This is a road test review of the Cypress Semiconductor PSoC 4M Pioneer Kit
I did this before I realized there was a proper road test form - so the Road Test Form is here:
Thank you to Cypress Semiconductor and element14 for providing such a exciting module to explore. This module has a large number of features and interfaces, allowing it to be used in a wide variety of applications. In this road test I want to go beyond simply pointing out the device features to actually connecting a couple of peripherals and packaging the module in a 3D printed case. While waiting for the module to arrive, I had a chance to design and build a Bluetooth interface and an LCD interface, so these will be part of the road test. Here is an initial video of the unboxing and introduction of the peripherals:
After I get chance this weekend to power it up, I will add to this road test blog.
Here is a short video to show the demo program that comes loaded on the PSoC 4M pioneer Kit:
The Cypress Semiconductor web site for this product is here:
This page has links to downloads and documentation related to the PSoC 4M Pioneer Kit, including user guides and example application programs.
Cypress also supplies a full-featured development environment for their products called PSoC Creator which is available for download on their site.
PSoC Creator can be augmented with new features, more example programs and more hardware support as they get developed. This module has a support package of Kit Design Files that can be downloaded and installed into PSoC Creator This allows PSoC Creator to recognize the and configure itself to program the device
The next 2 videos are a quick introduction to the PSoC Creator development environment:
Getting the module to work with Bluetooth was extremely easy, thanks to the supplied demo software and PsSoC Creator.
There is a demo program called Sensor Hub that reads all sensors, stores some data in the FRAM and broadcasts it once per second through a UART. To make it broadcast via Bluetooth, all I had to do was go into PSoC Creator, drag the transmit and receive pinout connections of the UART over to the Transmit and receive pins I used for the Bluetooth module, then recompile and upload the program. Here is a video of the system in action:
The final electronics module I want to add to the system is a small graphical LCD. It took a little while to get back into programming, and of course I had to create a graphic, but it was most gratifying that my custom PCB had no errors and I only had to sort out the software. Note that the circuit card stack still leaves the touch pad, switches and LEDs exposed and available for use. Here is a short video demonstrating that the LCD works fine:
I still don't quite get why these minions keep showing up everywhere.
I expect I will continue to putter away at the software to try to get all the neat sensors on the Cypress module to display on the LCD but there is no doubt it can be done with this hardware. The other objective I had was to design and 3D print a case to house the system. This will have to wait a bit as I popped a seal on my printer nozzle and it is away being fixed (for free!). (update it is back)
Here is a video showing the accelerometers and temperature sensor displaying on the LCD:
Here is what the 3D printed case looks like. The case is designed to keep fingers off the circuitry, while allowing access to the interfaces on the module. Note the material is translucent to permit LEDs to shine through.
This road test has been a lot of fun because everything worked as planned, due in large part to the excellent documentation and development resources available for PSoC products. It wasn't that long ago that a project with these features would have taken a team of engineers months to complete. In today's terms the PSoC Creator environment is still better in significant ways than any of its competitors.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about this Pioneer Kit as they make the road test much more relevant.