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 Feedback wanted: Planning the next projects [helmet coms, wireless gauntlet?]

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Oh hey, it's Mau again.  The Thermal Detonators and various Helmet Fan Controllers are finished and selling on Etsy, and added to my trading post post, so now the question is:

What next?

I have a few things I can finish designing and build, mostly things I want for my own kits, but I want to get feedback on what would make it more useful for the masses so I can help other people out as well. I've considered posting a load of ideas and taking preorders, but I'm not sure about that. I'll deal with that later, for now, what do?!


General-purpose remote

This would be a kit you install in your gauntlet or sold as a standalone prop you can keep somewhere handy. It's a general-purpose remote controller that can work with all my other wireless-enabled props. I've got a few ideas for this that may result in a few options:

  • LCD (2-line) display OR simple LED indicators
  • Pushbuttons you can mount wherever makes sense for your prop
  • Control helmet fans and display battery levels (if relevant)
  • Control thermal detonators, display battery levels, transmit audio
  • Control helmet coms, etc
  • Control helmet / costume / prop lighting

I'd likely design that bit to be powered off AAA batteries, 5V USB power bank, or an internal rechargeable battery. This would be available as a circuit board with a place for connectors or wires that you can hook up to compatible switches and lights for a somewhat seamless integration into your existing prop.


Wireless helmet fan control, built in 5->12v converter

After playing with the 12V fans, I like them. The 5V fans are also very nice, so it's just up to how high you want "high" to blow. That said, USB power banks output 5V and unless you solder in a boost converter, 12V isn't easy to get. I've made a revision of the circuit board that still takes in the 5V USB connection, but outputs 12V for use with 12V fans. Oh, and lights

  • Same high->med->low cycling as the current fan setup
  • Wireless control and status from the universal remote thingy above
  • I've added a second button for the 2 fan setup, optional, for individual control
  • Built-in 5v->12v boost converter


Oh and also RGB LED strip controller

Something I see a lot is "how to control a 12V LED strip from an arduino?". Well you get a transistor and a boost converter and some solder and...

Okay so my fan controller outputs 12V now, so I can make a variant with a 4-pin RGB- connector to power your LED strips, and you can install it in any part of your costume, link it up to the universal remote, and control  (or synchronize!) lighting effects.  I'll try and find a way to make reprogramming the lighting effects easier.


Helmet comms!

This was actually my first project that I hadn't finished because I got distracted, but a central module to manage these bits:

  • Helmet mic -> External speaker (optional TK Talkie feed-thru / PTT trigger connection)
  • Helmet mic -> 2-way Radio (I use motorola radios here)
  • External pickup -> internal speaker/ monitor for hearing aid
  • 2-way radio -> Internal speaker / moniitor

The original design was for in-glove PTT buttons similar to my TK-Talkie's button, which control where you're talking (over the radio or out the speaker). Since I've figured out wireless, I can add wireless control for the PTT to be a button on your gauntlet. It's possible that the audio signals can be transmitted to other props as well (so in theory you CAN transmit to a thermal detonator as a speaker but SHOULD you?)

Essentially, this would be a helmet-mounted module that mixes together the various audio signals and provides some clever switching and PTT triggers for the external devices.


The Whole Sabine Gauntlet

This is something I considered listing as a thing I make and sell, but until I can think of more uses for it the cost for the screen and hardware is a little too prohibitive. It was fun to have at the last convention I was at, and totally drew a lot of attention, but all it really did was tell me the time and let me view text files (convention schedule). All in Aurebish, which is like Aurebesh but for a matrix display and you can read it without translating anything.

Still my favorite build, so if I can come up with ideas for the gauntlet to do (wireless control, of course), then I'll be glad to continue work on Sabine's (and other OC's) gauntlets.



That's mostly it, for now. All of the designs above I have started on, but I don't want to start final design/assembly until some feedback comes in, or fresh ideas. If any of those sound cool to you, let me know! And, if you want help/advice on how to make your kits all shocky and such, I'll be glad to help.

:sabine:

« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 04:32 PM by MauAbata » Logged
The Helmet Comms!

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Kurz


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Yep, definitely helmet comms

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Looks like the helmet comms kit it is for the next project. I put some more brain cells into it, and will get a mockup of the project and a build thread going if I do anything particularly interesting with it.

The idea is Yet Another Box you put somewhere in your helmet, with a bunch of connectors. On the helmet side of the box:

  • Mic in from stereo external mics (like what most people are doing with the Velleman or similar personal amplifier devices)
  • Mic in from your main communication mic (mounted inside the bucket by your mouth) or a throat mic if you use those.
  • Audio out to whatever earbud/headset you use in your helmet, or speakers mounted inside (maybe a small amp for the speakers)?

On the other side are the connections to the other devices, which can be individually plugged in or probably connected using a single cable that branches off for ease of putting on / taking off your helmet. That connects to:

  • Loudspeaker or voice mod / TK Talkie -> Loudspeaker
  • 2-way radio (different cables can be made for different models of radio)
  • PTT glove buttons


The module would mix together the sound from your radio and your external mics (optionally ducking outside noise when you receive/send a transmission) and amplify that for you inside the helmet. Either of the 2 PTT buttons can be used to either broadcast your voice through your radio, or amplify it over your loudspeaker.

