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This is just a quick video to show what prizes were received for finishing more than 10 blogs in the Bluetooth Unleashed design challenge. Thank you very much element14 - this is a very useful collection of prizes.   For more info on the design challenge and my project see the links below....   Related Links: Bluetooth Unleashed Design Challenge Bluetooth Unleashed Design Challenge: The Challengers Bluetooth Unleashed Design Challenge: About This Challenge   Links to other blo ...
This roller coaster project had some ambitious goals because it is always fun to try and stretch to see if you can achieve them. Dealing with 7 MCUs and all the different development environments wasn't too difficult, but it was still lots of work. Designing the PCBs was fun and they worked well. However assembling 5 PCBs was a bit of a chore because they had hundreds of switches to mount. I definitely did not properly anticipate the time required to design 66 different 3D printed parts and prin ...
This blog wraps up work on the Type-N-Text (TNT) devices. It has come right down to the wire with only hours left in the challenge and I really wanted to get these devices working. I miscalculated the amount of effort the project would take pretty badly so everything would have had to go perfectly in the last 2 week to complete everything I wanted to achieve. But of course things weren't going to go perfectly and they definitely didn't. After completing the micro:bit-to-PSoC communication in the ...
In this episode I am putting together the complete Type-N-Text mobile BLE terminal. This TNT device is controlled using a BBC micro:bit. It has an SPI LCD to display 72 characters and a full QWERTY keyboard scanned by a PSoC4. The TNT device has taken an unexpectedly large amount of time. I did not anticipate just how much work it would be to design, print, build and program a device with 66 3D printed parts, 64 switches and 3 MCUs. Designing the 60 key caps and 60 LCD font characters in particu ...
It seemed pretty straight forward to connect my PSoC4 keyboard to a micro:bit since the PSoC4 could already scan the keyboard and display the characters and the micro:bit program could already control its LCD. However I ran into no end of grief trying to make it happen. After I set up the PSoC in SPI slave mode there was just no output. careful monitoring of the micro:bit SPI discovered a couple of minor issues with the micro:bit program, but even after it was cleaned up, the PSoC just wasn't re ...
I have been hijacked by travel and other priorities recently, but it is important to keep progressing. This update demonstrates the PSoC4 Bluetooth terminal. The software handles both keyboard transmit and Bluetooth reception. Now that the PCB and software are tested and working, it only needs some keycaps and a case to be a complete Bluetooth terminal. Now I get to tackle the micro:bit version of this keyboard knowing that the PSoC and all buttons are under control.   Upcoming blogs: ...
I have to go away for a few days to play in a golf tournament with my Dad, but I wanted to get a blog out before I go. This blog is a continuation of the PSoC Bluetooth terminal sub-project. This section is just a quick demonstration of the PSoC scanning the keyboard and displaying the characters on an LCD: I have to say soldering dozens of switches is not a thrill of a lifetime, but doing it without a PCB would be a real nightmare. So far this PCB is working as designed, and the software is ...
The past few weeks have been very discombobulated with lots of heavy priorities and travel interceding in my project plans. And project progress has been stubbornly slow. However my second PCB arrived and it looks good. This card is a QWERTY keyboard for the micro:bit. It needs a PSoC4 MCU to read all the keys and output ASCII using SPI because the micro:bit doesn't have enough I/O pins on its own. Of course it is also one of those things that didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. After spendi ...
In this blog I am trying to figure out if the Stirling engine generates enough power to run the electronic data acquisition system based on a PSoC6. First I am going to measure how much current and voltage the PSoC6 requires. Then I am going to measure how much current and voltage the Stirling engine generates.   Finally, I am going to measure the engine speed:   The motor-generator set puts out about a quarter Watt, which is easily enough to run a low power microcontroller, but ...
One of the PCBs I designed for the BBC micro:bit arrived and I wanted to see if it worked, so here is a short blog about it. This PCB is one of the two PCBs that will make up the micro:bit TXTR introduced in Blog 3. Here is what the PCB looks like on both sides: This PCB primarily connects the micro:bit to an SPI 5110 LCD, but it also has connections for external power, I2C, 3 analog inputs, and an SPI QWERTY keyboard. It includes a power switch and a backlight switch for the LCD. There is ...
I have been immersed in trying to learn how some of the subsystems I chose for this project actually work. Current and Voltage Measurement The belt-driven DC generator  on the Stirling engine flywheel outputs voltage and current that will be monitored by a Texas Instruments INA219 chip. This chip uses an I2C interface and has half a dozen registers to deal with. The INA219 chip is mounted on a small PCB with a shunt resistor: Temperature Measurement This project uses type K thermocou ...
The Stirling Blue project will be measuring several Stirling engine parameters including inputs and outputs so I can calculate efficiency. The input to the engine is fuel - alcohol in this case, and I will need to know how much is consumed. I could do a before and after weight measurement, but I want the PSoC6 to be able to monitor all parameters in real time. The gas tank is actually a 10 ml glass jar. The fuel is drawn out using a wick that also acts as the burner. This blog explores using cap ...
The Stirling Blue project will be using 4 hero modules plus a couple of PSoC modules which total up to at least 8 ARM chips, and at least 3 different integrated development environments (IDEs) to handle all the software. It will also have 5 custom PCBs, which need to be designed early, to ensure delivery within the project schedule. This blog covers the PCBs that will be used with the BBC micro:bit. I want to use the micro:bit as a BLE display for Stirling engine data, but its LEDs are not reall ...
This is just a quick update to introduce the hero board I will be using for the Stirling Blue project. The PSoC6 is a dual core system on a chip with an ARM Cortex M4 (150 MHz) and and ARM Cortex M0 (100 MHz) in the same chip with 1MB of Flash, 288 KB of SRAM, 78 GPIO 7 programmable blocks, 56 digital blocks and Bluetooth Low Energy. I've never seen a 100MHz Cortex M0 with all these resources and of course the Cortex M4 takes the performance to a whole new level. PSoC Creator makes it really si ...
I have been fascinated with Stirling engines ever since studying them in University. Although we got to measure performance of internal combustion engines in great detail, we only analyzed external combustion (Stirling cycle) engines theoretically. The PSoC6 Pioneer Kit makes it feasible to put together a capable instrumentation system to examine Stirling engine operation and performance. Working with a physical Stirling engine will be so much more interesting than just analyzing Carnot cycles. ...