few more examples. This boards software is just starting to get stable and exciting.

Please like or comment if you are still interested.

7 Likes

Hi
i just started with the portenta a few weeks ago. I'm writing my master thesis and want to build a 24GHz radar shield for the portenta. But i have some problems with debugging and i think i have a broken bootloader. here is my post.

As a total beginner in programming embedded systems it can be very fustrating, but step by step i will reach my goal :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Hi,

I am just starting with the portenta, and I intend to use it in the BMS sector.

This seems to be a powerful and flexible board, but it definitely does not have the same volume of code shared, so virtually no shared basis to build on.
I fully intend to share basic code like connecting the portenta to Modbus RTU or IP or I/Os, as soon as some code of mine on it will work. Right now I am just trying to connect it to the IoT Cloud (wifi or preferably IP socket).
In parallel, we are working on a nextion-based tactile screen that could be eather clipped on the Portenta Machine Control or surface-mounted on the cabinet, using the CAN bus in both cases to connect it to the portenta MC through a Nano Every and an SPI/CAN shield.

So Yes, some do work on the Portenta ...

Didier, DG2R

1 Like

Wow, that post got really technical really fast. I agree the portenta has connection issues sometimes, but even with the regular arduino IDE I can always use usb for power, re save a basic sketch, double press the button, find the port and reboot the portenta. Have you tired it without the breakout board?

1 Like

Nice DG2 the lack of example code issue is a problem.

I have never used CAN bus, but have other examples at my library portenta_pro_community_solutions. I am also trying to connect to cloud servers with some issues, just starting to test my own node server to see what works.

The communication over USB doesn't work. The problem is, that the USB tranciever needs the two voltages "+3V1SW" and "+1V8", which the power supply doesn't provide, because the MCU doesn't start up the power supply :man_facepalming:
I am out of ideas.

We will now buy some new Portentas, hoping that this error will not occur again

1 Like

I recently bought an h7. To be honest it's a little more of a learning curve than expected.

A lot of more basic code doesn't transfer over directly, and that hurts it.

I also have a few teensy 3.5 4.1 etc. For me most of my work is in control systems, and the dual processor/integrated features seemed really promising. But if I can't do the more basic stuff easily, I don't expect that taking advantage of more advanced features will be likely.

I will keep trying with it, but it seems like the h7 is going to sink. Price is so high that not a lot of people are getting on board to work through the issues. The advertisement is for easy to implement professional grade solutions. But so far, some of the issues aren't even "easy" or "hard" they're flat out mysteries.
Other platforms exist that cost less and have more streamlined integration.

2 Likes

To be honest, real PROs go with the actual development kits from ST (Discovery boards for example). They are actually cheaper and more integrated (most comes with LCD, flash, sensors, etc).

It's unfortunate that the base Portenta board didn't broke-out the most essential pins (SWD). This would have allowed the PROs to play with it and maybe contribute some good code.

2 Likes

That is kind of my issue with the Portenta. I don't think it's niche customer is real Pros. I think it's niche is for education and small businesses that don't want to hire a mechatronic / electrical / computer Engineer, but have a problem that needs solving and have a capable Maker employee.

I also fee everyones pain about getting software working on the Portenta. I have been daily researching it for over a year now and nothing has been easy. Two breakthroughs recently:

  1. A fellow Canadian is a Portenta library making machine: here

  2. EdgeImpulse.com just fully supported the Portenta for Vision and Sound Machine Learning documentation here

For anyone new to my posts. I am making a Maker100 course here for high school / general university students around the Portenta, the research for that site is here

My library with a massive amount of Portenta examples is called the portenta-pro-community-solutions

I really want to improve my Gotchas page here I feel the simplifying of the MBED core was a bigger task than Arduino thought it was going to be, but I need a bit more community involvement to find all the gotchas:

Portenta Gotchas are simple things like: No Analog pins being able to do PWM and the reversed onboard LED's where LOW means OFF and HIGH means ON but connected LED's are normal.

