Geeks With Blogs
Ray Smith

Just thought I would get a couple of notes up here for reference to anyone that is is now Feb 2011 and I have not been posting here enough to remember this blog.

Back in Nov 2010 I ordered the Ti launchpad msp430, it is a little target board kit replete with a mini USB cable, two very inexpensive programmable mcu's and a couple of pin headers with a couple of led's on board, a spi connector some on board jumpers and two programmable micro switches....all for less than $5.00...INCLUDING SHIPPING!!....not bad when the ardruino's are running around 20.00 for the target board, atmega328 and cable off of eBay...I wont even mention the microchip pic right now.  Naw, for $5.00 the Ti launchpad kit is about the cheapest fun around...if-uns your a geek that is...

Well, the launchpad was backordered for almost two months, came like Xmas eve in fact...I had almost forgotten it!! And really, it was way late and not my idea of an Xmas present for myself.  That would of been the web expressions 4 I bought a few weeks back.  With all the holidays, I did not even look at it till last week, in fact I passed the wrapped board around at my local ham club meeting during points of personal privilege....some oh's and ahhs but mostly duhs...I actually ordered it to avoid downloading the huge code compressor studio 4 (CCS) that was supposed to be included on the cd.  No cd.  I had already downloaded IAR  another programming IDE for these little micro bugs.

In my spare time I toyed with IAR and the launchpad board but after about two days of playing delete the driver with windows I decided to just download CCS 4, the code limited version, and give that a shot......CCS 4, is a good rewrite from the earlier versions, it is based on Eclipse as an IDE and includes the drivers for the msp430 target board I received in the kit.  Once installed I quickly configured the debugger for the target chip which was already plugged into the dip socket at the factory, msp430G2131 from he drop down list and clicked ok...I was in!!

The CCS4 is full of bells and whistles compared to the IAR, which I would of preferred for the simplicity.  But the code compressor studio really does have it all!!..the code limited version is free, and of all things will give you java script editor box.  The whole layout in debugger mode reminds me of any modern programmer IDE...I mean sure give me Tex anytime but you simply must admire all the boxes and options included in the GUI.  It was a simple matter to check the assembly code in the flash and ram memory that came preloaded for the launchpad kit.  Assembly.  I am right now looking for my old assembly textbooks...sure I remember how to use mov and add etc but a couple of the commands are a little more than vague anymore.  Still, these little mcu's are about 50 cents each and might just work in a couple of projects I have lined up for the near future.  I may document the code here.  Luckily, I plan to write the code in c++ for the main project but if it has to be assembly, no prob. 

For reference, the program that came already on the 2131 in the kit was a temperature indicator that alternately flashed red and green leds and changed the intensity of either depending on whether the temp was rising or falling...neat.  Neat enough that it might be worthwhile banging out a little GUI in windows 7 to test the new user device system calls, maybe put a temp gauge widget up on the desktop...just to keep from getting bored.  If you see some assembly code on this blog, you know I was doing something with one of the many mcu's out there.....thats all for now, more to follow...a bit later, of course.

Posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 1:11 AM | Back to top

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