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How to load the program onto MP430

Other Parts Discussed in Thread: MSP-GANG, MSP-EXP430G2, MSP-TS430DW28, MSP-EXP430F5529, MSP-EXP430FG4618, MSP-EXP430FR5739, MSP430G2553

Hi,

I am in the midst of designing a battery-less tag for 800/900MHz with transmitting distance of less than 10 feet.

However, may I know how to load the software onto the MP430?

Thanks!

Howard

  • I've listed some options in this post:

    Is there a tool like LM Flash Programmer for the LaunchPad?

    How closely does this meet your needs?

  • Hi Jason,

    Therefore, I need to program all the MCU using the LaunchPad first before I solder it on my PCB?

    Thanks!

    Howard

  • These hardware tools are commonly used in production:

    MSP-FET430UIF
    MSP-GANG
    Elprotronic tools
    Olimex tools

    The Texas Instruments kits like the LaunchPad is commonly used in prototype development:

    MSP-EXP430G2

  • Howard,

    Is your MSP430 chip mounted on a PCB? Is JTAG or BSL connection provided?

    By the way, which MSP430 chip and which software development tool are you using?

  • Hi,

    Actually I am just about to start learning MSP430.

    I have built a power management unit which scavenge energy from RF signal. The next stage will be power up the MSP430 using this power management unit. However, I am not too sure which model to buy. 

    I understand that I can built the prototype (I believe is to built to software code) using some existing setup like Launchpad. However, my question is if I need to buy a MSP430 and it will be mounted on PCB with my power management unit, which type of packaging should I buy?

    In addition, should I programme the MSP430 on something like a Launchpad before mounting it on PCB (if this is the case, I need to buy a MSP430 with packaging that is compatible with the launchpad)? or I can actually programme the MSP430 wirelessly?

    Therefore, my concern is mainly how to select a proper MSP430 for my application in which the MSP430 will be mounted on PCB eventually. This project is very similar to the WISP project (http://www.seattle.intel-research.net/WISP/) developed by Washington University. 

  • Howard Tang said:

    I need to buy a MSP430 and it will be mounted on PCB with my power management unit, which type of packaging should I buy?

    You will need to select the ideal MSP430 for your application based on your requirements.  You will know these best.  Then you can try our part selection tool to narrow down your search of MSP430 devices.  This will help to determine what package options are available to you from the remaining parts.

    Howard Tang said:

    In addition, should I programme the MSP430 on something like a Launchpad before mounting it on PCB (if this is the case, I need to buy a MSP430 with packaging that is compatible with the launchpad)? or I can actually programme the MSP430 wirelessly?

    Texas Instruments has many socket boards, so you are not limited to the MSP-EXP430G2 LaunchPad.  I've put together a list for you:

    Socket boards

    MSP-FET430U092
    MSP-FET430U100
    MSP-FET430U100A
    MSP-FET430U100B
    MSP-FET430U100C
    MSP-FET430U100USB
    MSP-FET430U14
    MSP-FET430U23X0
    MSP-FET430U24
    MSP-TS430DW28
    MSP-FET430U28
    MSP-FET430U28A
    MSP-FET430U38
    MSP-FET430U40
    MSP-FET430U40A
    MSP-FET430U48
    MSP-FET430U48B
    MSP-FET430U48C
    MSP-FET430U5X100
    MSP-FET430U64
    MSP-FET430U64A
    MSP-FET430U64B
    MSP-FET430U64C
    MSP-FET430U64USB
    MSP-FET430U8
    MSP-FET430U80
    MSP-FET430U80A
    MSP-FET430U80USB

    Evaluation boards

    MSP-EXP430F5438
    MSP-EXP430F5529
    MSP-EXP430FG4618
    MSP-EXP430FR5739
    MSP-EXP430G2 

    Rather than looking at the socket boards one by one its better to have a look at the webpage for a specific MSP430 you're interested in.  That webpage will list what socket kit or evaluation kit is compatible with that MSP430 device.

  • Hi,

    May I know what's the difference between the Socket board and Evaluation Board? 

