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Pandora and MSP430 Controlled Car

Posted by admin on September 1, 2011

Hi everyone!

i entered a Project of the month contest on www.43oh.com, hence the silence lately. But this is what i've been working on:

My Contest Entry:

A Porsche Model Car with an MSP430G2252, movement, speed and (just for fun) shiftregister LEDs controlled over usb Serial by a Pandora Console.
With custom written Gui, And Touchscreen, D-Pad and ActionButton drive/program select.
And yes, wireless is next, but still deciding what hardware i want.

But the Video's show it pretty well, Enjoy!

Read the full post for schematics, part list, code and more

Drive Tests:

Software overview and Final tests before drive:


Component Overview:

From the pandora you have basic drive control obviously, but also the PWM can be adjusted by single values, or 6 pre set steps, starting at 0 and increasing 20% with each step, and slider/buttons for quick selection.
Also, just for fun, i added some commands to change the led blinking mode :)


MSP430 Main Car Control and Interface Board - Contains all the connections for the individual modules, as well as the Controller
* 1 MSP430G2252
* 1 20 pin DIP Chipsocket
* 4 NPN Transistors
* 4 2.2kohm Resistors
* 1 33kohm Resistor
* 1 470ohm Resistor
* 1 470nF Capacitor
* 1 Orange T1 LED
* About a row of male Pin Headers
* lots of connection cables (i use old hard drive IDE cables for everything)

Shift Register Led Control Board - A shift Register built onto a small module containing all resistors for led drive
* 1 74HC595 Shift Register
* Chipsocket optional, i just soldered onto the board
* 6 1kohm resistors (for the slightly dimmed knightrider leds, and one for the board power led)
* 1 Orange T1 LED
* about 1/4 of a row of male Pin Headers
* connection cable (i use old hard drive IDE cables for everything)
* min 5 port female Pin Header

FT232R BreakoutBoard by Sparkfun
Simply soldered male Pin Headers to it, and glued female headers with a cable inside the car. Instant usb module.

Built into the car:
* 5x T1 LED for the knightrider effect
* 1 pushbutton
* 5 pin female header with connection cables for the usb->serial module glued in.

An OpenPandora - Gui is only functional for pandora atm. But any device capable of USB serial can drive it, using a terminal, or a Gui. It's only sending out to the car atm, so a simple "echo blabla" is enough.

The MSP430G2252 Code:


First rough schematics, Mind that these are the first schematics i have ever drawn in my life. I would like some constructive critics, but be gentle ;)



Posted by carlos on
hey thank you for posting this, I have been thinking on doing something like that for a while, even bought some stuff for it, but lack of time and motivation made me forget about it, watching your work revived my interest :D
Posted by admin on
Thanks :) and i need to get on this myself again, currently spending more time on the ledscreen (see blog post)

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