Debugging embedded systems with Saleae Logic

When not making video games, I love to hack on embedded systems. Hardware has never been cheaper, and there are wonderful sources for the DIY maker.

Lately I’ve been playing with the Texas Instruments msp430. Cost for the dev board: $10 (I got a few on sale for $4.30 each!). Be sure to download the free textbook.

Here I’m using it to play audio on a speaker when I press a button:

My favorite debugging tool, by far, is this awesome logic analyzer from Saleae.

The Logic is only $150 and the software that comes with it is superb. Here I am using it to record multiple button presses, timers, and interrupts:

msp430_debounce_switch_debug

Try doing that with a debugger or printf (you can’t!).

I ordered a bunch of components from SparkFun, and several free samples from Texas Instruments, ST Micro, and Analog Devices. TI sent me a bag of audio amplifiers for free, with FedEx overnight shipping!

Next project: an AM/FM/MP3 clock radio.

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