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Accurately quantify applied forces with FSR and PIC18F27K40 for enhanced analysis

Unveiling force measurement like never before!

Force Click with EasyPIC v7

Published Nov 01, 2023

Click board™

Force Click

Development board

EasyPIC v7

Compiler

NECTO Studio

MCU

PIC18F27K40

Harness the power of precise force measurement to enhance quality control across various applications

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Hardware Overview

How does it work?

Force Click is based on the circuitry that allows the implementation of Force Sensing Resistors from Interlink Electronics. The Force Sensing Resistor is a thin sensor made of two membranes separated by a spacer around the edges. When pressed, the gap between the two membranes gets closed. This shorts the two membranes together with a resistance proportional to the applied force. This force sensitivity is optimized for human-machine interface devices, including automotive electronics, medical systems, industrial controls, and robotics. The FSR is a robust sensor with up to 10M of actuation and features a low device rise time of under 3 microseconds, as well as continuous analog force resolution. Force Click

sends analog values to the host MCU over the AN pin of the mikroBUS™ socket by using an OPA344, a low-power, single supply, rail-to-rail operational amplifier from Texas Instruments. This unity-gain stable OPAMP is ideal for driving sampling analog to digital converters. Rail-to-rail input and output swing significantly increase dynamic range, especially in low-power supply applications. The input to this OPA344NA is driven directly from the screw terminal and the force-sensing resistor. An ADM8829, a switched-capacitor voltage inverter with shutdown from Analog Devices, feeds the other side of the screw terminal and the force-sensing resistor. This charge-pump voltage inverter generates a negative power supply

from a positive input. The voltage conversion task is achieved using a switched capacitor technique using two external charge storage capacitors. An on-chip oscillator and switching network transfers charge between the charge storage capacitors. This Click board™ can operate with either 3.3V or 5V logic voltage levels selected via the PWR SEL jumper. This way, both 3.3V and 5V capable MCUs can use the communication lines properly. Also, this Click board™ comes equipped with a library containing easy-to-use functions and an example code that can be used as a reference for further development.

Force Click top side image
Force Click bottom side image

Features overview

Development board

EasyPIC v7 is the seventh generation of PIC development boards specially designed to develop embedded applications rapidly. It supports a wide range of 8-bit PIC microcontrollers from Microchip and has a broad set of unique functions, such as a powerful onboard mikroProg programmer and In-Circuit debugger over USB-B. The development board is well organized and designed so that the end-user has all the necessary elements in one place, such as switches, buttons, indicators, connectors, and others. With four different connectors for each port, EasyPIC v7 allows you to connect accessory boards, sensors, and custom electronics more efficiently than ever. Each part of

the EasyPIC v7 development board contains the components necessary for the most efficient operation of the same board. An integrated mikroProg, a fast USB 2.0 programmer with mikroICD hardware In-Circuit Debugger, offers many valuable programming/debugging options and seamless integration with the Mikroe software environment. Besides it also includes a clean and regulated power supply block for the development board. It can use various external power sources, including an external 12V power supply, 7-23V AC or 9-32V DC via DC connector/screw terminals, and a power source via the USB Type-B (USB-B) connector. Communication options such as

USB-UART and RS-232 are also included, alongside the well-established mikroBUS™ standard, three display options (7-segment, graphical, and character-based LCD), and several different DIP sockets. These sockets cover a wide range of 8-bit PIC MCUs, from PIC10F, PIC12F, PIC16F, PIC16Enh, PIC18F, PIC18FJ, and PIC18FK families. EasyPIC v7 is an integral part of the Mikroe ecosystem for rapid development. Natively supported by Mikroe software tools, it covers many aspects of prototyping and development thanks to a considerable number of different Click boards™ (over a thousand boards), the number of which is growing every day.

EasyPIC v7 horizontal image

Microcontroller Overview

MCU Card / MCU

default

Architecture

PIC

MCU Memory (KB)

128

Silicon Vendor

Microchip

Pin count

28

RAM (Bytes)

3728

Used MCU Pins

mikroBUS™ mapper

Analog Output
RA3
AN
NC
NC
RST
NC
NC
CS
NC
NC
SCK
NC
NC
MISO
NC
NC
MOSI
Power Supply
3.3V
3.3V
Ground
GND
GND
NC
NC
PWM
NC
NC
INT
NC
NC
TX
NC
NC
RX
NC
NC
SCL
NC
NC
SDA
Power Supply
5V
5V
Ground
GND
GND
2

Take a closer look

Schematic

Force Click Schematic schematic

Step by step

Project assembly

EasyPIC v7 front image hardware assembly

Start by selecting your development board and Click board™. Begin with the EasyPIC v7 as your development board.

