New version of MSP430 LCD watch?

I’ve now got the first batch of the 250 SPI B/W small LCD displays that I ordered, but I’m not quite sure what to do with them. The obvious thought is a booster pack, but since this is quite a small display I’m thinking maybe I could make a watch kit with it. I might also make some booster packs eventually.

The display data sheet is here. It is SPI-based, but it uses a 9-bit SPI interface. The first bit is decides whether it’s a write to the display memory or a config-command. As far as I understand, the USCI-chips don’t support 9 bits, while the USI ones do. I’ve made a bitbanging driver for it so far, and it works ok. I guess with an HW-driver it’ll be updating faster. I’ll see if maybe it can be tweaked onto the USCI peripheral by sending 2 bytes.

The features are:

– small (34 x 30 mm physical size. Viewing area 28×19)
– 3-line SPI 9-bit (Driver Sitronix ST7579-G2)
– low power
– backlight
– black and white LCD
– approx 3 USD cost

I made a watch with the earlier LCD display (i2c-version) I was using. Here’s a picture. The SPI-display is slightly smaller, but the display quality is similar (slightly better on the SPI display). I will have 250 of these, so if anyone is interested in this display for projects, let me know. I’m planning on making some packs that are finished soldered and can be sold in the shop, but it’s relatively easy to solder these displays onto a board for your own projects also.


So I’m planning on making a watch-board for the new display. It’ll have the display soldered onto one side. The other side will have space for example for a MSP430G2452. The design will be open source. Any suggestions to peripherals and buttons? I could put an accelerometer there, for example to detect taps on the display. I guess I could also put a radio in it???

A very basic start is here (this one has places for a header in case one wants to use the display as a breakout instead). The board design is a bit strange since I’ve used it to make a single-side test board also. So the ‘breakout’-traces are on the top only.



New watch case from Shapeways

A week ago I ordered a new watch case for my DIY watch from Shapeways. I got one of the two I ordered today, and I must say I’m very impressed by the quality. It looks beautiful, I think (well… the design is my own and maybe not the greatest, but the build quality and strength of the plastic is fantastic). I’m impressed that they can offer such a service so cheap, and I wish them all the best. They have a really user friendly web store and have many great materials.

(Never mind that my watch isn’t set correctly 🙂 )


DIY Watch

I’ve been making a DIY watch using the MSP430 and a cheap display. It’s quite basic right now, but I’m planning on making the firmware better. It uses a surface mount MSP430 value line.

I’ve done some work on getting a Telit GSM module inside a watch also, but this one here is just a basic version. I had a voucher for a purchase at Shapeways that ran out this month, so I’ve ordered the case from them. That’ll allow me to compare quality differences of my Makerbot and the Shapeways commercial printers.