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The FRAMpen mounted on a pen.

Does this sound familiar?

  • You are traveling on a plane or train, hardly any space to spread your legs—not to mention the place for your notebook.
  • You want to take notes and do not feel like retyping everything again afterwards?
  • You are sitting in auditorium, small tables and no power supply nearby... You want to make sketches and do not have a scanner to digitize at home all over again?
  • The PC has just crashed and you have to attend an important meeting...

The possibilities for the FRAMpen are endless! Simply attach it to any pen and it digitizes everything you write, sketch, etc.

Intended target group:

Anyone who wants to digitally capture notes, but without the need of having PC and scanner around. On the way, anywhere, in any situation! At school, university, at work or at home.


After a huuuge delay caused by the postal service the PCBs FINALLY have arrived!



  • Transfer handwritten notes and sketches easily on your PC
  • Write, draw and save your notes anywhere, without taking your PC along
  • No batteries needed! Environment-friendly with gold cap capacitor
    • Charges during data transfer via USB (UART USB bridge).
  • Full part- and pin-compatibility with MSP-EXP430FR5739.
    • Works on every FRAM development board without modifications. Feel free to try!
  • Energy-optimized through use of low-power modes
    • LPM3 and LPM4.5 guarantee lowest possible power consumption
  • Very ergonomic and extreme compact design
  • Fits on any pen. Use it with your favourite pen!
  • Software in accordance with MSP430 Software Coding Techniques (SLAA294A)
  • Comes with portable PC software. Runs on Linux, Windows and Mac!
  • Affordable!

Optional (future plans)

  • Inductive charging by shaking
  • OCR text recognition on PC

Pictures & Videos

Watch the demonstration video of the PCB here, in 1080p!

FRAMpen PCB 0.5 dimensions


On the bottom left is the ADXL335 accelerometer, up next a push button, the crystal oscillator and the MSP430FR5739 in the middle. Further two status LEDs, the gold cap and headers for charge and data communication.


Usage Instructions

When FRAMpen is in standby/sleep mode, a single push to the button awakes the device. This is signaled with a slowly blinking led. Depending whether it was a short or long push the device enters the record mode (medium blinking LED) or transmit mode (fast blinking LED), respectively.

To stop the recording push the button for a short time and the FRAMpen returns to idle again.

In order to clarify how long you pushed the button, the first LED is switched on after a short while. Holding the button longer activates the second LED too.

Leaving the device in standby mode without any user activity sends the device into deep sleep mode.

State Short push Long push
off (no LED)/idle (slow LED) → record → transmit
recording (medium LED) Stop recording (→ idle) delete data
transmitting (fast LED)

Source Code & schematics

You can download all sources (firmware, pcb and software) from

Download latest version as zip or tarball.

Simplified program flow of the FRAMpen.
Schematic of the FRAMpen v0.5 pcb.