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Everything posted by Fred

  1. Watch out. I have your address and might send them all to you!
  2. My BP just arrived (along with another 100 bubble wrap bags of course). You get two transparent tags. One is a rectangular sticker and the other a thin circular piece of plastic with the IC actually exposed on one side. Quite unusual. They both contain a 256 byte IEC 15693 compatible TI Tag-it HF-I Plus IC. What I find intriguing is that the BP is significantly cheaper that the DLP RFID2 module it contains. The module on the BP lacks the external antenna connector of the standalone RFID2 module andaccording to the datasheet it's also missing an on-board MSP430F5342. It does however have a SBW
  3. I've bought one of the 7970A booster packs and it shipped a few days ago. I'll let you know how I get on when it arrives. I'll mostly be concerned about the read range for embedded glass tags. For reading cards the 7970A is the right device. For interacting with a phone (which normally operates in reader mode) you might be better looking at the dynamic tag side of things like the RF430CL330H. There's a booster pack for this also made by DLP but I can see it in the TI store - only TI's target board. Phones can act as a NFC tag, but I believe you need an app running to actively do this.
  4. Nice find. I recently got a Surface Pro 1 - not that different to the Pro 2 and I got a great deal as they were obviously clearing stock before the Pro 3 arrived. With 2 kids my geek time has been reduced and it's now easier to use Eagle (with a pen for board layout) or even CCS (with a LP dangling by my side) in front of the TV.
  5. I've been looking more at NFC after getting myself chipped, and earlier this week I did a day with ST on their low power ARM L0 and NFC. The dynamic tag stuff is what you need to be looking at - either TI's one that you mentioned or ST's M24LR/M24SR. I have a M24LR discovery board that demos writing to a "tag" and drawing enough power to run a small uC and an LCD display in addition to the EEPROM. I also got a glimpse of their M24SR discovery board that does a little more. Antenna design is apparently reasonably simple for the tags compared to the readers. I'll try to dig out some more
  6. @@emdarcher I'd concentrate on having some fun and making boards just for yourself before thinking about trying to sell any. Be prepared to make a few mistakes along the way. (Personally I've swapped VCC and GND a couple of times now. Doh!) I'd thoroughly recommend getting into SMD. I only did so recently and it was far easier and more rewarding than I thought. It's not even that expensive to start. You'll need a hot air gun. I went for a low end 898D+ solder station (as my existing soldering iron needed replacing too) and that seems fine. I got a selection of 0805 resistors and capacitors
  7. If anyone's got a CC3200 project planned, it might be worth looking at this competition: http://www.element14.com/community/roadTests/1320 tldr; Describe your "Backyard IoT" project. 10 people get a free CC3200LP. Blog about progress and the winner gets a trip to Makerfaire.
  8. Isn't the DIP format MSP430 already breadboard friendly? I'm not sure the PCB really adds enough that there would be much demand for them. It's great that you're getting started on your own PCBs and I'd encourage you to get some made for your own use. I'm not sure they'd be a great seller though. I hope that's useful feedback.
  9. Great to see you made hackaday too. I'm planning something similar (probably MSP430F5529) to log in automatically with my xNT NFC implant - i.e. sending Ctrl-Atl-Del and password to unlock a windows PC. I'll definitely take a look on detail at yours before I start.
  10. I etched another board and can confirm this layout works fine with a FET430-UIF, a SBY_BI_TAG adapter and TagConnect cable. Connecting the TX/RX to the device doesn't interfere with operation either (but obviously doesn't do anything).
  11. The TRF7970A NFC booster back (made by DLP Design) is now available direct from TI. It's also available as a bundle with a G2 or F5529 Launchpad but costs the same as buying these seperately. http://www.ti.com/tool/DLP-7970abp Perfect timing for me in the UK as I was going to be stung with
  12. I was initially a bit puzzled as to why there's a TagConnect header on the board itself. Then I realised it's so you can use one ezFET to program another one. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I may well be interested in one of these when you've finished. I've got a UIF which works, but yours is cooler. Also, let me know if you want a laser cut or 3D printed case for it.
  13. I'd suggest that you do the following. Run through these tutorials: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/Getting_Started_with_the_MSP430_LaunchPad_Workshop Buy this book: http://www.amazon.com/MSP430-Microcontroller-Basics-John-Davies/dp/0750682760 Come back and ask if you have anything specific that you've spent a few hours trying to solve on your own and are stuck on. Everyone here is really helpful. Personally I've got a lot out of this site. However, it's not really fair to expect people to rush to help you unless you've put in a bit of effort first.
