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Interfacing an Analog Joystick to the MSP430FR5739

We will be configuring an analog thumb joystick for use the MSP430FR5739. We will use Grace + DriverLib will used to quickly generate the peripheral initialization code and program the device. This will help demonstrate the ease of use Grace offers in configuring peripherals as well as a chance to demonstrate DriverLib’s abstraction from register level code.

An analog joystick has two variable resistors for the x and y axis. Each variable resistor has pins connected to VCC and ground where the output voltage will always be between these two values. ADC10_B on the MSP430FR5739 will be used to sample the output pin for each axis. A value between 0-1023 will be returned where a reading of 512,512 should correspond to the origin (where the joystick is centered).

The values will then be sent serially to a host PC where the PC will manipulate the data to display the correct value. This solution, although not the most elegant was chosen for convenience since the TX buffer on the MSP430 is 8 bits and 10 bits are needed to display the correct value. Thus every two transmissions from the MSP430 will be treated as one value by the host PC.


    • CCS5.3:
    • Grace 2.0:
    • MSP430Ware 1.40:
    • Analog Thumb Joystick: 
    • MSP430FR5739:
    • Breakout Board;
    • Serial Terminal (Hterm):


This project will make use of both MSP430Ware and Grace. MSP430ware is collection of code examples, datasheets and other design resources for ALL MSP430 devices delivered in a convenient package.

In addition to prodviding a complete collection of existing MSP430 design resources, MSP430Ware also includes high level API called MSP430 Driver Library which we will make use of. This new library makes it easy to control to MSP430 hardware from C programs.

Grace is a graphical peripheral configuration tool that is available as a stand along program within Code Composer Studio. Grace enables the configuration of ADCs, DACs, timers, clocks, serial communication interfaces and more, by interacting with buttons, drop-down menus, and text fields. Fully commented and easy-to-understand editable C code in the form of MSP430 Driver Library API’s is generated.


We will need to solder the joystick to the breakout board and then the correct pins will need to be wired to the FR5739. We will need to connect the “HERZ” and “VERT” pins on the breakout board to two ADC channels on the experimenter’s board. P1.0 and P1.1 will be connected to the HERZ and VERT pins which correspond to ADC channel 0 and 1. Next, VCC and ground will be connected appropriately. The connections are shown in the picture below.


We will now walk through starting a new Grace project. After opening CCS (5.3 will be used for this demonstration) click on File  CCS Project and look at the settings below.


To use Grace you must select a Grace project from the menu above. Click on the “next” tab to verify the version of MSP430ware you are using.


Now opening the main.cfg under the Project Explorer we can began to graphically configure the peripherals and generate C code that will initialize these peripherals


Click on the device overview to bring up the functional block diagram seem below.


The blue boxes indicate they are configurable, click on ADC10_B. In the next window then check the “Configure ADC10_B Peripheral” and click on “Power User Mode”. We will enable two GPIO pins (P1.0 and P1.1) for channels 0 and 1. A single conversion with a sequence of channels will be sampled to return the horizontal and vertical values. The rest ofthe settings are shown below.


Now going back to the overall block diagram we can configure the clock module. Which is seen below.


We will be using the SMCLK which is sourced by the DCO. All setting can be left as is. Next we will go back to the block diagram overview and select the GPIO module. In this module (similar to the others) you have the option to graphically configure or to select register bits. We will click the “Pinout 40-pin VQFN” and the screen below should appear.


Next we will go back to the block diagram overview and select the GPIO module. In this module (similar to the others) you have the option to graphically configure or to select register bits. We will click the “Pinout 40-pin VQFN” and the screen below should appear.


We will set P1.0 and P1.1 to A0 and A1 for the ADC channels as shown above. Now we are done with our initialization and can build our project. Looking at the main.c file you can see the call to the Grace generated code. If you press F3 over the call to “Grace_init” it will take you to the different peripheral initialization functions where you can see the generated code.


