Is this section of Stack Exchange the right place for my question which is possibly hardware; possibly software; possibly some interplay between them ?

My current problem has been asked over on the regular StackOverflow site and the answers have been sparse and, well, I still have the problem.

This is in no way intended to reflect poorly on those who have been trying to help me, but rather to express the complexity of the question; plus the scarce nature of the knowledge needed to provide its answer.

I have an embedded system with two PIC processors with a hard-wired connection between two UARTs within them (i.e., UART1 on the PIC32 and UART3 on the PIC24).

Is electronics.stackexchange.com the proper place for such a question as I have ?

A related (more generic) question was asked here but I can't tell from reading the various answers which convey highly divergent opinions.

I want to be a good member, help others who are going to have this same problem in the future, and the biggy: document this bug (and, hopefully, its fix) because the the chances are that the exact same thing will almost certainly reappear when we do version two of the product.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You mention "here" in the subject so it seems it's about EE.SE, but then have a link with "over here" pointing to SO. Please be more specific to reduce confusion. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 22:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IgorSkochinsky okay, just edited it. Sorry for the confusion. Hope the edit makes it more clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – User.1
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @User.1 This is exactly the reason I think the site should probably consider a name change, or at least have a landing page that shows clearly what is valuable content and what is "off-topic". \$\endgroup\$
    – tmwoods
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, yes. Embedded systems questions tend to go over very poorly on SO in terms of quality/number of answers.

See also:

  • \$\begingroup\$ How well they do on Stack Overflow is not the point, but I agree they are on topic, so you received my +1. The other answer said the same thing, but then was grumpy about the specific question and received downvotes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk I feel that it's relevant to the extent that if you have a question that could theoretically get posted on either site without being closed, the quality (and type) of answers produced by each site is highly relevant to where the question should be asked. If it was clearly 100% off topic here then yes the quality of SO answers would be irrelevant. If I were in User.1's shoes and had to decide which site to ask a grey-area question on, I would very much like to be pointed to the site that will produce better answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Baker
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 23:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ On lots of border questions I feel like the site that has the same expertise as you will give answers in the language you are used to. I am not saying you are wrong, it is a fine opinion in my eyes, but I have been directed to be greedy about questions, keep any that is on topic that fits on your site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 0:04

Questions about small microcontroller systems are on topic here as long as they are about the hardware, firmware aspects related to the hardware, or issues related to running on a small resource-limited processor. Generic C questions just because the code happens to run on a microcontroller don't generally belong here.

I looked at your question briefly, and in its present form I would probably want to close it as "not a real question" on the grounds that "it is difficult to tel what is being asked here". You talk about a UART "generating" a int, which makes no sense. First, on a PIC 32 a "int" is likely 32 bits wide with your compiler, and a UART doesn't "generate" them anyway. It is also not clear what exactly the UART is sending and receiving. You talk about something not happening, but at the end show a large dump of bytes, so apparently something did happen. To be fair, I didn't read the whole questions, but then again I wouldn't if this same question showed up here either. After a few confusions and apparent inconsistancies I'd vote to close and move on. A question needs to make sense at first glance, because otherwise you don't get a second one.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Suppose the solution to his problem turned out to somehow involve hardware-level signal integrity issues? Would you trust StackOverflow to figure that out? I certainly wouldn't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Baker
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 21:28
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ It's clear he meant "generating an interrupt". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 22:08
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Igor: No, that's not clear at all! This demonstates once again that saving a few ms typing the full word is penny wise and pound foolish. I really thought he meant "int", since that is sortof relevant and he showed some C code if I remember right. Now I might not vote to close (would have to read the question again), but -1 for sloppiness and assuming everyone else will just know what you're talking about. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 0:26
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop The issue here is the standard one, when you work with a group of people that always say 'int' for 'interrupt' you can easily believe that is how everyone does it. Then you use the language on the internet and find out that is not the case. All that needs to be done is a minor edit and a note explaining that is not the standard language. Don't jump to be a jerk when you could just let someone know they are misinformed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 13:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: I really thought he meant "INT" as in C. This truly was not clear to me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 14:08
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop Might be a sign that sometimes when something does not make sense it may be better to just ask for clarification or just leave and come back a bit later when you notice it bumped again. Someone would notice and probably correct it. Or at least this is the ideal. For me the point is that not everyone knows every bit of lingo and every subject. If a question does not make sense to you, you may want to ask. If you don't have the time or patience for asking, go away and come back and check later when it gets bumped. I understand how int being the variable type would stick in my head. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:53
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ +1000 for asking for clarification before downvoting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Baker
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 0:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .