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New Project with MSP430FR4133 and MSP430i2xxx

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Hi All,


After a week of assessing the MSP430FR and new MSP430i series, I am now happy to commence a new commercial project development  based on the MSP430FR4133 and MSP430i2xxx.


It's a handheld instrument that needs to make some precision analogue measurements. (No - it's not a tricorder ;) )


The MSP430FR4133 will basically run an LCD (either segmented or Sharp 400x200) and the user interface of a few soft buttons.


There may be the need to move to a larger FRAM size when using the Sharp 400x256 - as that will use 12K of fram as the display buffer.  I am also considering  '5969 and '6969 for this role.


The MSP430i2xxx - which I only discovered over the weekend will do the analogue measurements with its SD24 ADC, filter and scale and then pass the data to the '4133 for display.


This is a particularly economical implementation, and likely to half the BOM cost of the existing instrument which is based on a MSP430F437 and an external 16-bit ADC.


I can't talk much about the exact application at the moment - but I believe that the combination of an analogue processor and a display processor will be a powerful one.


The low power operation of the MSP is ideal for this cost sensitive battery powered instrument.


Development starts in full tomorrow - when I receive my '4133 LaunchPad.



On a separate topic, I am also developing a tiny Forth-like language, which runs out of about 2Kbytes and 512B of RAM.  This will be the subject of a separate post.  It's not commercially sensitive - so I'm free to discuss it with other interested parties here.











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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

One month later - and I have the MSP430i2041  running my Simplex code  - reading a strain gauge loadcell and measuring force through the 24bit ADC.


Here's the prototype on a breadboard.   The MSP430i2041 is mounted on the "Schmartboard" carrier, and the 8 pin chip to the left is a 128K x 8 SRAM   - Microchip  23LC1024


The MSP430i2041 has 4 separate 24bit SD-ADC channels with built in programmable gain amplifiers with differential inputs.  Ideal for strain-gauge type sensors - with almost no external components needed for interfacing.


You can have UART to PC and SPI and a couple of LEDs on Port 1, and still have all 8 bits of Port 2  for other purposes  - such as a set of switches, character LCD  etc.


This is a really cheap way of getting a a "Smart"  24bit ADC    - about $2 in volume.



The second part of the project is the display controller  - to drive a segment type LCD.  This will use either MSP430FR4133 for segment LCD  or MSP430FR6989  for  full graphic LCD - both of which can be done using Launchpads to act as the target hardware.



Here's the photo






Next week the plan is to design a small pcb, in a Boosterpack format - that will allow the MSP430i2041 & SRAM to be added to a  '4133 or '6989 Launchpad.  This will make a more stable integrated unit, and having a quad 24 bit SD-ADC for a Launchpad - has to be useful?? 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All,


It's about a month since my last update, and following on from the breadboard prototype,  the project has been gathering momentum.


After an initial review of the various MSP430 devices it was decided to opt for a generic smart analogue sensor design, capable of driving an OLED display.


I selected to use the MSP430i2041 ( which was chosen for it's 4 x SD24 ADCs) in order to make precision sensor measurements.  It uses a low noise differential input instrumentation amplifier.


Typically it can be used for bridge sensors, current shunts, milliohm measurements, strain-gauges, PT100 and thermocouple temperature measurements etc, etc.


The product is on a small board - just 42 x 53mm (1.65" x 2.1"), and has a forwards facing OLED display and 4 button user interface.


As stated last month I am using the MSP430i2041 and 128K byte 23LC1024  SPI serial SRAM.  I am using my SIMPLEX Forthlike language which now executes code out of external serial memory, or an be used to respond to serial commands (requests for ADC reading data etc) over a serial link. 


A super capacitor and LiPo battery are used to allow for non-volatile memory. 


As this has been designed as an evaluation, all of the 'i2041 mcu pins are available on 2 x 16 pin header strips - allowing it to be plugged into a breadboard, stripboard, or connected to a Launchpad with jumper wires, using just Rx, Tx, 3V3 and 0V.  The Launchpad '4133 or  '6989 are preferred as they provide a 6 digit LCD "meter" like display.


USB to serial communications is handled using a CH340G USB-serial IC.    There is an on board LiPo charger and boost regulator  - allowing the board to run from a LiPo  or  - as little as a 1V dc supply. 


A Bluetooth Low Energy module allows data to be sent to smart phone or tablet.


Just to let you know that the pcbs for the above project arrived today and I already have a couple of them built up.


I will be posting some pictures up to this thread over the next couple of days.  





If the module is successful, I hope to be able to open source at least some of the design, for those who are interested.


It would be great to have MSP430i20xx support on Energia - allowing this module to be simply programmed.










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