• Category Archives Hardware
  • New Toys, Bigger msp430 and a stellaris launchpad

    New toys came in the other day from the 43oh.com store.
    I ordered 2x msp430f5510 USB dev boards, created By Robg , also I received a Stellaris Launchpad (on loan till mine come in) .


    These are Nice little boards, and will work great for any one trying with a Launchpad and would like to try some of the bigger flagships. These are very easy to solder and get up and running.




    To program them, all I did was connect the RST, TST, Vcc, Gnd between the launchpad and the dev board. Ran mspdebug, and it worked on the first try.

    Sorry for the poor screen shot.





    As of right now, I am working on porting msp430USBDev API from TI. It is both IAR and CCS code, and both will not work out of the box with mspgcc.

    But with some minor changes I think I can get it to work.

    There is a Port of the devpack, but It has an autogen.sh file that makes the makefile and links things automatically…… and in general I had issues with it, it compiled correctly but did not run on my 5510, even after I changed the minimal configuration options it gave.
    Now I don’t know what the guy changed or what he did to get it to work other then some linker options about the usb buffer/ram.

    I will give an update on this as soon as I get it to work.


  • RFID + Back door = Easy Access

    Lately I have been lazy about getting into my home, early in the morning I dislike rummaging through my pockets to get out my keys just to go through 2 doors just to get in and sit down.  So I fixed this issue by making my patio door RFID accessible. With a few parts on hand and a whole bunch of time, I made a “patio un-locker”, because it only unlocks the patio door but does not lock it.

    Continue reading  Post ID 1092

  • micro heli hack failed

    I have a few brocken micro helicopters lying around and deciced.to try a quick experiment.
    I removed the tail rotor and electronics and connected the 2 main rotors together, by a piece of meral coat hanger.



    What I forgot was, you need to have one of the rotors going the oposite direction to counter the rotation of the other one.

    Failed but learned something. Back to the idea bin…..maybe I will create some fancy paper airplane.

  • Oscilloscope calibration, what a pain

    Awhile back, I had recieved an oscilloscope from someone. a Conar model 255 solid state oscilloscope. 


    It worked ok but I couldnt trust the readings from it or even the voltages it displayed. I could get basic wave forms displayed and thats all I really needed it for. As time went on it started acting up. Certain setings would not display, simple sqaure waves had major overshoot …… I could go on with so many of the issues that started to appear. So today I sat down and did the calibration from the manual. What a pain.

    total time spent on it was about an hour and I did the best I could.
    I still need need to buy 2x LM733 and a 741 or a better drop in replacement, also a few capacitors and transistors. But those will have to wait till I am employed again.

    here are a few pics of the internals




  • Experiments in Home Audio (lm386)

    I really needed a quick amplifier to power a few book shelf speakers. Looking around my ic bin, I found a few lm386s.
    Next I pulled the rest of the parts (1x perf board,  2x ic sockets,  2x 100uf caps, 2x 5k pots,  some wires,  and a few odds and ends) 

    Put all this in a blender, bake for few hours and this is what you get.




    The results are,  its not  a bad sound. some noticeable distortion at higher levels. More improvements can be made, like changing the output caps to bigger ones,  adding a gain selector….etc.
    But what I have now works. Next a class A amp and other projects.

  • msp430 BMP counter, its getting there

    Doing some more testing on my BPM counter,  the beat detection circuit is getting closer and closer.


    Using NightBass “Sky Ride extended mix(A1)”  I have tested the circuit and finally have some results.  See video below.

    The signal is coming from my turntable, through the mixer, and into my low pass filter, then the signal is read by the SD16, every time the threshold is reached the LED is turned on.


    Test Code

    //Author- Justin Solarski
    //Copyright 2011 justinstech.org
    volatile unsigned int results = 0;
    void main(void) {
    //basic clock settings
    BCSCTL2 |= DIVS_3; //divide smclk/8 125000Hz
    //GPIO setup
    P2DIR |= BIT7;
    P1DIR |= BIT6;
    //sd16 settings
    SD16CTL = SD16REFON + SD16SSEL_1; // 1.2V ref, SMCLK
    //SD16CTL |= SD16XDIV_3; //
    SD16INCTL0 = SD16INCH_0; // A1+/- P1.2
    SD16CCTL0 = SD16IE; // 256OSR, bipolar offset, interrupt enable
    SD16AE = SD16AE0; // P1.0 A0+, A0- = VSS
    SD16CCTL0 |= SD16SC; // Set bit to start conversion
    _BIS_SR(LPM0_bits + GIE);
    // SD16 ISR
    #define THRSHMAX 0xc000 // not used yet
    #define THRSHMIN 0x4000 // not used yet
    void Sd16_Isr(void){ // 0000 - FFFF -- 8000 = halfway point or 1.2V
    //P1DIR ^= BIT6;
    results = SD16MEM0;
    if (results < 0x4000) { //results is less then 0x4000 P1OUT |= BIT6; } else if ( results > 0xc000) { // results greater then 0x9000
    P1OUT |= BIT6; }
    else { P1OUT = 0; }

    the code needs to be tweaked a little more to show better results, maybe adding a adjustable threshold would be nice. only a few more things to finish, like calculations of BPM and the 3x 7 segment display. hopefully it will be the majority will be finished sometime this next week, and then clean up and find a nice project box for everything.

    once i get the calculations done I will do a bigger write up, explaining how it all works…….Please let me know what you think