Case #99: Bob Had a Problem with the Thermal Management

March 19, 2007

NASA engineer Bob Wilson devised a technological solution for a bureaucratic problem: convince building maintenance that his office was frigid in the morning. By the time anyone responded to a call, the heat was on. So he programmed a TI MSP430-F2013 microcontroller to record the temperature continuously over several days. The size of a quarter and powered by a 3V lithium cell, it records converted, filtered, RL-encoded data from its built-in temperature transducer into Flash memory, to be read back later via a USB interface. The maintenance department was convinced.

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"Quarter-sized Temperature controller"
Amt Part Description

Allied Part #
1 32.768 kHz watch crystal or equivalent 614-0186
1 20 mm. coin cell, 3-3.5V or equivalent 774-0113
1 Half-inch, clear, shrink wrap or equivalent. Only 0.5 x 0.5 inch per cell, 100+ cells 708-9214
1 Epoxy putty. For ~50-100 cells 796-9831

Additional parts required: Ez430-F2013 development kit with MSP430-F2013 microcontroller, available at Texas Instruments.

Download the build instructions (Word Document)

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