Monday, January 16, 2017

Energia and MSP430G2553

Recently I had a little bit more deep experience with Energia and the MSP430G2553.
Here some notes about this experience.

I did two projects so far using Energia and I have to say that a) I was able to do them really fast (well, the first one with a big start with the help of Roberto) and b) they are working surprisingly good.
For fast prototyping I would say that the MSP430 plus Energia is a good platform.
What is not good ?

Well,  is really missing a decent debugger.
I had some strange problems, like for example a restarting code without any clue about "why", or strange behavior events using the I2C on a MSP430G2452 (I solved that using the MSP430G2553).
Very very hard to figure it out these problems without any debug tool.

But also to test the logic of a sketch even a basic debugger would be a great thing.
The second big Cons of Energia is the needed memory.

It is mandatory to use chipset with at least 16K for very simple projects.
The second one I'm working on (I'll publish a separate article on that) already is over 12K and is far to be completed.
I'm sure I'll reach a point where I'll have to migrate on a bigger board, like the F2259.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

SmartPhone audio accessory

Some notes about some audio accessories for smartphone.

Hype Retro Walkie Talkie handset

This funny toy is shaped like a traditional-style ham radio microphone.
The idea is to "transform" the smartphone into an Ham radio. For example, used with Zello can facilitate to use it in a mobile environment or for who is nostalgic about it.

I tested it on the Samsung tablet but is not working with Zello.
However is working with other applications. This suggests that there are other differences other the 3.5 mm jack pinout.

Let's open it up

The quality of the gadget is of course very low. Beside, for 5$ really is not expected to be better.

The gadget

To open it there are just four Philips screws

The little board has a small amplifier based probably on  a LM386.

There are two push button and a trimmer for the ON/OFF and volume setting.
The small push button on the top is the one that is used to start the conversation.
The big push button on the side simply mute the speaker (IMHO wrong  choice since normally the PTT button is on the side on a normal/standard mike).


The idea is to plug the mike in the smartphone audio jack and turn it on.
After that the audio output is redirected to the small speaker and when pressing the PTT button, the mike is activated.