EasyPIC v7 front image hardware assembly
Rotary B 2 Click front image hardware assembly
MCU DIP 28 hardware assembly
EasyPIC v7 MB 2 - upright/background hardware assembly
Necto image step 2 hardware assembly
Necto image step 3 hardware assembly
Necto image step 4 hardware assembly
NECTO Compiler Selection Step Image hardware assembly
NECTO Output Selection Step Image hardware assembly
Necto image step 6 hardware assembly
Necto DIP image step 7 hardware assembly
EasyPIC PRO v7a Display Selection Necto Step hardware assembly
Necto image step 9 hardware assembly
Necto image step 10 hardware assembly
Necto PreFlash Image hardware assembly

Track your results in real time

Application Output

After pressing the "FLASH" button on the left-side panel, it is necessary to open the UART terminal to display the achieved results. By clicking on the Tools icon in the right-hand panel, multiple different functions are displayed, among which is the UART Terminal. Click on the offered "UART Terminal" icon.

UART Application Output Step 1

Once the UART terminal is opened, the window takes on a new form. At the top of the tab are two buttons, one for adjusting the parameters of the UART terminal and the other for connecting the UART terminal. The tab's lower part is reserved for displaying the achieved results. Before connecting, the terminal has a Disconnected status, indicating that the terminal is not yet active. Before connecting, it is necessary to check the set parameters of the UART terminal. Click on the "OPTIONS" button.

UART Application Output Step 2

In the newly opened UART Terminal Options field, we check if the terminal settings are correct, such as the set port and the Baud rate of UART communication. If the data is not displayed properly, it is possible that the Baud rate value is not set correctly and needs to be adjusted to 115200. If all the parameters are set correctly, click on "CONFIGURE".

UART Application Output Step 3

The next step is to click on the "CONNECT" button, after which the terminal status changes from Disconnected to Connected in green, and the data is displayed in the Received data field.

UART Application Output Step 4

Software Support

Library Description

This library contains API for Force Click driver.

Key functions:

  • force_generic_read - This function reads ADC data

  • force_get_resistance - This function calculates resistance data based on the ADC input

  • force_get_correction_factor - This function calculates the correction factor based on temperature and humidity data

Open Source

Code example

This example can be found in NECTO Studio. Feel free to download the code, or you can copy the code below.

/*!
 * \file 
 * \brief Force Click example
 * 
 * # Description
 * This example showcases how to initialize and configure the logger and click modules and 
 * read and display ADC voltage data read from the analog pin.
 *
 * The demo application is composed of two sections :
 * 
 * ## Application Init 
 * This function initializes and configures the logger and click modules.
 * 
 * ## Application Task  
 * This function reads and displays ADC voltage data from the analog pin every second. 
 * 
 * \author MikroE Team
 *
 */
// ------------------------------------------------------------------- INCLUDES

#include "board.h"
#include "log.h"
#include "force.h"

// ------------------------------------------------------------------ VARIABLES

static force_t force;
static log_t logger;

// ------------------------------------------------------ APPLICATION FUNCTIONS

void application_init ( )
{
    log_cfg_t log_cfg;
    force_cfg_t cfg;

    /** 
     * Logger initialization.
     * Default baud rate: 115200
     * Default log level: LOG_LEVEL_DEBUG
     * @note If USB_UART_RX and USB_UART_TX 
     * are defined as HAL_PIN_NC, you will 
     * need to define them manually for log to work. 
     * See @b LOG_MAP_USB_UART macro definition for detailed explanation.
     */
    LOG_MAP_USB_UART( log_cfg );
    log_init( &logger, &log_cfg );
    log_info( &logger, "---- Application Init ----" );

    log_printf( &logger, "--------------------\r\n" );
    log_printf( &logger, "    Force  click    \r\n" );
    log_printf( &logger, "--------------------\r\n\r\n" );

    //  Click initialization.

    force_cfg_setup( &cfg );
    FORCE_MAP_MIKROBUS( cfg, MIKROBUS_1 );
    force_init( &force, &cfg );
}

void application_task ( )
{
    force_data_t tmp;
    
    //  Task implementation.
    
    tmp = force_generic_read ( &force );
    log_printf( &logger, " * ADC value : %d \r\n", tmp );
    log_printf( &logger, "--------------------- \r\n" );
    Delay_ms( 1000 );
}

void main ( )
{
    application_init( );

    for ( ; ; )
    {
        application_task( );
    }
}

// ------------------------------------------------------------------------ END

Additional Support

Resources