Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TI MSP430 FRAM Experimenters Board

   I saw the TI MSP-EXP430FR5739 Experimenters Board on HackaDay and ordered it minutes later using the coupon code MSP430_FRAM to cut the price in half to $14.50. I got free shipping and wasn't charged any taxes, and I also ordered a couple of 20pin MSP430G2452IN20 free sample chips to use with my Launchpad.

   The main selling point of the board is its FRAM and extra features compared to the Launchpad. The FRAM uses less power and the board has a built-in 3-axis accelerometer! The board has a bunch of demos preloaded, one shows off the accelerometer by lighting the builtin LEDs as you tilt the board. The coupon code apparently expires July 31, or when 1500 devices have been sold, whichever comes first. 43oh has more info on the board, and TI has a page on the FRAM, which I'm not familiar with.

   There's been a bunch of developments with the MSP430 and Launchpad since I last read up on it, like the release of new firmware for the Launchpad that lets it support the new 20pin MSP430 Value-line chips. There's also a new addon board for the Launchpad called the Capacitive Touch Boosterpack. It lets you mess around with capacitive touch sensors. The old wiki page for the Launchpad is still a good place to check for developments, but there's a new central page for the Launchpad at TI.

   I'd never played around with microcontrollers but had been reading up on Arduinos when the Launchpad first came out. The $4.30 price made it impossible to not try out, and while I haven't done much with it lately I'm interested in playing around with programming my MSP430 chips some more. It's just a matter of making time for all my work and interests.

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