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Hello from Newcastle, UK

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Hi everyone,


I'm Jose, originally Portuguese but long time resident here in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


After many years in software I decided to follow Alan Kay's (pioneer of object oriented programming and GUIs at Xerox PARC) suggestion and begin making my own hardware :-)


I feel it's just the right time too with so many options like Arduino, Energia, BeagleBone, Pi, sensors, motors, displays and - most important - great sources of information like this site... all greatly lowering the entry curve compared to what it was before.


While the Arduino gets so much of the attention these days, I love the simplicity of the Launchpad. The fact that the board pinout directly matches the processor is great. Just program the MSP430 in the board, take it off and use it in your circuits as it was, nothing extra needed. Love it.


Still there's a lot to catch up, especially when it comes to shields, the Arduino offers so much more choice. For example I was shocked that there's no Bluetooth LE shield for the Lauchpad! Amazing, considering TI makes such popular silicon for it with the CC2540/41 and is pushing things like the amazing SensorTag so much. The Lauchpad should definitely be able to talk to that.


So I decided to help by designing my own Bluetooth LE BoosterPack based on Bluegiga BLE112 module (which uses the CC2540, but has an API that dispenses with the IAR 8051 compiler).


This is only my second board I ever designed - with no formal EE education and still very much at the bottom of the Eagle mountain - so it's probably full of problems and newbie mistakes. That's why I kindly ask for feedback from all you experts, I need to learn! I've attached the .brd file to this post.


I did have three criteria for this board:

1) only use the UART (and possibly S2 pin as a BLE112 reset)

2) wanted the antenna to stick out from under another BoosterPack sitting on top (e.g. for SPI driven displays)

3) wanted all the pins of the BLE112 available as a breakout, to patch connections to it later if needed.


Let me know your thoughts!







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