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Smarter Life

14 Posts authored by: jliu83
Sadly, this great contest has come to an end.  This leaves the SteadyClip project unfinished as of right now.  I’ve had a great run, but I truly do need additional time to fully understand the microstepping of motors to get a complete design.  Right now, the motor drivers are functional and I am capable of accessing the IMU.  Eventually, this project will be complete.  When that happens I cannot wait to show it to the element14 community, and the rest of the intern ...
With the IMU working, I am now focusing my efforts on getting clean data, with an emphasis on simple to implement filters.  That said, filtering is a dirty business, and it’s something that I am not too familiar with.   In any case, my plans for filtering are simple: high pass the gyro data to get rid of the drift, low pass the accelerometer and magnetometer data to remove the jerking inaccuracies.  Hopefully, the data that comes out will be good enough for image stabilizat ...
Again, I can’t mention this enough, if you want to see my project fully realized, please vote for my project!   I think one of the areas where the PSoC series really shines is how it deals with communication ports. The ability to instantiate an extra UART or I2C or SPI and connect it to any physical pin is a feature that is seldom seen in microcontrollers.  The typical ARM Cortex M offering from TI or ST only allows connections to the SCB modules through one or two fixed pin con ...
I’ve been halfway around the world and back (on business), and now I am ready to get some engineering done.  It seems like I am now woefully behind all the other contestants.  But everyone loves an underdog.  By the way, and here comes the selfless promotion, if you find the project interesting, please vote for my project.    With some advice from other fellow engineers, I widened the high current traces before submitting the circuit to the PCB manufacturer while ...
I was able to get a lot of work done over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The bulk of the hardware is completed, and now I am shifting the focus over to the software.  I am traveling this week so I don’t have much time to divulge much on the analysis of these boards, so I will just post the schematic at the end of the post.   The system diagram that was drawn in the earlier posts has now been realized in schematic form, and you can see that it follows the diagram pretty closely. ...
One of the cool things about working at a hardware startup is that you get exposure to every part of a device.  In larger companies, there is typically a person that takes care of the power, one for analog, maybe a touch screen expert and a bunch of engineers for the digital stuff.  When I was part of a startup, I was the power guy, and the analog guy, and I also had to do all the digital stuff.   Power is an interesting topic because it is one of the few areas where you get to u ...
I have been asked to elaborate on how I resolved the driver issue with my Windows 8.1 machine.  It was really a very simple fix thanks to Cypress’ responsive tech support.  It’s comforting to know that the complex part you are using has great team on the support side.   I received the Windows 8.1 update as a part of the mandatory update in my organization.  Upon installation of PSoC Creator, my laptop was unable to detect the drivers for the PSoC Pioneer Kit. ...
In the last post I talked briefly about some features of the RTOS and how it uses time slices.  The advantage of time slices is the precision control that I have over the timing of my signals.  Instead of using nop delay loops which may or may not unwrap in the correct manner, or timer modules, which have to get set up every time they are used, I can take advantage of the RTOS framework’s API.  This simplifies the burden of writing the application code, at the expense of set ...
I know in the last post I said I was going to work on the hardware, but it seems like I got sucked into one too many problems on the software side.  However, the hard works has paid off, as I have successful ported over the QP, a quasi-RTOS framework, over to the PSoC4 processor.   So what does this mean? Well, in the grand scheme of things, not very much.  The ported software is merely a framework on which the application layer will be written. Nevertheless, the capabilities of ...
It has been quite a hectic week for me.  It seems like everyone else is making great progress on their projects.  As for myself, I have been spending most of my time setting up a space to do some good development work.  But first, some back story.   Recently, I moved to the San Jose area to take on a job with a big technology company.  Before joining the Xbox group, I was at a small start-up on the east coast.  My previous employers were generous enough to let me u ...
I had high hopes of getting a significant portion of the design finish this weekend, but it seems like I’ve hit a road block.  It seems that upgrading to the latest operating system might have hindered my efforts to create the SteadyClip.  The PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit doesn’t seem to enumerate on the USB port when I plug the device into a Windows 8.1 machine.  As it stands right now, I cannot get any code loaded into my device. I’ve opened a ticket with Cypress and hop ...
Now that we’ve picked out the important parts, it’s time to get a general overview of the project from a systems perspective.  The trick here is to put in the hooks that we need at this stage of the design so that we have access to the critical portions of the system during debug.  As of right now, the system diagram is shown below. Since the system is rather simple, I will only add a single UART port for debugging.  This port is critical during the tuning of the PI ...
There has been some suggestions about the motors in the comments from my previous post, which I will try to address in this post.   My primary concern for choosing components is acoustic noise.  A secondary consideration is power consumption.  Noise is the main concern because the microphone on the video camera can pick up the motor actuation movements.  This would make the device unusable for any video recording that also contains audio. This might be okay for many cinemato ...
So I got a little package in the mail today.     Thanks to Cypress Semiconductor for the development board, and many thanks to element14 for this great contest.  Since I need to do some research before ordering parts or getting equipment, the first few posts will be mostly theory and concepts.  I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun.  So, without further ado, I present: the SteadyClip.   So what is the concept? Well everyone has a video camcorder these days. ...