blog.jmp.no

Electronics, coding and hacking. And ADD.

Getting to know my MSP430

2011
19
September

Got one of these the other day. As an Atmel guy (if you look aside my brief flirt with the Microchip PIC controllers in the beginning), I was curious what the world of TI looked like. A tip led me to the MSP430 Launchpad, and at the cost of $4.30 (+ shipping) I had to get one (I actually bought two)

TI Launchpad

It was surprisingly easy to "switch", everything worked out-of-the-box. No startup problems, everything auto-detected and... well.. worked.

I ported a 4-bit LCD driver from the ATmega8, and it took me about 15 minutes. Not really sure what I'm going to do with this little guy just yet (why replace something that works?) but I have a distinct feeling it will fit in somewhere, somehow in the near future.


The ATPuter

2011
19
September

Here's another oddity I never really wrote anything about. This didn't catch on to me. Don't get me wrong, but it was a "too easy" approach towards building my own computer. I'll explain why.

ATPuter

What you're looking at here, is an ATmega128 based computer. Since I'm a fan of reusing components (and I'm a frequent breadboarder) the SMD ATmega128 is on a 64-pin SMD-to-DIP adapter. VGA signal and a PS/2 keyboard input functionality was driven by the MicroVGA interface by SeCons. I wrote a custom BASIC implementation, so switching it on would give an instant 8-bit retro experience. The wires on the board are for JTAG and power.

Kind of cool, but, you know. Connecting the dots is not really a challenge. Most of the work was writing the software, and I have enough software projects.

Another project forwarded to the dust collector ensemble!


The decoder

2011
19
September

This was a simple project I finished a while ago, but never wrote anything about.

The lack of this device was discovered while debugging my 6502 computer (which I will cover later). I needed to debug the address bus while stepping through a simple program in ROM. Due to the lack of a advanced oscilloscope, I wanted a solid device I could hook up to anything with a 16 bits wide bus or less.

16-bit address decoder

This is the final layout. The address bus is segmented in 4 bits, each passing through a MC14495, which happens to be a CMOS 4-bit parallel to 7-segment driver. All I did was to connect the dots and add a few rails for the power, and etch the bugger.

Yes, it is a simple device, but it has proved to be extremely functional and useful.


New blog; renewed courage.

2011
19
September

Welcome to my new blog, where I'll be discussing my projects, ideas and thoughts on my personal electronic projects, favorite micro controllers and C programming.

This blog will mainly be written in English, to welcome the international audience which appears to be growing.

I'll try to keep my usual lines, with explaining and de-mystifiing my recent finds, as I explore my way through the immense jungle of transistors, opto-isolators and logic gates.

Wish me luck.


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