[time-nuts] time-nuts Digest, Vol 101, Issue 70

k6rtm at comcast.net k6rtm at comcast.net
Sun Dec 9 17:55:26 UTC 2012


Thanks for that! A great deal of what makes the Arduino popular, as you've identified, is the ease of use through the IDE. 

I just finished re-doing code for a portable RF power meter (AD8307, LTC1288), and the Arduino implementation was quick, easy, and provides a lot more capability. I used one of the $20 small form factor Arduino devices, rather than the full-sized board. 

I looked at the MSP430 when it came out, and it looked interesting, but I wasn't interested in the learning curve of yet another system. 

This looks like one to check out -- thanks again! 

73 de Bob K6RTM 

Message: 1 
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2012 21:30:06 -0700 
From: Joseph Gray <jgray at zianet.com> 
To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement 
<time-nuts at febo.com> 
Subject: [time-nuts] For Arduino lovers and haters 
<CAF7oPz1fr+C1mF68QWBGK-hLgiXB5-aPgOrHDUkUFPRTEnt+sg at mail.gmail.com> 
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 

I'm posting this seemingly off topic information, because many times a 
Time Nut needs to do something with a microcontroller (witness the 
recent discussion about GPSDO's). 

Sometimes, you just want to throw something together for a quick test 
or for a temporary project... 

I have never used an Arduino, but I see them mentioned all the time, 
with numerous projects and code posted on the net. A while back, I did 
pick up a few MSP430 Launchpads, as they were so inexpensive. I 
started teaching myself C, but kept getting sidetracked with other 
things. In any event, the simplified C-style of an Arduino program, 
and the huge quantity of code out there is attractive. 

What does Arduino have to do with the MSP430 Launchpad? Well, a few 
guys ported the Arduino IDE to the launchpad. The project is called 
Energia and is found here: http://energia.nu/ 

With some minor pin remapping, many Arduino programs (I won't call 
them sketches) can be run on the Launchpad. Considering that the 
Launchpad is $4.30 (with free shipping) and an Arduino board is 
several times that, it makes the Launchpad even more attractive. Of 
course, you don't have the Arduino addon boards (shields) with the 
Launchpad, but you may not need all that for a particular project. 

One item of particular note - the Energia IDE was just updated to 
include the new TI Stellaris Launchpad. This is a very powerful ARM 
Cortex board that costs very little. I got two for $5 each with free 
shipping, on a pre-release special deal. 

As an example of just getting something done without reinventing the 
wheel, I just got in one of those AD9851 DDS modules that you find 
online from China. For now, I just wanted to make sure that the module 
worked (I have a particular use for it later). I quickly found an 
Arduino program online that uses the same DDS module. All it took was 
some pin remapping to make it work with the MSP430 Launchpad and the 
Energia IDE. I was able to quickly verify that the DDS module works 
just fine. 

Sorry for the long winded post, but I thought some here would find 
this information of use. Eventually, I'll get back to learning C. 
Right now, the project I'm doing requires me to learn Python :-) 

Joe Gray 

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