Alright, seems like this project is starting to pick up some speed.
Over the last few weeks we were perhaps a little busy with the regular stuff... Finishing our bachelor thesis, helping keep a University project just about stay afloat...
But we still managed to make some time to continue the schematic, and last week we finally got around to ordering everything off of Aisler!
The PCB could perhaps be a bit smaller, maybe there's a bit of money to save, but this really isn't for mass production. Have a look!
If everything goes well, Aisler will ship it by next Wednesday, and one or two weeks after that and we will hopefully be able to show the hardware in action.
There's LEDs, there's Cherry switches (which also have LEDs), there's WiFi and Audio ... This whole thing has turned into quite a random endeavor, hasn't it?
Oh, speaking of the Audio!
This whole project will heavily rely on throwing audio data around from place to place, as can be seen by the MAX Audio Amplifier IC on the board. Since sending raw audio data isn't, perhaps, the smartest idea, and I have noticed that the ESP does not like sending or receiving that much data over MQTT, some form of codec had to be found.
There's the ESP-ADF, but it is way too chunk for what I need, and I don't really like their audio pipelines... I wanted to mess about with my own stuff.
So, after unsuccessfully looking for a nice codec that was available for the ESP, I just decided to make my own! Feel free to add this repo to any of your ESP32 projects if you need a codec :>
Opus is a great voice codec over a huge range of sample- and bitrates, and it's fully open source, so it made for a perfect choice to port to the ESP. The crappy FPU and no good hardware acceleration features mean that encoding data won't work at particularly high qualities, but decoding seems to be very doable.
This also means that now I have Opus for all my other projects - maybe I'll add it to the Lasertag for higher quality weapon sound FX or even background music. Maybe it'll be added to my upcoming smart home rework to add an internal voice coms? And you can bet it'll be added to "TapBadgeV2" once we get around to it~
Anyhow, we'll wait for the PCBs to arrive, solder them up, and see how far we can go from there!