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Motivationally Speaking

Long ago, I used to make simple blinkin' LEDs projects using Microchip PIC devices. I had a cheap programmer, accessed over the parallel port, and the requisite set of simple tools from the manufacturer. It was all perfectly adequate for good clean LED fun. Lately, I've been feeling nostalgic for these simple projects. I want to make some simple hardware, and write simple software to make it go. While I'm making the project, I'll try out this new-fangled habit of keeping records in a publicly-accessible location, just in case 1) someone out there finds my notes useful and 2) the process forces me to usefully document the project for myself.

But! Time has passed. My PIC programmer is somewhere in deep storage, and my current computer doesn't even have a a parallel port. It's time to upgrade, and it looks like while I wasn't paying attention, some nice microcontrollers, complete with C compiler, showed up.

So here's my plan:

Mission: make the wonderful eZ430-F2013 do something cool. That sounds good, but too abstract, therefore:
More-Specific Mission: Add IR-remote-accesible turn-on function to my Xbox. I upgraded an ebay-procured Xbox with Xbox media center, and I like it, but the box can't be turned on via the remote when it's off. This problem has already been solved here, but I think I'd like to do it myself.
Less-Specific More-Specific Mission: During the design phase, think carefully about how to make the hardware and software modular, for a reusable platform. Some interesting module boundaries:

  1. IR carrier frequency module
  2. IR protocol module
  3. Exec module (what action(s) to take upon receipt of specific IR codes)

Development environment: I've previously only done the simplest of projects using the F2013. Working with a new microcontroller is process of exploration - learning how to configure the various hardware peripherals can be a matter of trial and error - the best way to get familiar is to fool around with it. To streamline that process, I'm going to embed my F2013 in a 1C20 development board, for complete control of all the pins and logic-analyzer function, all without touching a wire. Then I can create and download a new testbench environment over one USB cable, and compile and download new software to the F2013 over another.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 9, 2007 8:29 AM.

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