  14. I'll add the TX/RX connections on my next test board. Whilst they won't work with the UIF, I can check that having them connected to the MCU doesn't interfere with its operation.
  15. I'll try 0 ohm when I get home tonight, although it's a little confusing if that leaves the UIF open to damage. To me this note describes either using 330 ohm or effectively going with figure 2.3 (0 ohm to TCK and VPP not connected): You're right that serial would be useful and it's not possible with TagConnect's own SPY_BI_TAG adapter. It would be good if we can preserve some compatibility with it though. Not just because that's what I've started using, but because that's what somebody who's bought what TagConnect sell would get. I wonder if a couple of modifications to the SPY_BI_T
  16. @@greeeg Unfortunately not. I installed the 330 ohm resistor but no matter what I tried I couldn't get that setup to work. I spent a day swearing at it, getting out the oscilloscope, etc. I thought I had a dodgy FET (eBay bargain) until I remembered an Olimex F2013 PIR board that has a 10-pin header. It worked fine. Then I realized it uses the connections as in Figure 2.3 (on the following page). Figure 2.3 also works for the AFE252 that I was trying to use too. Also works for a G2533. I know the caption for Figure 2.3 says it's just for F5xx and F6xx but that just doesn't seem to be the
  17. Not quite. In addition to the V sense (i.e. VCC on pin 2 rather than pin 4), SBWTCK should also be pin 3 rather than pin 6. I only mention it as you said there might be a revision of this board. Obviously you can go with whatever pinout you like, but if your design isn't final there's still the option of being compatible with TagConnect's kit. Also just realized I'd forgotten to say what an impressive job you've done of this!
  18. I'm glad to see you got it working. I thought you may have been caught be the same issues I had with a FET430-UIF that I mentioned on the TagConnect thread, but it seems not. I also had issues that when switching between CCS5.5 and CCS6 it always wanted to update the FET firmware. (I was just switching to rule out config issues.) MSPFlasher helped with that as I could at least week what version was on there. Have you gone with the pinout that Spirilis did or will your updated board keep compatibility with the FET430-UIF pinout you get using the TagConnect supplied adapter? I'm struggling
  19. That's quite an ambitious project, but it sounds like you've given it a lot of thought and planned it well.
  20. That looks nice, but there a lot of unused space down one end of the board. If you can't think of anything specific to fill it, maybe a prototyping area? Some LEDs? They're always useful for very simple debugging.
  21. @Sprirlis - I made the same mistake as you with the TEST pin - thinking it needed to go to TEST/VPP as per the first diagram. I can only get it to work going to TCK directly. I've yet to etch a corrected board (and the pad is too small to do a green-wire fix), but I think the usage from a FET430-UIF when powering the board from the FET would be: O RESET/SBWTDIO . . VCC (IN) TEST/SBWTCK . . GND . . O O Apologies for the ASCII art.
  22. @Greeg The soldermask is Dynamask 5000 dry film. I'm a real fan of it. All it take is a laminator to get it on the board and a UV source to expose. A cheap nail dryer from eBay works fine. It can even manage the text at the top of the board. I do occasionally get some bits flaking off. This Instructable got me into it. I've got a fair bit of it, so if anyone wants to try it out then drop me a PM. As I've got a FET430-UIF (eBay bargain) and the TagConnect cables came with an adapter it makes sense for me to stick with it - for now at least. I've discovered one trace on the board shown th
  23. roadrunner84 beat me to it. Why power a MSP430 down when it draws so little current in the low power modes. Quicker and easier to start them back up too. @@roadrunner84 - Isn't it terrible how the roadrunner is remember for his violence, rather than his wonderful photo realistic pictures of tunnels?
  24. Well, it seems that the TagConnect header is just within my capabilities of home PCB etching. The alignment of the locator pins is a bit out but it seems good enough. It couldn't get CCS to recognise the device so I thought I'd screwed it up, but it seems that the header isn't the problem. The board is a MSP430AFE252 breakout and connecting directly from the FET430UIF to the pin headers doesn't work either (but using a G2 launchpad does). I think the FET430UIF - or my use of it - is the problem but I'm not sure why yet. It got it on eBay and haven't used it before so it could be sus
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