Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yet Another Update Post

Before I continue with any fun code examples and projects I want to say my thoughts pertaining to my last post, about the shield standard. I also want to outline where I see the next few posts going and hopefully get some feedback from you guys.

The New Domain

I'm sure some of you noticed the new domain name! We are now officially www.MSP430LaunchPad.com! I hope this can help with the growth of the community and the blog, I also hope this will give me more flexibility in uploading non-blog pages and maybe even hosting some simple projects. This is why I put up advertisements a bit ago; initially I wanted my blog free of them, but I realized with ads after enough time goes by I can use the money to do some cool things. If there is enough revenue from them, I will use the money to fund contests or events, where LaunchPads or shields I design are given away.

The Shield Standard

To be blunt, I am not too proud of my last post. I would need to put in more time than I am willing to put in to write up a really good standard. The last post was more to get my idea's out there, such as the idea of a BaseBoard and LaunchStack. One thing I want to be sure of is that there is a way to use the more powerful processors with the LaunchPad and with whatever shields may be sold. This in itself would help bring about the success of the LaunchPad. That being said, I hope that I didn't disappoint you all too much with such a lacking proposal; if anyone wants to take up where I left off go for it. I will support any idea as long as I can be convinced it is viable and useful.

Upcoming Posts

The next few posts will cumulate in an oscilloscope built using the LaunchPad. There are a few problems with this, first being the 9600 baud rate supported by the LaunchPad will allow only 480sps. This means the final result will use an FTDI chip to communicate over USB. I still haven't decided how I want to do this, and in which order. I think the first test code will send an ADC reading when a button is pressed. The second will use a full duplex software UART to interface will a program I will write, which will replace the push button. I might even sample at a higher rate for a predetermined period of time (set by the program) in order to register full waveforms. We shall see. I would like to create a fully functional (slow ~ 100ksps) oscilloscope with some custom software to interface with it, but a few problems remain to be solved. I would eventually want to build a LaunchPad oscilloscope kit which I would sell.

LaunchPad Board Store

I think that there is enough of a market to start selling development boards. There are a few logistical problems with this though. The first is that I would require people to pre-order boards, and after a certain amount of time goes by or the minimum number of orders are made, I would get the boards manufactured the get them shipped out with all the components one would need. At first I would have 2 or 3 different types of boards. Any profit I would make would be put back into the store in order to provide more boards or to eliminate the need for pre-ordering boards. Prices could even go down if there is enough interest, the more boards being sold the cheaper they would be for me to get manufactured. If I can end up setting this up, you can expect another much more detailed post about it.

Keep in mind, we are now MSP430LaunchPad.com

:-)

Keep the comments flowing.

8 comments:

  1. Awesome blog, just wanted to let you in on a little secret you may not have noticed:

    http://kennethfinnegan.blogspot.com/2010/08/launchpad-prototype-shield.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheLifeOfKenneth+%28The+Life+of+Kenneth%29

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  2. Thanks for the post! I have seen the the blog you linked but for some reason I overlooked which headers he uses. I can't believe I forgot about wire-wrap headers. >.<

    Now we can use cheap[-ish] "stackable" headers.

    Thanks again.

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  3. Great blog, love what you're doing here. Very interested in seeing the Oscope project.

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  4. I'm glad to see there's a community developing around the Launchpad. I have a small electronics development company and I have ambitions to develop and sell Launchpad shields similar to those already out there for the Arduino (screw terminals, 4x7seg display, LCD board, dot matrix, maybe some I2C sensors, all the basics just setup for the LP). There's definitely a market with so many $4.30 kits going out to the world. I like where your head is at. Maybe we could work together, bounce ideas off each other.

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  5. @Kelly
    Thank you :-) The scope project will start up soon, either the next post, or the one after.

    @Tekinetics
    Feel free to email me at, webmaster at msp430launchpad dot com.

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  6. A scope project! I'm getting all giddy just thinking of it! I always wanted to make one!

    Thanks!

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  7. I am looking forward to your Oscope, i have a similar idea except use a separate ADC that use SPI interface.Keep up the good ideas

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  8. Hi NJC, You and I spoke when I posted my 'Hello World' code as Fairwind.
    I too am following the shield standard with some ideas of my own, I am planning to produce a shield that does about what Tekinetics mentioned.
    The 'O' scope is a good idea, I have some thoughts on that. If you guys would like another partner I am interested, start up money 3 ways is better than 1 way and we have to move fast before we have any competition. Make them follow us!! I can be reached at critch711 at gmail dot com

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