    From my understanding, both boards consist of MSP430 MCU. However, the Socket board is meant for programming the MSP430 only. The evaluation board comes with the I/O terminals to check the functionality of the MSP 430. Therefore, we need to program the MSP430 using the socket board first, then plug in the programmed MSP430 onto a evaluation board to check the programmed functionalities?

    Thanks!

  • Howard Tang said:
    May I know what's the difference between the Socket board and Evaluation Board? 

    A socket board is jus tthat: a socket board. It has connectors for the FET and supply voltage and may have an LED and mounting space for crystal and capacitors, but nothing else. Just some breakout connectors to solder your own external peripherals on or access the signal pins.

    An evaluation board provides additional circuitry. Pushbuttons, more LEDs, microphone, speaker, RS232 connector, maybe even an LCD. Also, some (but not all) eval board contain a built-in FET that can be directly plugged to USB and provides power to the board and allows programming and debugging of the target MSP. However, this FET is limited and usually only supports the eval board processor(s) and their immediate siblings.
    The LaunchPad comes wiht FET, teh 5438 board doesn't and requires a full-featured FET (IIRC there is a bundle available).

    Howard Tang said:
    The evaluation board comes with the I/O terminals to check the functionality of the MSP 430.

    No, the socket boards usually have them too. The eval boards go beyond that, so you don't need additional external hardware to evaluate some of the processors functionality.

    Howard Tang said:
    Therefore, we need to program the MSP430 using the socket board first, then plug in the programmed MSP430 onto a evaluation board to check the programmed functionalities?

    No. You can use the socket board for evlauating (e.g. if you migrate to a new processor, you can use a socket board to attach the CPU to your old hardware for initial testing and code porting before you build a new PCB. You can, of course, program the MSP ona socket baord before soldering. However, it is recommended to solder the MSP first and provide some sort of connector (you don't need the full-size 14 pin male header of the FET - best case you only need 3 wires from three test points) for in-circuit programming.

    On the eval boards, the processor is usually soldered and if the board doesn't have an internal FET, it has a 14 pin connector for the FET, so you can program and debug on it directly.

    However, in some applications if space is really critical, you can use the socket board as programmer adapter for pre-production programming and then solder the MSP on the PCB.

  • Hi,

    I have finally bought a evaluation pack (MSP-EXP430G2). 

    I have loaded a program into the MCU (MSP430G2553) and would like to test the functionality of the MCU. Therefore, I take out all the jumper and powered up the MCU by connecting the VCC and GND (on J6) to an external power supply. However, the MCU has no response at all.

    I realized I may need to solder the crystal oscillator on to the board. However, I have several questions in mind:

    a) What is the functionality of the crystal for the MCU?

    b) Can I use a load capacitor with a value other than 12.5pF?

    c) Lastly, is the frequency of the crystal oscillator an important factor I should consider while doing my program?

    Thanks!

  • Howard Tang said:
    a) What is the functionality of the crystal for the MCU?

    It provides a precise and stable timebase. Nothing else.

    The internal digitally controlled oscillator is sufficient to run the CPU, but it is neither precise, nor stable (rather large drift over temperature or voltage).

    Howard Tang said:
    b) Can I use a load capacitor with a value other than 12.5pF?

    You can, but it wouldn't give the desired result.

    However, the capacitor value to use is twice the load capacitance required by the crystal (inlcuding MSP pin capacitance and additional stray capacitance of the board wiring).

    So if the crystal requires a load of 12.5pF, the capacitors mus tbe 24pF each (25, inlcuding MSP pin capacitance).

    However, the MSP provides a switchable internal capacitance that is suitable for many capacitors. The value to select there determines the resulting effective load, not the capacitor value. So usually, no external capacitor is needed at all. But you might want to add an external adjustable capacitor for crystal 'calibration' (the higher the load capacitance, the slower the crystal oscillates - within a limited range)

    Howard Tang said:
    c) Lastly, is the frequency of the crystal oscillator an important factor I should consider while doing my program?

    Only if oyur programs requires precision timing. Such as counting seconds with an error of less than a fe wminutes per day - or for serial communication baudrate.