|Product Performed to Expectations:||10|
|Specifications were sufficient to design with:||10|
|Demo Software was of good quality:||7|
|Product was easy to use:||8|
|Support materials were available:||10|
|The price to performance ratio was good:||10|
|TotalScore:||55 / 60|
The package received for roadtest, in addition to the title boosterpack also included two sets of MSP Launchpad. Is a good idea, especially for those who are not dealing with LaunchPad yet. I was only surprised a lack of pre-programmed IC's in AIR boosterpack.
Board is well designed with additional space for prototyping. Layout of board allows to place MCU on boosterpack directly, to operate as standalone unit. I've found only one disadvantage, there is no any kind of testpoint for current consumption measurments. Of course it is possible to cut VCC track near header, but measurments on low side via shunt resistor are problematic (GND pin from header is directly connected to polygon). During measurments I've bended a GND pin to connect multimeter and shunt resistor and I checked current consumption waveforms.
Figure 2 - AIR BoosterPack in standalone configuration, additional components are populated.
Figure 3 - AIR ready to go.
At first in demo project loaded into workspace of Code Composer Studio, we should chose correct configuration between: FCC and ETSI (frequency and transmission power regulations). We can do this in Project->Properties->General->Manage configurations. Compiling and programming should be done without any problems. Firmware is universal for both sensor and hub nodes.
Figure 4 - Settings for compilation.
Windows application works quite nice, but sometimes can hang UART communication between LaunchPad. While Launchpad is connected to USB, UART transmision begins with ASCII coded commands looking like XML. They're containing some options like frequencies and other RF chip firmware depended options, so I think this windows application is universal for more than this RF chip. Data and commands are in CSV format.
Figure 5 - Demo application.
Figure 6 - RF chip current measurment.
Figure 7 - MCU+RF chip current measurment.
Measurements results of sensor node power consumption are provided in table below. Settings of node on figure 8, MCU runs demo firmware with 1 packet per second transmission.
@ U [V]
MCU + RF
Figure 10 - Current amplitude 1mV = 1mA @ VCC=3,44V
Figure 11 - Current peak every 1second 1mV = 1mA @ VCC=3,44V
Maximum operating range in open space was approximately 200m, with settings same as in current measurements section. I didn't get any problems with range in building, concrete walls, ceilings and up to three floors between nodes and RF link worked fine.
430Boost-CC110L AIR Module BoosterPack
A110LR09A Radio Module
(main RF chip)