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Everything posted by NJC

  1. Surface mount zif sockets are stupid expensive. TI sells target boards with ZIF sockets for the 552x series, I bought the 64 pin target board when they had the half off thing going. I think it's $75 for the board, quite expensive, but I needed it; built in USB is the nicest thing ever, trust me on that. Personally, I don't need to remove my 5528 at all from the board; typically larger and more powerful chips don't *need* to be moved around as much as smaller ones are. There aren't that many applications that need that kind of power, and if they do it's no problem to use a target board for
  2. You guys have some pretty awesome spaces. And some nice tools. <---- jealous :-P The thing I think that is most important bluehash has in his workspace. A good set of speakers and sound equipment. It's hard to get good EE work done without some partying going on. PS: Gatesphere, Wellers are a bit overrated and overpriced. I also vote that a hot air re-flow station is more worth the money. :-)
  3. Agreed. There is always a best part for the job. I guess I was over-complicating things due to the nature of my own projects. When designing active filters and multi-stage amplifiers it's better to use an op-amp. For one, you have a known frequency response when using op-amps, and second, the input and output impedance of each stage is much easier to find. But in circuits where you need to drive something with a small signal, transistors are the best. That is not always true. As you already mentioned it very much depends on the goal of the project. I wholly agree with you though o
  4. Interesting! I signed up. I will be comparing a few ARM, FPGA, and DSP options in the future anyways. Why not start with something that is free? :-) Thanks for the link. NJC
  5. If you tie the transistors together it would be just as if you had one there. Except maybe for current considerations. Because all pins would be connected they would all share the same voltage. I would not recommend doing that though. Building a simple 1 transistor amplifier is not nearly as simple as using op-amps. To solve gate spheres problem you could use either a comparator or an op-amp. If you were intent to use a transistor, you still can. I assume you are using BJT's since you said "base". MOSFET's and BJT's function on slightly different principles and as such use different equati
  6. Don't forget if you need more IO pins and more peripherals, check out the 55x series. The benefits to going to another MSP430 is that you do not need to learn new code for a new microcomputer and can use the same tools to program it. The code ports over easier than you can imagine. The 55x series runs at 25MHz which is more than one needs for a lot of applications. If I have time in the next year, I will eventually start selling F5528 baseboards which would be 100% compatible with the LaunchPad. The STM32 has its place though, as do all 32 bit controllers. Sometimes you just need to use re
  7. Wow, I totally forgot about goldmine elec. I used them years ago! They were great back then. Perfect for the weird parts you only need once. I haven't even gone to their website in over 6 years. Lol. NJC
  8. Hey wolfy, I did a blog post a while ago about the schematic, it might not go in depth as much as you would like, but it has decent breakdown of the schematics. Hope that helps. http://www.msp430launchpad.com/2010/07/ ... ation.html To allude a bit more on what gatesphere said, all processors use ASM on the lowest level. Each processor family has it's own version of ASM. For example, the PIC, AVR, and MSP430 all use different ASM instruction set. C code gets converted to ASM before it is sent to the MSP430; the use of C makes uC easier to write code for, and easier to migrate code
  9. The link works now. Very interesting! I have to register now that my curiosity has officially reached the critical threshold. He claims that he has a spectrum analyzer in there. Now THAT is something I need to see. I'm real curious as to how efficient he made the FFT (I assume he uses an FFT, the documentation didn't say). Using the F552X chips one could make a much more efficient/modern version of this. Very cool. I will register when I get time, and if I see anything interesting I'll report my findings. Thanks for the link bluehash! NJC
  10. Maybe just make a generic, "Other Electronics" forum. That would cover anything,other than specific MSP430 stuff including other processors. There people could ask analog questions, and get help on generic electronics stuff. In the end, I agree with Doc. Adding a new forum for non specific micros might help bring people here, but it will dilute the website a bit if it becomes too popular. Though, it is whatever you deside bluehash; if you want your website to be a generic micro forum then it would be a good idea. NJC
  11. Note, that one does not have a GUI, at least I don't think it does. I actually don't know how to "code" in SPICE, I just use the circuit editors in the GUI to make my simulations. TINA-TI is the most user friendly one I've found. Good luck though! The one from Berkeley will probably work just fine. :-) NJC
  12. Transistor design is quite fun (unless its for something that you don't want to do). It gets quite in depth if you start doing frequency analysis on them, but I don't think that's much of a problem for what you guys want. I would recommend downloading some version of SPICE if you will be doing any kind of analog designs. LT Spice is decent. Currently I am using TINA, TI's SPICE. PSPICE is the best, but its a few thousand dollars if I remember correctly. NJC
  13. Very interesting from the specs. I haven't gotten around to registering on that site yet, and for some reason the pdf link isn't working. I should probably register though since there is a portable medical device I'm interested in seeing also on the site. A few things stand out to me as sketchy. 1MHz bandwidth but only 250ks/s... ...once I register I will take a look at the code, I'm very curious to see which tricks they use when measuring both channels. I actually have the code for the first ADC post done, and have the oscilloscope part working on the F5528 and F2013. I just haven't had t
  14. Modulation does get messy. I've only played with analog modulation so sorry I can't be of help. Hope you can get everything working though. :-) I actually don't own a scope. I either use the scope I have at my work desk if I am co-op'ing (which I am now), or the scope in the labs when I am in classes. If I need something at home and do not feel like going anywhere I have a basic scope I made with the F5528 a few weeks ago when I got my F5528 board from TI. I only have managed to get about 500kbps from it, which would be the limiting factor on sample rate. I have it sampling at 4kHz though
  15. The max the DCO can go is 21 MHz, but that max the chip can handle is 16MHz. I know it says "Recommended Operating Conditions", but it's a bit more of than a simple recommendation, lol, at least according to TI. I do think its a bit odd that they put a DCO that can go faster than the chip it is inside. /shrug Cool project idea. Look into the post on my blog were I used to the SPI data pin as a semi-hardware UART. You can modify that to output all the data you want in basically any format that's less than 16 bits per transmitted value. The bit-time is whatever clock you source the USI with.
