The TI Stellaris Launchpad I ordered a few months ago arrived yesterday. For only $4.99, it’s quite a deal. An 80Mhz Cortex M4 ARM microcontroller with 32K RAM, 256K Flash and loaded with peripherals. It was pretty easy to get started with it on my Windows 7 machine. I needed the following software and drivers:
- Stellaris ICDI Drivers – Drivers for the Stellaris Launchpad hardware (debug emulator and virtual COM port)
- Yagarto GNU ARM toolchain – GCC compiler for ARM processors
- LMFLASH – Flash Programmer for Stellaris Launchpad
I installed all the drivers and software and was able to compile some of the sample code programs from StellarisWare Software and flash it onto the Launchpad.
I also have a MSP430 Launchpad that I’ve been fiddling with. I built a RS232 Shifter to convert the MSP430′s 3.3V signals to RS232 voltage levels. I used the schematic found on Sparkfun’s RS232 Shifter Board Kit, along with a bit-banged serial port on the MSP430 itself, and it works great. (I’ve ordered a bunch of headers so I won’t have wires directly soldered anymore!)
Next, I’m trying to get the MSP430 talking to a Dallas Semiconductor DS1820 digital thermometer.
Long term, I see a bunch of MSP430 Launchpads (or my own custom MSP430 hardware) interfaced with various sensors (temperature, humidity, detect open garage door, electricity monitor) reporting data back to the Stellaris Launchpad, and other MSP430 hardware with actuators (not sure what yet) that the Stellaris can command. The Stellaris will serve as a data collector and home automation controller and provide status/control via a simple webpage. That would be cool and fun project if I can find the time to do all that.