Othello Goggles


This weekend I was faced with many new challenges. I etched the first circuit I’ve ever designed in Eagle and with the help of my friends as well as Mark’s fancy tools, I also learned to surface mount all the tiny bits onto it! What you see above is the product of lots of patient help and fruitful collaboration. Thank you to Krux as always for developing the code and teaching me the various processes along the way. I am a better nerd than I was a week, or three weeks ago. This is indeed the brain of our first spawn; first of many.

I will outline the production of the project now. Like the ‘3D Light’ goggles, I began with all the exterior embellishments, black and white mirrored motif in leather to complete the othello look…:


With the leather pieces in place, I then soldered my RGB piranhas to little pieces of protoboard, connected some 26 gage white stranded wire to the leads and snaked them through the vents on the sides of the eyepieces.


I created a mounting piece for the bat switches (intended to control the LEDs) with a white plastic pulley gear and cut a slot in the side of the google with my dremel to fasten it in place:


Once this part was finished the body of the goggles got tucked away for a while and we began working on developing the code (which is still getting improved upon).  A protoboard was built up with all the same components.

Krux wrote the program used to customize the colored LEDs in the lenses of the goggles. We decided on beginning with two modes for various degrees of LED control. The first mode (basic) would allow you to switch back and forth between each eye with a toggle button, and then switch the R, G, and B channels on and off with three corresponding bat switches.

The second mode (extended) allows you to switch back and forth between each eye, select a color channel, and then modify that color’s intensity in increments of 10% with the toggle button. This would allow for more specific color customization:

Next we built the circuit in Eagle. I had never used this program before so it was another learning experience. In spite of how tedious it was I loved plotting out the design of the traces. It was like solving an evil puzzle and creating art all at the same time… weeeee:


After this was finalized we immediately printed it out and began the board making process! It took a few tries to get the toner ironed on clean, but once we did it was smooth sailing. The fun with chemicals in the garage yielded one perfectly etched PCB.

The next day, I drilled the holes and Krux cut/sanded it to size:


Next was the surface mount part. As it was Saturday and we were attending the usual Hack Up at Mark’s garage, I had everyone around for moral support while I guided the flecks of dust into place with tweezers and melted them down with gobs of shiny. All and all it was fun and I feel I did well for my first time:


Lastly, Krux connected headers to all the wires on the goggles. It was then only a matter of tying up some loose ends and plugging everything in:


I sewed the board onto the strap along with the power supply and voila:




Though they are technically in working order and cool as hell to look at (and wear)… the code is still being developed. Expect demo videos in the near future! Also, check out the rest of the project images here:

One response to “Othello Goggles

  1. Pingback: Othello Goggles « adafruit industries blog

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