The previous case was far from attractive, so hopefully this looks better and functions better as well.
I am learning KiCad but I honestly feel that thats too much for this project.
The case should look decent and will be 3D printed. My goal is for it to be showy enough that it doesn't freak people out and offers ample room for mods. Controls should be easily accessed and it should be a wearable with the exposure window facing towards the hand. This should be perceived as cool, but alien. Chances are I'll do some flexing in Grasshopper.
In the end all you should need is access to a decent printer, a cassette player, some soldering skills if you feel like cleaning up the wiring harness, velcro straps or elastic straps and maybe a rechargeable battery in a future design.
Below is the first production prototype, sorry for the poor audio and video:
I called a company which manufactures tape heads today since that seems to be the hardest part of moving forward with this project. https://www.brushindustries.com/ fortunately seems to have something in stock and is semi-local. We'll see if this might work for this project, so hopefully they forward the needed documentation soon.
During the course of the conversation though I learned that some of the heads they make are pretty amazing, such as for this piece:
Apparently this is rated for 7 million swipes! But comes to the tune of ~$500 and is for transit systems and such.
Fortunately, they have something much more reasonable for our purposes.
I found some amplifier circuits and audio bits in the electronics bin and am going to fiddle around trying to kludge together something which makes noise but is smaller.
I still plan on fixing design files for previous designs but I'm going to try and make a new PCB for this thing. I keep finding contradictory information though, based off of the square reader it would seem that a tape head transducer could just be hooked up to an audio processor circuit and played, but its difficult (for me) to find decent plans for such a standalone contraption.
I started reverse engineering the MS 01-118S-01 board but almost immediately ran into a roadblock trying to find the read head.
Fortunately I seem to have found plenty of alternatives to what they used:
Ultimately I'm not looking for any noise cancelling features, a delay might be useful but isn't really required.
The smaller this can be the better for obvious reasons, the current models are a little too wide in my opinion due to batteries and stuff..
Cool, so what does all of this mean?
This project is taking a step in a slightly different direction:
1) A new project page will be started soon detailing a preliminary design of a new circuit board and subsequent designs. This will likely take on the form of a kind of watch like processor and finger tip sensor section. This is a fairly ambitious undertaking as far as I'm concerned since I'm basically winging this.
2) This page will get updated with updated designs, but only for one board probably. I just don't see the point in working around the existing MS board, its too sloppy in its construction (sorry, but not sorry.)
3) A third project will likely spawn from the new board, assuming I can get it to work. This will be more oriented towards actual data acquisition and sampling rather than sensory augmentation.
Okay! Sorry for the delay; both cases came out okay and actually function BUT, as expected there are issues which will need to be fixed. For one, the Suntone board has clearance issues in both models so cannot be used, I think I just modeled the board too quickly and missed some features (it's a lot more sloppy in its construction.) The more solid version:
Note the extra space for future Suntone board and volume placement which will be carried over to the wire-frame case in later version.
And the more wire-frame version:
And..... A video of it working! Unfortunately with a pitiful speaker and video.
As you can hear... poorly, each light although appearing to be identical emits a different frequency likely related to power instability and rate of decay. The power cable for the light box emits a fairly constant tone that can be heard from most power cables. The printer has a touch screen, which obviously has a lot going on. A lot of samples could be collected just in one room.
Anyways, moving on to actual cases and technical stuff.
Realize that if you print these cases right now there will be a number of issues (although obviously not enough to stop you.) I will fix these issues between now and sometime next week, some other projects are occupying my time. Known issues at this time:
-Battery compartment should be unibody and sealed, the end tabs flex too much.
-Battery compartment needs larger overhang to retain batteries (note the hot glue in pictures.)
-Pilot holes for screws must be enlarged by 1mm.
-Remove more material around positive and negative battery connection to board, annoying to solder.
-Wireframe case needs to be taller to allow for Suntone board to slide in, too tight!
-Wireframe case needs volume relocated to left side as done with the solid, otherwise wires must be extended.
-Front-most wireframe element needs reinforcement.
-Rear-most batter side wireframe element needs removal.
-Solid case needs mounting posts for Suntone board.
-Solid case lid needs smaller secondary post removed/relocated.
-Solid case needs base and lid extended to the rear.
-Solid case needs larger side cut for board protrusion and volume reach.
I think that's it for now.
I'm thinking I'll put up both prototypes for sale on Tindie once they are more stable if anyone is interested, money will go towards next iteration.
This is definitely a lot more material; I tried to hide mounting screws and the bulk of components. Sensor and volume have been moved to the left of the case. My thinking is that you are less likely to bump the sensor when flexing your wrist back in this case.
I again opted for an elastic band or velcro strap system for rigging.
Although this is much more... robust it will likely take less time to print and might use less resources than expected.
BUT, like the previous version I still haven't printed one myself to test.
My only real concern is the battery compartment which can thankfully be swapped out fairly easily. Besides that the drill hole taps might be a little small, but better smaller than too large when it comes to mounting hardware and I provided ample material to drill out further as needed.
Files are named Smooth1Top and Smooth1Bottom respectively. As usual, ask any questions if you have them! -David Troetschel
I went with a very pasta like route for creating this one. (Version 1.0) Its rather cluttered looking and is mostly made of curves with pipe and surface extrusion commands. This caused some weird aspects but was rather quick. Likely will not be the most efficient to print though.
I made the body all one piece, the board is slid in from the rear in both cases and then screwed to mounting tabs.
Although there are mounting positions for both circuit boards only one can be in use at once due to clearance issues.
For now this is considered a prototype since I would like to create one with a more unified form language and maybe more planar styling.
Not even the battery compartment has been test printed yet so do so at your own risk. Hopefully a print will get set up over the weekend or on Monday.
This is designed to go around the wrist like the previous model but this has rod like connections to allow for the use of elastic webbing, so this will be an additional step unless it fares better as a handheld device. Maybe a gun (or likely drill like in appearance) model would be nice, then you could just point at what you want to listen to.
This way I can make it so both are compatible. These are both pretty affordable and seem to do the trick well while having similar form factors. I don't recall the actual tape player name right now so I'll have to update that later. This PCB model is a little bit lower resolution since it was so cluttered and components are all over the place as opposed to surface mount components.
There is also a motor output and switch wire bridge that need to be closed, I might route a small LED through these.
Right now I'm thinking both devices will be always on unless battery is disconnected.
I need to do some preliminary work on another project so it might be a little while before I get to the actual case design for this project.
I also want to research speaker and transducer output as opposed to headphones as an option.
Right now I've built all components in the computer so I'm planning on playing around in rhino for a bit for layout and then doing the main case body in Gravity Sketch next week then final touch-ups in rhino or Solidworks.