General information about the VMCU

The Virtual Micro Controller was developed by it:matters and Bochum University of Applied Sciences in a Leonardo da Vinci project in the frame of the European Life Long Learning programme.

Virtual Micro Controller

Virtual Micro Controller

Minimum requirements for the VMCU

For working with the VMCU in a satisfying way, your hardware/software should made the following minimum requirements:

  • A Modern web browser.
    Chrome (version > 11) or Firefox (ver. > 3) are recommended.
  • Java Virtual Machine
    at least build 1.6.0_xxx)
  • JavaScript enabled
    ExtJS is a JavaScript framework and we used this framework for the GUI of the VMCU.
  • Sufficient computer power
    We tested the VMCU on a wide range of computer systems. To simplify this adivce, it is recommended to use a PC above the computing power of a netbook (Atom CPU). I am running the simulation Intel Core i5 Quadcore CPU (M540) @ 2.53Ghz

How to register to the VMCU

You can register to the VMCU Environment on the page, following these steps:

  1. Enter a email adress
    This must not be a valid one.
  2. Enter a Password.
  3. Press the button „register“.
  4. You will be forwarded to the environment.

If not from Bochum University of Applied Sciences you should not enter any LDAP information.

Please remember, which eMail adress and password you chose. Current version of the environment does not include any password recovery feature. So if you lost you account data, you have to register again and you source code files will be not accessible anymore.

Login to the VMCU environment

  1. Just choose „System“ as the login method
  2. Enter your email adress
  3. Enter your password
  4. Press the login button
  5. If your account data was correct, you will be forwared to the VMCU Environment page.
If you are a student from Bochum University of Applied Sciences and registered with you LDAP account before, you have to choose „LDAP“ as the desired login method.

Java Security warning

We are currently still facing some security warning from Java. These are caused because we are using some unsigned .jar files from the extGWT framework in our VMCU project. We are still working on this issue and would like to apologize for any disagreeableness this may cause for you.

To run the VMCU properly, you have to choose „NO“ for blocking the device and accept the security issue.

I am really looking forward for a solution to this issue

First project

After logging into the environment, you are surely interested in running a first project.

If everything went right, you should see the following screen:

This picture is showing the Virtual Micro Controller at the left side, illustrating the Studyboard 3.0, where on the right side the Code Editor is presented. In the editor window you find some information about loading files, saving and compiling.

VMCU Environment - Click to enlarge

VMCU Environment – Click to enlarge

In the next step you should click on Select Files from the Code Editors menu. You will find two sections there, „User Files“ and „Example Files“. If you just registered, only some „Example Files“ are shown up. By double clicking you can choose on of the files, which will then be shown in the editor.

Select files - windows - Click to enlarge

Select files – windows – Click to enlarge

For the really first project and the Studyboard 3.0 it is suggested to take the Pushbuttons.c from the list. Other examples are for other boards.

Before compiling is possible for the Example Files, you have to save them first with a new name. Just press „Save File as“ in the editor menu and choose a name for your file, like „my_Pushbuttons.c“.

Code editor menu - Click to enlarge

Code editor menu – Click to enlarge

After saving, you will receive a popup message.

You can now „Save & Compile“ your file and then run it in the controller on the left side.

For running the simulation in the Virtual Micro Controller, choose „Reload program“ from the VMCU menu and after that you can start the simulation by hitting „Start simulation“ on the very left side.

Please make sure, you are using the right device!

VMCU – Different modules

We have three different modules currently available:

  1. Studyboard 3.0
  2. Studyboard 5.2 with HD44780 display
  3. Studyboard 5.2 with GFX display.

You have to choose the right controller for your source code to have it running!

Regarding the Example Files the following combinations will fit:

  1. Studyboard5_2_gfx.c will only run on the device Studyboard 5.2 with GFX display.
  2. Pushbuttons.c should work on all three modules!
  3. HD44780.c will only run on the device Studyboard 5.2 with HD44780 display.

Timing Issues

You may have noticed, that depending on you computers speed you have some timing issues with the VMCU.

VMCU Timing - Click to enlarge

VMCU Timing – Click to enlarge

When running the simulation, after some cycles, the aspect ratio to real clock is shown up in the controller window, in top of the menu. In the case of the simulation at the picture, the controller runs with 1505khz and a ratio of 1/5 (which is indeed quite good!) This issue about timing may result for you, depending on your source code into some funny or abstruse behaviour.

Please be aware of this issue, while using the VMCU environment.

I need additional help!

If you encounter some problems using the platform, you may find the videos on the VMCU homepage helpful.

  1. Enter
  2. Open the „Help“ panel
  3. Choose a screencast
    We currently have the following videos available:

    1. How to register
    2. How to login
    3. How to write first project
    4. Issues regarding the VMCU environment
    5. Where to find material/further help?