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rockets4kids

New chips shipping with the LaunchPad?

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Too bad about the headers though, all my expansion boards have male headers.

I understand they are trying to save money by not including female headers, but they should not solder included male headers.

 

I was surprised to see them soldered on too. And the female headers are still present on the new LP, in a separate antistatic bag :)

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Thanks for the images pine.

 

So, what can we conclude from this:

1. MSP430G2452 and 2553 chips shipped. :clap:

2. Male headers soldered on. :evil:

3. I still cannot understand the RX/TX jumper scenario. opossum mentioned that you need to rotate the jumpers by 90 degrees, which does not make sense to me. Sorry.. Please explain like I'm five. :!!!:

 

Oh f**k, really? One step forward, two steps back?

Not only it comes with headers soldered in (so it'll be a damn obstacle when soldering on the xtal), but it comes with male headers soldered in?

Unbelievable.

Whoever came up with this idea -- next time, try a little thinking first.

 

We can make a formal request to TI about this. Maybe gather signatures or something. I'm sure they can save a step in their kit-building process. Unless they were thinking something that we are not.

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We can make a formal request to TI about this.

Yes, please, and sign me up a thousand times.

 

Why I think this wasn't given any thought whatsoever:

 


  1. [*:2yfhzfoi]Clearly not a cost-saving measure. It is in fact making the board more expensive to make, since the female headers are still included.
     
    [*:2yfhzfoi]Might be what Peter says with the booster packs -- however, soldering in the headers is a no-brainer and takes about 35 seconds for anyone who can tell which end of the iron is hot without touching it.
     
    [*:2yfhzfoi]Desoldering the wrong kind of header is an order of a magnitude harder, as the hole diameter gets comparable to its depth (our case) it also gets harder to beat solder surface tension with just wick and/or pump and/or a crappier iron, especially the ground plane connection (despite the thermal relief). This directly translates to screwing over the less experienced/less well equipped who prefer the female headers (and not even only them: imagine yourself being inexperienced, now try to solder the crystal on with obstacles on at least three sides) -- which sort of leads to the most important golden rule:
     
    [*:2yfhzfoi]One doesn't just all of a sudden start changing a product in an incompatible way, especially not without announcing that fact in big red unfriendly letters on the estore product page (it isn't), especially not in this kind of business, especially not unless it's absolutely necessary. Even if it's just an "evaluation board". I am slightly frowning upon the reordering of the pins on J3 too, but I am willing to accept that it's easier for the RX/TX jumper. (It is also easier to get programming signals off the FET this way, and it makes my life easier, but I am still frowning on it.)

 

There is not one single thing I can think of that could justify this move.

 

Dear TI, please undo this, and don't do this again.

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what on earth?!?!? Pre soldered MALE headers? Female headers still included as a pitiful insult? Perhaps it would make sense if they were female to female headers? (is there such thing?) Those male headers are a reeaalllllyyyy big pain to desolder and are pretty much useless for prototyping. (unless you have expensive male to female jumpers) Thankfully digikey has a plentiful stock of the old launchpads.

 

As for the uart.... Hmmm I wonder if they changed the uart beyond the silk screen? The old uart barley worked for programing and never worked for general comm traffic at least for me. Been resorting to the MCP2200 or the FTDI but might have to give the new boards a try. 16kB of memory and an additional IO is always spiffy though :)

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We can make a formal request to TI about this.

Dear TI, please undo this, and don't do this again.

 

Yikes! Texas Instruments fixes a wrong and we complain? I applaud TI for fixing the problems with the first LP version.

TI, please don't even think about reversing your decision. You have it right now!

 

o New chips, Yay! The msp430g2553 and msp4302452 are much better chips for the first time msp430 user. More memory, more pins, real UART, more more more. Why would TI want the first impressions of the 430 to be small, small, small. Too bad the first version shipped with those cost sensitive chips. It is hard to change first impressions. How many potential users did they alienate with the first version?

 

o Fixed the TX/RX problem! I like the elegant solution that lets you use either chip without having to supply any F-F jumpers.

 

o Standard Launchpad device configuration! A standard device configuration means booster boards can ship with headers already mounted. No more wondering what the user might have. I don't have a problem with pre-soldered headers. I haven't run with the chips in my Launchpad socket since about day 4. I put my msp430 chips on a breadboard and makes it a lot easier to prototype.

 

Good Job TI!

 

-rick

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I agree with TI on this one. This is not an Arduino.

 

If you have a job as an EE then you should be familiar with this choice.

 

Male pins in the LP is technically the best choice:

- Protects daughter boards from ESD zaps

- Protects daughter boards from messy lab benches

- Gives the ability to wire-wrap between male pins

- Gives the ability to connect ribbon IDC cables to male pins

- Standardizes board to board connector set - you won't have to guess what is there.

 

Sure, it hurts a little to have your freedom of choice taken away from you but don't let that demoralize you. It's only a bloody dev board that you buy for $4.30! Make your own if you're so personally offended by TI.

 

I do agree that desoldering those pins are a pain for people without the right tools but it builds character and skill to figure out how to do that.

 

I can remove those male pins from the LP in about 10 minutes with a soldering iron and a plier. I'll write up a how-to for anyone who wants it.

 

How long did you take to figure out how to write interrupt driven I2C code?

 

This is just a tempest in a teapot.

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The reason I like female headers in my LP is because

a) M-M wire jumpers are the most common and cheap (for connecting to a breadboard)

B) male headers are cheaper so I like to use them in my expansion boards (I have many more exp boards than LPs.)

That said, the easy way to deal with this problem is using 2 female headers soldered together (F-F adapter.)

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i am all for not soldering the headers in factory. there are times / applications that i want male headers (for deploying finished projects) and most times i prefer female headers for easy breadboarding.

 

i would suspect the soldering may not be intentional. may be ti switched to a new supplier / assembler for this batch of boards. and someone thought that all male headers are to be soldered. (remember, they do need to solder in the vcc-gnd-gnd and some other interface headers too).

 

i had other kits from ti (more expensive eval kits, etc) and my observation is that most comes w/ male headers only and all the ios are unsoldered. while the power connectors, programming connectors are soldered.

 

so this may just be something unintentional. may be bluehash can ask if this is the case via his lead.

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