Facing sun with MSP430 based tracker

Solar panels are most effective when facing sun directly. So if you want to get most energy, you need to track sun trajectory in order to keep panels always facing towards the sun. Actually this is fairly easy task. In this solution vigneshraja shares setup built of couple light dependent resistors (LDR) and single motor to track sun. Tracker is built on MSP430G2231 microcontroller that sit in Launchpad. Interesting thing is that two LDRs are in stationary position that determine sun position by comparing their values. Motor is driven through H-Bridge motor controller. Such solution is great for near equator locations, but in other areas sun wont travel directly above, so probably more suitable tracker should have two motors controlling both angles to point sun directly. Continue reading

Connecting buttons to MSP430

In this new tutorial, we will see the easiest way to connect a push-button to the MSP430. I will be using msp430 Launchpad for the purpose of the tutorial, however you can use a bread-board too externally interface the push-button Before I begin, I want to tell you the advantage of Msp430 over other sets of microcontroller available in the market.  As you might have seen, msp430 is a pretty cheap microcontroller from the Texas family, and has a 16-bit wide data bus for processing the data but has very few number of pins. Only 2 ports of 8pins each are available for interfacing and that two without support for external crystal. If you want to connect an external crystal, you lose two more pins and that reduces the total number of pins available for interfacing to just 14.  But this is just the other side of coin, the other being its application in low-power projects. Consider a situation where you need to log a data out of a sensor and send it to a local station from a remote… Continue reading

Interface DAC with the Msp430

The MSP430 is a famous series of 16-bit controllers from Texas Instruments. They are mainly used for battery-powered and low-cost based projects. The article aims at interfacing a popular series for DAC named as DAC7564, which is also manufactured by Texas Instruments as well as other semiconductor corporations. The DAC7564 is a low-power, voltage-output, and four-channel, 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The device includes a 2.5V, 2ppm/°C internal reference. The device is monotonic, provides very good linearity, and minimizes undesired code-to-code transient voltages (glitch). An N-bit string DAC simply consists of 2N equal resistors in series and 2N switches (usually CMOS), one between each node of the chain and the output. The output is taken from the appropriate tap by closing just one of the switches. An MSP430 is used to send the data and the SPI communication is done by bit-banging. A library provides functions to send, receive and transfer data using SPI protocol. Being a bit-bang communication there is no particular hardware module necessary and any MSP430 would work, in this particular case a MSP430F2274 is used. Continue reading

Brushless motor driver for TI Launchpad


This is a nice adapter/shield for MSP430 LaunchPad which is capable of driving sensor-less and sensored brushless motor drive. This is so called BLDC booster that can be controlled using Python based GUI. Firmware is still under heavy development, but already works with slower motors. In order to drive sensor-less DC motor Lgbeno adapted InstaSpin technology which is based on flux thresholding of motor. Continue reading

Servo driven blinds using MSP430

This is very simple project that brings some automation to house. Its servo blinds automation controlled by MSP430 launchpad. Servo motor were modified for continuous rotation. Servo motor is directly attached to blinds rotor and once button is clicked – blinds open and closes on next click. Everything is powered from USB port that provides enough current for launchapd and servo motor. Everything seems fine, but some remote control functionality might be a great addition. Continue reading

Taking Time-lapsed Pictures Using the MSP430

TI’s MSP430 has attracted a lot of microcontrollers enthusiasts (that includes me) not just because its crazily cheap $4.30 but it also has the basic features that you would need to get your project going. Not to mention the Code Composer Studio that is used to program the microcontroller is also competitive. VistaQuest VQ1005 – an old fashioned digital camera that was opened (by the owner not me no no no) up a couple of years ago. The first approach was to use the 555 timer integrated circuit to trigger the camera at timed intervals and when you get the photos together you’ll end up having a time lapsed  photo – neat huh, simple but it could do the job. The only problem was that there is a time interval restriction since the VistaQuest VQ1005 will go to sleep mode when there is no activity for a certain period of time. How did he go through the modification? Its actually quite simple. A tap was made on the the camera trigger (the one that you click to take a picture) when this… Continue reading