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.
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.