MSP430FR5969 LaunchPad Development Kit

I won the MSP430FR5969 LaunchPad Development Kit in a Twitter contest run by Digi-Key. It features include MSP430 ULP FRAM technology based MSP430FR5969 16-bit MCU, 64KB FRAM, 2KB SRAM, 16-Bit RISC Architecture, up to 8-MHz FRAM access/ 16MHz system clock speed, 2 buttons and 2 LEDs for user interaction. More information can be found on TI’s LaunchPad website.

MSP 430 FR

Texas Instruments offers a cross compiler for its MSP 430 microcontrollers, but I haven’t done any work with it yet.



Atmel SAM D20 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit

Elektor offered an Atmel SAM D20 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit for very small money and publishes a programming course in the magazine. It uses a SAM D20J18 from the ARM-Cortex-M0+ family, has 256 kB flash memory, 32 kB SRAM and runs with up to 48 MHz.

SAM D20 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit

I haven’t started working with it because the course uses Windows based software, which I won’t use. In the meantime the needed cross compiling chain is on my laptop and I hope I can spent some hours  for experiments in the near future.


Here’s a good idea to start experimenting with Arduino, without investing into a plethora of shields: 1Sheeld. As the name somehow states, it’s one shield that can replace a lot (I counted 38 on their site). You will need a smartphone, though, because 1Sheeld connects with it via Bluetooth and simulates the shields using an app.


Joypad and Mircroduino Core+

Once again I crowdfunded a hardware project, this time Joypad made by Microduino. Joypad is a board where a Microduino core is plugged in. It’s quite compatible with Arduino, so experimenting with it is easy.

Joypad with Microduino Core+

While communication with Microduino could be better, their service is very good. My first joypad had the wrong Microduino on it (Core instead of Core+) and was soldered badly. I got a replacement fast and for free. 10 of 10 points for that!

MicroPython pyboard v1.0

A very successful crowdfunding project by Damien George resulted in an interpreter called MycroPython version for microcontrollers and a very nice ARM based board to experiment with, called pyboard. The board presents itself as a USB storage device. Having the interpreter on board (pun intended) the code is just placed into a directory and runs after a reset. A 3-axis accelerometer and some other goodies on board, allow the user to start learning more about hardware and python.



NavSpark GPS/GNSS is the result of a crowdfunding campaign, which aimed to create a Arduino compatible board, that includes GPS/GNSS hardware. It supports Arduino IDE for Linux und is populated with an 100MHz 32bit LEON3 Sparc-V8. 1024KB flash memory, 212KB RAM and a power consumption of ~80uA/MHz @ 3.3V makes it very interesting for mobile applications.


I haven’t done much more than a trying a few sketches out with that board, so I can’t really judge it.

Stellaris® LM4F120 LaunchPad Evaluation Kit

Stellaris® LM4F120 LaunchPad Evaluation Kit is populated with ARM® Cortex™-M4F-based microcontrollers from Texas Instruments. It comes with programmable user buttons and an RGB LED for custom applications. The board can be programmed using Linux, but I must confess, that when I tried the instructions found here, I failed. In the meantime I managed to compile and install a cross compiling chain for ARM processors and will give this board another try soon.

Stellaris® LM4F120 LaunchPad Evaluation Kit