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microcontroller help? Answered

I have a few MSP430F5438IPZR microcontrollers from texas instruments, and i was wondering how to program them. I've seen things like the ghetto programmer and was hoping that i could do something similar. yes i am new at microcontrollers, i have done nothing with them, but would like to start. any help would be appriciated.

MSP430F5438IPZR data sheet


EDIT: i would like to know how to connect it to the computer and then program it.


Its even easier than that. The thing has a bootstrap loader, which you can program over a UART interface. Steve

Texas have Wikis for many of their products. Take a look for one for the MSP430. Steve

that tells me how to program, i need to know if i can build a simple (or not so simple) board to connect the chip to the computer to program.

From your original datasheet

Bootstrap Loader (BSL)
The BSL enables users to program the flash memory or RAM using a UART serial interface. Access to the
device memory via the BSL is protected by an user-defined password. Usage of the BSL requires four pins as
shown in Table 3. BSL entry requires a specific entry sequence on the RST/NMI/SBWTDIO and TEST/SBWTCK
pins. For complete description of the features of the BSL and its implementation, see the MSP430 Memory
Programming User's Guide, literature number SLAU265.

Which leads to a link  Check out section 5.1, which has a full schematic for you.

This is a nice chip, but its a hell of a place to start programming, when you could build an Arduino

This link to TI's excellent MSP430 resources is very useful


The actual programming side may be simple but what's he going to program into it - He says he's new to micros. Much better to start with something with a wide all-level user-base.

JFYI Gcc works fine. MSP 430 is a meaty little processor - I've got a Oled demo kit which runs linux on one.

That chip is really not a good place to start for a beginner - It's a specialised device which would be wayyyyy beyond your abilities to program at the moment.
It would be much better to check out the PicAxe or Arduino projects on Instructables to get a feel for what microprocessors are and what you can do with them.  The PicAxe is probably the easiest to start with.  Check out my PicAxe Instructables, look at the circuit diagrams and read the code (all nicely commented).  Each one contains links to useful PicAxe information at the bottom.

i would like an arduino or pic, but i have almost NO money to spare. plus my parents don't let me order stuff online.