EE3176 Labs (MSP430)

General Information:

The EE3176 lab is located in the Micro Lab, Room 314B of the UTEP Electrical Engineering Department. One lab will be due each week and you will be expected to do the bulk of the work outside of the lab on your own computer and LaunchPad development kit.

Every lab (except the final project lab), will generally be separated into four parts:

  1. 1)The lab time will be dedicated to a brief quiz relating to the current lab (based on a prelab assigned the previous week),

  2. 2)then a recitation of the current lab,

  3. 3)check out of the lab from the previous week,

  4. 4)and lab time for the completion of the current lab.

No lab time will be allotted for completion of the previous week’s lab and failure to have the previous week’s lab fully functional or failure to demonstrate competence in your understanding of the code, setup, schematics, or operation of the circuit will result in a failing grade for that lab. Software Design I (EE2372) is a prerequisite for this class, consequently you are expected to know how to program in C including the proper structure and format of the language. Be aware that many written assessments will be done without access to a computer/compiler to verify your code; therefore, it is imperative that you can write a basic, functional C program in complete and proper syntax. Due to the nature of this class, it is very easy to plagiarize code from one another, thus for all labs EXCEPT THE FINAL LAB code sharing will be tolerated ONLY if you can demonstrate a full understanding of the code and methodology behind its application. Failure to demonstrate full understanding of the code will result in a failure for that lab. Please be aware, also, that students (or groups of students) with significantly similar code will be noted and will be subject to greater scrutiny for demonstrations, quizzes, exams, practicals, and the final. If you choose to collaborate with your classmates and share code, you run a much higher risk of disciplinary action.

You will be expected to ask questions. Despite how silly or “dumb” you may think your question is, it is very likely that other students have the same question. Confusion on even small details in course material can cause bigger problems later. If you are truly uncomfortable by asking your question, send an anonymous e-mail to the course instructor or the TA, and we will do our best to address your concerns. If you need support during the week for completing the lab outside of class, you can contact the lecturer, the lab TA or the professor during the normally posted office hours. Code sharing for the final project WILL NOT BE TOLERATED and will result in an automatic failure for the final, disciplinary action and your case will be referred to the Dean of Students for adjudication.

Within the first lab, there is a detailed Code Composer tutorial, which is a simple quick start tutorial necessary to ensure that all students have their equipment and can run and debug a simple program – entitled “Launchpad and CCS Tutorial”. Once you have successfully completed this preliminary tutorial, you will be asked to complete and demonstrate EE3376 Lab 1.

For the final project lab spans three weeks. Deadlines exist for each week for demonstrating intermediate results, but in general, the TA is only available to ensure that the equipment is working. The final design project is a more open-ended problem with many potential solutions. It is your opportunity to explore the chip architecture and to practice what you have learned in the class.

Course Goals:
Students who successfully complete this course are expected to:

•Demonstrate competence using an MSP430 microcontroller

•Understand basic concepts of a microcontroller and its applications

•Understand basic concepts for designing digital circuits

•Demonstrate competence in programming Assembly and C

Course Materials:
A bounded notebook (i.e. a composition notebook) is required for this lab. You will be expected to take notes during recitation for each lab and any code, schematics, observations, errors, coding issues, datasheet/user’s guide page numbers, and helpful hints (notes to self). You will do most of your learning by troubleshooting mistakes in your code or in your setup of the lab. Troubleshooting notes and similar pieces of information should be included in your notebook. Keep it neat and organized since this notebook will serve as your main reference guide – think of it as a microcontroller reference to help you relearn and understand how to use a microcontroller some time in the future.

Lab Grading: Students will be assessed using a combination of demonstrations, quizzes, exams, and verbal assessments.

Weekly labs 50%

Total of 8 labs

15% for correctly executing and demonstrating the lab

20% for written quiz and/or prelab component

65% for oral exam, code style, and approach (or 85% for labs with no quiz or prelab)

Unit Exams

10% each

Two 30 minute exams will be used to assess your understanding of the MSP430 microcontroller and Assembly and C programming as related to the MSP430 microcontroller

Final project

30%  Any hint of borrowed code will be reported to the Dean of Students and is easily identified.   Check academic dishonesty policy on website.  This is an essential project in your undergrad experience and cheating will not be tolerated.

