MSP430 Launchpad: Random Software Delays

Posted by on December 13, 2010

The goal: to “randomly” flash the on-board LEDs at P1.0 and P1.6

The weapons: CCS, Launchpad, Cookies (you may choose your favourite ones)

The reason: To familiarize yourself with the coding environment, or just for the heck of it.

The library:

#ifndef GRAND_H_
#define GRAND_H_

static unsigned long int rand_next = 1;

int gRand( void ) {
	rand_next = rand_next * 1103515245 + 12345;
	return (unsigned int)(rand_next/65536) % 32768;

void gSRand( unsigned int seed ) {
	rand_next = seed;

#define gRandom()		((gRand() & 0x7fff) / ((float)0x7fff)) 	// random in the range [0, 1]
#define gCRandom()		(2.0 * (gRandom() - 0.5)) 			// random in the range [-1, 1]
#define gMax(x,y)		(x > y ? x : y)				// minimum
#define gMin(x,y)		(x < y ? x : y)				// maximum

#endif /*GRAND_H_*/

That’s our random library, it’s grand.h

The “g” prefix is one I often use privately, it’s simply the first letter of my name. However because there may be other routines in the future with a similar naming convention, having “g” prefixed is not a bad idea; without having to fall into namespace gibberish.

The PRNG is an old standard. No need to discuss it.

You may recognize those macros, yes! They’re from Quake3! — Although we aren’t using them I left them there for future reference on how to obtain usable value ranges from the PRNG. There’s a lot to be said about floating point values and whatnot, But I’m going to restrain myself in this case.

Now to the main code:

// MSP430 Launchpad - Blink onboard LEDs using random delays.
//	GuShH -

#include  "msp430x20x2.h"	// Include the necessary header for our target MCU
#include  "grand.h"		// Include our simplistic prng lib.

void delay_ms(unsigned int ms ) { // This function simply performs a software delay, hard from efficient but it's practical in this case.
	unsigned int i;
	for (i = 0; i < = ms; i++) { // Make sure your < and = has no space in between (the syntax parser seems to be messing things up)
		__delay_cycles(500); // This should be dependent on clock speed... but what the hell, even the loop itself should be taken into account...

void set_and_wait( int led ) {
	P1OUT = led;			// Set the bits
	delay_ms( gRand() * 0.01 );	// Delay a "random" amount of time

void main(void) {

	WDTCTL = WDTPW + WDTHOLD; // Hold the WDT (WatchDog Timer)
	P1DIR |= BIT0|BIT6;       // Enable the appropriate output

	while(1) {
		set_and_wait( BIT0 );	// Set BIT0, that's our first LED.
		set_and_wait( BIT6 );	// Set BIT6, The other LED.


No external hardware is required, just make sure both P1.0 and P1.6 jumpers are set.

As you can see we're simply toggling the LEDs with a random delay, the delay_ms(); function was taken from here.

Like I said there are quite a few topics to explain, however I decided to keep this one as simple as possible (Alright, I'm in a rush!)

So... Compile, run and enjoy!

Once I get the time I'll put together some utilitarian code libraries and lengthier explanations, promise.

For those interested, you may download the entire project directory from here: Random Software Delays.

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