Getting Started with your MAVRK Kit

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MAVRK is no longer an active TI evaluation platform. Please contact TI application support if you need further information on TI products or support.

This page is up to date and active. Please feel free to contribute or make improvements.


Congratulations on your purchase of the MAVRK system! The first question that this page attempts to answer is how do I get started with this box of stuff? This wiki will go into how to set up the Hardware and Software for your new MAVRK system.

Hardware Components of the STK-PRO430-MVK starter kit

The MAVRK System comes with a number of parts, but in its simplest form you will only need the following items:

MAVRK Pro Motherboard

One MAVRK Pro Motherboard. This board provides power to the modules as well as connectivity to the PC application and MSP430 Debugger.

MCU-430F5438A-MVK Module

One MSP430F5438A MCU Module. This module initializes the Pro Motherboard and provides interaction with other module type on the motherboard.


One AFE Breakout Module. This modules allows access to SPI/I2C/GPIO/UART devices external to the MAVRK system while still utilizing the MAVRK code structures.


One MSP430 USB Flash Emulation Tool (FET). This tool allows a user to download code into the MSP430F5438A MCU Module through either a C compiler or a Hex Downloader.

For more information on the MSP430 USB FET see MSP-FET430UIF.

The MAVRK Starter Kit is supported by either the EW430 Compiler from IAR or the CCS Compiler from TI. More information on these compilers and utilizing them can be found in the Software Components below.

Software Components

IAR IDE Workbench

The IAR Software may be purchased via IAR Systems. A 30 day evaluation license is available at IAR Downloads. Select the 30 day evaluation copy of the MSP430. The kickstart version will not support MAVRK software. Note that installing this tool will also install the USB driver for the PC-MiniAB USB part on the MAVRK System.

Code Composer Studio V5.1x

The CCS Tool may be downloaded via Texas Instruments. Select a version that supports MSP430, which currently is the most recent CCS Version 5.1.x. A 90 day evaluation license is available here. Note that as of this writing, the CCSv5.1.x is in alpha test and can be expected to behave like alpha test software.

Visit the CCS page on for ordering and pricing information.

MAVRK Software

The MAVRK Embedded Software installation guide can be found at MAVRK Software Installation Guide

The MAVRK GUI Software installation guide can be found at MAVRK_Qt_GUI_SDK_Installation_Guide

Setting up Your MAVRK Starter Kit

We will now go through the steps necessary to get the hardware for your MAVRK Starter set up. One major step to assure success in the setup of the Starter kit is to install all modules with the power off. For more details on the proper way to install and remove the modules please see Care_and_Feeding_of_a_MAVRK_Motherboard.

MAVRK Hardware

Starter Kit.jpg

The above image shows the final configuration of the system. In the center of the motherboard is the MCU-MSP430-MVK processor. The mini-AB USB cable on the top of the board provides power for most of the tests. An external power brick (see recommendation below) can be used in the external power socket on the the MAVRK system, but for most configurations requiring 5V or less, the USB cable can provide adequate power. Finally the JTAG debugger is connected to allow for download of software.

Recommended Power Brick

The following external power brick is recommended for use with the MAVRK Pro Motherboard

  • Vendor: CUI
  • Part# EMSA050300-P5P-SZ
  • Available via Digikey under part# T1088-P5P-ND

Power Brick.png

Let's Start to Build this System:

Step 1. Install the MCU

With the cables disconnected (no power to board and no LEDs lit), insert the MCU Module into the center slot. Make sure the component is oriented correctly (the Texas Instrument logo should be on the left hand side of the MCU board). The connectors are designed to guide the module into place, some force, but not much, should be applied straight down to seat the component.

Step 2. Install the AFE Breakout Module

The AFE Breakout can be installed into any AFE slot. The My 1st Application Demo assumes that MAVRK_AFE4 to the right of the MCU Module is used. If another slot is desired, the code of the application can be easily changed. The AFE Breakout has two horizontal headers. The top header is longer than the bottom header. If orientated correctly, the AFE Breakout module should install with little force applied.

Step 3. Install the MSP USB FET Cable into the JTAG Receptacle

The JTAG connector may now be attached to allow the IAR IDE Workbench to download software to the MAVRK System.

Step 4. Insert USB to Power the Motherboard

Insert the USB mini-AB cable into the USB connector at the top left portion of the board and connect it to the PC. At this point a number of LED's will come on indicating the system is receiving power. Those LEDs are highlighted here:

MAVRK Pro Motherboard Connection.jpg

What if I don't see any LEDs?

Start here: Make sure the other end of the USB cable is plugged into your PC and the PC is powered up.

Still nothing? See Care and Feeding of a MAVRK Motherboard.

I See LED People

Congratulations you have setup the hardware correctly.

Please see My First Application to learn about creating, downloading, and executing your first MAVRK application.