Course Rules and Regulations:

  1. 1.Absences: Since the lab meets only once a week, it is imperative that students make every effort to attend. Students who miss a laboratory may be required to show a valid excuse, medical or otherwise, presented in writing to the class instructor, in order to make-up the lab session. STUDENTS WHO MISS 3 OR MORE LABS UNEXCUSED MAY BE AUTOMATICALLY DROPPED FROM THE COURSE WITH A FAILING GRADE. Quizzes will be administered at the beginning of each lab; students who arrive late will not be provided with extra time to complete the quiz, therefore it is in your best interest to arrive on time.

  2. 2.Lab work: Labs must be completed and checked out with the TA on the day your lab is assigned. If you know you will not be able to complete a lab due to prior commitments (e.g., travel to a conference), please make alternative arrangements with the TA before the lab is due.

  3. 3.Quizzes and Exams: Quizzes and exams will be hand written and individual; absolutely no collaboration will be allowed.

  4. 4.Academic Conduct: Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Discussions are allowed, but you must submit ONLY your work. It is the official policy of the university that all suspected cases or acts of alleged scholastic dishonesty (including plagiarism amongst your peers) must be referred to the Dean of Students for investigation and appropriate disposition. Any student who commits an act of scholastic dishonesty is subject to discipline. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.

From the UTEP Student Handbook:

Academic dishonesty is prohibited and is considered a violation of the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures. It includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and collusion. Cheating may involve copying from or providing information to another student, possessing unauthorized materials during a test, or falsifying research data on laboratory reports. Plagiarism occurs when someone intentionally or knowingly represents the words or ideas of another person's as ones' own. And, collusion involves collaborating with another person to commit any academically dishonest act. Any act of academic dishonesty attempted by a UTEP student is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Violations will be taken seriously and will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for possible disciplinary action. Students may be suspended or expelled from UTEP for such actions.

Academic dishonesty is an assault upon the basic integrity and meaning of a University. Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities are serious acts which erode the University’s educational and research roles and cheapen the learning experience not only for the perpetrators, but also for the entire community. It is expected that UTEP students will understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity and that they will be willing to bear individual responsibility for their work. Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent a student’s own efforts. Any act of academic dishonesty attempted by a UTEP student is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Violations will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for possible disciplinary action. Students may be suspended or expelled from UTEP for such actions.

Dean of Students link:

Disclaimer for the Lab Web Pages

While every effort is made to ensure that the lab web pages are up-to-date and self-consistent, there are occasions where things may be slightly different than presented on a web page. This may be due to small hardware changes or small changes in the programs, or it may be an inevitable part of the topic at hand. For instance, a screenshot may show a certain hex pattern in RAM. Since RAM is uninitialized, the exact hex pattern will vary from chip to chip, so your hex pattern may not be the same as the screenshot.  In such cases, try to use a little judgment as to whether or not small discrepancies are of concern or not. Feel free, however, to call on the TA if you have any questions about the content on the web pages.

Lab Schedule and Links

Labs closed and no lab projects assigned Weeks 1

Lab 1 - Week 2, Basic Assembly and Code Composer Studio

Lab 1 Code - Download

Lab 2 - Week 3, Branching and General Purpose IO in Assembly

Lab 3 - Week 4 - 5, Low Power and Interrupts

Lab 4 - Week 6, Timer Interrupts

Lab 4 Code: lcdLib.c - Download

Lab 4 Code: lcdLib.h - Download

Lab 5 - Week 7, Pulse Width Modulation

Lab 6 - Week 8, Analog to Digital Conversion

Lab 7 - Week 9, Flash Controller

Lab 8 - Week 10, Serial Communications in C (need team mate for this lab)  

Lock Final Project in Weeks 11-14


Simon Final Project in Weeks 11-14


EE3176 Labs