In my previous post I mentioned Energia, a modification of the Arduino IDE that makes programming the TI MSP430 as easy as programming for the Arduino platform. Here, I go into more detail about how Energia may be used to program a Sprite.
Over Christmas break I stumbled upon some classes listed on the Sparkfun website. Two of them happened to be scheduled over a three day weekend early in January. At approximately 16 hours, the drive from Edwardsville, IL to Boulder, CO couldn’t be much longer and still be truthfully be described as a “day trip.” But when else would I have a chance to learn about microcontrollers and programming in a classroom environment? I decided to make the journey and give the classes a try.
Bitwise operations are mathematical transformations applied to binary numbers. Binary numbers are written in base two, which means that they are composed of a string of zeroes and ones. The numbers that most people are familiar with are written in base ten, which means that there are ten digits with each digit indicating a number of powers of ten: Continue reading
One of the first NerdKits projects involves programming a temperature sensor, not unlike the one that comes built in to the Sprite. The temperature sensor in the NerdKit looks very much like a transistor, but in this case the left pin connects to the voltage and the right pin connects to ground. The middle pin outputs analogue measurements corresponding to the amount of heat in its environment. In order to use this data, the microcontroller unit must first convert it into digital information.
The analogue-to-digital conversion executes according to the C program that I write, with help from the NerdKits libraries. At the highest level, the MCU executes the following
main function: Continue reading