Let's Make Robots!

TI

Anybody else getting harassed by Texas Instruments?

Just wondering if anyone else was suffering the consequences of TI's lazy accounting/billing department.  Close to a year ago, Kariloy pointed out that they were selling Stellaris Launcpad Evaluation boards for $4.99 a piece shipped.  I figured what the heck, at that price you can't go wrong and ordered two.  Then there was a three-month wait for supplies to catch up with ordering, and then another few months apparently before they attempted to bill for them.  In the meantime, my credit card expiry turned over-this would have been just before Christmas I guess.

Capacitive touch board for TI Launchpad MSP430

http://e2e.ti.com/group/msp430launchpad/b/boosterpacks/archive/2011/04/17/430boost_2d00_sense1.aspx

Just a note that this is a pretty sweet device and worth it for the price. Hell, the launchpad alone is worth the price considering it's utiility and fun aspect. I picked up two of these and just played around with the default app, when I have more time, hoping to make it useful and do stuff(control motor speed or something like that.)

 

LaunchPadding - A Robot Pad for the LaunchPad

I am going to use this forum post to collect my thought on building a robot shield for the TI LaunchPad. Comment and suggestions are much appreciated.

Description

Rather than use the Arduino term 'shield', I'm going to try to coin a term and call adding a board to the LaunchPad "padding". So this is my Robot Pad for the LaunchPad. The Robot Pad will provide flexible options for powering motors, servos, sensors, etc.

Planned Features

Power

LaunchPad Breadboard Shield link

I found some interesting MSP430 projects on the simpleavr.com website, including this LaunchPad Shield. It is just a breadboard for prototyping, but I thought it was pretty neatly done. I may create a variation.

There are a couple of other projects posted as well, with the promise of more to come.

Also, this person works exclusively in Linux, so if you are a Linux user looking for help on the MSP430, you may want to check out this site.

Power for the TI LaunchPad

 

Power for the TI LaunchPad can be supplied via the USB connector. The USB power is +5V. Apparently the onboard FTDI chip converts the 5V to 3.3V for the MSP430 microprocessor. The micro power is 1.8 to 3.6V.

I'm planning a home-made shield for the LaunchPad, and I will need more than just the 3.3V for motors, servos, sensors, etc. The 3.3V from the FTDI is very current limited anyway.

TI LaunchPad External Crystal

Today I decided to solder the external 32 MHz kHz crystal supplied with the LaunchPad. I quickly discovered that the LaunchPad board itself has both SMD and through hole solder pads, but the supplied crystal is surface mount. I'd never soldered surface mount before, and there are no instructions anywhere I can find on soldering this crystal to the board.

LaunchPad: Which Dev Environment?

So now that I have a TI LaunchPad, one of the first choices I need to make is which develoment debugger/compiler to work with. I'm totally new to debuggers and compilers, so I'm asking for your opinions.

The LaunchPad works with Code Composer Studio Version 4 and IAR Embedded Workbench Kickstart.

Here's what I'm starting from:

MyLaunchPad

 

This is my blog on the TI LaunchPad. A new platform for me to experiment with.

Note: The structure of this blog itself is a bit of an experiment. I will make posts to the forums with 'MyLaunchPad' in the tags, and include links to my posts in this blog. So the blog will be a collection of links to forum posts.

TI LaunchPad

I picked up in this thread that TI has entered the hobbyist microprocesser market populated by Arduino, Picaxe, Basic Stamp, etc.

At $4.30 US including shipping, they have definitely priced this development kit to sell. It looks like an interesting system, and I couldn't beat the price, so I ordered one. I understand demand is quite high, so I don't know when it will arrive.

I figured that this new entry to the market deserved its own forum topic.