Meet the MSP430

The MSP430 is a low power microcontroller family. It’s relatively easy to use, and there are plenty of online resources – like this one. In addition, the LaunchPad development kit is less than 20 bucks from Digikey. Suffice to say, there’s no reason not to buy one of these and just play around to hone one’s skill set.

We’ll be using the LaunchPad kit in conjunction with the MSP430G2553 microcontroller. The LaunchPad kit can be used with several different Types of MSP430 microcontrollers. There’s a list of MSP430 that are compatible with the LaunchPad kit in the “2.9 Supported Devices” section (page 14), in the LaunchPad Development kit User's Guide. This won’t be on all encompassing tutorial, but it should allow you to get your feet wet and have a working understanding of the MSP430 family.

 So without further delay, let's discuss just exactly what our purpose for these tutorials will be and then dive in.

Project Scope

Directly below is a block diagram of the MSP430G2553 architecture: CPU , Clock System , Watchdog Timer , and other peripherals. This project aims to give a functional walk through for the Digital IO Ports, the Timer A module, the ADC module, and finally the USCI module. In addition, it will show you how to use the clocking system to change the speed of the CPU and other peripherals, and how to turn off the Watchdog Timer.

The goal is to get one comfortable using the MSP430 microcontroller, so that you can us it effectively in your own projects.

Tools (Equipment and Software)

This is the equipment and/or parts list you will need to complete this series of tutorials:

  • Code Composer IDE - don't worry it's free.

  •  LaunchPad kit with the MSP430G2553 microcontroller

  • Multimeter

  • 10k Pot, used in the ADC section

  • 22k ohm resistor, used in ADC section

  • 100 nF capacitor, used in ADC section

For the USCI module you’ll need:

  • MAX551 12 bit DAC IC, to demonstrate SPI

  • Your computer, to demonstrate the UART module

  • Optionally you can use this software with your computer to illustrate the USCI operation

Implementation (The How)

We’re going to be demonstrating the use of 4 modules in the MSP430G2553: the digital Ports A & B, Timer A, ADC, and the USCI. The first module we will tackle is the Port module, because it’s crucial for digital IO, followed by the Timer A module, then the ADC module, and finally the USCI. Below are links to the module tutorials.

Outcome (Did it work)

Well, hopefully, you’ve made it through the 4 tutorials and the MSP430 is now a usable tool for your projects. If you have any comments on how I can make this series of tutorials easier to grasp drop me an email via the contact page to the left. Otherwise, thanks for following my tutorials.