Monday, February 28, 2011

Top 5 TI Launchpad MSP430 Resources and Sites

   I've got a motor controller chip from the ST Micro free sample program sitting on a mini-breadboard next to a msp430g2231. It's just waiting for me to sit down and take the time to make it talk to the small motors I've got lying around. My LED chaser sits on a shelf, taunting my poor dog, when what I'd like to do is build a Launchpad-powered photovore robot and mount the chaser somewhere on it. I've got lots of projects to work on (like trying to make games) and not enough time to do everything I'd like, so I've decided to put learning electronics and microcontrollers on the back burner.
   Anyways, since there have been a few incoming searches looking for msp430 info I thought I'd share the best web sites and resources I've found for the Launchpad so far. These were a huge help to me as I learned the basics of programming and wiring up the msp430 and I intend to make good use of them later on when I get back into electronics.

5 - MSP430 Microcontroller Basics is the most highly recommended book on TI's msp430 series that I've been able to find. I own a copy, but like too many other reference books I've only just skimmed it so far. Still, it came in handy. I prefer web resources when messing with the Launchpad, but this is supposed to be the most comprehensive text available for people who really want to dive into the details of the msp430 chip line.

4 - The TI Launchpad Wiki is a good starting off point for anyone looking to buy a Launchpad or figure out what to do with it after getting one. The links on getting the Launchpad working with Linux were useful to me, and it keeps getting updated with new how-tos and projects.

3 - MSP430Launchpad is a blog by NJC that has a bunch of useful articles. The simple ADC and timer examples were great when I got stuck with problems getting those things to work. There's a lot someone with no electronics or microcontroller experience can get hung up on when diving in to this stuff, and simple code examples are really valuable.

2 - Scientific Instruments Using the TI MSP430 is a blog that doesn't specifically talk about the Launchpad platform but is priceless for understanding and programming msp430 chips if you don't have a book handy. It goes step-by-step and explains everything from configuring inputs and outputs on up. For a while I was afraid there wouldn't be any more posts, but one just came out recently and I hope to see more articles as the year continues and new hobbyist-friendly msp430 chips are released.

1 - Four-Three-Oh! takes the #1 spot because the forums have been hugely valuable to me, even though I haven't posted a question in them. If you've got a problem there's a good chance someone else has already asked your question and gotten a response that you can use. If you're looking for project ideas or help this is a great place to go.

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