Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stellaris Launchpad First Steps

I've got my LM4F120 Launchpad up and running. Here are some initial notes someone might find useful.

The install process takes a while, but is not difficult if you follow the instructions on the TI Wiki. I used the combined StellarisWare and Code Composer Studio download labelled EK-LM4F120XL-CCS on this page. You will need both Code Composer Studio (CCS) and StellarisWare. CCS is apparently used by a wide variety of development boards in addition to the Launchpad. StellarisWare gets you the sample projects and Launchpad-specific drivers and libraries.

Instructions for installing the software and loading the sample projects are here.

The "Hello" example blinks the outrageously bright onboard RGB LED and outputs "Hello, world!" to the serial port. As part of the Launchpad ICDI drivers, you get a serial port driver that the Launchpad can print debug information to.

It was not immediately obvious that Code Composer Studio does not display this output. It's a serial port, so you can use a program like Tera Term or Putty to see it. The Hello app is configured to use 115200,N,8,1.

You'll see some references to a terminal plugin for CCS. I tried this, and wrestled with it for a while before finding a reference to a known bug that prevents it from working at greater than 9600 baud. I removed it and switched to Tera Term. It works great.

I am very excited to have the board up and running, along with the dev environment. I look forward to writing some code for it - I intend to use it for my sonar project.

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