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[H6X] POD (2021 Hackaday Prize Entry)

- your companion for the next Apocalypse -
AirQualityIndex, UV, GPS, HeartRate, Thermal Cam, 21Ah 60w Charger, LEDs for days and more

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This is a double post for the 2021 Hackaday Prize. (the rules require it)
>> Follow the Main H6X Pod page here: https://hackaday.io/project/177083-h6x-pod <<

I want this device to be a development platform for environmental sensing, warning, logging, health and everyday convenience features in a compact, rugged and sleek package with maximum battery life. I will leave space inside for more capabilities and modding down the line.

Features as of June 10, 2021:

(over 25 Data Points / Features)

Battery:  21.000mAh

  • Automatic Sleep and Power Save modes
  • Error, Battery and Electronic Path Protection (Auto-Shutdown, Warnings)
  • Robust Design, some Redundant Sensors & Components
  • Upcycled MJ1 18650 Batteries and eventually sustainably sourced materials

For the first functional prototype i am staying in the Arduino and off-the-shelf realm.  I have completed my initial research & testing and while coding the UI, i am now working on the prototype build.


Who is it for?

  • support for rural areas with no or limited access to medical monitoring instruments
  • air monitoring and temperature testing in offices and schools (for general Air Quality and Virus prevention)
  • outdoor and adventure (ie. Traveling, off-the-grid living, offline living, UV Index / Sunscreen indicator, Air Quality inside boats/cars/tents, detecting engine fumes in enclosed spaces, Compass and Location for trekking, portable high power Lamps)
  • support in case of emergency (GSM/GPS location beacon, SOS lamp signal, body health stats monitoring in case of sickness)
  • high end wireless IOT Weather, Air Quality, Monitoring and Logging Station and Lamp for the Home


Why am i making the H6X Pod?

i had the Idea after i returned from India where i had been travelling on Foot, Train and Motorbike from North to South and back. Around March 2020 I was spending my time with new friends in Rishikesh, one of whom slowly got really sick, right when COVID really started in India. We questioned bringing her to the Hospital but couldnt really tell, no doctors to find and the medicine shops gave us wrong or fake antibiotics, which didn't help. So, during that time we had the need for a thermometer but couldn't find any after searching whole Tapovan. Her condition worstened and nothing helped, but after a lot of convincing and back and forth, we brought her to the Rishikesh Hospital, masked up and evading the doctors in the entrances, who were to trying to catch and test all the "Covid Tourists". We found out, after the usual India chaos, that she had a bladder infection that had started spreading to her kidneys and that she had been in quite a bit of danger.

She stayed in the hospital for 4 days, we visited. 

That gave me this idea, what if I could build a thing that had say, a Body Temperature Sensor and a HeartRate monitor and for convenience a Powerbank and a Lamp. We definitely wouldn't have been so clueless and unaware of the danger that she had been in. Our friend slowly got better with the help of the right antibiotics. Soon after that, we decided to leave from Delhi for Germany with the last...

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  • 1 × ESP32 DevKit C
  • 1 × MJ1 18650 upcycled Batteries
  • 1 × AMG8833 Thermal Imaging
  • 1 × Sensirion SCD30 CO2
  • 1 × MAX30102 Thermal Management and Protection / Heat Sinks

View all 12 components

  • [H6X] UI Update

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 22:03 0 comments

    (5/24/21) Progress:  66,9%     Hardware: v9       Code: v9.9

    I've been working on the UI and made some progress i want to share.

    Mainly Home and Menu Screens and some minor updates. I realised i haven't featured the Air Quality/indirect virus detection theory functionality yet, that will be getting its own post soonish. 

    These are actual screenshots of the display (or photos rather, haven't figured out the eSPI screenshot readRect() code yet). Some pages are still cluttered and older, and i have yet to implement smooth fonts, but it's at a good state to show and explain.

    here is what i've got (short video after the Jump!):

    Read more »

  • [H6X] State of the build #4

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 21:56 0 comments

    (4/28/21) Progress:  65,6%      Hardware: v9       Code: v9.8

    Change-log:

    • implemented AMG8833 8x8px Thermal Cam
    • added Button2 library for Interrupt double-click detection
    • enabled INA260 Interrupt low voltage alarm to trigger system power off through Buck converter EN pin
    • removed pull-up resistors on all I2C sensors, keeping 10k main I2C pull-ups
    • bug fixes

    Issues:

    • detecting SD unmount or error inside Loop() not working anymore
    • removed MPU9250 for AMG8833 to work (I2C addresses)

    AMG8833 Functions:

    Using Algorithm from the Adafruit AMG88xx Library.

    Screen shows:    Center Point Value, Max Value, Min Value, fps,  Interpolation Time

    • LowRes Mode         30x28 Pixels Interpolated, 12 fps 
    • HighRes Mode        120x111 pixels Interpolated, 1 fps (+Auto-Exposure)
    • Full Screen burst mode     collects the highest value out of the full array
    • Center Point burst mode   collects the highest value out of the 2 center pixels

    Button Single-Click:    Trigger Burst Measurement (small 0.49" screen shows 3-sec countdown) 

    Button Double-Click:  Toggle Measurement Area (Center Point, Full Screen)


    In HighRes mode i maxed out the Resolution so the frame Rate drops to 1. The Colour Temperatures are mapped to onscreen Min and Max Temps. Kinda works like a simple exposure compensation in a normal camera. The adjusted values get passed on to the LowRes mode if switched. Default temperature scale is 22C - 33C.

