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Hey, I am a rising high school senior who has been messing around and tinkering with electronics for as long as I can remember, soldered some kits starting in 3rd grade, first got introduced to programming with an Arduino about 2 years ago, Linux with a Raspberry Pi 1.5 years ago ( and then started tinkering with computers from my school's e-waste and installing Linux on everything, experimenting with running servers and SysAdmin stuff ), and now digging deeper into microcontrollers without the Arduino or Energia IDEs and their abstraction. Just finished my first robot ( a basic light seeker ) using a msp430g2452, programmed in C and compiled with mspgcc on linux, will probably share it soon!

 

actually here is the code repository for it if interested (I expect it could use improvement would love any feedback):

https://github.com/emdarcher/msp430_tank_robot

 

the mspsci blog ( http://mspsci.blogspot.com/ ) has been extremely useful to me learning to use the on-chip peripherals and understand the datasheet and user guide.

 

You can check out my blog here:
http://emdinventor-blog.tk/

 

My school's FIRST robotics team:

http://team4159.org/

 

I really like the msp430 microcontrollers ( just wish they had 5V tolerance like my little AVRs ) and am interested in taking better advantage of their low power cababilities.

 

Also, I really want to go to BYU for college (and major in electrical engineering) and I recently found that their CS 124 ( http://students.cs.byu.edu/~cs124ta/ ) uses the msp430! So I am already learning stuff that could be useful in college, yay! (but they use CCS not mspgcc, so might have to adjust)

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I'm wikipedia-ing.  Your high school's previous location (before 1962, it seems) is very close to where I live.

 

I'm not actually "from SF," but I do live here.  I have few secrets: I'm ~33 years old and I'm an electrical engineer.  I'm not much of a "maker" because it's my job to make things, so I don't have too many projects worth posting online.

 

If you want a piece of advice, I think you should program MSPs in assembly.  Anything you do now is mostly for the learning experience.  All the top EEs I know have a firm command of computer architecture and optimization even if they don't really do computer stuff.  Eventually you will find yourself in a computer architecture class, and the assembly experience will be worth something.  In the professional world, understanding the ISA will make your C better, anyway.

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Thanks for the great advice @@jpnorair !

 

I love taking things apart to find out how they work ( been doing that forever it seems ) and "taking apart", well seeing how the processor is doing things at a lower level is definitely interesting to me. I may try doing some assembler with msp430-as, the assembler that comes with mspgcc. I am trying to learn as much as I can with the resources I have, so far making projects is how I learn best. Currently am thinking of making a wireless sensor node inside a cheap solar garden light maybe using a nrf24l01+ module, but am likely going to implement it with an IR LED aimed at my window ( I am really cheap ).

 

On a side note, do you know of any places where I could find an internship for the summer (paid or unpaid) in electrical or computer engineering in SF that would take a HS student with my level of experience? I just want to be able to get some work experience related to engineering, where I can possibly learn from other engineers. I have tried to get interships is the software side of things but never got replies, but either way I am much more into the embedded and hardware side of things. ( programming a game or app is just not as exciting to me compared to a microcontroller based device ).

 

Thanks for any info!

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The difficultly in getting an internship with a hardware company is a numbers game: there are far more software companies, and far more software jobs.  Moreover, the sorts of companies that have positions for high-school interns are typically medium and large companies, whereas the types of companies in the SF area doing lots of work with microcontrollers are small.

 

I have a startup with an office in San Mateo.  I can't offer you much now, but maybe soon.  I can send you hardware, though, if you want it.  Most of our stuff is STM32L-based.  Considering that you want to build a wireless, solar garden sensor it might be just right for that, though.  Anyway, send me an email.

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