My TI MSP430 launch pad came today

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by marshallf3, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    $4.35, shipping was negligible because I had other parts in the order as well.

    It does include a USB cable to go from the mini USB on the board to a regular USB port. It included two different microcontoller ICs, (one with an 8 channel A/D) a pair of headers to attach to the PCB with matching connectors and a 32.768 KHz crystal which I don't know what is there for yet as there's already a 12 MHz one on the board but I can see where there's a place to mount it or any of a variety of other crystals

    Not a bad deal for under $5 but of course for the design board they included chips are plain DIPs so they can be easily changed out in the socket on the board. It supports a large number of their chips, wish they had included all of them. :)

    Comes with basic demo programs already in the flash memory of the ICs but even as simple as it seems to be I don't feel like hooking it up tonight. For the price a nice addition to anyone's arsenal.

    http://focus.ti.com/docs/toolsw/folders/print/msp-exp430g2.html
    http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/MSP430
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  2. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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  3. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Unusual to get a product so well made for such an inexpensive price.

    I'm totally new to the microcontroller world so I'm looking forward to working with it as it seems to have excellent support and versatility.

    Maxpower, I may take some pics of it tomorrow when the sun is out, flash pictures tend to lose a lot of detail due to reflections but I'm sure there are already plenty of them on the 'net somewhere.

    All I can say is that even if you order it by itself it's well worth the price even if you have to pay the $4 shipping from Mouser to get it to you. http://www.mouser.com/Search/Produc...2virtualkey59500000virtualkey595-MSP-EXP430G2 then click on larger image.

    At that price I never expected to receive such a quality product, it has an individual serial number on the back and even a "Test-Pass" sticker on it but the most important thing is that the socket for the ICs is one of those solid hole ones that are gold plated, not those simple stupid wiper contact type. They even included small rubber feet on the bottom of the board!

    The two pushbuttons are quality made, easy to tell that from the feel of the detent. There are 5 support ICs on the board but I'm not going to strain my eyes and type them in as I'm sure they're specific interface devices related to the power supply & USB connection.

    PIC can keep their high prices to themselves, if this board will do what I think it will with the huge variety of chips available I think TI may have an edge in the market now. Can you afford another $8.00 on your Visa card? If so I'd just get one but ever since I got interested they've gone on backorder quite a few times so a ton of people are buying them and production is probably limited since they seem to have put so much time into making these not to mention all the professional packaging.

    I'm seeing a bit over 1,000 left, next shipment date in in mid February but of course there are other suppliers.
    I prefer Mouser because they only charge exactly what they have to pay UPS as far as shipping goes at their discounted rate.

    [EDIT:] If you visit Mouser be sure to double check for any common resistors, caps, diodes, transistors etc you might be low on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  4. marshallf3

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  5. maxpower097

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  6. marshallf3

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    Jul 26, 2010
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    Point made but I' just starting to learn microcontrollers, if I get a design figured out that I actually want to put into large scale production it should not be too hard to transfer over to whatever's the most economically feasible.
     
  7. nickelflipper

    Active Member

    Jun 2, 2010
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    I have looked at the value line TI MSP430 devices, and on a low volume basis, not so competitive with a PIC. On a 1k and up basis TI seems very attractive, so it would appear to be a TI marketing position/orientation?

    No doubt, the Launchpad is a great bargain, had to wait three months for mine, back when free shipping was included. The Launchpad will only program devices that have the Spy-by-wire interface. That means a limited number of devices, even more so for DIP devices.
     
  8. maxpower097

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  9. maxpower097

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  10. marshallf3

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    Jul 26, 2010
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    Heck, it was worth the $4.35 just to open the box up and look at it, and even for one-off stuff a few extra $ for the chips that work with it isn't going to kill me.

