Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: microcontrollers form atmel, microchip, ST, silicon labs
What were the biggest problems encountered?: CCS has an unnecessary long learning curve for someone new to msp430. i was unable to enter debug mode with the user experience firmware.
When I opened the package and started looking at the data available on the TI website, there was not an awful lot of info about how to get started with the Fram experimenters board. I spent the better part of a day searching and trying to get code composer studio to behave. I was able to run the demo software, and look at the code that was pre programmed onto the experiment board. it is nice to see introductory level kits with included goodies like an accelerometer.
Measuring the current on the experimenters board was as easy as removing a jumper and hooking up a multimeter. properly measuring the current requires a good quality amp-meter with a low voltage burden.
Other than measuring the current in the demo mode that was pre programmed, I was not able to accomplish much with this. the code composer studio did not behave, and had a unacceptable learning curve for someone new to msp430 and CCS. because of this i am unable to confirm or deny the claimed advantages of the FRAM. Overall I am not impressed by the development software available currently, and because of this I would not be interested in using any msp430 based product at this time.
board layout seems to be on par with most development boards, but I'd like to see the programmer/debugger separate from the board, there is no reason to include it integrated to a development board that touts low power.
I am sure TI has done a lot of work to bring a great product to market, but they have not made it easy to get started with the msp430fr5739 experimenter's board.
IMHO development boards with integrated debuggers/programmers are intended for those new to micro programing, or new to the product line up. any company using this strategy should have simple to install and get started programming right away.
I can't recommend this for someone entirely new to the msp430 lineup, but I am sure if you are already familiar with the msp430 you will have a better experience with CCS than I did.
I am excited about the new tech, but unable to see if it suits any of the projects that i am currently working on. as free time comes along i'll try again hoping for better luck.