Thursday, 26 March 2009

Fingers affixed

So it has been and though I'm almost apologetic to do it, it's yet another post regarding the glove. Honestly if this doesn't work out it will be a rather large disappointment for both myself and my hundreds of readers.

Progress has been made and it is traditional to keep you all posted. Apologies for this post is only in English for now, my large Chilean following will have to wait for their usual translated post.

So on to the glove. The fingers have now all been cut, sewn and threaded with copper wire to reinforce and then reattached to the glove using the black leather thread. I am trying to get the glove itself fully done before I start attaching the electronics to it. This way the electronics can go on all at once to avoid unnecessary stress on components.

The speaker and microphone have both been detached and a length of extension wire put in between them and their original mounts. This has been accomplished through the use of the "Third hand" device. A useful "Mad scientist" looking set of clips designed to hold things in place leaving my hands free to solder.

On a sad note, the hands free kit did not work, so to answer a call (which will silently ring I'm afraid), I will need to press the answer key, and then the speaker key so that it uses the working speaker. This is hardly the end of the world, but it is a shame that even if everything else goes perfectly, the phone will still not have full functionality.

A suitable name is still required. An interesting mention by a Mr. Big Dave was the amalgamation of phone and glove to produce glone or phove. The alternative is to produce something from the Latin. Answers on a postcard please.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Glove pics

As per some people's requests, here are a few snaps of the phone section switched on, plus a glove with a prototype finger section added.

Silence isn't golden

Interesting developments in the world of manus-radio last night. With the soldering completed on all of the buttons, it was time to fire it up with the SIM card in (to my shame, I hadn't thought of running a full diagnostics whilst the phone was still intact). Everything was working fine, except that there is no sound!. No sound and no vibration. No there definitely had been sound when I first got the phone and turned it on. This means that during development, the sound had been broken. :-(

It does not mean that the phone is a write-off, there are 2 possible saviours. Firstly, it has 2 speakers on the top of the handset, and the 2nd is used for the "speaker phone" setting which still works.
Secondly I have ordered a hands free kit for the phone which I will ultimately use for listening to calls by wiring them to the thumb and pinkie.

I have noticed that there is also no vibrate function, and I'm wondering whether the speaker at the top is responsible for producing the vibrate feature (which some Samsungs do). Unfortunately Samsung seems to be completely ignored by the Internet, so there's no useful PCB diagram, hackers’ resource or anything else of even moderate use. I'll try emailing Samsung support but I assume that will be like asking for a description of rainbows from a blindman.

Just a couple more days of development. Who knows, maybe next weekend it will get its first outing?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A quick update on the glove.

I spent yesterday evening working on the glove, my first real opportunity since getting back. I have made some discoveries.
- Though my soldering ability has improved, I am still rather crude in my creations. I have just ordered a "helping hand" device that is basically a stand with crocodile clips to help me with future soldering of wires. Also after having another look at the onboard mic, I have decided that it is beyond my abilities, so I've ordered a hands free kit, which I can then cannibalise.
- It's all bloody time consuming. I spent about half an hour platting the copper wire to make about 4 foot's worth and I thought that that would be a quickie. There is still the more time consuming points of sewing the glove and threading the fingers. It may be a couple of weeks before I have something worth taking out in public.
- The buttons take a solid push to activate. This means that they will have to be very well secured so that a push by the thumb will send the signal and not just rotate the finger piece around the glove.
Finally a more happy note, I have soldered and reinforced (via the glue gun), around half of the buttons and they are all working, which is a good sign. Another evening and they should be done and from there it will be on to the mounting and reinforcing.

Monday, 16 March 2009

No glove, no love

Firstly a big thanks to Bruce, who has been good enough to do some of the fiddly soldering that had me break the previous phone. The new device is a Samsung x640, which means a colour screen and even a camera phone. So far the following parts have been done:

- Phone disassembled.
- Battery hard wired in to phone circuit
- Keypad has had wires soldered to all the important buttons
- Remaining keypad has been attached back on to the circuit
- Screen has a wire frame around it ending in a tripod.
- A hot glue gun has been used to reinforce the solder points.

The device can be turned on and off by connecting the 2 wires from the power button.

The next step will be to solder the wires on to the buttons. At the end of this, the device should be fully functional, although rather awkward to use as each of the push buttons will be floating around.

From there the finger sections need to be made using the sections from the leather glove and reinforced with copper wire. I may plat the wire again, as this turned out to be strong but flexible. The down side is that it then becomes rather large and hard to stitch in to the leather of the glove.

The microphone and speakers will need to be removed and their wires extended. This will be the final bit of fiddly soldering, as the microphone has a couple of tiny points to attach the wires to/from. This will allow me to replant the speaker and mic in the finger and thumb. An alternative if this proves too tricky is to find the hands free kit. This plugs in using a tiny jack port, which can then be split quite easily.

Once the fingers are created, they will be attached to the body of the glove using leather lace. Hopefully this will avoid putting strain on the soldered points, though given that the points will be reinforced with the glue gun, it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The final piece of the jigsaw will be to attach the phone body and battery to the back of the glove. If it is still looking rather steam-punk-ish, then I’ll look to paint the various components in copper to give a more distinctive look.

A side issue that I need to give some thought to is that the sim card slot is on the back of the keypad board, I’ll need to have access to it. Perhaps a simple hinge a latch would work, but this will need some consideration.

At the end of it I want a glove that has an air of professionalism to it. This means that the design and style should have a level of consistency across the glove and there shouldn’t be too much loose stitching/ big blobs of glue etc.. It should also be functional. This means that not only should the device physically work, but should be possible to send and receive text messages and calls without constant adjustment or fiddling. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Returning plans

Returning from my holiday, I'm now in possession of an old Samsung X640 ready for dismantling for the glove. Unfortunately this will have to be when I have a free hour. Next week maybe?

In the meantime, an interesting quote:

Out of 100 men in battle, 10 shouldn't even be there, 80 are just targets, 9 are real fighters,
Ah, but the one,
One of them is the warrior, And he will bring the others back.

- Hericletus 500 BC