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rockets4kids

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  1. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from oPossum in RTFM - Read The Fabulous Manual   
    I don't think anyone has questioned the accuracy or veracity of TI's documentation.
     
    I can't speak for others, but I do not use the E2E forums because the software is just so ungodly awful.  I am not a fan of web forums in general, but E2E is just fingers-across-a-chalkboard unpleasant.  I might be inclined to use it if there was good content, but every time I have wound up there as a result of a google search I have never found anything worthwhile.
     
    And again, I still think the main reason more people don't RTFM is simply because they have never actually *found* TFM.
     
    Yes, the family datasheets are 600-odd pages of densely worded text.  There is no doubt that reading them is often difficult.  That is par for the course when working with microcontrollers.
     
    There is indeed a huge gap between TI's introductory material and the datasheets.  I have stated time and time again that if TI wants the Launchpad to be a useful educational tool, they should do a better job of bridging that documentation gap.
     
    Unfortunately, it is now clear that TI has chosen instead to devote it's resources to Energia.  I think this is a terrible decision for a whole host of reasons, but mostly because it obscures how the chips actually work rather than teaching how they do work.  What makes this sadder still is is that the MSP430 is far and away the best architecture to learn using microcontrollers natively. 
     
    And if Energia truly is the future, for better or worse, it is sad that TI would do such a poor job at fostering the community supporting it.
  2. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from tripwire in FET vs EEM   
    The use of the word "emulation" is archaic and is in no way appropriate to the way MCUs are used today.  TI should have dropped the term a decade ago, as it serves only to confuse just about everyone who wasn't using microcontrollers well over ten years ago.
     
    Historically, re-programmable memory was very expensive so most chips used either ROMs that were masked directly onto the chip or one time programmable memories.  Even silicon was very expensive, so any debugging hardware at all was never included on the chips.  Development and debugging was done on dedicated boards that that either implemented the processor with discrete components or emulated it with a more advanced processor.  The program ROM was also typically emulated in RAM.  Because these development systems were very complex and only produced in relatively small volumes, they were typically very expensive.  Even at the very tail end of their use they still cost more than $1000.
     
    However, new processes and technologies have made both FLASH memory and silicon cheap, and the cost to implement the hooks required to enable debugging on the chip itself add so little to the overall cost that just about all modern microcontrollers include them.  The MSP430FET is merely a communications bridge between the host and the on-chip debug hardware.
  3. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from mmello in FET vs EEM   
    The use of the word "emulation" is archaic and is in no way appropriate to the way MCUs are used today.  TI should have dropped the term a decade ago, as it serves only to confuse just about everyone who wasn't using microcontrollers well over ten years ago.
     
    Historically, re-programmable memory was very expensive so most chips used either ROMs that were masked directly onto the chip or one time programmable memories.  Even silicon was very expensive, so any debugging hardware at all was never included on the chips.  Development and debugging was done on dedicated boards that that either implemented the processor with discrete components or emulated it with a more advanced processor.  The program ROM was also typically emulated in RAM.  Because these development systems were very complex and only produced in relatively small volumes, they were typically very expensive.  Even at the very tail end of their use they still cost more than $1000.
     
    However, new processes and technologies have made both FLASH memory and silicon cheap, and the cost to implement the hooks required to enable debugging on the chip itself add so little to the overall cost that just about all modern microcontrollers include them.  The MSP430FET is merely a communications bridge between the host and the on-chip debug hardware.
  4. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from abecedarian in Am I that old?   
    Are you referring to the '80s song or the '50s music style?  ;-)
  5. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from GeekDoc in Vetinari's Clock   
    Funny you should mention this -- a digital version of Vetinari's clock has been on my back burner for a while now.  ;-)
  6. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from xpg in FET vs EEM   
    The use of the word "emulation" is archaic and is in no way appropriate to the way MCUs are used today.  TI should have dropped the term a decade ago, as it serves only to confuse just about everyone who wasn't using microcontrollers well over ten years ago.
     
