Turn the eZ430 tool to an eZProbe

[S]impleAVR came up with an amazing use for his eZ430 USB  dongle –  a multiuse debugging probe.  The probe can detect logic pulses, detect bands of frequencies as well as output select frequencies. This probe is an entry into the December Project of the Month Contest. See the project thread here.

He used a msp430f2012 target board instead of the default f2013 board that comes with it. All he needed were 5 LEDs to get his probe circuit done. Other parts for the probe included some super glue, a female USB adapter and a pin/nail.

Some features of the eZprobe:

Logic probe

  • Logic probe red – hi, green – low, none – floating
  • Logic probe red / green blinks on continous pulse reads > 100hz
  • 4 yellow leds shows detected frequencies in 8 steps, blinking yellows indicate hi-range (i.e. step 5-8)
  • Shows detected pulse frequencies for 100hz+, 500hz+, 1khz+, 5khz+, 10khz+, 50khz+, 100khz+, 500khz+
  • For non-continuous single pulse bursts, the red / green leds stays on and subsequent pulse counts are displayed incrementally on the leds, will count up to 8 pulse

Continuous pulse output, frequency setting

  • Indicated by p1.0 original green led on
  • 4 yellow leds shows output pulse frequencies in 9 steps, blinking yellows indicate hi-range (i.e. step 5-8)
  • Pulse frequencies output for 100hz, 500hz, 1khz, 5khz, 10khz, 50khz, 100khz, 500khz, 1mhz
  • Short button press rotates the 9 different frequency settings.

Continuous pulse output, pwm setting

  • Indicated by p1.0 original green led blinking
  • Same as previous operation mode, except pwm values are show (and be setup) instead of frequency
  • 4 yellow leds shows output pwm percentages in 9 steps, blinking yellows indicate hi-range (i.e. step 5-8)
  • PWM percentages for 0%, 12.5%, 25%, 37.5%, 50%, 62.5%, 75%, 87.5%, 100%
  • Short button press rotates the 9 different pwm settings.

All this sweet probe needs now is an OLED LCD. He’s also made a list of possible applications that the probe can be used for:

  • servo tester.
  • battery tester / volt-meter, up to 2.5v, or higher w/ resistor divider on alternate probe-head
  • tv-b-gone, w/ ir led probe-head
  • pong-clock, w/ 2 resistor tv-out probe-head, probably inspired by [N]atureTM’s Launchpad TV plugin.

Thanks [S]impleAVR and good luck for the contest.

Code and Schematics as available at his blog page or the forum thread.


  1. yes, after seeing NatureTM’s tv-out demo made me want to implement it on the ez430, i hope this (pong motion + clock) can be realized in the limited 2k code space. will have to find out.

  2. Great work. Beautifully simple.

  3. I do not have permissions to view files – and so – THIS IS ONLY A TIME WASTER thanks a lot -I could have used this.

    • Hmm.. what do you mean?


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