These and lots of other issues are really confusing for beginners and really caused me hours of confusion when I started.

I teach High School and education always complains that they have no money, but walk through any schools metal/wood/automotive/cooking or science labs and you will see that when schools need something they have money for very expensive equipment. The cost of 15 Portenta's with LoRa Vision Shields, a few sensors and motors and a Greyscale OLED is minor compared to anything in a metal or wood shop.

So for me and many others, the Portenta is the most powerful Arduino we can find. I still have a few things I am working on. The biggest issue at the moment for me is Please clarify WiFi, BLE and Ethernet capabilities on the PortentaH7 M4 core. · Issue #360 · arduino/ArduinoCore-mbed · GitHub

where the faster M7 core does the work but the slower M4 core doesn't seem to be able to do any outside communication, except for LoRaWan. Any opinions?

2 Likes

Yeah unfortunately I am also running into the Orange LED of Doom with my Portenta. I loaded an Edge Impulse model onto it (in Arduino library form) and it was working. At some point it started showing a solid orange LED and now it won't respond to anything :confused:

Had high hopes for the Portenta... hoping to get some support from Arduino on this issue because the board has great potential!

Yeh the problem with that scenario is that Arduino is not necessarily a Machine Learning powerhouse. Now that EdgeImpulse.com is fully supporting the Portenta, they might be able to help with the problem. The Forum is fairly active. https://forum.edgeimpulse.com/

I have occasionally had the red flash of death and it has taken a few times to reboot the Portenta. Hopefully you did the System update to protect against a boot issue. Arduino is fairly good about the board, they may replace it if you enquire.

Im still using the Portenta H7 as well. I need the Portenta for driving an actuator and sense its response in acoustic frequency domain. so i need to use the DAC and ADC in relativly high Sample rates. and send the data via Ethernet to a PC (LabView) to process the data. One channel reading is working fine i achieve a Sampling time of about 6µs per writing DAC and reading ADC.
so far im struggling with DMA for ADC fast multichannel reading. if anyone has a nice little (working) example (at least for 2 channels) i would be very happy
I actuealy like Portenta (very powerfull device), but sometimes the lag of support drives me crazy.
(i mainly use HAL in my Arduino sketch)

2 Likes

I agree, if Arduino hired a few more software developers and concentrated on fully supporting the boards they have it would be a lot more fun for us Makers.

Probably not as advanced as the work you are doing, but here is my DAC to ADC example here. It took me a while to figure out what was going on and that the Aref pin was important. Haven't tried the example since a few MBED core releases so not even sure if it still works.

1 Like

Yes i downloaded ur Library "portenta-pro-community-solutions" it was a pretty good start for setting up the Portenta with Arduino software. :grinning: :+1:

2 Likes

Right, I was hoping (as discussed in another post #9) it would be the soft version of an ST board. I am a one man developer, and primarily have to focus on the physical engineering of the system in prototyping. The controller is important, but the job it does is relatively basic. Nuanced yes, but realistically could be run on a basic Arduino. However I saw this as the opportunity to lay groundwork with future expansions, for both the prototype and even small scale production. And do some IMU machine learning as well to basically add a whole slew of features.

Instead, there's nobody here to contribute (in comparison to the ST). Not that the members here aren't great, just that this is microscopic compared to other platforms. Maybe I'll look again into the ST stuff, but I was hoping this would have enough support to allow me (a non software/computer engineer) to quickly and successfully do what I wanted. Otherwise I'll just step down to do a more basic ARM Arduino control system (teensy).

1 Like

Thank you for the tip. I will look into edgeimpulse as well as updating the system. I had problems with the h7 locking up. I got it working again, and have let it sit to avoid accidentally permanently bricking it, in the hopes such a solution would come up.

I hope Arduino emails the link to such a system update to all of it's h7 customers

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.