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Audio Para-meter 2: self build  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Mar 4th, 2008 01:24 PM
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Slider2732
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Joined: Mar 3rd, 2008
Location: Muskogee, Oklahoma USA
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I joined this site to help further the thoughts by Keith that I read about, on working together in this area. No point me building a version of the Frank's box/Spiricom/Spirit Telephone and keeping it quiet ! Secondly, i've learned so much from reading posts here that to not post would be remiss.

Here's mine:






Functions are:
Frank's Box derivative, with variable scan rate and LED notifications of signal reception and rate scan.
Infra red sense
Static electricity sense
Flashlight

This shot shows from left to right: audio out, internal/external sound switch, on/off switch, flashlight button. On the top are infra-red sense LED, scan rate dial (speed of scan LED above, received audio LED underneath) and BF245A static electricity sensor LED.
The unit uses an external wall plug 3V-6V supply or rechargeable battery. Bridge rectified and smoothed to allow practically any wall adaptor. A USB supply is enabled by using a simple build lead, to change the flat plug to round plug.
The design is based on an old HP mouse, my current favourite boxes of choice while not having employment (Immigration Visa to the USA from England).
My Para-meter's feature several proven useful devices and are diode seperated to minimise possible function interferance.
Audio out is either through the small horizontal gap in the reworked mouse case, or through the earphone port, for recording to PC/portable recorder. Internal space is maximised to allow for some bass and the slit approach on the top works well in conjunction.

More pics (early stage and apologies about the purple camera trouble)
Left side, showing the power port.
 


Underneath, showing the speaker (handy for sticking the unit to metal objects when hands free listening).



Powered up and pressing the flashlight button.




One area I have to work on, unless it's a bonus, is the scanning. While it works great for a few seconds, depending on scan rate, the unit then finds no stations. It results in a background noise each scan. This should mean, you'd think, that audio after that point would be clear of transmissions....it is.
So this audio recording has me perplexed.
http://www.mp3space.com/file/20177/pmfb04robot

Over the build period and testing, the unit would go quiet of found stations after the first few seconds, staying like that. At the point this audio was recorded, it had been switched on for a good couple of minutes. I went to record, to show the speed scanning in operation and noted the interferance...followed immediately by the robot voice and then the crash cymbal type noise. The robot is the second sound piece at the start of the recording.
We've recorded a robot here at the house before now, when, perhaps similarly, we had introduced several new pieces of electronics to our webcam setup.

Am interested in your thoughts of the Para-meter and the recording :)

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 Posted: Mar 6th, 2008 10:13 AM
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Slider2732
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I've noticed something quite major, after having read a lot more posts since joining the forums.
It would seem that I have many of the component parts in place for Spiricom work, within the Para-meter devices already built...but not arranged in the same way. A lone road into improvements over a 6 month period, with circuit design, tweaking etc has brought me to the unit above...but without knowing much at all about Direct Radio Voice or Spiricom.
I can post my half dozen previous units, with pleasure, if wanted.

So, when I posted this unit was when I began to really read up on the work done by others here. To which, I now feel quite humbled !
Thing is, all has come from a sort of inspiration, thoughts on something that may work, bits of circuit and uses for components seemingly unconnected as full devices. On reading more, I find that much has been put together by myself without knowing why lol
Quite honestly, I have often walked up our stairs from my basement and suddenly had an idea, the idea gets built.
If my unit seems that way, it is !
Perhaps it's been a prompting or perhaps not...I just know that everything is tieing in and I find that situation compelling, to research more about the whole area and peoples successes.


Gaining a robotic voice in one of the first trials of this unit, seems to be a hint to work toward such devices as DaveEVP has constructed. His Optical Spiricom mp3's opened my eyes and ears a bit I can tell ya :)

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 Posted: Mar 8th, 2008 08:35 AM
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Keith Clark
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Hi "Slider"

That was a very interesting clip, I enjoyed listening to it. As far as building electronics, it's not something I'm extremely familiar with - though I can accomplish it when needed.

Your device looks pretty creative and neat, and I think the audio sample you provided sounds promising.

I would say that yes, I have often experienced and now attempt to channel this energy of "knowing", the creative impulse to just do without wondering about all the "why's". After a period of time, it appears to work very well for me also. As an end result, I'm working with things I would have never thought possible. And it's fun.

Everyone is a contributor here, though the board has not grown large yet. There is no brand name or trademark of ITC electronic devices, though some may be well known. When it comes down to it, the device does not play as big a part as the experimenter - who is essentially "the receiver."

I look forward to reading more of your posts and hearing about your experiences, remember to continue following your own tuition.

Keith

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 Posted: Mar 8th, 2008 09:38 AM
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Slider2732
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My wife often says 'so how does it do it ?' about some projects that gain results..and I reply 'I dont know' LOL
So i'm very guilty of the build now and find out how it does it later method.
On checking through and rerunning through chip datasheets i'll often find out the effect is supposed to be there and nothing much of real use, so pull it to bits.

One exception has been the Intel 8255 chip. It's supposed to be a general I/O device for working with Intel CPU's. A bit of experimenting found that it formed a fantastic basis for an EMF detector, with very few external components beside a coil.
Not bad going for a 1970's chip :blink:



 

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 Posted: Sep 23rd, 2008 08:27 PM
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joecioppi
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Hi Slider,

The mouse housing makes a beautiful case for your projects and can be purchased from surplus sources. I found a surplus source of housings designed for walkie talkies
for my Joe's Box that has lots of room inside. I bought 100 @ $0.25.

The TDA7088T receiver IC needs a reset for each complete scan of the
FM band or the tuning voltage will rest on a open frequency and static will be heard.
The reset period depends on tuning rate and number of available local FM stations.

joecioppi






Last edited on Sep 23rd, 2008 08:48 PM by joecioppi

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 Posted: Sep 24th, 2008 10:38 AM
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Slider2732
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Thanks :)
I find that a design is shaped by the mouse and would much rather that than housing the unit after it's been built, if you see how I mean. This one was taller than most and so enabled fitting a decent sized internal speaker. I quite enjoy building things into those small areas that a mouse provides and there are quite the myriad of mouse shapes around.
100 cases eh, that's some major project work! Walkie talkie shells are great too, being designed to fit in the hand.

If the TDA7088T needs a reset, which makes sense, then the robot voice is perhaps even more bizarre. I'm planning on opening this one back up and doing some 'leg' experiments. Hopefully I can make it auto reset, if indeed running out of stations and yet keeping on scanning isn't the key to future results. Either way, i'll find out more about the chip inside.

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