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Everything posted by Fred

  1. I like the coin in the above photo for scale - mainly because I can now estimate the size of a US quarter because I know the pitch of a TSSOP IC. :-)
  2. You'll have a lot of fun with that. Definitely try PCBs and let us know how you get on. The 5 axes might be overkill. The problem is that software to make proper use of more than 3 axes is complicated and expensive. Swapping one linear axis for a rotational one and engraving on a cylinder is easy enough.
  3. There is so little needed (one resistor and one or two capacitors) that there's not much point. You can almost consider the DIP chip to be a mini Launchpad.
  4. It's good that these are out of beta, but the big unanswered question is what is happening with the MSP432 range? There are still no new devices since the original 2 came out. There aren't any new Tiva devices that I know of either.
  5. The previous FR5968 swapout was for "early adopters". Not sure how many that covered.
  6. I could use my .co.uk work address to order samples for a while but they eventually looked into the company (life insurance). They cancelled my last request as the company didn't produce any electronics. Fair enough I suppose. They do seem to be gradually tightening things up.
  7. Maybe, but I'm not sure I'd keep an old copy just for that one board. It's not a huge problem but a bit annoying. In the case of the FR5969 it was the firmware in the onboard FET that refused to work with the beta chip, and I think CCS insisted on upgrading the FET before it would connect.
  8. OK. So the black ones will stop working in 2017? Like many people I grabbed a few when they were $4.32 (an some when they weren't). I guess they'll soon be scrap / parts donors. The same happened with the early revisions of the FR5969 Launchpad which were also XMS silicon. I managed to get a sample and replace the IC on that one, but as a hobbyist TI won't send me samples any more.
  9. Now a similar deal with the MSP432 Launchpad for $12.99 https://store.ti.com/MSP432P401R-LaunchPad-Development-Kit-with-Code-Composer-Studio-Promotion-P51093.aspx
  10. I didn't find milling PCBs to be very effective. It was OK for through hole stuff but for anything finer it was too difficult to get good results. The only plus was the fact that the isolation routing and drilling always lined up perfectly. I got on much better with photoresist, with results similar to terjeio's above. It was fun but I realised it would often take me two weeks to find the few free hours I needed for etching, so no real time saving in the end. Do it if you enjoy it and like the challenge, not to save time or money. CNC milling is however great for making enclosures and
  11. I agree with greeeg. I went from CNC milled PCBs to presensitized photoresist boards to DirtyPCBs. CNC is great but for many things not really for PCBs.
  12. I'm still using a full licence that I got with a Piccolo Control Stick quite a while ago. I believe it was CCSv4 back then but it seems to have happily upgraded to v6. I wonder if it'll still be valid when v7 comes out in Q4?
  13. Not any more - as of version 6.2. http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/Download_CCS
  14. Just spotted the CC1350 Launchpad although some of the documentation is marked April so maybe it was just me that missed it. It's a dual mode Sub-1GHz and BLE wireless launchpad. The US version seems to be available now, but the EU version is not yet available. I assume this means that it's not switchable between the US (915MHz) and EU (868MHz) band for the Sub-1Ghz bit. http://www.ti.com/tool/launchxl-cc1350
  15. FWIW, in this case I decided to go with a ULN2803A as I had a few relays to drive. I had a couple of through hole ones lying around for a quick prototype and it comes in SOIC18 for a finished version. That's sidestepping my original question though - I also grabbed a few of BC817 (NPN transistor), BSS138 (N-channel) and LL4148 (general purpose diode for flyback) for the parts box. A similar thread to this started over on EEVBlog so some useful opinion there too.
  16. Not going to dead bug it then? ;-)
  17. No. That's just a bit of tape covering up the user name and password on the board - just in case. It's a custom commercial board with Ethernet and CC1101. 3 green LEDs. Micro USB is for power. Not sure about the type A jack yet. The big question is if I can get Contiki running on an old board that was never officially supported. I'm sure it's possible but will I manage it amongst the queue of other interesting things to do?
  18. Well, the XDS110 wasn't going to do it. LM Flash Programmer can't even see the XDS110, never mind the LM3S. However, I have managed to get the Stellaris Launchpad's ICDI working. All I needed was to remove a jumper to disconnect the power to the target device and a slightly awkward soldering job on a small pitch ribbon cable. I didn't have to disconnect the Launchpad's target device, just power it down. Many thanks for the kind offer though, @@bluehash. That looks like a perfect solution, but not really worth the hassle and expense of posting it across the Atlantic. A small bit of info
  19. @@bluehash That's very kind of you. I'll have another go at getting the XDS110 to work tonight before taking you up on the offer.
  20. An odd question, but does anyone know what the easiest debugger would be to use on a LM3S9997? I recently upgraded my Tado thermostat to the newer version, leaving me with an unused v1.0. As I mentioned here, the components contain MSP430 and LM3S microcontrollers linked with CC1101s. The manufacturer seems to have left some nice (unpopulated) debug headers so it would be rude not to hack or repurpose it. The base unit looks like an ideal candidate for something a 6LoWPAN edge router for a CC1310 network. Anyway, I stuck a standard 0.05" pitch 10-pin ARM JTAG header on there and hooked it
  21. @@Clavier Thanks. I was wondering about this - and whether I should rely on it if it was there anyway.
  22. ... probably soon to be 1 ready to ship. Who's going to go for it?
  23. I don't particularly need to avoid a flyback diode, it's just that the one I linked to seems to have one integrated. I didn't read all the associated documents in detail but it looked like they have tested it with inductive loads. The threshold voltage is 1.1v and it's marketed for automotive and for relay driving. Maybe I've stumbled across a particularly suitable device - mostly by luck.
  24. I've got a fairly general electronics question, but you guys are the most helpful I know so I thought I'd ask here. I want to drive a 24V (0.5W) relay coil from a Tiva and need to pick an N-channel FET to do so. I know some of the basics - checking it's a logic level FET, etc. but it's still difficult to narrow it down to a few hundred choices. Priority for me is probably SMT and few external components just to make assembly a bit easier. This seems to be the best I found, but does anyone else have a go-to alternative. I think it should only need a pull-down on the gate to prevent
  25. I'd suggest taking a look at the schematic of the G2 Launchpad. There's no magic going on. Ignore the EMULATOR side. On the side labeled MSP-EXP430G2 there's nothing scary - just a couple of buttons, LEDs, some decoupling capacitors and pull up resistors. I've found that an appropriate Launchpad is a good starting point when designing your own board.
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