Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Experiment with MSP430 FRAM board via web interface

MSP EXP430FR5739 FRAM-based microcontroller board is an interesting piece of hardware. It features FRAM memory instead of Flash, which is claimed to withstand an almost unlimited number of Reads and Writes. It is also faster. It can substitute an EEPROM onboard. But it is not a very popular technology due to different manufacturing. There is an MSP430 microcontroller on this development board, which has 16KB FRAM, 1KB of SRAM. It carries eight LEDs, an MTC thermistor, a 3-axes digital accelerometer, optional LDR, couple of buttons. So this is great for many uses. Even if it doesn’t have Ethernet connectivity, webui_msp430 decided to build Web UI to do experiments with visual feedback. He used a Linux based host where Python reads data from USB and updates data to the webpage using node.js. Web interface displays analog inputs and all three accelerometer channels that are also represented in separate graphs. There is also the ability to toggle any of eight LEDs from the webpage. Continue reading

Texas Instruments enters hobby market with cheap dev platform

There is quite a buzz these days about this development board. This is probably because of many cons and pros about it. But probably this is really good thing that TI company decided to make prototyping possible for everyone. We all know that MSP430 microcontroller has recommended their place due its low power consumption and this is why it is frequently found on various multimeters. Anyway you can get a simple prototyping board only for $4.30 which includes DIP socket for MSP430 microcontroller with 2kB Flash, 128B of RAM, 10 GPIO, 1x 16-bit timer and more features. LaunchPad also has a mini-USB connector along with flash emulation circuitry that allows live flashing an emulation of projects. Also there are two programmable LEDs and buttons. I’d say this is great value for such price. Who know if its gonna last for long as they seem to be expanding towards more powerful devices. Probably one of cons for this is that LaunchPad isn’t compatible with Arduino shields. That would make it more attractive. Anyway give it a try – it still cost… Continue reading