TI MSP430 LaunchPad

Posted on January 1, 2012
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MSP430 box

Look what ar­rived to­day! The Texas In­stru­ments MSP430 LaunchPad was de­liv­ered today by Fedex. I had ear­lier re­quested some sam­ples from TI, and had by mis­take gotten a MSP430-­some­thing mi­cro­con­troller. I had no way to pro­gram it so I though what the heck, I’ll buy some­thing to pro­gram it with. After some re­search I dis­cov­ered that TI had launched an Ar­duino ri­val. Since I al­ready own sev­eral Ar­duinos and am fairly used to them, I thought it would be cool to test some­thing new. To my as­ton­ish­ment this kit only cost $4.30 (roughly 3.50€), and when I dis­cov­ered that TI had free 3-­day-pri­ority ship­ping to Fin­land, they had them selves a deal.

I haven’t had time to use it yet (I am how­ever down­loading all re­quired soft­ware), so I can’t com­ment on the con­troller it­self, but at least the pack­aging is su­perb. You are greeted with a short guide on how to set up the con­troller. I will prob­ably re­view the board later, when I have had some time to use it.

But one thing I can say: for this price you won’t get any­thing even near this one. It is dirty cheap (about time for TI prod­ucts, their cal­cu­la­tors are so over­priced that you won’t be­lieve it), and when com­bined with TI’s ex­cel­lent cus­tomer sup­port and free sam­ples pro­gram, adds a great value to the elec­tronics hobby com­mu­nity. TI have out­done them­selves.

MSP430 box

MSP430 box

MSP430 box

Up­date: I haven’t had much tim lately. I will soon post a de­tailed overview of the Launch­Pad. How­ever I can say that the in­stal­la­tion ex­pe­ri­ence was not op­ti­mal. First I had to choose what ed­itor I wanted to use (TI’s web­site had no ex­pla­na­tion of the dif­fer­ence be­tween them). When I in­stalled the soft­ware it took 6 hours to in­stall it (mainly due to slow down­loads from TI’s servers). I also had some prob­lems set­ting up the de­bug­ging func­tion of the LaunchPad on Win­dows 7, but after some tin­kering I got it to work. Com­pared to pro­gram­ming the Ar­duino, the LaunchPad is very hard. You have to set amounts of vari­ables to do some simple tasks. Maybe I will get the hang of it in a few weeks after having used it.

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