EZ430-RF2500

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The eZ430-RF2500 Development Tool

The eZ430-RF2500 is a complete wireless development tool for the MSP430 and CC2500 that includes all the hardware and software required to develop an entire wireless project with the MSP430 in a convenient USB stick. The tool includes a USB-powered emulator to program and debug your application in-system and two 2.4-GHz wireless target boards featuring the highly integrated MSP430F2274 ultra-low-power MCU. Projects may be developed and instantly deployed using the included battery expansion board and AAA batteries. All the required software is included such as a complete Integrated Development Environment and SimpliciTI, a propriety low-power star network stack, enabling robust wireless networks out of the box. The eZ430-RF2500 uses the MSP430F2274 which combines 16-MIPS performance with a 200-ksps 10-bit ADC and 2 op-amps and is paired with the CC2500 multi-channel RF transceiver designed for low-power wireless applications.

The eZ430-RF emulator interface may be used with any Spy Bi-Wire enabled MSP430, such as the F22xx and F20xx series, and is fully compatible with the eZ430-F2013 and eZ430-T2012 target boards. The emulator interface can be used to download and debug your target applications, and can transmit serial data to your PC while in or out of a debug session.

Target Board Options

Projects

Sensor Monitor Demo

eZ430-RF2500 Sensor Monitor GUI

The Sensor Monitor (SLAC139) is a demo program for the eZ430-RF2500 used to show sensor data from remote, wireless nodes. It is available for download on the eZ430-RF2500 Tool Folder. An in-depth analysis of the power consumption is available in the Wireless Sensor Monitor Using the eZ430-RF2500 (slaa378) App Note.

An updated, open-source version of the Sensor Monitor program (SLAC219) was developed for the eZ430-RF2500-SEH development tool. It features a slightly enhanced GUI, logging, and graphing capabilities. It's compatible for with the eZ430-RF2500 tool and includes the source code for user modification. It's available for download on the eZ430-RF2500-SEH Tool Folder.

A quick restore tool is available to program the original code to the eZ430-RF2500 without the need of an IDE.

eZ430-RF2500 Deep Sleep

This simple project puts the entire system in an ultra-low power standby mode. The MSP430F2274 is clocked from the internal VLO and wakes up every ~4 seconds to blink the LED. This is a useful project to debug your power supply setup or to demonstrate ultra-low power consumption.

Troubleshooting

As a first troubleshooting step, please uninstall and reinstall the application UART driver, as shown in the below image file. After that try to load the demo project code to the MSP430 (per page 8 of the User’s Guide) and observe the results. If you continue to see the same error please compare your device manager (with Human Interface Devices and Ports entries expanded) with the below image. If they differ with the circled entries your problem is likely caused by driver issues.


Device Manager using the eZ430-RF2500

In an effort to better understand your issue, please consider these brief questions regarding your setup.

  1. What version of the software tool are you using? If you are using IAR it is recommended that only the latest version be installed for proper functionality. For CCS, the latest version is here
  2. Are you using a valid OS? (The EZ430 only works with 32-bit Windows Vista and XP)
  3. When your device is plugged in does the LED blink? Code is preloaded onto the EZ430 prior to shipping, and will blink this LED when power is supplied to the MSP430. This indicates that the device is receiving power.
  4. Did your PC prompt you for driver installation process or am I correct in saying this device in question never was recognized by any PC while in your possession? If you were not prompted, have you tried to install this EZ430 on a second PC (using the installation guide steps on page 18 of the EZ430-RF2500 User’s Guide)? If you were prompted you should see the same as the above image, else you have a driver issue.
  5. After the above steps have been performed please do the following:
  • If you create a new project using the steps in the attached word document (IAR [1], CCE [2]) and attempt to load a simple TI code example, do you see the same issue? This should rule out project setup and limit your issue to drivers and potentially hardware.
  • When the devices in question are plugged in to your laptop(s), please create a screenshot of the device manager with PORTS (COM & LPT) expanded and Multiport Serial Adapters expanded as well.
  • Please email TI the newly created workspace and files using the steps above, back to us in a zip file so we may take a look at it.

Known issues

  1. If the EZ430-RF2500 or EZ430-RF2480 is giving inaccurate readings for the temperature display demo, the integrated ADC10 temperature sensor may need to be calibrated. The calibration of the MSP430 ADC10 will depend on the accuracy required. Because of this the method will be application specific. For most applications, a simple 1-point ambient temperature calibration will be appropriate. For best accuracy, one could implement a 2-point calibration. To achieve a 1-point calibration there will be a constant offset added to the converted value in the ADC10MEM register. Please see the reference code below. This code configures the ADC10 temperature sensor and this code can be easily modified to add the necessary offset (this will need to be determined experimentally.) The code file is found at www.ti.com/msp430codeexamples. The file is called msp430x22x4_adc10_temp.c.
  2. Issues getting I2C to work: On the eZ430-RF2500 development board the I2C clock line (P3.2) is also connected to the CC2500 chip. It turns out you have to add P3DIR |= 0x0F before P3SEL |= 0x06 in order to disable the CC2500. Once this is done the I2C clock line works correctly.
  3. error: Error[e117]: Incompatible runtime models. Module ISR specifies that '__rt_version' must be '3', but module LHAL_GDOxHandlers has the value '2' Note: this is fixed and is described on page 13 of the EZ-RF User’s Guide Please use the latest version of the demo source code and use IAR KickStart 4.x. Early versions of the demo code included a precompiled version of the SimpliciTI library for IAR 3.x. IAR 4.x changes the calling conventions, which returns Error[e117] when trying to build libraries for an older version of the compiler.
  4. If demo doesn't run out-of-the-box, the target boards may have the wrong code loaded onto them, this is a factory issue. For the EZ430-RF2500 kit, some recent units have shipped with incorrect code loaded onto the target boards. This is why the network is not forming when using the demo. An indication that the end device has the wrong code is both LEDs (red and green) will constantly blink. To get the setup working properly, the appropriate end device code needs to be reloaded onto the MSP430. This code can be found on the demo project located on the CD, or it can be downloaded.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the baud rate of the backchannel UART?

It's not possible. The eZ430-RF Application UART communication rate to the PC is fixed at 9600 baud.


Where can I find the EZ430U emulator firmware?

The firmware for the eZ430 Emulator is not officially released by TI, but unsupported versions are available online. Instructions on downloading and upgrading the emulator firmware are available online.

Range

The range you get depends on factor such as :

  • output power
  • sensitivity
  • antenna gain
  • the environment in which you operate the radio

Any 6 dB degradation in the link budget (output power + antenna gain RX - sensitivity + rantenna gain TX) reduces the range by a factor of 2. This degradation could be a combination of degradation in output power, sensitivity, antenna gain, or just a degradation in one of them.

The environment is very important (walls, floors, encapsulation, antenna orientation,.....) and any range measurements indoor is only valid for that particular environment. The best you can do is to measure the line-of-sight (LOS) range on a large open field with no obstructions (that is, Packet Error Rate (PER) should be measured). What you need to keep in mind is that the antenna orientation and the antenna height above ground is very important. Thus, you need to make sure you always use the same heigth above ground. The antenna should be in the direction with the highest gain (you get this from the radiation pattern). If you want to state the typical approximate LOS, you need to measure with units that have the same sensitivity and output power as stated in the product data sheet.