    Historically, re-programmable memory was very expensive so most chips used either ROMs that were masked directly onto the chip or one time programmable memories.  Even silicon was very expensive, so any debugging hardware at all was never included on the chips.  Development and debugging was done on dedicated boards that that either implemented the processor with discrete components or emulated it with a more advanced processor.  The program ROM was also typically emulated in RAM.  Because these development systems were very complex and only produced in relatively small volumes, they were typically very expensive.  Even at the very tail end of their use they still cost more than $1000.
     
    However, new processes and technologies have made both FLASH memory and silicon cheap, and the cost to implement the hooks required to enable debugging on the chip itself add so little to the overall cost that just about all modern microcontrollers include them.  The MSP430FET is merely a communications bridge between the host and the on-chip debug hardware.
  7. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from dubnet in FET vs EEM   
    The use of the word "emulation" is archaic and is in no way appropriate to the way MCUs are used today.  TI should have dropped the term a decade ago, as it serves only to confuse just about everyone who wasn't using microcontrollers well over ten years ago.
     
    Historically, re-programmable memory was very expensive so most chips used either ROMs that were masked directly onto the chip or one time programmable memories.  Even silicon was very expensive, so any debugging hardware at all was never included on the chips.  Development and debugging was done on dedicated boards that that either implemented the processor with discrete components or emulated it with a more advanced processor.  The program ROM was also typically emulated in RAM.  Because these development systems were very complex and only produced in relatively small volumes, they were typically very expensive.  Even at the very tail end of their use they still cost more than $1000.
     
    However, new processes and technologies have made both FLASH memory and silicon cheap, and the cost to implement the hooks required to enable debugging on the chip itself add so little to the overall cost that just about all modern microcontrollers include them.  The MSP430FET is merely a communications bridge between the host and the on-chip debug hardware.
  8. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from tripwire in Vetinari's Clock   
    It the the same principle used by charlieplexing, only a simpler implementation.  Take any two GPIO pins in output mode.  Pull one high and the other low and current will flow between them.  Reverse the settings and current will flow the opposite direction.  Set the pins to input mode and no current will flow.  You can easily test this with a two-color bi-directional LED or two individual LEDs.
     
    Be careful of current consumption.  Draw too much current (or worse, short the pins) and you are almost guaranteed to fry them.
  9. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from abecedarian in Vetinari's Clock   
    Funny you should mention this -- a digital version of Vetinari's clock has been on my back burner for a while now.  ;-)
  10. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from ILAMtitan in CCS vs Tiva   
    Although it wouldn't explain your problems, a lot of people have had issues with the on-line CCS installer.  It is always best to download the full off-line installer (the 1.5 GB one...) and install from that.
  11. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from GeekDoc in Suggestions/Thoughts on a donation button   
    My suggestion would be to price items from the store more appropriately and use profits from the store to support the site.
     
    I have recently gotten in to R/C, and one of the sites most rapidly growing in popularity is flitetest.com.  While I personally consider their products to be insanely overpriced, they have had such such great response that they have actually had to hire additional employees to fulfill all of their orders.
  12. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from bluehash in Suggestions/Thoughts on a donation button   
    I am flying scratch-built planes made from Dollar Tree foam and packing tape, largely as per the techniques described in this thread:
     
    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1587275
     
    The planes do not fly quite as well as commercial molded-foam kits, and the Dollar Tree foam is not nearly as resilient as EPO foam but they fly more than well enough and are a great way to learn about aeronautical engineering while spending remarkably little money.
     
    The people at Flite Test use the same Dollar Tree foam, but slightly different build techniques.  All of their designs are completely open source, and they sell "speed build" kits which are nothing more than Dollar Tree foam that has been pre-cut on a laser cutter.  They sell roughly $5 worth of materials (retail cost) for $25 - $35, which is about what you would pay for a similar kit molded from high-quality EPO foam.
     
    All I can figure is that either a *lot* of people have an aversion to transferring a pattern and cutting it out with an x-acto knife, or people are purchasing the kits largely because they want to support the site, and the kit is just a small token they get in return.   I do believe the latter is far more the case than the former.
     
    Here are some quick pics of my latest plane, taken shortly before I finished it and flew it yesterday:
     
    http://imgur.com/a/kl6OE
     
    She flew great and came back almost undamaged despite some rough landings -- due entirely to pilot error.
     
