Author Topic: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board  (Read 13013 times)

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Offline TripleFaultTopic starter

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EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« on: April 26, 2012, 03:01:03 pm »
After watching Dave's blog on the TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board, i was enthused and excited and rushed to the Digikey/Mouser/Element 14 websites.

Yes, i found Digikey and Mouser sell these boards for $4.31, but, here is the killer, you have to pay $35 postage on orders under $200.
So that makes these boards really $39.31.

So I went to Element 14 to see what they would charge and found out they sell them for $31.90.

Wow! They give us 1c discount  ;D

So it isnt really a $4.31 Development board  :-[
Go forth and Amplify
 

Offline PedroDiogo

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 03:06:13 pm »
I ordered mine from TI's website at the time and paid nothing for the shipping.

I went through it again and the shipping seems to be included in the price (at least when sending to Portugal), so the board is really $4.30 :)
 

Offline TripleFaultTopic starter

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 03:08:13 pm »
Thanks Pedro,

I will go to the TI Website and see if they do free shipping to Australia.

But I highly doubt it.  ;)
Go forth and Amplify
 

Offline TripleFaultTopic starter

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 03:32:33 pm »
Yahoo!

After going to the TI Website and sending them a nice email, they agreed to send the board to Australia for $0 postage.

Thanks for the heads up Pedro!

So, anybody else that is interested in this product, go straight to the horses mouth.... forget Digikey/Mouser/Element 14 as they will charge you postage.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 03:37:05 pm by TripleFault »
Go forth and Amplify
 

Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 04:11:11 pm »
I got mine ages ago when it was widely publicised, but I still haven't unboxed it yet...  :-\
 

Offline DavidDLC

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 09:00:13 pm »
If you are buying from a website from any other country, the shipping will be high.

Check if you can buy it in your country.
 

alm

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 09:12:43 pm »
TI offered free shipping for a couple of months after release. You're almost two years late for the free shipping offer. You can save on shipping by combining orders, it's not like Digikey/E14 only sell Launchpads. The $4.30 + free shipping offer was clearly a loss leader, can't expect promotions to stay up forever.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 10:11:26 pm »
Note that there is a new version of the launchpad kit that ships with a 20pin 8kb flash chip, rather than the 14pin 2kb chip that was shipped originally.  I've been a bit surprised that there hasn't been a bit more noise about this in hobbyist forums; it makes the launchpad much more comparable to "competitors" than it used to be.

OTOH, note that distributors are (may be) still shipping the older version.  I added a couple to a recent Mouser order explicitly to get updated, and got old boards :-(
 

Offline amspire

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 11:15:31 pm »
Does anyone know if the Launchpad can be used as a way of programming and developing MSP430 chips not in the value range, if you put the right connections on your PCB? I am wondering if it is a cheap way to be able to program general MSP430 ic's.
 

Offline PedroDiogo

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 11:53:17 pm »
Does anyone know if the Launchpad can be used as a way of programming and developing MSP430 chips not in the value range, if you put the right connections on your PCB? I am wondering if it is a cheap way to be able to program general MSP430 ic's.

I think you can, yes, but they must also suppost the Spy-by-wire interface.
http://hackaday.com/2010/09/28/launchpad-not-limited-to-value-line-chips/
 

Offline amspire

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 12:26:21 am »
In that case. I probably better get a Launchpad. There are some really interesting ICs in the MSP430 range, but don't I want to start using them unless there is a cheap and easy way to get them programmed. I guess they can be programmed via a JTAG interface, but I haven't looked seriously at that yet.

Richard
 

Online oPossum

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2012, 12:27:03 am »
All G2000 series (value line), most F2000, F5000 and F6000 can be programmed by Spy-by-Wire using the launchpad.

The older 1000 and 3000 series require a JTAG programmer.
 

Offline caroper

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 11:43:34 am »
TI offered free shipping for a couple of months after release. You're almost two years late for the free shipping offer. You can save on shipping by combining orders, it's not like Digikey/E14 only sell Launchpads. The $4.30 + free shipping offer was clearly a loss leader, can't expect promotions to stay up forever.

Just out of interest I tried it and the price is still $4.30 + free shipping, I ordered it with South African Shipping address and it went through without issue.

