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Electronica Starts Today! | Cypress Semiconductor

Electronica Starts Today!

I arrived in Germany for "set up day" yesterday and what a day it was. W.C. Fields once advised actors to "never work with children or animals". I would borrow that and say to engineers "never work with electronics and water"!

Alan has devised a great new theatre presentation for the exhibition floor.We are sure it will be another hit with good crowds and a lot of laughs. Our demo is a networked game where players compete to fill bottles with water. They use PSoC-powered remote controls to send CapSense inputs via Bluetooth or AWS messages. The main controller, another PSoC, collects the messages from all the remotes and sets the speed of the water pumps accordingly. It also uses CapSense to do liquid-level sensing on the bottles and displays player progress with a pair of WS2812 RGB LED strips on the wall. Oh, and it plays "Fight" and "Winner" sounds through a pair of stereo (of course) speakers to start and end the games.



PSoC-powered water game



We were setting up the demo yesterday and it was working really well. Until we had the "good idea"... We were showing the game off to some Cypress folk and decided the motors filling the bottles needed to run a little faster. So Alan opens ModusToolbox, our new development software SDK and IDE, to quickly make a change to PWM duty cycle. But he forgot to tell the players to stop sending messages. Consequently, at the moment he pressed the program button, someone had sent a message and one of the pumps was running! With no program to turn it off.

We are calling it our "Trevi fountain" moment. The main controller board got a good soaking and we spent a merry hour breaking off the motor controller shield (H-bridge) and carefully dabbing everything to dry it out. Luckily the PSoC is a hardy ship and we can still run the demo. Probably. We got evicted from the exhibition floor before we got the CapSense connectors to the bottles working right again.

The hope is that they will dry out overnight and the demo will just magically work again in the morning. That's always a reliable plan... so we just did the only thing we could to make the situation better...

 

Engineering...



So, if you are coming to the Messe exhibition centre in Munich this week, please stop to say hello and watch the presentation. You might get a chance to play the game against other show attendees and, if you are good at it, re-flood our board...!

 

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