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rebeltaz

homemade trainer lab -and- MSP430 vs ATX question :)

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Hi, guys... I just wanted to share with you a few pictures of a trainer lab that I built. I have several old Heathkit trainers (hence the color scheme of mine :) ) but I needed features they didn't offer, so...

 

On a related note, the power supply I am using for this is a converted ATX power supply. The 3.3v line puts out about 3.4v. This should be OK for powering MSP ICs, correct? I was thinking of putting a rectifier in series to drop it down a bit just to be safe, but I wanted to get a second opinion.

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You're well within 10 percent of 3.3, I wouldn't worry at all.

 

Love the trainer, it looks like it would make tinkering around an absolute pleasure. Nicer tools make a difference...

 

Did you route the USB through the trainer or will the host connect normally to the launchpad?

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Thanks, I thought so, but I wanted to be sure.

 

Right now, I'm just going to connect to the launchpad like normal, but I am planning on running the USB out the back later on.

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What they are getting at is that the power supply will happily and safely supply 3.4 volts at waaaay more amps that it would take to melt wires if something gets shorted on the breadboard.

 

A simple 2 to 5 amp fuse inline with the 3.4 volts would also do the trick I'd think.

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It is not uncommon for recent ATX power supplies to be capable of 30 amps or more on the 3V rail, and even older ones were capable of 15 amps.

 

15 - 30 amps through a short circuit will make for quite a bang, and if that short happens to be through silicon, well, I hope you are wearing safety glasses.

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Just as a FYI, the Launchpad runs the msp430 at 3.5~3.6V. That is the recommended maximum, not 3.3V. And most of the time, you can push it a little more, if you are willing to risk going past the Absolute Max ratings.  A quick google shows one guy pushing it to 4.2V.

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I think the datasheet lists 4.0v as the absolute maximum. I have no experience but I have heard that it might fail if you run it continuously at that voltage. I don't think 3.6v would shorten its life any more than 3.3v would though.

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