PTT signals are routed to the radio and loudspeaker device as well, specifically to support the TK-Talkie and add the squelch sound effect to your voice when you key up.

With a little bit more brains this can add wireless integration with that gauntlet thing mentioned earlier, which would show comms status, eliminate the PTT wire in favor of wireless control, and allow for muting/unmuting the environment sounds / comms without reaching into the helmet and fiddling with buttons.

At least, that's the idea. Seem useful?
:sabine:

« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 05:08 PM by MauAbata » Logged

Kurz


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This would be awesome

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Naasad Tal


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I will definitely be watching the progression of this as I started assembling something similar (amp, audio and comms) some months ago and have been planning it for years

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Chris S. OM# 454
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Leira

I've been trying to figure out a wireless helmet com set but have been struggling because I have little to no knowledge of this stuff. I'd be willing to buy it. Will your kit be Bluetooth wireless?

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I'm an amateur with advanced tools and intermediate ideas!

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http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=182907.0
I've been trying to figure out a wireless helmet com set but have been struggling because I have little to no knowledge of this stuff. I'd be willing to buy it. Will your kit be Bluetooth wireless?

I'm experimenting with a couple different wireless ideas. I was considering bluetooth so that you can link up your mobile devices or other standard components, but also considering using a much simpler transmitter / receiver pair. Whichever proves to be more reliable and less frustration-inducing I'll likely move forward with (I *really* don't like fiddling with electronics the day of an event.)

Do you have any other devices (speakers, etc) that use bluetooth? If so, I can keep that in mind when designing this.

---

A note on designing this circuit: Right now I'm working on a quiet audio switch to handle the routing and playing with a few other ICs. I've got a few thermal detonator LED kits that are hopefully funding this experimentation, so some results after I finish mailing those all out.

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Leira

Sorry I didn't see this sooner. I guess I didn't set this post up for alerts.

I don't have any other BT devices.

Right now my rudimentary kit is a Velleman into an audio mixer cuz the Velleman was not picking up well enough. Then I have a BT transmitter plugged into the Velleman paired to wireless ear buds.

I kinda see why this isn't a popular idea right now. It's fiddly at best. If you could come up with an affordable reliable kit, I don't see why it wouldn't sell. I personally don't want to fiddle with wiring something up my shirt and into my ear.

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I'm an amateur with advanced tools and intermediate ideas!

Stainless Steel armor WIP
http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=182907.0

LearRigh


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Only just saw this thread, I've been thinking of how to work this problem myself without having to buy a soldering kit and components.  (I'm tech savy enough that I assembled my last two computers, but I haven't wired a circuit board since highschool).
I was planning on modifying a motorcycle intercom pair, but if you can build a custom kit I'm all in!

Thoughts:
For the Bluetooth issue you could do a stereo jack line in/out - I've used a Bluetooth stereo jack adapter to upgrade an old set of analog headphones to Bluetooth (stereo jack also adds an easy connection point for radios, phones, ect.)
Is it possible to set up a wireless PTT with a "hold on" function for extended speaking?
Any way to integrate a voice scrambler for the internal mic?

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Cabur Akaata #200
Thoughts:
For the Bluetooth issue you could do a stereo jack line in/out - I've used a Bluetooth stereo jack adapter to upgrade an old set of analog headphones to Bluetooth (stereo jack also adds an easy connection point for radios, phones, ect.)
Is it possible to set up a wireless PTT with a "hold on" function for extended speaking?
Any way to integrate a voice scrambler for the internal mic?

Sorry for the late reply, buried under thermal detonators!

So, I'm planning on a stereo jack for all the audio connections, and I have found bluetooth modules I can build in to the unit, but pairing it might be fiddly without some *other* device to act as a screen to select the right device and whatnot. Maybe there's a way to pair two headless devices?

Wireless PTT is something I'm going to build in as either a separate module or part of my universal gauntlet kit (which also has wireless fan control, etc). Hold on is a nice feature, my TK-Talkie doesn't have that [and if you hold the PTT button it enters some other mode and cuts you off].

Voice scrambler? You mean similar to the TK-Talkie or other effects boxes? I *can*, but I was going to instead have a pass-thru for some external device, since that adds a huge extra layer of Doin' Stuff(tm).


I'm currently building out the different sections--amplifier, mixer, digital volume controls, etc--and will have those prototype boards sent shortly with my reorder of thermal detonator boards.

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Jarek Tahl-Tracyn


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"Need this" for the new bucket....  :P

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Ner goyust di gotal ti te taakur’a beh ner aru'ela’a bal ner can'gal’a mareka te sho'cye beh val tal.
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i've been working for a while to try and build a set of motorola walkie talkies into my helmet so it can be paired with my wife's. i think it would be extremely useful at cons and events, and would gladly buy a pair if you do end up selling something like that! :D

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