• on Computer/Software/Internet
  • Published in issue 1/2009 on page 62
About the article

Capacitive Sensing and the Water Cooler

No more bashing the soda vending machine

Capacitive Sensing and the Water Cooler
The aim of this article is to illustrate not only how capacitive sensing can make devices more reliable, but also how the controller managing capacitive sensing can take on additional functions, to add further value to customers, as well as reduce maintenance expenses. To put it all in practice, Elektor has two CapSense evaluation kits on offer for you.
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Reader Offer: CapSense Touch Sensing Buttons and CapSense Touch-Sensing Sliders development kits
Capsense evaluation kits
By special arrangement with Cypress, Elektor offers two entry-level CapSense Express development kits to enable readers to get acquainted with capacitive sensing technology in a time efficient way. You can buy one or both at a special price from the Kits & Modules section of the Elektor Shop (www.elektor.com/shop), or phoning customer services, of course.

CY3218-CAPEXP1 Evaluation kit (Elektor Shop # 080875-91)
This kit is for learning about touch sensing buttons. The PSoC device used on the evaluation board has up to 10 I/Os for buttons, LEDs and general-purpose I/O devices. The kit contains the CY3218-CAPEXP1 evaluation board, a retractable USB mini cable (A to mini B), a PSoC CY3240-I2 bridge board and an AA battery. Also included is the kit CD which contains PsOC programmer, .NET Framework 2.0, PSoC Express 3, CapSense Express Extension Pack and the CapSense Express documentation.

CY3218-CAPEXP2 Evaluation kit (Elektor Shop # 080875-92)
This kit teaches you implement capacitive sensing slider devices in electronic equipment. Contents as CY3218-CAPEXP2, except CY3218-CAPEXP2 evaluation board included in this kit.

Both kits represent excellent educational value for all of you wishing to eradicate, once and for all, the weaknesses and failures of mechanical switches and slider pots traditionally fitted on consumer equipment that gets a bashing, like the pitiable soda vending machine in the roadside motel!
The manuals included in the kits concentrate not just on running the evaluation boards ‘as is’ but also cover developing your own capacitive sensing applications, combining hardware with software. With these boards you’ll have a good time exploring the concepts of PSoC, programming, compiling, debugging, driver configuring and adapting the examples provided to meet your own requirements. The little CY3240-I2 bridge board in the kits is also valuable for entry-level dealings with other Cypress PSoC products. If ever there was a chance to get into PSoC and cap sense at a sensible price, it’s right now.
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