Below is an example of the code generated for the eUSCI_A0 module.


Now that our initialization is complete we can write the values read from the analog joystick and display them to the host PC through the UART. We will use a variable called “position” which will take the value of ADCMEM in the ISR and store the values in an array/ After the call to Grace_init we can enable interrupts for the ADC (this could have also been easily done in Grace). Next we will want to write a segment of code to sample the ADC value and store the values in sequence (horizontal, vertical..) in a 1 x n size array that will be transmitted over the UART.

After this storage is done we will need to initialize pointer of type “char”(since the TX buffer for the UART is 8 bits) that points to the beginning of the array. The array will also need to be cast to a char since it was originally declared as an int. For convenience a counter was chosen to determine how many bytes to transmit where the value of the counter is number of how many ADC samples were read.

  • Hint – If you array is 1 x n the value of count should be 2n since each ADC reading takes two samples.

It is important to note that the value of ADCMEM is 16 bits and the UART TX buffer is 8 bits so every two UART transmissions account for one ADC value. A program on the host PC will be used to correctly interpret the incoming data and store it in a .txt file. The terminal program Hterm was used for serial transmission for its ability to translate the raw serial data to either hex/binary/decimal and store to a .txt file.

Below is a screen shot of the serial data that Hterm received. When saving this data it is important to select the drop down area next to save output and select the format you want (hex was chosen for this example).


The screenshot below shows the serial data received by Hterm in the form of hex numbers.


After a simple host program formats the data, the decimal form of the coordinates will be displayed (horizontal position followed by vertical position).


The out.txt file should correctly match what was displayed on the console.



#include <ti/mcu/msp430/Grace.h>

unsigned int ADCresult[100];
volatile long position;
int count = 200;
int i,j;

int main(void)
	        Grace_init();                   // Activate Grace-generated configuration
	        // Enable interrupt request 

	    	//Fills array in the format {vertical , horizontal, vertical, ...}
	    	for (i = 0;i<100;i++) {

                //Delays 1ms for new sample
	    	// Starts conversion on channels 0 and 1.

	      	// LPM4 with interrupts enabled */
	      	__bis_SR_register(LPM4_bits + GIE);

	       // Stores x position followed by y position in a 1xn array
		ADCresult[i] = position;

	       // Set breakpoint below to view values in debugger


	       // Pointer to beginning of array
	    	char *Ptr = (char*)&ADCresult[0];

	      // Send data over UART
	      while(count>0) {


	    	   // Increments to next element in array





// ADC10 interrupt service routine
#pragma vector=ADC10_VECTOR
__interrupt void ADC10_ISR(void)
    case  0: break;                          // No interrupt
    case  2: break;                          // conversion result overflow
    case  4: break;                          // conversion time overflow
    case  6: break;                          // ADC10HI
    case  8: break;                          // ADC10LO
    case 10: break;                          // ADC10IN
    case 12: position = ADC10MEM0;
             break;                          // Clear CPUOFF bit from 0(SR)
    default: break;

The program below will reside on the host PC to interpret the incoming data and store it in a .txt file.

#include <stdio.h>

#define SAMPLESIZE 100

int main() {
    FILE *fop;
    FILE *fcl;
    unsigned int value[SAMPLESIZE];
    int i,j=0;
    int totalsize = SAMPLESIZE;
    unsigned int sum = 0;


    // Read in UART values from .txt file 
    while (j < 100) {
        fscanf(fop, "%2X ", &value[j]);

    for(i=0; i< totalsize; i +=2)
    // Swap every two values in the array
    int temp = value[i];
    value[i] = value[i+1];
    value[i+1] = temp;

    // Converts two 8 bit values into a 16 bit values and displays and stores (in decimal)
    sum = (value[i] << 8) | (value[i+1] & 0x00FF);
    printf("%02d\n" ,sum);
    fprintf(fcl, "%02d\n", sum);
    return 0;


  1. MSP430FR57xx Family User Guide