MSP430 and free tools

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View
Hi all,

Spin time... I've tested out enough of my sub electronics to be able to
start optimizing. I'm contemplating the MSP430F149 or F135 as a
candidate to replace a few 8-bit micros [that are currently way
under-utilized anyway]. This is a dual-purpose project; saving power and
also learning the MSP430 as I will be using it extensively in the coming
years at work.

However, at home I would like to work with "free" tools; mspgcc and
preferably a homebrew or low-cost JTAG dongle like Olimex's. Any
comments on the Olimex wiggler? How about their F149 breadboard? They're
so cheap that I've ordered one of each to play with, but I'd like to
know if there is any known flakiness.

What's mspgcc like? I know about IAR Kickstart, but 2K isn't enough, and
anyway, where I work we're also in the process of ditching all IAR tools
(including their MSP430 toolchain) due to bugs, poor support and crazy
pricing.

Also, how reliable is the whole gcc toolchain running under Linux? (I'm
thinking in particular the JTAG flashing here).


--
 -- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /)
Learn how to develop high-end embedded systems on a tight budget!
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: MSP430 and free tools
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The Olimex hardware is very good value, and doesn't have any problems.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

mspgcc works very well.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Join the MSP430 Yahoo group. There is also an mspgcc users group on
SourceForge.

Leon



Re: MSP430 and free tools
Hi Leon,

Hey, I didn't know you were an MSP guy as well. I thought about an
LPC2000 series part for this app, BTW, but decided they're just not
mainstream enough yet (meaning, expensive and purchasing is much more
difficult than for MSP).

I'll look on Yahoo, thanks.

--
 -- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /)
Learn how to develop high-end embedded systems on a tight budget!
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: MSP430 and free tools
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Lots of people who liked the MSP430 have been attracted to the LPC2000
parts.

Leon



Re: MSP430 and free tools

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You won't be disappointed on either count- it's both frugal and
versatile. It's been my standard choice for 3 years now. The only things
I would like added are an option of external data/control bus and 5V
compatible IO. And someone to make 0603 6 meg crystals.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

There's a homebrew JTAG interface pointed to somewhere on the MSPGCC
site. I don't to use it- the serial downloader has always suited my
style better. It acts as a debug serial interface as well. At least in
the earlier days, the JTAG debugger/GDB/Cygwin combo caused all sorts of
problems.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Very good except for floating point, plus one or two idiosyncracies,
like printf() ALWAYS needing at least two parameters. Very well
supported by an excellent and responsive team, actively improving all
the time. Use it with confidence.

Paul Burke




Re: MSP430 and free tools
Hey Lewin,
    How's tricks?
Quoted text here. Click to load it
The Olimex F149 header boards are pretty good.  I've designed boards with a
dual pad-out to take either the processor or the Olimex breadboard.  Down
here in Australia, the boards had a shorter lead time!!!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I use the ridiculously priced full IAR compiler (a rip-off at AU$4000 odd).
Imagecraft have one at about a tenth that price that seems to be pretty
robust, I used the demo for a while.  It's not as efficient time and memory
footprint wise as the IAR compiler, but I've heard that both of them are
streets (20%-30%) ahead of mspgcc.  This may be old information though.

Cheers,
Alf

snipped-for-privacy@remove.the.obvious.ieee.org



Re: MSP430 and free tools
On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 19:11:11 +1000, "Unbeliever"
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Alf,

Do you get the Olimex boards locally (Melb), or are they shipped from Bulgaria ?

regards
David


Re: MSP430 and free tools

Quoted text here. Click to load it
a
Bulgaria ?
Quoted text here. Click to load it
I ordered them from Bulgaria and paid with my credit card.  No hassles and
about 10 days from memory.  YMMV.

Cheers,
Alf



Re: MSP430 and free tools
Quoted text here. Click to load it
a
odd).
Quoted text here. Click to load it
memory

There are also the Rowley CrossWorks tools. They are very good value
compared to IAR and work very well.

