Ice and Fire

Embedded Systems Class Philosophy - Welcome to the Real World

  • If you can find the code on the internet, take it as a starting point to learn.
  • Get your hands dirty (or wet in this case)

In Dr. Simone’s new Embedded Systems class, we used a heat gun and bags of ice to test an embedded temperature control program running on the Texas Instruments MSP430 Experimenter’s Board. The MSP430FG4618 has an internal temperature sensor, so to test the program, everyone has to raise and lower the temperature of the microprocessor directly. There is no external probe.

Something we have to remember…the heat gun as two settings - 750 degrees and 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Solder melts a little under 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rule of Thumb - Don’t heat the micro so much that you blow the chips off the board!

Here are the contestants!

Caaaarefully balance the bag of ice on the micro board. Really, lay the bag of ice right on the micro, but they despair with one more attempt to make the hardware and software to behave. Time to check the board for missing chips!

I’m taking no prisoners - Let’s torch that micro!  His partner in crime smartly keeps his distance.

Dueling programmers match keystroke for keystroke in a mad dash to download the program first. Careful with that gun…and that bag of ice!

I’m not messing around. This board WILL heat up!