MSP430 experience

Buzy times at school - I'm developing a motor controller for ESTCube-1 satellite. We decided to use MSP430FR series MCU in it because it uses ferroelectric RAM and should be more radiation tolerant than regular MCUs. Besides I wanted a excuse to learn Texas Instruments microcontrollers.

MSP430FR development board programming target board

MSP430FR development board programming target board

Schematic was quite straightforward - I took MSP-EXP430FR5739 Experimenter Board Eagle files and used that as a reference. I also use the same board for programming. That makes software side really easy - PC thinks it is talking with regular development board.

Unfortunately I couldn't get the software up and running on the linux yet. Programmed first few test programs with my other computer and will get back to installing it on linux in couple of weeks.

While using MSP, I noticed some annoying things. Like the MSP family datasheet has default values and register descriptions in different places. And setting the 16 bit registers bit by bit is confusing. Fortunately I found the code examples fairly quickly and that got me up and running in no time.

But to finish the evening I made some voltage tests with my board. The chip should handle voltage up to 3.6V. I had some mosfets connected to IO pins that didn't want to open at 3.3V, they wanted something more like 4V. So I cranked the voltage up to 4.2V. It worked for couple of seconds and after that all the IO pins of the MCU were dead. I could program and debug it and the crystal was oscillating, but none of the pins worked any more. So yea, that was fun, more of that soon.

Posted on 2012-12-03, 05:38 By
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