Author Archives: Pneumatic

PTT is no more

I’ve finally gotten rid of the need to use a Push-To-Talk button. In addition to removing the code that actually waits for it to be pushed, I improved the utterance detection slightly, so that it doesn’t go off with small noises and feed garbage into the modules. In my relatively quiet office, it seems to […]

Mixed success at #EBMF19

So the East Bay Mini Maker Faire was a mixed success. A few people were able to get the phones to work fairly well, and even played a few games, and the wifi worked reasonably well so I was able to administrate and monitor the phones. However, the phones mostly were mishearing people in very […]

East Bay Mini Maker Faire

This is a bit last minute, but I’m going to be presenting the phones at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire on Sunday, October 27th (3 days from now). It’s going to be held at the Park Day School in Oakland (California). I mistakenly believed that when when Maker Media folded (since sorta resurrected), that […]

Oh No! Not Make!

I was dismayed to hear last Friday about Maker Media ceasing operation. I heard rumors at the last Maker Faire that it would be the last Maker Faire, but I didn’t think the demise was that imminent. The CEO/Publisher of Maker media–Dale Dougherty, is a former boss and acquaintance of mine, and he stopped by my […]

More chip computers

I wrote last year about the demise of NextThing.co, the maker of the CHIP computer inside the gruephone. I thought that meant that all future gruephones would be based on the Raspberry Pi series, mostly the Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+. So I was astounded to discover that you can still buy chip computers, though […]

Gruebox 2 lives!

I finally got Gruebox 2 (the grue-phone based on the rotary chest phone) assembled and sorta working. It’s put together, but I’ve redone the solder joints between the handset and the speaker and mic jacks several times, and they’re still really noisy and temperamental. I will likely have to pull it apart again for some […]

A cap at a jaunty angle

The box-phones are coming together. Gruebox1 (the touch-tone one) is more or less complete, and Gruebox2 (the rotary one) is almost ready to be assembled, however I’ve noticed that the voice recognition is abysmal, which is strange because when I was using an old computer headset to prototype them the recognition was passable, if not […]

Notes for GrueBox 2 rotary mechanism wiring

This is the wiring block from the rotary mechanism: The connections are as follows with the dial facing down with the wiring lugs at the top, from left to right they are yellow, blue, white, and red. Blue, white, and red are open when the dial is at rest, and closed when the dial is […]

Miracle cure

There’s an old engineering meme about wd40 and duct tape. It’s really true. The dial mechanism on the rotary gruebox was slow and balky–running maybe 1/4 the speed it was supposed to, and one shot of wd40 and it’s running right as rain. Contrary to popular myth, wd40 isn’t a lubricant exactly. It’s mostly a […]