    It features a Burst Mode (Averaging Mode) to get a more accurate reading with the 8 bit sensor values, by averaging 50 samples over 3 seconds. Measurement will always be taken from the highest temperature seen by the Sensors inside the selected Measurement Area (Full Screen (64px) or Center Point (2px)).

    Issue: i can't, for the life of me, figure out how to access the full color spectrum to have smooth color transitions. I tried using the eSPI colors and a conversion method, but could only get it to work by accident with smooth colors going from dark blue to purple, and dropping 6 fps. no good. Has something to do with the 16bit color mapping and how they are arranged in the array, but i don't understand how to access/map them correctly.

    more after the jump:

    Read more »

  • [H6X] State of the build #3

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 21:47 0 comments

    (4/23/21) Progress:  64,8%      Hardware: v9       Code: v9.8

    Update: Time for some pictures of Hardware implementation and UI progress:

    Prototype v9
    Layout of Battery pack, power & charging boards inside the Thermal Duct, that the empty battery slot creates.  Components are mounted on Aluminium heatsink that goes from top to bottom with maximum exposed surfaces to the Airflow.  There are two levels of PCBs in this design. 3x 2S 2A Chargers(?), 4x 3A voltage buck converters, INA219 + INA260, 400w PWM Controller, 2S 20A Protection/Balance Board. Hoping Air will still flow ok.  Also still figuring out the power path for charging.
    Loading Screen
    Loading Screen (random selection of 12 different screens), shows loading errors and reset reason
    Progress with the UI: It's still not very beautiful, but already does almost everything that was planned. 
    Battery Pack tinkering & Electronics Prototype
    Battery Pack tinkering & Electronics Prototype
    Home Screen displays most important Data Points
    Home Screen displays most important Sensor Data.  The whole System has a warning Screen for critical Over/Under - Temperature, Voltage, Current, Wetness values and sets everything into Low Power / deepSleep modes. Phone-like Status Bar for SD card, Logging, Fan, WiFi, Battery, FPS, Lamp, time since reboot. Small 0.49" Screen cycles through sensor values, shows alarms and indicates charging.
    Read more »

  • [H6X] State of the build #2

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 21:47 0 comments

    (4/23/21) Progress:  61,4%      Hardware: v9       Code: v9.7

    Change-log:

    • replaced MLX90614 BCC with AMG8833 64px Thermal cam
    • added Sensirion SCD30 - CO2, Temperature, Humidity Sensor to support fairly inaccurate CCS811 & HDC1080
    • added secondary tiny 0.49" OLED screen (displays sensor & error data)
    • added additional INA260 Voltage & Current Sensor (15 Amps max)
    • added mini GPS Module in plans (not ordered yet, still researching - PA1010D ?)
    • added self-error checking/disabling for Sensors & SD reader
    • sped up code by a lot! (avg 80 fps)
    • made progress with UI/UX menu (new Debug & Info Screens, Charge Indication etc...)
    • implemented deep Sleep & low Power Modes

    Issues:

    • conflicting I2C adresses for RTC, MPU & AMG8833 (go Serial? or one has to go)
    • how to manufacture precise aluminium bends (r 1.75cm)
    • voltage still unstable bc of  janky breadboard/cables & too many components (occasional i2c errors) guessing  soldered connections and better wires will fix this

    Issues with the power Path/Charging:

    USB-C input needs 9v from wall charger to work, because i am using non-balanced 2S, 8.4v, 2A charging modules that don't boost the voltage.

    i tested multiple 2S charging boards TP5100 in parallel and i think it killed 2 of them. So charging would be limited to 1 charger with 2A max, which would take way too long (over 16h). Maybe going 2S was a bad idea, but it gives me the ability to toggle these (HW-313, 3A) voltage buck converters on and off via their enable pins. And voltage conversion differences between battery voltage and the component voltages are lower. (highest is 12v, lowest 3.3v)

    Having a balanced, protected 2S (3 terminal) buck-boost converter/charger supporting 7A with USB-C PD4.0 polling for voltage, input and output switch, would be a dream (MJ1 Batteries support 6.8A charge rate, which would take 6h30).. if my math is correct.

    I know designing a custom PCS with charging/power/protection/management features, sensors and as much as fits on it would probably be the best solution, but i don't have the expertise yet. Arduino and Alibaba modules it is for now. 

    unless someone wants to help?

    New Component / Feature Illustration:

  • [H6X] State of the build #1

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 21:43 0 comments

    (1/25/21) Progress: 42,7%    Hardware: v7       Code: v7.3

    Issues:

    • Airflow, heat management, heat expansion of materials.
    • Getting my prototyping circuit up and running again. switched to a new breadboard and wires and now all the voltages have dropped.

    no idea how to tackle the charging path. Schematic &  more Details after the Jump

    Read more »

  • First Concept Renders.

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 21:41 0 comments

    This was my first version. With a hilariously complicated tray, pushed by a tiny linear Actuator, comes out to show you all its brains. Moved away from that. Also the old version was much bigger and heavier with a double 9x9 18650 Pack.

    Going for a 6x6 Hexagonal design now.

    Read more »

  • Sensor Testing.

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 21:41 0 comments

    Had first successes with the CJMCU-8128 (CO2, tVOC) and MAX30102 (HeartRate), WiFi, Screen:

    Read more »

  • Proof of Concept + Story/Idea

    Manu Bender06/09/2021 at 21:39 0 comments

    This is the first prototype, to give Aluminium bending and tolerances a try. Also ordered 3 different materials for the cover. Denim, and two types of faux Leather.

    Read more »

View all 8 project logs

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