    You also make a good point that if TI can put something like this out at such an inexpensive price yet still of a high quality some others may rethink their position. I'm still a bit shocked at the IC socket being of the solid pin type with gold plated internal contacts, kind of figured at that price with everything included I'd end up with a common phenolic PC board and cheap construction but I was certainly wrong.

    And no, it states that it will work with any of their line, it doesn't have to be a Spy Bi-Wire device nor are the prices anywhere near what someone has mentioned:

    http://www.mouser.com/Semiconductor...CU/_/N-6hpeg?P=1z0z63x&Keyword=msp430&FS=True

    Included are:
    http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/msp430g2231.pdf ($1.75 ea in single qty)
    -and-
    http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/msp430g2211.pdf ($1.63 ea in single qty)
     
  11. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    Here's some very easy code to get LEDs on P1.0 and P1.6 to blink.

    Code ( (Unknown Language)):
    1. #include <msp430g2231.h>
    2. #define PAUSE 15000
    3.  
    4.  
    5. int main(void)
    6. {
    7.   WDTCTL = WDTPW + WDTHOLD;             // Stop watchdog timer
    8.   P1DIR |= 0x41;                        // Set P1.0 to output direction
    9.  
    10.   while(1)
    11.   {
    12.     int i;            // Counting Delay Variable
    13.  
    14.     P1OUT = 0x01;
    15.     for(i=0;i<PAUSE;i++);
    16.     P1OUT = 0x00;        // Disable Output
    17.     for(i=0;i<PAUSE;i++);
    18.     P1OUT = 0x40;
    19.     for(i=0;i<PAUSE;i++);
    20.     P1OUT = 0x00;        // Disable Output
    21.     for(i=0;i<PAUSE;i++);
    22.   }
    23. }
     
  12. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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  13. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Another interesting point is that with all the additional I/O connections on the board you wouldn't have to use the USB interface, you could design and perfect something on it then just include one of the boards inside a case with all your other circuitry.

    Sorry guys, a really strong cold front hit and it's really cloudy so if I take any pictures it will be later tonight and they'll have to be under strong light or with the flash on the camera but I'll do my best later this evening.
     
  14. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Thanks, considering all the code I've already seen out there these chips must have been around for a while. Found one of the compilers that I like, tons of options there too.
     
  15. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Reminds me of how Maxim started out being so liberal with free samples. (and they still are) I've specified some of their items in my designs due to this and the last I heard one of them ended up selling over 100,000 units. Sorry I can't mention what it was due to nondisclousre agreements.

    With a lot of companies you've got to go through many hoops to get anything as a sample &/or they want you to pay shipping, Maxim is just a few keystrokes and they're at your door in a matter of days.

    I also like Microchip but can't say I've ever ordered any samples from them in ages, if I recall they want you to pay shipping so it's often just cheaper for me to include one in an order I'm already making.

    Motorola used to be very good on this too before they became On-Semi, they'd even send you at least one of all but the most expensive RF power transistors again with just a phone call or a few keystrokes on your PC once we finally got PCs into the mainstream and the internet going.
     
  16. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    Yes, I've noticed that as well. The code I provided blinks the LEDs directly from the target board, so you don't have to do any wiring.

    I still like PICs much better, they have more features and seem to program the μC much faster. The editor format of the CCS is relatively user-friendly, but there is one thing I'm still trying to look into. With MPLAB you can easily have your application run after a successful build. On CCS, however, I have to remove and then reapply power for it to run. I'm sure there is a setting somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it. I think MPLAB has a better approach to configuring settings, since it's much easier and more ostensible.
     
  17. nickelflipper

    Active Member

    Jun 2, 2010
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    On page 16 and 17 of this link there is a tabulated device family vs. 4 wire jtag programming, and 2 wire jtag (spy-bi-wire) programming support. Is there another link on bridging the 2 to 4 wire jtag gap?

    A TI rep was very generous in sampling multiples of a part to me, aside from their very good online sample program. Good stuff :).
     