  16. gatesphere is right. Things start to break down over 16MHz, there are stability problems over 16MHz. It is theoretically possible to clock the chip faster than the max if the right kind of cooling is used and you are very careful with the power supply. I do not recommend overclocking the MSP430 in any important application, do it at your own risk. It is even possible that you permanently damaged your chip by putting it at 20MHz, but maybe not; I actually do not know how to test this cause it could be only one small part of your chip that doesn't work anymore. One thing to try, is to set th
  17. gatesphere, I haven't really looked into your problem too much, but I have a quick suggestion. If the basics don't work, make it even more basic. Try simplifying your code, use an if statement and not a switch. It's worth a try at the very least. One thing to watch out for, is that switch statements are not as efficient as if statements when only 2 cases are expected, when going to assembly things can get messy. Also, Doc, are you thinking of the '&&'? I still get them mixed up sometimes, the difference between the & and the && for the MSP430. I always like to do it
  18. Doc, There are a few ways you can solve the distance problem. The first is to just try a simple buffer. The way to do this is hook up a voltage follower to your outputs and hope that the low impedance output of the amp will reduce any noise it picks up, the major problem is not the noise though it is the parasitic capacitance. It is just like putting a square wave through a low pass filter. A simple way to force a workaround is to lower your transmission speed, but sometimes that is not an option. Another easy way it to build repeaters and scatter them along the line making sure they are a
  19. Haha, yeah, we just chill. Maybe the 43oh will become the new AVR Freaks. Who knows? NJC _________________________ http://msp430launchpad.com
  20. Great idea bluehash. It is definitely possible, and might be the best way to test this. I can't promise how anything will react with the weird UART on the LaunchPad, for this I would use my FTDI chip. That being said its still possible to test with the LaunchPad. Just make sure you tie the ground pins together between the RFID reader and the Launchpad, and then tie the RX and TX pins between the two devices correctly. The hardest part will be making sure you send the data correctly from the terminal program. Realterm allows you to do this easily, by specifying hex commands which you can send.
  21. The 40ms should not be a problem, even if the device is waiting for an RX the entire time, unless there is another device sharing the wire. Have you tried sending the correct command and then checking with the oscilloscope if the reader is sending anything back at all? If it is not, then it is one of two things. 1. You have the command wrong. 2. The device is not receiving the command even though it is 100% correct. There are a few things that can cause the device to not receive a correct command. The first is power, do you have the power lines hooked up correctly? Are the voltages the sam
  22. I'll be writing my answer here right after starting this topic.
  23. Doc, As for a serial interface with the MSP430, thats coming in my next blog post, with the C# source code (not sure yet how I will share the whole project). It was really easy to get the serial communication working with C# so I recommend just diving in when you get time, its quite easy. I don't know much about web interfaces or SQL, it might be the best option though. Personally I would use XML, and have a separate file for each month, or week. XML is surprisingly easy to work with in C#, the only problem is that they have so many different ways to work with it; it took me almost 2 days
  24. Lol, the free shipping just pushed me over the edge. LaunchPad's are good enough for me, but as everyone said, free is free. I'm curious as to when TI will stop giving us everything we can dream of. It will be a real shocker the day it comes. As someone who doesn't use the MSP430 for hobby stuff, I hope that they will always keep the free samples program going at the very least. Maybe now that many people are getting the EZ430, I can start posting some F2013 code on my blog. I've been in the midst of moving, My next post is almost ready to go, hopefully I will have the time today.
  25. Doc, Do you mean in software on the computer? After the data is sent to the PC somehow? (over serial?) If you are sending the data to your computer over serial you might have some problems as your wire becomes long. Or do you want to store it in the memory on the MSP430? Either way, I might have a few hints to throw your way. I'm just a little confused as to what you want to accomplish. If you want to just store streamed data on a computer, it is super easy to write a program in C# or Java, or any language really to store and analyze data. It's even easy to write a program to output da
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