For those of you who do not have Eagle Cad or would just simple like someone to walk them through the schematics for the LaunchPad (LP from now on), I have attached images of the schematic and will be explaining some parts.
Sheet 1 shows the microcomputer which is part of the emulation side of the programmer. Jump to the next paragraph if you know your circuitry already. Please note, this is NOT the microcomputer we will be programming, the MSP430F16x is used to program our microcomputer through the SBW interface. On the left side, we can see a status LED which is just hooked up to VCC (the upper voltage rail) with a resister. Funny that they label the trace EZ_VCC... Anyway, ever wonder why you see capacitors connecting VCC to ground in most schematics? Its to eliminate power spikes or dips from the DC lines in order to provide stable power. Capacitors appear as an open circuit to DC current, thus one can somewhat easily visualize that any AC (spikes or dips) will be filtered out and be sent right to ground. As is true with ALL electrical components nothing is perfect, but these capacitors do help.
The important things to note in Sheet 1 are J3 and J4, the two connectors on the right side. J3 is the connector which connects the Target side of the programmer to the Emulator side. This is important since the sides are completely electronically isolated from one another unless the jumpers are connected. Now, the interesting part J4; this is the connector which we will be using to program any devices that will not fit nicely in the socket on the LP. For use with the EZ430 you can connect the middle four pins to any of the target boards to program them (just make sure you match the pins up correctly). Pin 1 and 6 are the UART (serial) connection which is not nessesary for programming, but can be desirable for development purposes. Pin 2 through 5 are the SBW data pins and the power pins nessesary for programming the device.
On a side note, remember never to power a chip with a different supply than the programmer when programming unless you hook up some interesting circuitry to convert the logic levels. For example, if you are running a chip at 2.2V, and are trying to program it using the LP, which runs at 3.6V you should not hook the SBW pins to the microcomputer to program it. Its possible to get away with doing this, but it will deminish the life expentancy of your device. See this interesting article at SparkFun about logic levels and microcomputers. Don't worry about this too much, its easy to disconnect the power from your chip for programming to use the LP's power, or to even just pull your chip out (if you can).
Sheet 2: On the top right we see the power supply which shows a +3.6V. In the center on the right is the USB connector which connects to the TUSB device. The USB connector is connected to the TUSB IC, which then is connected to the F16X which is then hooked up to your target device using the SBW interface.
Sheet 3 shows the actual target socket with a few addition components. Most important (for me) is the connecter J6 which allows power from an external source if you do not want to use the 3.6V provided by the programmer. I like this because I plan on using a lower voltage for my project than 3.6V and I also plan on isolating my board from the computer with an opto-isolator.
As for other components, there are two buttons, one reset button and one general purpose button. Note that the pull-up resistors are connected to the pins directly and not shown near the buttons on the schematic. If you are curious as to why these are needed, leave a comment and I can elaborate (this is true for any questions you may have). One thing I do not like about this is that there are no jumpers here allowing one do disconnect the resistor from P1.3. This can cause a problem if I decide to use this pin for something else, now I have to be careful to work around this >.< At least they put jumpers in for the LEDs (on the bottom left of sheet 3), which allow you to connect LED1 and LED2 to P1.0 and P1.6 respectively. The external crystal also does not have jumpers which might cause some frustration if you want to use those ports for something else (more on this in a future post). At least from the picture on the wiki it doesn't seem like the device will ship with a crystal or resonator soldered in place. *crosses fingers*
Any other observations I missed? Or questions? Comments away. Hope these posts aren't too wordy.