Getting Started with the MSP-FET

Start debugging with your MSP-FET


So you’ve bought your MSP-FET (Flash Emulation Tool) so that you can program and debug your MSP430 projects. Now what? I had been using my LaunchPads for most of my MSP430 projects, but when I saw an offer on 43oh’s website for an MSP-FET I couldn’t hold back. It took me a few months to finish up my current project, and to get cooking with the FET. There wasn’t a “getting started” guide that I could find, so I thought this post might help others.


What is the MSP-FET


I’m guessing if you found this page that you have an idea what the MSP-FET is. Just to make sure we’re working off the same base, I’ll touch on a little more detail. The MSP-FET is a tool that Texas Instruments have developed to allow you to program and debug your MSP430 projects. It works with all MSP430 microcontrollers, and allows real-time debugging of your firmware. It also supports EnergyTrace, so you can profile your project’s power consumption.

To get going with this “How To”, we’ll quickly build a breadboard MSP430G2553 project, and then connect up the MSP-FET and load a simple program. I chose the MSP430G2553 as it’s a common entry-level MCU, featuring heavily on TI’s LaunchPad boards.


Expand each step by clicking on the heading

Step 1 Plus Build an MSP430 on a Breadboard

Step 2 Plus Connect the MSP-FET

Step 3 Plus Make the MSP430 go Blink

Step 4 Plus Connect your FET and start debugging


I hope that this has helped to get you kicked off with the MSP-FET. Drop me a line if you have any thoughts, comments, suggestions, projects…


A few years ago I discovered that my programming skills could be used to make real-world things move and flash and beep - I haven't looked back since! I love sharing what I've learned along this pretty bumpy (but very exciting) journey into the world of embedded systems - and that's why this website exists. In addition to the website, I write a series for Nuts & Volts magazine that helps readers to move beyond the Arduino and into the world of AVR. I'm a dad with a couple of energetic youngsters and a really cool wife!

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