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Riding to Maker Faire with Cypress PSoC

The first ever PSoC Challenge contest asked Makers to design Internet of Things projects using the newly released PSoC 4 BLE Pioneer Kit. Ten Maker projects competed for a grand prize of $2,500 of travel expenses to come out to Maker Faire here in the Bay Area.

We spoke to Charles “Chuck” Swiger, the grand prize winner who modified an existing electric bike project

A homemade electric bike made from new, obsolete laptop lithium ion batteries, has a commercial dashboard called the Cycle Analyst, that displays the battery state of charge – amp hours or watt hours used since last charge, essentially how much ‘gas’ is left in the tank – as well as voltage, amps being used at the moment, bike speed and cumulative distance traveled on a charge.

The PSoC board he connected to the commercial dashboard meant that the data it reported could be sent via Bluetooth LE to his phone for display, but logged and stored for later analysis.

An eBike Battery Health and Monitoring application using Cypress PSoC.
An eBike Battery Health and Monitoring application using Cypress PSoC.

Starting with no experience with PSoC at all, he added data logging capabilities using the PSoC 4 BLE for his eBike, going from getting an LED to flash to a fully functional connected product in just a few weeks.

Congratulations again to Charles on his great project, and we hope he enjoyed the faire.


Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

View more articles by Alasdair Allan