Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Silent Running


We like to include a picture or graphic with every post but there was nothing new to show today. There has been lots of unseen progress made in the past few days. First off the major hardware testing is done and everything that needs to work does! There are some minor bugs like the buttons being connected to the wrong power plane and the enable pin on the LDO (Low Dropout Regulator - the chip that provides a stable power supply) being connecting to the downstream side of the power flow. But those are all minor issues that are fixed with a scratched out trace and a bit of bodge wire.


The microphone and the LED control programs both work perfectly on their own. The next step is to combine them, a step that is easier said then done. We will be hard at work merging these two pieces of software and will update as soon as we can!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let there be light!


The LEDs are soldered on and the test code is lighting them up! As soon as the package from Digikey come in we'll add the microphone and really start having fun. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

They're Here


After months of redesign work and weeks on order the new circuit boards are finally here!!! We will be spending the next few days building and testing them to make sure everything is perfect. Picture progress will be uploaded as often as possible!


On the ride home from FedEx office

Before leaving the parking-lot... too tempting!

Can almost see them!

One more layer!!!
Ohhhh yeah!!! Can't wait to get some LEDs on them!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A complex little city


Laying out the PCB is like designing a city but where the streets can't touch. The PCB design is well under way and will be finalized in the next few days. Once its complete a small order will be placed to verify the design. The PCBs will be hand populated by us and rigorously tested. They will then go on to be the golden sets used for manufacturing references. The PCB order will take a few weeks to come in so in the meantime the functional prototype will let us develop the software.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tiny Soldering


There are a lot of changes from PEGS 1.0 to PEGS 2.0 so a prototype was needed to test out all these changes. The new circuit has been point to point soldered and testing has begun. Results are good (and it looks fantastic!) so the PCB is now being designed. After the PCB design is finished we will start on the code so expect some video posts of the working model soon!

Friday, June 28, 2013

FFT success


I have the mic, FFT algorithm and Glasses Designer all talking to each other and working properly. Now comes the fun part, creating the visuals. I've done the classic frequency bars as a test and I think it looks amazing! In the video below you can see it working in real time. I'm playing the music on my computer with headphones attached. They in turn are sitting on the mic which is connected to my prototyping unit. The prototype is processing the data then sending it back to my computer where it is displayed. (I know its a little Rube Goldburg style but it works!) 

If you have any suggestions for patterns let us know in the comments. Or better yet download Glasses Designer and show us what you want!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Adding a Mic


I love things that light up and blink in time to music .There is something magical about not just hearing music, but being visually immersed in it. My most successful product to date is the DALCON which lets you pre-program LED strips to go along with music. But it is built for a pre-staged show, not for walking around at a concert or going to a dance party. These glasses need to respond to music in real time and that means it needs an ear. And not just any will do, we need a MEMS microphone as an ear.

It is the same type of microphone you will find in a cell phone or a smart phone. They are very small, low power and very durable. With very few components it can be attached to the MCU (brain) of the glasses and let it hear similar to the way you hear. All that needs to be done is to interpret that raw data and turn it into a beautiful visual show that I will be proud to wear on my face.


Turning the raw data coming from the microphone into something that can be displayed is no small task. It involves a branch of mathematics called Fourier Transforms. More specifically a programming algorithm called a FFT (Fast Fourier Tranform). Basically it takes the raw data and transforms it into the volumes of individual sound frequencies. It makes the data look more like the way we hear sound.

With the data transformed it becomes an artistic exercise of making pretty animations. Finding the right microphone, designing the proper amplifier circuitry and performing the math is simply what is required. The audio visual animations is the really needed part. It is the part that drives me to continue working, continue building and continue making the next pair of PEGS. 

Party on. And don't forget to subscribe to this blog and like our Facebook page