Amazing LED patterns on your bicycle spokes

The project also known as Spoke ink creates a beautiful patterns in a shape of an image which is user defined.  Spoke Ink is a booster pack for the MSP430 series of microcontroller, which uses 32RGB Led’s along with a magnetic sensor.  The image to be displayed on the spoke can be created form any bitmap image by using the software provided by the maker itself.  The booster packs creates an image by using persistence of vision which is the same technique used in videos. 2NITo generate a persistent image, Spoke Ink and the MSP430 have to light up in the exact same radial position with each turn of the wheel which is achieved by triggering interrupts based on a small magnetic sensor that trips each time the booster pack passes a small magnet glued to stationary part of the bicycle. The project requires very basic components such as RGB LED’s Hall Effect sensors along with the launch pad for MSP430 and the booster pack mentioned above. Continue reading

Giving a nice display to a weather-o-matic

Having weather data is almost as important as knowing time. So weather station is a second device after clock at home, isn’t it? How to make it eye catching and easy to understand at the glance. Martin seems to be found an interesting solution. He built analog display for weather device. On display face you can see couple arrows indicating weather conditions while another displays temperature. Behind the scene you will find MSP430G2553 microcontroller which drives two servo motors where arrows are attached. It gets weather data from PS via UART. On PC a python script simply fetches the weather data from Internet. After such success, Martin plans to push project towards Raspberry Pi, so there would be no need for PC. Continue reading

Power supply meter based on MSP430

msp430 power meter

Power consumption is important factor on battery driven devices. We all want them to last longer. In order to build energy efficient projects testing is necessary step. Small changes in circuit or in microcontroller software may lead to different current drain. MechG has built a handy power meter dedicated for breadboard tests. It is based on MSP430G2402 microcontroller which samples voltage and current consumption of target circuit and then calculates power usage. Data is displayed on LCD. It is capable of measuring voltages from 0 to 10V and currents from 0 to 300mA. Measuring resolution is different for uA and mA ranges that are 0.1mA and 0.1uA respectively. Full specs can be found on Google code page. I think this is a “must have“ tool for any circuit you design – even if it’s not battery operated. Continue reading

Remote MSP430 tank with Bluetooth module

Remote controlled things usually require transmitter and receiver. Building both of them doesn’t always sound attractive. By using bluetooth module it can be simpler. Take a look at Mike’s Bluetooth msp430 tank. Its control unit is based on MSP430 Launchpad paired with wireless Bluetooth module. Two motors move threads. Of course there is a motor booster needed. When all set all you need is to send control commands via bluetooth channel. All you need here is to install small application in to your Android phone and you can start crawling around. Continue reading

Bit banging USB on MSP430

MSP430 microcontrollers doesn’t come with native USB peripheral, so if you want to use USB with these micros you need to find a way around the problem. One way as usually is using USB interface chips. This method puts the USB load to hardware level and leaves microcontroller more processing resources. But sometimes we don’t want additional cost or simply don’t want to occupy more PCB space. Then a software USB implementation might work. Currently implementation works for MSP430F2274 and MSP430G2553. Code fits in 9kb of flash memory and runs fine with up to 512 bytes of RAM. So this is cheap solution like V-USB for AVR devices. If you would like to give a try – download Mecrisp from sourceforge. Continue reading

Room visitor counter using MSP430

This project was started as part of learning MSP430 microcontrollers. Rpisces wanted to add some home automation using this microcontroller and so built room visitor counter. Device counts how many visitors are in room. If it detects at least one person inside – it keeps relay switched on. And relay turns lap on and off. IMG Three LEDs keeps binary count of present people. People are detected using pair of IR distance sensors. Two of them are used to detect persons moving direction to figure out weather he is moving in or out. Circuit and sensors are mounted on plexiglass sheet that can be attached to doorway hole. Continue reading