Friday, August 21, 2009

Niftymitter update - Lingfest testing

Here is a picture of Niftymitter in a sock.

I hammered out two prototypical niftymitters for Lingfest at the start of August: One worked a treat, the other didn't. I don't quite know why, the thing is the one that didn't work was based on Kogawa's copper board soldering method, whereas the one I frankensteined out of stripboard as the proto-prototype still works a dream, along with illuminated switch and all. So more test runs of the circuitry are needed.

On the mechanical level, results were pretty good. Some problems in the acrylic with a couple of protrusions shearing off. Hopefully the give in a ply would eliminate this problem (occurring during assembly/disassembly). On further consideration I think I have abetter idea for the corner joints, finding that my cable ties don't actually latch on that well, occasionally popping off! I am still a little anti-push fits just due to the possibility of fatigue and the limitations this puts on design adaptation (due to constraining thicknesses/materials). I think we need a nifty method of joining laser cut materials at 90 degrees that doesn't involve friction fits or fiddly captive nuts. I don't know if I'm the man o do it, but I'm willing to give it a try!

Usability felt good, nice on/off interaction, light does the job I think, people liked the radio wave graphic emanating from the switch. 9V battery plops out a bit too easily, and general cumbersomeness to the sock/sleeve idea. I actually made this out of an old woolly sock so was particularly prone to catching. I think a neprene would be better but sourcing it is still a problem. Rethink needed.

Functionally, seems to be working great, with the addition of an antenna wire, which one needs to adjust to find the best performance. The circuit seems a little prone to distortion, not sure if there's a way to fix that? must take it down to the electron club for ideas. Anyway, the point is we broadcast three live band sets at Lingfest successfully to the gazebo, toilets and kitchen, all over a radius of approx. 20-30m. Once the levels were adjusted to kill the distortion, everything was amazingly clear. I think the folk in the kitchen appreciated being able to enjoy the gig without having to be in the barn or in the rain!

The venue:

So next steps: try Kogawa style circuit again, raid the EC boffins' brains, model up the alternative corner joints and get the remaining 8 boxes laser cut in bamboo at Ponoko, I reckon. No point hanging about.

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