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Launchpad Shields discussion


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what about the 3410 w/ ubuntu, it is working reasonably well under 9600bps? is there anything u want to achieve thru it is not working? explain and may be there is already a solution. the linux driver

lol, the post was in 2008 and back then there were no linux drivers. i start w/ the ez430u early 2010 and had seem thru all the linux support gradually build up to what we have today.   good luck w/

As noted by others, the valuelines are little chips. Ram is kinda tight, not too many pins, etc.   But they are dead cheap - no two ways around it. So let's think of the Launchpad + 430's strength

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i like booster pack!

:P

 

maybe we should design our own "power lounchpad"

 

i'm thinking of it like an bosterpack which oxu put on the launchpad, but don't put one of the valueline devices on the in the launchpad, so you use the launchpad only as a usb debugger/programmer and virtual com-port!

 

the additional pins could be on a dual row female header on the front and a square on the top!

 

 

i think we should stick for normal launchpad bosterpacks to the ti standard! although i would prefer male headers on shields...

 

as a addition to the bosterpacks we could also design a launchpad lite, which is like a launchpad, but without the psu, programmer and debuger!

 

just a socket to use shields without tha launchpad!

 

for example you have an automatic plant watering system built with the launchpad, you do not need that stuff.

 

just the controller an a relais bosterpack and a battery so you just need a lp lite!

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While the others are calling theirs shields, I think we should call ours Swords!

I like that!

 

Or, we could go with the LaunchPad/rocket theme: The Gantry I/O expander, the Fuel Pod battery pack, the Countdown LED matrix, etc. :D

 

I'd like to claim dibs on the "mission control" board, please... A simple multi-purpose single-chip serial interface for either (1) LCD with switch matrix support and general purpose outputs, or (2) a 7x45 or 7x90 matrix using 5x7 LED modules, or (3) up to forty two 7-segment displays electrically organized in 7 digit modules.

 

Cheerful regards, Mike McLaren, K8LH

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Well then!

 

I'd like to claim dibs on the space program names:

Apollo, Mercury and Gemini

 

And the rocket booster names:

Saturn I, II, III, IV and V

 

I want me a SaturnV Booster board please!

;)

:lol:

 

I wonder what the Werner Von Braun board does?

 

Time to go design and make one. Anybody know what it does yet?

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IT ALL YOUR FAULT!

;):lol:

 

Still, the rocket themes still make sense. The follow a pattern.

 

I firmly believe that TI wants to see others run with the theme and start a fad/trend/phenomenon so that they can sell more parts. They make the LaunchPad and we build a RocketShip to launch off of it. They build a tiny little booster board and we build a freaking powerful SaturnV Booster that throws things into orbit!

 

It's sneaky social engineering, if you ask me.

 

Now where's my soldering iron. I gotta build me some space vehicles!

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I always cringed at the cutesy "shield" and "sketch" nomenclature. What were they thinking? But somehow connecting "booster" boards to the "LaunchPad" board seems very intuitive (to me), as long as we can continue to call a program a program (lol).

 

Regards, Mike

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I recently finished what I guess you would call a "shield" of sorts for the MSP430 F2619 MCU and similar variants(see my latest post in the projects forum). However, it was the launchpad that got me hooked on working with the MSP430 line in general. Previously I had been a BASIC Stamp guy lol. I would see this idea as something the community in general could work, and with very good results. A current project I am working on utilizes a G2231 to intercept the outbound signal from a Honeywell thermostat and adjust outside intake fans accordingly based on an external temperature sensor. That being said, I think the ValueLine processors have a lot of potential for both hobby and real world industrial applications. A more robust development platform doesn't seem like a far fetched idea at all.

 

While I agree the Launchpad may never reach the "ease of use" you get with the Arduino or Stamps, I think the cost of the Launchpad alone more than makes up for it. From the perspective of someone who designs industrial automation products, cost is a HUGE issue in regards to prototyping. 2 dollars per chip versus 80....

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  • 2 weeks later...

As noted by others, the valuelines are little chips. Ram is kinda tight, not too many pins, etc.