Leon



Re: MSP430 and free tools
Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's what we're switching to at work. They are good value, but I can't
justify UKP495 for my personal use. And at work I am too busy to work on
personal projects :)
--
 -- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /)
Learn how to develop high-end embedded systems on a tight budget!
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: MSP430 and free tools
Hi Alf,

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I haven't turned any recently :)

Finally I have all the contract work, writing, proofreading and
miscellaneous other responsibilities out of the way. For the first
time in more than a year, I'm a free man and can do some aimless
personal projects again. I'm sure someone will soon come along with a
project that's just too tempting to refuse, but in the meantime I'm
playing with the MSP!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's pretty crazy. I think I'll order a waffle once I start
prototyping, just in case. For now I have 3 samples on order from TI,
and another 5 pieces from Digi-Key.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't doubt that. I'm not going to be pushing the envelope with this
chip, though. I need to read two ADXL202s (currently I do that the
digital way, but I guess I could do it analogishly if I had to), some
temp sensors (currently those are analog but could go to I2C),
pressure sensors (analog), a GPS and a couple of other miscellaneous
things. The MSP won't break a sweat even using a suboptimal compiler.

Plus two reversible PWM motor outputs and two 4-pole stepper drives.
However it looks like these will be replaced by a single output to
switch off/on a hydraulic power unit, and a few solenoid valve
outputs.

Re: MSP430 and free tools

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Talk to the people in the Yahoo MSP430 group. The people who create
the compilers are regulars so you should be able to obtain some answers.

Apparently the Crossworks compiler from http://www.rowley.co.uk/ works
very well, you can port from IAR fairly easily, and is significantly cheaper.

He's even got a Linux version of Crossworks 1.2 (Beta 1 version).

Crossworks UKP 495. per user.



Re: MSP430 and free tools

Quoted text here. Click to load it


Never mind the spin Lewin. Is it not time for an update (either here or the
E-2 pages of your website.

        * How did it work out with the camcorder synchronisation
        * Have you now an overall block schematyic for the sub
        * Have you progressed the missile launch capability
        * Do we really have to wait for the book ;>

--
********************************************************************
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: MSP430 and free tools

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I wasn't implying laziness on your part (being too busy maybe but never
lazy) ;>
 
Quoted text here. Click to load it

So we will wait the web-site updates then.
 
[%X]

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You could probably run a magnetic coupling through a stainless steel sheet.
The sheet keeps the water out but allows magnetic force lines to penetrate
and drag round the coupled shaft. I wil explain in more detail privately if
you wish.
 
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Sounds like sokme serious "away from the sub" time coming up.
 
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for the update anyway. Sounds like things are moving on quite nicely.

--
********************************************************************
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: MSP430 and free tools
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I'd skip these first generation flash parts. A lot of early MSP430 parts
have a problem with their POR function. Supposedly the POR will operate
at 0.4V. The problem is that even low value ceramic caps used for
decoupling will hold the supply voltage at around 0.8V once power is
removed, causing the micro to latch. If you don't care about current
consumption this can be got around simply with a bleed resistor, other
wise you need some type of external reset circuit. Most of these draw
more current than the micro in low power applications.

I suggest you look at the MSP430F16xx series. Pin compatible (Ti did
well here) and includes reset/BOR circuitry as well as DMA channels and
a pair of 12 bit DACs. RAM sizes up to 10k. If you're doing navigation
I'd select a version with the hardware multiplier, it makes a big
difference.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

 From what I see in the MSP430 yahoo group mspgcc has a fairly loyal
band of followers, but it would seem to be the least efficient of the
popular compilers by a very large margin. Crossworks is probably the
most efficient, and has a USB downloader, but you've already mentioned
that as too expensive off home brew. Quadravox and Imagecraft offer a
good compromise, Imagecraft is the cheapest, but, purely from other
peoples posts, again doesn't seem quite as good at optimisation as
quadravox or crossworks, although I understand Richard is working on a
new optimiser.  Quadravox offer better support (in my personal
experience) than is reasonable to expect, so, at this precise point in
time would be my personal choice for a home brew compiler if
optimisation wasn't a big issue.

But there's always assembler, a joy to behold on the MSP430. My own
navigation systems are written entirely in assembler on a 149, it is
incredible just how much work the thing will handle.

Al

Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: MSP430 and free tools
Hi!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Hmm, interesting info - thanks. I'll grab the datasheets for these
parts.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The nice folks at Rowley have given me some assistance on that front,
and my Olimex shipment arrived yesterday (from sparkfun.com in CO;
great turnaround time). I've started playing with it, familiarizing
myself basically. The Crossworks IDE is rather "busy" - I'm still
getting used to all the buttons and widgets. BTW I can't wait for
their Linux version to come out...

The reason I want to use C is that the algorithms I've written are
already in C, and should be fairly portable. The MSP430 is not being
called upon to do any significant navigation, BTW; that's handled by
the 32-bit controller. MSP is doing the grunt work.

Site Timeline