Side Project: Building Something Useful with the MSP430

At the middle of the week, two parcels arrived at my door. It was the MSP430 and the add-on (booster) pack that I ordered last Thursday (5 April 2012). That was fast. Thanks to Texas Instrument (TI) and FedEx. In the following week, I am going to explore all the features and functionalities of the MSP430 microcontroller and build something useful with it, such as (not limited to):
  • Mp3 player
  • Temperature sensor
  • Home automation
Or imagine if it can build something like this:

I am going to show you what is it and why did I choose the MSP430 instead of Arduino. Is it a viable alternative?

Firstly, these are the kits that I bought:

MSP430 LaunchPad kit and Audio Capacitive Touch BoosterPack

Why Did I Choose the MSP430 instead of Arduino?
Well, two reasons:
Ultra-Low power MCU:
Sustainable-living has been much talked here in Australia and making appliances (refrigerator, PC, radio, mobile phones, etc.) very energy efficient is the way to go before integrating renewable energy generation technologies in them. Thus reducing our carbon footprint. It would be very interesting to see smart-phones that are able to operate for a week without recharging, wouldn't it.

In short, I get to learn about low-power technologies.

The MSP430 LaunchPad and the C5000™ Audio Capacitive Touch BoosterPack cost about $ 34.30 USD ($4.30 + $30.00 [Limited time]). Plus FREE shipping from Dallas, Texas, US to Melbourne, Australia. Reminder: the order arrived within a week making me a happy customer :)

In comparison, the Arduino is around $30+ and additional shipping charges. The cost could add up fast (more than the MSP430 + BoosterPack) if you want LCD screens, SD-card reader, and so on.

Additional resource:
>Amazing things you can do with the LaunchPad Development Kit.

>MSP430 wiki

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