  18. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Considering this is my first of any attempts to create any uController projects I figured I may as well start out cheap and work up from there if I ever have to since I doubt I'll be creating too many projects for a while. Last time I actually did any machine code programming it all went into a EPROM hooked up to a 6502 or Z-80 although I have done a bit of program tweaking in C and Visual Basic since I've got a full suite of Microsoft Visual Studio, amazing what they'll often give you if you just attend some of their seminars. Sadly they don't seem to have them very often in Oklahoma anymore which surprises me as every one I attended was packed with at least 800 people. Loved the free T-shirts and other goodies as well, sure wish they'd start coming back here as I can't really afford to drive to Dallas for a day to attend the occasional ones they still have.

    Visual Studio is a really cool suite of software and you can download some of it for free and all of it as trial. It's amazing what you can do with it if you've got a broken file in a program or you want to slightly alter one provided the code isn't locked. I'm not anywhere proficient at it but the web page developer is a great improvement over - what did they used to call that?

    http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2008-editions/express

    will get you a free version that's pretty darn functional or just register with Microsoft as an MSDN developer and a TechNet member and in time they'll probably have a seminar somewhere near you. Sit through 4 hours of interesting stuff and you'll usually walk away with a lot of product and goodies for free, not to mention the drawings they have at the end in which you may score heavily on a full copy of something like the newest Office, Visual Studio or sometimes even some rather interesting products.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb403698
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/default
     
  19. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    You're asking a question to the wrong person but I'm sure someone around here will know. I do see I2C as compatible and at least I've heard of that.

    Nice to know about TI, I will explore that later. I'm wanting to take some good pictures of all of this before I start working with it in case I do something stupid and blow it up. I'm itching to just plug it in, looks like it derives all the power and everything it needs from the common USB connection cable that was included. One IC is pre-programmed with some sort of temperature display program, where it gets an input from has yet to be determined.

    As I've mentioned, for $4.35 you can't go wrong even if you stuff it on the shelf for a while. We all need to order a few resistors, caps, xstrs etc from time to time so it only makes sense to grab a few of what you're low on at the same time as the shipping won't be any higher unless you add a lot of heavy stuff.

    I got 25 of the BA17807T regulator ICs and 100 -0- ohm jumper resistors as I use them on occasion. Sometimes I'll design a board and depending on the components I use I either do or don't need a resistor so I'll include holes for one and far prefer using the -0- ohm jumpers than just a piece of wire. The regulator ICs are perfect for replacing a discrete design regulator that exists on our antique bikes which often fails after all these years and interferes with the temperature gauge but that's the only thing it drives.
     
  20. marshallf3

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    OK, as promised, here's some pix:
    http://www.innoengr.com/images/Launch_Pad/
    I just put a .htaccess file in there so you can pick at them by will instead of me putting a ton of links up.
    [EDIT:] Sorry, forgot to take a picture of the USB-A to USB mini cable it comes with, it's about 2.5' long.

    Best I could do with a flash and a semi-neutral background, also reduced them to 1024 x 768 so most can see them. They looked fairly good in Photoshop so I didn't bother adjusting anything but the size. If I'm not in a hurry I'll use the autolevels feature as it seems to make them more balanced on most monitors, if they don't appear clear enough to you let me know and I'll go back and do that upload them again. If there's something you want a more detailed view of let me know.

    Found I had 204 pictures on my camera, I know what the most recent ones are but the earlier ones appear to be the last vacation I took with my previous girlfriend which will probably bring back both good and bad memories since I miss her very much but to dump me just because I had a totally curable medical problem is pretty much inexcusable to me.

    [EDIT again:] Darn this software takes a long time to register for and install, of course I've been multi-tasking at the same time. It's finally complete, now to see what it does.

    Well, it works and does get all it's power just from the USB cable, right now it's just running the demo program it came with. I'm far too tired to try and write anything to it until tomorrow, January 1 will be a good day to start anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
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