I decided to open a new thread regarding my work on IR communications. I have hijacked mrpacketheads thread on Ear to Ear Communication long enough...thanks again.
I will post a quick history from the other thread for reference after providing a quick review of key elements here.
Purpose of this Thread:
1) To discuss and share Infrared (IR) communications as it relates to light shows and other communuication needs.
2) To provide updates on the progress of my portable TX/RX IR system for use with lighted headsets/ necklaces, or other lighting elements.
My goal is to develop a IR transmitter and receiver that will take several channels from my main light show and convert them to an IR transmission that is received by a portable device (like a headset worn by a person that contains lights). The portable unit will contain a minimum of 2 GECE bulbs as the lighting effect. This way my guests can share in the immersive nature of the light show with blink flashy fading lights on their head sychronized to the music and other lights on the house.
For the sake of this discussion.... the remote portable unit will be refered to as a headset... even though I am still deciding on final configuration (i.e., Necklace, headband with lights, magic wand, lighted baseball cap...etc).
I plan to build about 20 headsets to hand out (on temporary basis) every night to kids and adults alike. The headset needs to portable, so it will be battery operated that will last at least 5 hours. Headsets will be recharged every night. I plan to replace the underlying head band for sanitary reasons as the unit gets moved from guest to guest. This will be accomplished with velcro attached to bulbs and electronics pack.
Several transmission stations will be built to provide proper coverage of IR beams. I currently believe 3 stations will be sufficient and placed on trees and portions of building to get proper spread.
Transmitters will sniff the 38.4kBaud main lighting Vixen bus and pull off 8 channels (red, green, blue, control for each GECE bulb). An SX processor will perform the sniffing and reformatting of data for IR transmission. The SX will generate the requisite 38kHz (now 57kHz) carrier and then modulate it at 2400 Baud (now 4800 Baud) for output to the IR LED emitter. I plan to use 160mW emitters in groups of 3 for each transmitting station.
The Headset electronics will then detect the incoming 2400 Baud (now 4800 Baud) IR signal with an IR detector and send that inverted RS232 signal to the RX SX processor for processing. The RX SX will immediately reformat the 8 incomming channels for retransmission to the 2 GECE bulbs. This entire process is proving out reliable at a 100 ms update period. However, the new faster IR Detector no longer requires a rest GAP time of 25 msec, so updates are well within the 50 msec period with 4800 Baud. Running at full 20 Hz update rate.
History to Date
Here are post links to previous threads describing progress and findings (See Ear To Ear Communications Thread)...
Distance Test: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...978#post211978
Battery Test: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...032#post212032
IR TX/RX Test: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...241#post212241
GECE Control with IR Test: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...253#post212253
Transmitter Range Test: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...352#post212352
Inversion of Logic Increases Range & Schematic: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...386#post212386
Increaing Baud Affect on Reliability: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...420#post212420
Headset Protoype: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...432#post212432
Outside Range Testing: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...481#post212481
Complete System with Vixen - End to End Test : http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...505#post212505
4800 Baud Achieved: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...384#post213384
Range/Distance Outside Test w/57kHz Carrier: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...914#post213914
Multiple Transmitters: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...961#post213961
Prototype I Manufacturing -Headband Style: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...981#post236981
Coin Cell Battery Test: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...337#post237337
Weight Breakdown of Headset: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...183#post238183
New Rudolf Headset with Baseball Cap: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...979#post238979
Preliminary Real Show Test of Headset/Transmitter: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...500#post239500
System End to End Test in Live Show; Flicker Elimination: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...471#post240471
IR Reindeer Headset Debut a Success: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...963#post241963
IR Headset Receiver / Transmitter SX Code:http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...492#post242492
Sequencing the Headsets - Easy Method: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...638#post242638
Timing Diagram for IR Communication: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...406#post243406
Logistics of Managing Headsets: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...691#post253691
Video of END TO END test (W/Vixen): https://vimeo.com/44708555
Video of Headset in Action: http://youtu.be/b5dlFordOls
Video of All Three Prototype Headsets in Action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBn5vSnY7AA
Video of IR Reindeer Headset Debut: http://youtu.be/9In1cqq8Nyk
Status to Date
- Battery test complete - over 7 hours of battery life with 4 AA batteries; Final unit will use 4 AAA batteries
- IR distance test completed with 60 ft using standard TV remote and 30 ft with TX/RX 2400 Baud serial transmission (2 -15 mW emitters)
- TX module prototype is done and working receiving VIXEN serial stream and retransmitting on IR band (includes hardware and software)
- RX module prototype is done and working receiving IR transmission at 2400 Baud and controlling GECE bulbs properly (includes hardware and software)
- Vixen Light Show successfully integrated into the loop; Complete end to end testing works!
- Communication is robust and reliable. Interruption to IR beam is managed well and system recovers quickly and cleanly
- Upgraded to 57kHz carrier and improved detector... running at 4800 Baud
- Implemented 300 mW/sr IR transmitter circuit (57 kHz carrier)... working good with increased range (>30 ft in lab, reflected, indoor test).
- Completed Range/Distance test with outstanding results...over 108 ft reception at 4800 Baud. Good swath of coverage
- Succcessfully ran dual transmitter test (2 carriers) with proper IR Detection...even with small phase shift between carriers
- Succesfully fabricated Production Prototype that fits in 2" x 2.25" board; Runs at 4800 Baud with Vixen sequence
- Performed Coin Cell Battery Test: They are not adequate in capacity....Will stay with AAA batteries
- Weighed headset components and determined Battery and case comprise 40% of total weight; GECE bulbs and mounts comprise 47% of total weight
- Built Transmitter enclosure for loft. It will be added to the end of the data line.
- Designed and fabricated a new baseball cap style headset... Rudolf... using coroplast as endo skeletal structure
- Preliminary test of Transmitter and Headset performed; Headset responded with good range; Some noise flicker exists in lights
- Eliminated flicker with split data bus and incorporation of checksums
- Tested and Debuged IR Headset Transmitter in real live show; Corrected IR Transmitter#1 AC power issue with Surge Protector in loft
- Sequenced all 15 songs to include Headsets: Recommend using pre-exsiting background channels in your sequenece... copy/paste
- Posted SX code for both TX and RX units on forum
- Manufactured 10 Reindeer headsets total for this season
- Logistics of managing headsets require babysitting them; Requires stamina and inclimate weather can have an affect on the success of your show
1) Evaluate and Develop a low cost PCB surface mount and DIP versions of IR RX; LabRat leading PCB layout and prototype tests