Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Energia for MSP430

In Software on Sep 25, 2012 at 00:01

There’s a project called Energia, which describes itself as:

Energia is a fork of Arduino for the Texas Instruments MSP430 Micro Controller.

It’s not the first fork, and won’t be the last. And if you’re used to the Arduino IDE, it’ll be delightfully familiar:

Screen Shot 2012 09 18 at 22 57 48

One really interesting aspect of of this project, is that the price of experimenting with embedded controllers drops to about $5 for a TI “LaunchPad” – so any throwaway project and kid-with-little-money can now use this:

DSC 4150

As I found out, these through-hole experimenter’s boards fit quite nicely on top:

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Although if you look closely, it’s actually one row less than the processor board:

DSC 4152

But hey, you end up with a darn cheap setup, and numerous little experiments to try out.

Lots of options, all usable with open source software toolchains: ARM, AVR, MSP!

  1. Pretty cool, still got two of those launchpads laying around.

  2. These launchpads can be combined with several “boosterpacks”, to make an RF network this is a very interesting boosterpack Today another launchpad gets released: at nearly the same price of the original MSP430.

    cheers CorB

  3. Thanks for the links.

    I never new there was an Arduino IDE plugin for Visual Studio, but now I do:

    Visual Micro is a plug-in for Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 which brings all the power and comfort provided by the Microsoft IDE.

    But Visual Micro goes further, as it includes a much asked for feature: an integrated debugger.

  4. The “won’t be the last” fork is a template for Xcode.

    embedXcode allows to use Xcode to develop for Arduino, chipKIT, LaunchPad and FraunchPad MSP430, Wiring and LeafLabs Maple platforms.

    It relies on a modular set of makefiles and thus can supports virtually any board with a Processing-based Wiring-derived Arduino-like IDE.

    Learn more at

  5. Oops! in my haste I’ve accidentally ordered the EK-LM4F120XL – Stellaris® LM4F120 LaunchPad Evaluation Kit. Bugger!

  6. The MSP430 Launchpad can also be used as a very low cost in system programmer, compatible to most development and production tools.

    And Energia really works out of the box with the Launchpad, just like Arduino, amazing. I didn’t do more than the Blink example, but this was working after a minute (and renaming the ‘energia-12345xyz something’ folder to ‘energia’, as there was an error message that a file could not be found due to the shortening of the folder name to ‘energi-1’).

  7. Thanks for this! I ordered two of the MSP430 boards. Not sure what my plans are for them, but that’s not the point.

  8. After some time with the Arduino, I faced with insufficient recusroes, either memory or processing power.So I went for the chipKIT UNO32 designed by Diligent and built around the 80 MHz Microchipae PIC32MX320F128 with 32-bit, 128K Flash, 16K SRAM. At roughly the same price as the Uno, this is terrific value.The programming IDE is exactly the same as for the Arduino, except it handles both AVR and PIC32-based environments through the selection of the board. It is called mpide for multi-platform IDE. Software and hardware compatibility is better than expected. See my website for more on that.I have no experience on the TI’s platform, but you get what you pay 2K Flash and 128 bytes of RAM.

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