Dropping a quick note here to show everyone that 1) I’m still alive and 2) What I’ve been messing with.
As seen in the picture, I’ve ordered some cheap 20 pin TSSOP/SOIC breakout boards and a few of the TSSOP-20 versions of the MSP430G2553. The boards measure 19mm by 27mm and I got them off ebay (Search for 20pin TSSOP Breakout). Big thing is to pay attention to the pin spacing. The MSP430G2 TSSOP pin spacing is 0.65mm, and that appears to be pretty common
Now, 19mm by 27mm is small enough to fit into a matchbox car (Hint towards a project I’m working on) and they can be filed down another 2-3mm in each direction. Since the SOIC footprint on the reverse side is a few mm wider than TSSOP, that’s pretty much as small as this breakout can get. A custom PCB or different breakout that only has the TSSOP mounting on it could be, theoretically, much smaller.
Anyways, while I’m still messing around with various on-board componentry, popping the chip out of the Launchpad redboard and using the board’s Vcc, GND, Test and Reset pins as the programmer for this TSSOP endeavor works like a champ. I encourage you to try it out. I was floored at how easy soldering TSSOP components was!! Flux the pad and the chip, gently clamp the chip in place, get a *small* dab of solder on your iron and swipe it across one row of pins. Repeat for other side, done.
Up next with TSSOP
I am very encouraged by this project as I believe I will be able to deploy MSP430G2 based projects into scales as small as HO, possibly even N. Next up for me is a custom PCB and power supply for these smaller form factor projects. I’m really having a blast with these projects!