Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Fred

  1. I think you guys may be taking it a little too seriously.
  2. Hairy dog's balls. I was very pleased with my first attempts at creating a solder paste stencil and reflowing with a hot air gun. I'd got the wrong footprint for the TPS77301 (top left - way too large!) but thought I'd still be able to program it via a Launchpad and test a few things. Unfortunately I also somehow swapped GND and Vcc on the MSP430. I'm shocked none of you spotted that. ;-) Oh well, that's why I'm making my own boards - for the quick turn around on my own screw ups. I should be able to green-wire that and check nothing else is seriously wrong before I do the next iteration.
  3. Fred

    Hi all

    Another UK member. Welcome. You won't find a better place for info on the MSP430.
  4. I had some better results recently but had another extremely slow etch for this board. Then I dabbed it gently with a sponge during etching and it all started working. I suspect that I exposed and developed the etch resist OK, but then the "dissolved" resist just sat on the surface of the board and prevented etching. Or maybe it was a film of the oily sodium metasilicate developer. A quick dab with the sponge was all that was needed to dislodge it, so maybe bubble or spray etching would have done it too. The board's now been drilled and cut out. I decided to try solder paste stencilling so
  5. Is using feedback with a stepper a great idea? I always felt you generally had a two options for positioning - either using a motor with feedback (i.e. a servo, whether off the shelf or rolling your own) or using a stepper. If a stepper is correctly chosen and powerful enough, driven properly, etc. then it should predictably go to the position you set. I can imagine if it's underpowered and a step out then sending another move pulse might even encourage it to skip backwards further. Feel free to enlighten me if my knowledge of steppers and servos is a little basic.
  6. I just finished my first etched board - after lots of demands on my time dragging me away from it. It's been a learning experience and I'm not 100% happy with the result but it looks like TSSOP and 0805 is acheivable at least. I'm sure I can do better next time. This is the board after etching. I kept to single-sided so I have a couple of large vias that will accommodate jumper wires. This is it with A UV cured solder mask film. Next steps are drilling, cutting out and soldering. Oh - and of course letting you all give some constructive criticism of my first proper attempts at
  7. I've not used that one but had some good results using Olimex's MSP430-based PIR board and reprogramming the on board MSP430F2013 to extend the functionality a bit. It that may save you some time and effort depending on what you're doing with it. https://www.olimex.com/Products/MSP430/Starter/MSP430-PIR/
  8. I've not tried laser cutting stencils yet (as I'm still perfecting my PCB etching) but I'll give it a go soon. My eBay special is about as cheap as you can go for a 40W CO2 laser - about $800 after conversion to use Mach3 for control. I believe they've been used successfully for mylar stencils. I don't think any of the home made laser diode machines would have enough power to cut a stencil but I could be wrong. I'd imagine a single layer 3D print would very fragile and even a little porous. That links seems to prove it can be done though.
  9. I'm just starting out making my own boards. I think I got most things but only allowed for one decoupling cap on the supply. Is there a "dummies' guide to your first MSP430 PCB" anywhere? Or is it worth starting one to collate your collective wisdom?
  10. I was about to put your gcode through my CNC mill and mill the track-like logo onto a piece of copper clad board (after scaling it down by a factor of 100!). I got sidetracked. Anyway, it would have been a little unfair tempting your CNC addiction - like waving crack under a junkie's nose. ;-)
  11. Don't skimp on the eye protection. I'm fairly sure that some cheap acrylic or polycarbonate safety goggles would be fine for my CO2 laser. I still bought some proper ones. They didn't stop me burning a hole in the back of my hand though.
  12. I have to warn you that this CNC stuff gets very addictive. I started with a small mill (Proxxon MF70) that I converted to CNC - initially for milling PCBs. You quickly find other uses for it and want to do more...
  13. @@bluehash CCS 5.4 (now out of beta) lists "MSP430G2xx5 series full support" in the release notes. Obviously that doesn't necessarily mean the Launchpad will do as a programmer.
  14. When did CCS 5.4 sneak out of beta? Maybe it was just me that didn't notice. http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/Category:Code_Composer_Studio_v5#Download Release notes here: http://software-dl.ti.com/dsps/dsps_public_sw/sdo_ccstudio/CCSv5/CCS_5_4_0/exports/ReleaseNote.htm but the things that stood out when I scanned them was support for Windows 8, Tiva, MSP430G2xx4 and MSP430G2xx5.
  15. I've never had any problems and recently received some samples using my gmail account. Maybe it helps that I've also purchased a fair few items from the store using the same account.
  16. Got back from vacation and found mine waiting for me. Thanks.
  17. Hello and welcome. I'm not sure how many members are from the UK but good to see one more. Fred in Redhill, Surrey.
  18. @@RobG I just got back from vacation and spotted this. I tried to PM you but couldn't. Maybe your mailbox is full? What did you need? If it's something smallish then I'd be happy to cut something for you free of charge. I've got a fairly basic laser which can vector engrave and cut up to 5mm (0.25 inch) acrylic fairly easily. Not the best on raster engraving though.
  19. I had a quick look on eBay for bargain ones, but then decided I have too many things to play with and not enough time. @@bluehash - not yet, but I'm sure it'll arrive soon.
  20. Just spotted this. I suppose you could now consider Sony's SmartWatch to be a nice small STM32F205RGY6 based dev board with touchscreen and Bluetooth. http://developer.sonymobile.com/services/open-smartwatch-project/ Detailsed specs here: http://developer.sonymobile.com/services/open-smartwatch-project/smartwatch-hacker-guide/
  21. It was you wav music player thread that prompted me to ask - I just didn't want to drag that thread off topic. I have so many "tinker projects" going and half finished that using the recordable greetings card is probably the best idea. I'm distracted and spread too thin already.
  22. Thanks. I'll take a look at those amps. Whilst I'd like to do it myself (and perhaps monitor wheel speed to generate an engine sound at appropriate RPM) the greetings card module might be a nice quick win. I just ordered one.
  23. There's a few threads on MSP430 audio playback and they've prompted me to wonder what's the best way to actually play the audio (i.e. drive a speaker, piezo) for a simple battery-powered kid's toy? A lot of stuff I can find on audio generation stops at the output to an amplifier. I've seen a few examples of directly driving a speaker (via a low pass filter) from a microcontroller pin but that doesn't seem ideal. The background to this: My 1.5 year old son likes sitting on and starting my motorbike and I've just got him his first balance bike. I'm sure he'd love a starter button and some en
  24. I'm just imaging you weighing up whether to look for some 0402 resistors and capacitors on that patterned floor and then working out what values they are...
  25. I sorted my own CNC mill out for significantly less than that. It was easy to do. http://0xfred.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/proxxon-mf70-cnc-mill-conversion/ I started because I wanted to mill PCBs, but have used it far more for other stuff. If anyone's tempted I can really recommend a CNC mill. I'd say it's far more useful than a 3D printer. It does work reasonably well for PCBs, but getting a very fine consistent cut can be tricky. Copper clad boards are difficult to hold completely flat without flexing and most vary in thickness. It means that the finer SMT stuff gets tricky. I'm givin
  • Create New...