    No MSP430s on board yet, but that is going to happen *really* soon now.
  13. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from oPossum in Suggestions/Thoughts on a donation button   
    My suggestion would be to price items from the store more appropriately and use profits from the store to support the site.
     
    I have recently gotten in to R/C, and one of the sites most rapidly growing in popularity is flitetest.com.  While I personally consider their products to be insanely overpriced, they have had such such great response that they have actually had to hire additional employees to fulfill all of their orders.
  14. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from bluehash in CCS vs Tiva   
    Although it wouldn't explain your problems, a lot of people have had issues with the on-line CCS installer.  It is always best to download the full off-line installer (the 1.5 GB one...) and install from that.
  15. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from gmtii in How the heck I should start using CSS?   
    Those who are having difficulties learning the CCS user interface should look for tutorials on Eclipse, the Open Source IDE from which CCS is derived.
     
    Personally, I am not a fan of IDEs with a WIMP interface (Emacs is *my* IDE) so I do not know how close CCS remains to Eclipse, but I have been told that CCS 5 is *much* closer to the stock Eclipse than CCS 4.
  16. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from russcky in Syncing a servo to audio   
    The MSP430 isn't capable of PWMing much more than 8-bit audio, and you aren't going to hear the difference in a small speaker anyways.  Although you could filter the audio on the MCU, it would be much easier to pre-process all your audio on the host and store it on the SD card along with your audio.  The SOX audio library will be your friend here.
  17. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from bluehash in QP on MSP430 Launchpad   
    According to the wikipedia entry, the msp430 is supported.
     
    Also, there is a complete tutorial available for the old Stellaris Launchpad, now only $7.99
     
    http://www.state-machine.com/quickstart/index.php
  18. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from GeekDoc in TI releasing something "game changing" on Sept 16th   
    nothing to see here, move along now...
  19. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from dubnet in TI releasing something "game changing" on Sept 16th   
    nothing to see here, move along now...
  20. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from RobG in TI releasing something "game changing" on Sept 16th   
    nothing to see here, move along now...
  21. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from GeekDoc in Entry level Inspection / working 3d microscope?   
    People often recommend the Amscope brand for inexpensive entry level scopes:
     
    http://www.amscope.com/lowpower-stereo-binocular.html
     
    The general suggestion seems to be to get something with 5x and 10x magnification.  Amscope has a number of models in the $100 - $150 price range, but the web site doesn't seem to give enough information to tell them apart.
     
    While a USB scope will be fine for inspection, the latency will make it useless for actual construction.
  22. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from bluehash in Entry level Inspection / working 3d microscope?   
    People often recommend the Amscope brand for inexpensive entry level scopes:
     
    http://www.amscope.com/lowpower-stereo-binocular.html
     
    The general suggestion seems to be to get something with 5x and 10x magnification.  Amscope has a number of models in the $100 - $150 price range, but the web site doesn't seem to give enough information to tell them apart.
     
    While a USB scope will be fine for inspection, the latency will make it useless for actual construction.
  23. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from spirilis in TI Back to School Promotion   
    Holy carp!  Those are some deals!
  24. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from spirilis in Clock accuracy?......   
    RoadRunner:  I am pretty sure that is not correct, it doesn't jive with *anything* else I have seen.
     
    http://www.ntp.org/ntpfaq/NTP-s-sw-clocks-quality.htm
     
    http://www.best-microcontroller-projects.com/ppm.html
     
    edit:  actually, upon closer inspection, those two *do* jive.
     
    some math for examples:
     
    20 ppm == 1.728 seconds per day
     
    (60 * 60 * 24) * (20 / 1000000)
    1.728000   12 ppm = 1.0368 seconds per day   (60 * 60 * 24) * (12 / 1000000) 1.036800   2 ppm = 0.1728 seconds per day
     
    (60 * 60 * 24) * (2 / 1000000) .172800   The DS3231 is 2 ppm, BTW.
  25. Like
    rockets4kids got a reaction from JWoodrell in Yep... Just yep... :)   
    relevant:
     
    http://hamgear.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/resistanceisfutile.gif
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