Cheers
Chris

Offline kripton2035

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 12:41:34 pm »
yep shipping "included in the item's price" ...

order from here :
https://estore.ti.com/MSP-EXP430G2-MSP430-LaunchPad-Value-Line-Development-kit-P2031.aspx

regards,
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 12:52:12 pm »
Yes I just bought some.
I hope I can use them for something.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 03:05:34 pm »
>> unless there is a cheap and easy way to get them programmed.
The full JTAG/Spy-bi-wire device is only $99:
http://focus.ti.com/docs/toolsw/folders/print/msp-fet430uif.html
It looks like an additional $50 will get you a "target board" with ZIF socket for some particular device.
that's not $5, but it's not unreasonable.
The SW suite might be more problematic.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 03:23:54 pm »
The $99 dollar device is not unreasonable for a developer, but it does not help if you are designing an open source project and you want to offer a way for people to burn their micro cheaply and easily.  A $99 slug onto the cost open source project is a lot. A $20 cost for an Arduino clone, and then use it to program an Atmel chip is a lot better. Back when we had parallel ports, you could program a lot of chips for a few dollars, but the parallel ports have gone.

Richard.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2012, 01:57:37 am »
Hmm.  I think that many of the larger MSP430 chips (the ones that aren't programmable by spy-bi-wire) include a serial bootloader in ROM.  For instance, the MSP430F149 (which is pretty old) datasheet says:

   The MSP430 bootstrap loader (BSL) enables users to program the flash memory or RAM using a UART serial interface. Access to the MSP430 memory via the BSL is protected by user-defined password. For complete description of the features of the BSL and its implementation, see the Application report Features of the MSP430 Bootstrap Loader, Literature Number SLAA089.

I'm not sure that it would be a good idea to count on the LaunchPad being available as a $5 programmer.  It's certainly not "breaking even" at that price, and could be discontinued pretty much any time...  (OTOH, LaunchPad is pretty ripe for a cost-reduction spin, using a 430 with native USB instead of a separate USB chip, and etc.)

The days of parallel port programmers were also the days that "real" development tools cost $249 for the "low cost" version.  That said, I think I'm a lot happier when the programming protocols are "open" enough that you could implement a simple programmer given some pins that can be wiggled.  That includes AVR's SPI ISP protocol but not their JTAG, for instance.  I haven't looked at where TI sits...
 

Online oPossum

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2012, 07:46:41 am »
The EZ430 kits come with a USB program/debug dongle. Prices start at $20.

For open source tools, there is the GoodFET programmer.
mspgcc is stable and under active development.

Many of the MSP430 do have a serial bootloader, including the G2553 that comes with the current Rev 1.5 Launchpad. It is in ROM or reserved flash and does not take away from the specified flash size.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2012, 12:50:06 pm »
For open source tools, there is the GoodFET programmer.
mspgcc is stable and under active development.
Brilliant. I was hoping to see some good open source support for the MSP430. It gives me more encouragement to give it a try.

 

alm

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2012, 01:58:04 pm »
The serial bootloader probably does not offer debugging, however.
 

Online oPossum

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2012, 09:08:22 pm »
Brilliant. I was hoping to see some good open source support for the MSP430. It gives me more encouragement to give it a try.

There are quite a few MSPGCC users at the 43oh.com forums and on the #43oh freenode IRC. Lots of great help if you need it.

I personally use CCS (TI's Code Composer Studio) and do a mix of asm, C and C++. TI has occasional deals to get the full CCS for under $40. I have the full license for both 4 & 5 thanks to those discounts. The free version is limited to 16k, but does full optimization (unlike Microchip). I just started learning the MSP430 about a year ago and really like it. Very nice architecture makes asm programming very easy.
 

Online oPossum

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2012, 09:10:22 pm »
The serial bootloader probably does not offer debugging, however.

Right - no debugging. It is basically the same as AVR/Arduino with a bootloader, but it is already on the chip so you don't need a programmer and it doesn't take away from your user code space.
 

Offline caroper

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2012, 08:53:39 am »
Well mine arrived in South Africa as advertised, hand delivered by FedEx at no extra charge.
From placing the Order to having the board took less than a week.
Now to find some time to play with it :)


Online amyk

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Re: EEVblog #96 - The TI LaunchPad MSP430 Development Board
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2012, 09:25:27 am »
The $99 dollar device is not unreasonable for a developer, but it does not help if you are designing an open source project and you want to offer a way for people to burn their micro cheaply and easily.  A $99 slug onto the cost open source project is a lot. A $20 cost for an Arduino clone, and then use it to program an Atmel chip is a lot better. Back when we had parallel ports, you could program a lot of chips for a few dollars, but the parallel ports have gone.

Richard.
You can still buy a parallel port for cheap:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/parallel-port-pci-expansion-card-4638
Reviews indicate it has worked for AVR programming.
 


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