 

But they are dead cheap - no two ways around it. So let's think of the Launchpad + 430's strengths instead of weaknesses:

 

1. Cheap

2. Serial bus available

3. ADCs and timers on many of the chips means we're not writing timing loops all the time

4. Dev board with USB is as cheap as a bare board and bare chip.

 

I've been tinkering with the I2C examples, the ADC and PWM stuff, and here's what I'd suggest instead:

 

A "shield" that has male connectors, but instead of trying to stack shields together to keep adding functionality to a single MSP, you instead connect each shield to it's own launchpad and connect the two shields together with a 4 pin ribbon cable carrying Vdd, Gnd, serial clock, and serial data.

 

Then you can connect one launchpad to the USB and power all the launchpads from that. You write simple programs that talk over the I2C bus. Instead of stacking shield on shield, you hang another launchpad + shield on the serial bus.

 

Instead of writing big complicated programs that run everything, you write little programs that interact. The serial bus becomes our inter-shield connector. Honestly, if you have the MSP doing anything at all, you're going to use more than half the output pins, which means that the odds of two populated shields not stepping on anyone's toes is about 1 in 50, so in the end, no matter how much you standardize, there will be no practical ability to utilize more than one shield on a launchpad.

 

Plus this makes all those cool I2C devices suddenly really easy to use (compared to starting from scratch), as the "platform" of launchpad plus serial-shield would include an optimized I2C stack that gets compiled in with their C or assembly program.

 

So:

1. Optimized I2C Stack

2. Simple proto-shield with extra pins to daisy-chain the I2C and carry power between launchpads

3. Easy debugging because you can USB into any of the devices you're using.

4. No collisions because there is a lot more room in the I2C address space than there is pins on the 430.

5. Easier access to a large range of I2C peripherals.

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I really like wasson65's idea! It plays on one of the LaunchPad's biggest strengths: it's cheap! :D

 

As he points out, this would make using i2c devices very simple. We could integrate an i2c device on a breakout board with a trivial effort. Perhaps we could even develop shields where the LaunchPad would be optional.

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I really like wasson65's idea! It plays on one of the LaunchPad's biggest strengths: it's cheap! :D

 

As he points out, this would make using i2c devices very simple. We could integrate an i2c device on a breakout board with a trivial effort. Perhaps we could even develop shields where the LaunchPad would be optional.

 

I'm working on some layout concepts. Another thing we can do to bring down the price of tinkering is to make the layout much more 'device' oriented instead of just an array of holes.

 

For example, the board layout might support 2 20 pin dips but have surface mount pads between the rows of dip pins tied to the dip pins, so you could use surface mount devices or dips without the cost of specific breakout boards for each SMD. A lot of parts aren't available in thru-hole mounting, or the dip package carries a price ( and space ) premium. And the price of the breakout board is the price of the Launchpad. Better to lay out the shield with that SMD pinout already on there and let them buy another Launchpad.

 

Plus, I think it should be set up to make it easy to mount an MSP430 on the shield and have it already tied into power/gnd and the serial bus. That way anyone can buy one Launchpad, program one part, put it on the shield, program up the second part and leave it in the Launchpad and have two MSPs talking over I2C, each with it's own set of output pins, for the price of one Launchpad plus one shield.

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  • 1 month later...

The idea of using i2c for inter-launchpad communication is a good one. With the use of RF parts like the ez430-RF2500T, a low-cost wireless sensor network can be created easily that matches the current best-runner (IMHO) in Arduino space: JeeNode, but at a lower cost. The MCU, MSP430F2274, in the RF2500T is decent: 32K flash, 1K RAM.

 

Instead of stacking "shields" (or "booster packs", etc.) on top of each other like in Arduino, you can divide and conquer. Split the large problem into smaller units.

 

One of the projects I'm working on, an accelerometer-connected 16x16 RGB LED matrix "clock", already can make use of this. The matrices themselves are ATMega328-based (Rainbowduinos), but each matrix talks to the others over i2c anyway and all the data that I need (RTC time/date and accelerometer) comes over i2c bus anyhow, so I can just plug in the accelerometer (part of the EZ FRAM kit) into i2c bus with level converter and be done with. It also helps that the cost of the EZ FRAM kit is less than a number of available accelerometer breakout boards in the Arduino space, and I get eight more blinky LEDs to play with. Awesome.

 

i2c (with level converter) could also be the thing that gets MSP430 and Arduino projects talking together. We can all be friends.

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