Category Archive: Embedded Systems

Dec 11

Editing PIC .hex files

… or how to edit a .hex file instead of recompiling it for every option. I had a product a while back where the customer needed to program it, but we didn’t want them to have to hassle with compiling it for every (10,000+) permutation.  I had a whole build system set up when this …

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2012/12/editing-pic-hex-files/

May 19

The Case of the Random Lockup

We had a bug that just wouldn’t go away. Sometimes it would show up quickly, sometimes it would show up after the code had been running for a few days… but it would show up. What’s the programmer to do?

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2012/05/the-case-of-the-random-lockup/

Feb 06

Two clicks to program a PIC

Sometimes you end up having to program a device with many different types of firmware. For a project I’ve used PICs on, this was the case. Here’s how to setup things so that all it requires is two clicks to load the firmware from windows explorer.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2012/02/two-clicks-to-program-a-pic/

Jan 07

Of embedded black boxes

Over the last few months I’ve been working on projects using PIC microcontrollers. At first I had a rather negative view of the PIC processors. Since I started coding on them, I have come to realize that it is the compiler that I have issues with much more than the hardware. The compiler we’ve been …

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2012/01/of-embedded-black-boxes/

Jun 14

Capacitive Touch Sensing on the MSP430

One of the projects I’m working on involves using capacitive touch sensing (CTS) on the TI MSP430.  TI has been pushing their touch sensing capabilities recently and has even released a library that helps in implementing touch sensing on the MSP430.  I decided to give it a try.  The short story is that there is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2011/06/capacitive-touch-sensing-on-the-msp430/

Feb 14

A Valentine Example for Blinking Lights

For Valentine’s Day my son needed to make a “mailbox” for his kindergarten class. He & his mother made a rocket out of an old oat container. Since this was a family project, I decided that my contribution would be lighting it up. My son was quite excited when I told him that I was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2011/02/a-valentine-example-for-blinking-lights/

Jan 21

The Never Ending Conversion

When using the ADC10 in an MSP430 with multiple conversions, the ADC10BUSY bit will stay on even after the conversions are done. Trying to be a good little programmer and checking to make sure the ADC is done will leave you hanging… forever. The conversions must be done for the data transfer and the data …

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2011/01/the-never-ending-conversion/

Jan 21

Accidental Double Interrupts on a Timer

I had a program where I was using a timer and an ISR to flip a bit on a TI MSP430.  Well, the bit would only filp for a few milliseconds and then revert back to its prior value.  As it turns out, I was calling the ISR twice every time I wanted it.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2011/01/accidental-double-interrupts-on-a-timer/

Jan 21

MSP430, Entering and Exiting low Power Modes while Debugging

On a recent project I had one heck of a time trying to debug the program flow in CCS 4.2.  I thought the code wasn’t going anywhere because when I would break the program, it would stop on a line before where it should have been executing.  After a couple days of troubleshooting with an …

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2011/01/msp430-entering-and-exiting-low-power-modes-while-debugging/

Oct 22

Debug adapter for eZ430

For those of you who do prototyping with the eZ430 or eZ430-RF boards, this may be of interest.  It’s a debug adapter that you can put inline to make use of  a logic analyzer or other test equipment easier.  It expands out to 0.1″ spacing posts from the 0.05″ spacing used in the eZ430 connectors. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.curioussystem.com/2010/10/debug-adapter-for-ez430/

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