PSoC Research Project

RMU Software Engineering Internship

August 2015

PSoC Research/LED Blinking circuit

For part of my for-credit Software Engineering internship at Robert Morris University, I helped the current RMU Engineering Dept. Head perform some research and prepare a working, 3D printable, decorative art lamp for the youth at the camp. This art lamp was meant for a STEAM Art Camp ran by an art student working for an art studio ran by Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum. For this art camp, two of my Engineering colleagues were helping to design and to 3D print bracelets, decoration desk piece blocks, and other items for the students. They also printed out this decorational lamp shade (with base), which would shine a decorative 3D printed object's image on top to the ceiling.

I helped wrap up this camp by researching into how to operate one of Cypress Semiconductor's PSoC (Programmable System on a Chip) units, specifically their $10 PSoC 5LP Prototype Kits (the CY8CKIT-059), in order to blink a 12V LED assembly to use as the lamp's light. PSoC's are chips with ARM Cortex-based microcontrollers, coupled with UDB (Universal Digital Blocks), in which you can program what hardware the chip will be/use, similar to a low-end FPGA. The chips are programmed both for code and what hardware to be, with the help of the schematic-based PSoC Creator Software. It allows hardware and software engineers to "Design the Way You Think™", as Cypress' Alan Hawes markets the PSoC products

For the project, I researched on how to program and utilize the PSoC 5LP prototyping kit in order to blink both an on-board LED, as well as an external EVluma LED assembly. Although the LED assembly was originally meant to be driven at 54V, the instructions that came with the order showed how to lower the voltage to 12V by making a few solder bridges and cutting a few circuit traces (in order to force a parallel circuit, which would drive down the voltage). With the PSoC software, I created a PWM circuit to drive the on-board LED, as well as an external circuit from an output pin. This 5V output pin toggled a relay, which, in turn, toggled an external 12V power supply circuit, which in turn lit up the LED assembly. After placing this circuit assembly underneath the 3D printed lamp, the lamp was fully functional!

Attached below is a small write up (with the project code) about how the circuit works and how to wire it. Please note that this document was written with intention for an audience in their tween years (since it was shipped with the kits we gave to the STEAM camp students). Below is also a video of the assembly in action at the camp!