Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Nokia 5110 Msp430 Booster Pack

Texas instruments is becoming my most used development platform.
The launchpad series is great for rapid development and did I mention the debugger is great ?
Since Ti is such a big company it is somewhat hard to gather the information you need, since they have many technical writers and thousands of documents. They also lack some kind of easy tutorial which just gets you started like the one from Embedded Artists for the Nxp line or I simply have not found it yet.

Unbelievable there is a great tutorial site from Ti I just found it within minutes after I wrote this blog,...

On the other hand there is a great user community and if you have some experience with other controllers you will get used to the controller line soon.

The Nokia booster pack is designed by RobG and it is also possible to build it as a  stand alone display.
I decided to do so, but I had great difficulties to get the programmer to recognize the board.
In the end my reset controller consisting of an resistor and a capacity did not work out. After hours of head scratching guess work I removed the capacity and it did work immediately, very strange.
To program the controller I simply put the board on a launchpad with empty target controller socket.

I tried some example code from the designer and the booster pack worked great.

I usually don't like displays without a character generator,  but once you defined the character set you won't notice a difference, so no problem whatsoever.

The Nokia 5110 display is controlled via Spi bus, so update rates are fast and programming is easy once you get used to the concept. There is a nice lecture from Cornell university which helps you understand the basic concepts to use a Spi bus.

Btw. I decided to build a standalone version, because I can implement a full blown easy to use display controller module and then simply connect any circuit to it to use it, even the interface choice is flexible, from simple bit bang mode to serial or I2C anything is possible. I simply like modular approaches.

Finally some pictures:

Nokia 5110 msp430 booster pack

Bottom side

In action

On top of the launchpad to program the controller

Spi tutorial
Buy pcb from 43oh shop
Build thread

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