Con-tactless Thermometer – Pyrometer

The device was designed for con-tactless monitoring of temperature. It is also capable to record the temperature measurements and upload them to a computer via the serial interface.

pyrometer

The device is based on TI’s MSP430RF5728 microcontroller with FRAM type of memory instead of conventional Flash. It needs just 3 external caps to operate (C11 – C13) and uses SPI interface to communicate with μC at 8 MHz frequency.

The device operates in 3 main modes which are selected with a slider switch. The measurements can be stopped and started by the “mode” button which is convenient for monitoring some difficult to access devices. The monitoring period is set with “<” and “>” buttons and is displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Turning the device into the temp recording mode can be done by moving the switch to the top position. In the later case the device automatically shuts down.

Finally, in the bottom position of the slider the device performs playback of recorded values from memory and displays them on the LCD. The images below show the device in operation for all of the main modes.

To upload the recordings into a computer one should turn the device on with the mode button pressed.

Facing sun with MSP430 based tracker

Solar panels are most effective when facing sun directly. So if you want to get most energy, you need to track sun trajectory in order to keep panels always facing towards the sun. Actually this is fairly easy task. In this solution vigneshraja shares setup built of couple light dependent resistors (LDR) and single motor to track sun.

Tracker is built on MSP430G2231 microcontroller that sit in Launchpad. Interesting thing is that two LDRs are in stationary position that determine sun position by comparing their values. Motor is driven through H-Bridge motor controller. Such solution is great for near equator locations, but in other areas sun wont travel directly above, so probably more suitable tracker should have two motors controlling both angles to point sun directly.

TMS0803 scientific calculator emulated on MSP430G2452

simpleavr got inspired with web based calculator emulator and so he decided to build his own hardware based emulator. He’s chosen MSP430G2452 microcontroller (same that comes with launchpad) to run emulation.

He tried to match original calculator layout and speed by selecting MCU clock speed. To make it look more retro he used bubble LED seven segment indicators. After several PCB versions it seems that he finally made it.

MSP430 alarm clock with bubble LED display

Bubble displays were intensively used in vintage electronics. Back then LEDs were small and inefficient so they were placed under bubble lenses to make it look bigger. Today we have different situation with multicolor bright large LED displays. But those old ones actually look pretty attractive and gives nice flavor to product.

Markus has build a simple alarm clock which features a four digit bubble display. Clock is run on MSP430 microcontroller that runs RTC inside. Clock is powered with single AAA battery what makes it really small. There is a speaker to ring an alarm which is augmented with LED flashing. So there is no way you could sleep any more.