Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Texas Instruments MSP430 LaunchPad

The MSP430 Launch Pad arrived! Christmas came early!
Look what just arrived in the mail!  It's the ultra low-cost Texas Instruments LaunchPad, a USB-based experimenter board I ordered a few weeks ago. The board is for experimenting with 14/20-pin MSP430 Value Line microcontrollers, designed for low power consumption as well as low cost.

At only $4.30 the experimenter board is about as budget-friendly as you can get. The MSP430G2231 chips cost about $1.75 at Mouser, although two came with the box.

Development environment and tools are free at www.ti.com/launchpadwiki (Windows only). There's also a GCC toolchain, MSPGCC. Mac OS X folks, check this wiki page.

What comes in the box?  Experimenter board of course. USB cable. Pin headers, two MSP430G22231 14-pin PDIP MCUs, 32.768 kHz SMT cyrstal, and a couple of cute little LaunchPad stickers.

The MCU specs are: clock speed up to 16MHz, RISC architecture, 2kB Flash, 128B RAM, 10 GPIO, 1x 16-bit timer, USI (I2C, SPI), Internal Temp Sensor, and 8ch 10-bit ADC.

Contents. More goodies under the white tab.
Getting Started With LaunchPad, The Simple Way

  • I started by installing the IAR Embedded Workbench IDE for MSP430. The CCS tool requires at least 1G of memory and my garage sale PC is memory-challenged.
  • Next, open up the User's Guide for the IAR Embedded Workbench.
  • Read the Get Started Now! section which describes how to configure the IDE, compile, download and run your code.
  • You should have a flashing red LED on your LaunchPad. Yippee!

Now, let's see... what can we do with this thing?

The www.43oh.com website has lots of ideas. So do these sites: www.msp430launchpad.com and mspsci.blogspot.com  And there's the forum at 43oh as well as this Ti MSP430 Forum and this Google group and a Yahoo Group.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out for my blog. Hope your having fun with the LaunchPad. The MSP430 line is really great.

    NJC

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  2. Cool! Mine should be coming in the mail today or tomorrow too. Can't wait to open it up and do ... something with it (let's ignore the fact that i still haven't done anything with my Chronos watch with the MSP430 inside)

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  3. looks pretty sweet. make something cool and post it!

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  4. Just got my shipping notice today. Mine should arrive on Monday, September 20...

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  5. Great news! They seemed to ship pretty fast. They sent my second one last week.

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