The blinking LED challenge was designed as an introduction to microcontroller wiring and control.
The chip we were using was an msp340.
Within our groups we had to wire up the launch pad to the breadboard and connect our LEDs.
It started with just one LED then taking a base code (provided to us by one of the facilitators) get it to flash on and off or blink in various patternsfor various time periods.
After getting comfortable with that we then added in a second LED and assigned a value of “1/high” or “0/low” to each of the LEDs respectively. Along with the learning about the hardware we were also introduced to “ASCII” the american standard code of information interchange. This is basically like a dictionary that allows us to translate anything we use (letters, numbers, and symbols) into binary (a series of 1’s and 0’s) which the computer can then understand.
With that we then programmed them ( the LED’s) to alternately flash to represent a 1 or a 0. For practice we took the ASCII equivalent of “R” which was “01010010”.
After mastering that task we were assigned a team number. ours was 53 and again we had to convert it to ASCII ( that being “00110101” ). Now combining the both of those sequences with a predetermined prefix , spacing and suffix we wrote the code and programmed it to the chip to get the LEDs to transmit (blink) the information.
The excercise was turned into a competition when, one of the facilitators brought in a device which could read and analyse the flashes and determine if our code was right. If the device read your code and it was correct it tweeted the result and marks were allocated based on your teams placement.