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Contents of the MSP-EXP430G2 development toolkit

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Hi all,


I have just bought this board and connected it up and everything works fine so far.


My question is why does the box contain another IC (M430G2452) and something labelled as a "MicroCrystal".


Maybe I am missing something here but I thought that this board was similar in concept to say an Arduino Uno. With that board I wasn't given any additional components at all.


I have worked out that the IC would be a direct replacement for the one that is already installed on the board (labelled M430G2553) and in fact when selecting the model from the Energia menu you get a choice of both the ICs. So I guess that sort of explains that. But still why would I get a second IC in the box? Does it tend to burn out a lot or something?


And what's the micro crystal for? I cannot even figure out where that would fit on the board.


Any help appreciated!





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Hi John, and welcome. The hardware is different from Arduino. One of the features is that you can use a LaunchPad G2 to develop any of the MSP430G2x microcontrollers. A bonus is that you get two of them with the kit. They don't burn out easily (but don't apply 5V to them like you would an Arduino - they are 3.3 V devices). You could use the second one in another project - they can even be used easily on a breadboard.



The crystal is optional. See this link for more information: http://www.ti.com/tool/msp-exp430g2?keyMatch=launchpad%20g2&tisearch=Search-EN-Everything

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One MCU, the G2553, has a lot of bells and whistles. The other, the G2452 is a little restricted.


I suggest you look at the datasheets for the chips so you can learn about the differences between them, and then learn how to chose which of those, or maybe any of the many other MSP430 chips, to use to best fill what you want to do.


Something worthy of note, is that the Launchpads can act as programmers for most every other MSP430 chip. So the G2 Launchpad can program nearly every other MSP430 out there- no need for a bootloader to be installed on a target chip, like some others require. There might be some restrictions but there are ways to deal with those.


The crystal is for getting more accurate timing. Unlike some others, many of the MSP430's don't require crystals to get going but they support external crystals for more accurate timing. The supplied crystal is basically a watch crystal, so somewhat accurate time-keeping is a possibility. The MSP430 supports several different clock sources, and that external crystal is just another... albeit more stable than the in-built ones.


Don't overlook that the chips in the G2 LP also support capacitive touch sensing.

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