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Use msp430g2231 without ti launchpad?

  1. Jan 10, 2012 #1
    I'm sure it's possible, but I don't have much EE knowledge. What do I need besides a breadboard, and some AA batteries?

    right now, (as I understand it) I have to supply 3 volts to the VCC pin, and connect that to the GND pin.
    From there, I connect the other pins depending on what my program is.

    My end goal is to use the msp430g2231 as a timer for triggering the shutter to a camera (which I eventually plan to put on a kite, or plane, or balloon, etc.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2012 #2
  4. Jan 11, 2012 #3


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    I'd make sure you get the PDIP version of the chip so that you can actually plug it into your breadboard. I don't have any familiarity with TI microprocessors (I'm more of an ATMEL and Microchip guy), but I'd assume you should also have some sort of programmer so that you can actually put your program onto the IC. The first page of the datasheet that comes up has some reference to on-board serial programming, but I'm assuming that's some sort of in-system programming, rather than indicating that there's an on-board boot-loader.

    Barring that, if you Google for it, I'm sure there're probably hobbyist communities out there (as there are for AVR, PIC, and others) that have guides that can help you get started with the MSP430 family.
  5. Jan 12, 2012 #4
    thanks for the tips, but I already exhausted google. it seems the documentation is oriented towards EEs, and people with experience programming on similar platforms (PIC, or arduino type devices).
    Since I have none of that, I can't make the inferences these documentations expect.
  6. Jan 12, 2012 #5
    The unfortunate thing is that to program the micro-controller you need to wiggle a couple of it's pins in a specific pattern -- usually a clock and a data line. If PC's still had those old-fashioned parallel printer ports you could probably kludge together some program that would do this without hacking more hardware. But everything is serial (USB) now, so it's mostly not easily possible.

    But... I got a few of these last year from some kind of TI promo:

    eZ430-F2013 Development Tool, see: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/MSP430 [Broken]

    It has an MSP430-F2013 (with 8 GPIO pins and what appears to be a 2 pin serial port) on a tiny little dev board plugged into a programmer with a USB port that you can connect to your PC. All about the size of a flash-drive dongle. It came with a CD full of development tools including a version of the Eclipse IDE targeted to the MSP C compiler. And it just worked out of the box...I was fairly amazed... It also cost around $25 and came with full schematics if you want to see what you're up against when building your own programmer.

    I'd go check that out before proceeding with your bread-boarding.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Jan 12, 2012 #6
    Don't forget that you can get a Stamp microcontroller very cheap also... both for PIC and in Parallax.
  8. Jan 12, 2012 #7
    i guess I need to clarify what I'm doing

    I have a TI launchpad that I use to program a MSP430g2231
    I can run stuff on the MSP430g2231 when it is connected to the launchpad, and the launchpad is connected to my computer via a USB cable (for power)

    I want to take the MSP430g2231 out of the TI launchpad that is used to program it, AFTER I HAVE WRITTEN A PROGRAM TO THE MSP430g2231 ALREADY, and power the MSP430g2231 without the TI launchpad

    the means by which I plan to accomplish this is by putting the MSP430g2231 on a breadboard, so that once I have used the program on the MSP430g2231 to accomplish the necessary task, I can put it back in the TI launchpad for further development

    are there any special considerations (i.e. a capacitor on the grounding pin) I need to adhere to, or can I simply provide power to VCC, and treat the other pins the same?

    I ask this because ON THE TI LAUNCHPAD, THERE ARE SOME COMPONENTS the purpose of which I am unfamiliar

    picture: http://www.ti.com/graphics/tool/MSP-EXP30G2.jpg
    see the c14 through c24 components? are they necessary, or just useful?
  9. Jan 12, 2012 #8


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    Okay, that clears things up a fair bit--I was under the impression that you hadn't gotten anything yet and were just starting to look at microcontrollers and how to program them.

    The capacitors are probably being used as bypass capacitors: put a 0.1 uF capacitor between the Vcc (3V supply) and the GND on the breadboard as close to the microcontroller as possible, and you'll match their function. Page 3 and 6 of your datasheet (the pinout and pin description) are what I usually look at most often when working with microcontrollers. In this case, you'll note that there's an inverted reset ([itex]\overline{RST}[/itex]) on pin 6--this means that you should hook this pin to Vcc through a 1k or 4k7 resistor--something in this range to pull it high and not have it reset due to noise pickup.

    You'd have to look at the full user manual to be sure, but I'd assume that the internal oscillator is the default clock, and you need to program fuses to make it use an external oscillator. That being the case, and based on my experience, you should be good to go.

    EDIT: Fixed that me: hook the RST line through a resistor, and not directly to Vcc. Especially if you want to make use of in-system programming.
  10. Jan 12, 2012 #9
    awesome, thanks!
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