calendar perforation

Being able to tear of pages is an important part of the calendar. So I’ve been investigating the possibilities. At first I hoped the printer, Tiggelman, would just do it for me. Alas their perforation turned out to be too vulnerable. The nice people at St Joost art academy and office supplies Benoist gave me the opportunity to test two different systems for perforation: one with a blade and the other with punch holes:

The top page has a stamp perforation. The stack is one year. This gives me insight into the size and weight of the calendar. The total weight will be around 5 kilogram. The thickness will be around 32 cm.

I still haven’t decided which perforation to use. I will have to do it by hand whichever one I choose. But the ease in which the papers can be torn off will be decisive.

test prints

Today I went to make test prints and the results look very promising.

The people at Tiggelman repro were very helpful. They suggested I use a paper called Reviva which has a nice newspaper look. The lines I use in my design are only 0.4 pixels thick and the lighter ones were barely visible when I printed them on my printer. But at Tiggelman they’ve got a very good printer which can print those lines and gives very sharp prints in general. This is necessary as lots of lines are very subtle. They will print a test stack of 500 pages and do all the manipulations like drilling and perforating. I’m really looking forward to holding that first stack in my hands.

xbee hello world!

Today I’ve had my first success with communicating between two Xbees. Mostly thanks to this simple but clear tutorial. After installing the XCTU software with Thijs a few months back I had forgotten quite a lot of his private class “introduction to Xbee”. From his instructions I ordered 7 Xbee antenna’s and one Xbee explorer USB. My goal is to make an Xbee network without using Arduinos with the Xbees. This apparently is possible. But before getting to that point I had to make an Xbee “hello world” to grasp the concept and get the basics right.

In this picture you see the a light sensor attached to an Arduino and Xbee antenna. The Arduino prints the measurements to the serial port. Through the TX and RX pin the Arduino is connected to the Xbee antenna. This sends data to the other Xbee antenna that acts as a receiver. The data is printed in red in the XCTU terminal on the right.

On to the next step: running the Xbee on a battery and programming the Xbee pins to read and send the wind sensor data. To be continued…

non-woven wearable

Because I’m extending the breathing_time project into a workshop I’m doing some research on non-woven materials to make the cones from. The first version was made of paper and felt. It looked very nice but wasn’t very practical. Paper folds and crumbles easily. The felt on the face gets dirty and as it was glued to the paper I couldn’t replace it. The department of wearable senses from the TU/e kindly gave me some samples to experiment with. These are the results:

Lantor producer of all sorts of non-woven materials:

To start of with the best one. This is a thin, black non-woven. It’s very easy to work with. Can be glued with just ordinary collall glue. It sticks very well. The ease of working reminds one of paper. It has some nice extras. You can use sticky tape on it and you can remove that tape without leaving a trace, even after a few days:

This is very useful, it allows me to make a replaceable, protective edge. The bare edge is too sharp on the face. You can also glue two layers on top of each other to make the cone more firm. This has a very stylish appearance:

You can just use scissors to cut out the shape. And it doesn’t tear like paper. So attaching the strap is no problem.

I also tried another non-woven by Lantor. It has a felt like appearance. Very nice but it is too floppy for my purpose and quite hard to glue:

Colbond producer of all sorts of non-woven materials:

This semi transparent, thermally bounded non-woven has a very appealing look. It is stiff, even a bit sharp on the edges. I was really looking forward to trying this out but the result was a bit disappointing. It was hard to glue due to its’ open structure. It also turned out to be very brittle. A fold doesn’t go away (view right end). In that sense it is worse then paper. As I will be reusing these cones with different people they have to stay clean and in shape. This one didn’t stand that test.

analogue input

Today I did a little test using analogue input for my LED. I build my third RBBB today and wanted to take the LED output a little further. For my breathing device it will have to respond to the analogue input of breathing. So I emulated that with a light sensor. Covering the sensor less or more changed the brightness of the LED. For a start it was fine, but with breathing the LED will have to go from no light to very much light to give proper feedback on the respiration pattern.

Testing 1, 2, 3…

Thursday I did it test with all my sensors for 24 hours. It went rather well but there art two main points of attention.

Mathe, Richard an me working (no were not terrorists)

Mathe, Richard an me working (no we're not terrorists)

1. The stealth cam. It has limited capabilities in storage capacity and battery capacity. When I set the resolution to low it should be able to hold 350 pictures. This is not the case, it holds 300 max. Another drawback is that it’s very hard to make out to which resolution the cam is set. So I accidentally set it to high. As a result I couldn’t complete the whole day because I was with friends and I forgot my cable so I was stuck for the evening with a full camera. But I did get some nice shots (view right.)

It takes just one AAA size battery. I used up only 2.5 in 13.5 hours so that was fine. I do have to carry a spare one with me where ever I go. I bought a quick, one hour charger for four AAA batteries so I will never go without.

Tiny cam can be attached with velcro to a card

Tiny cam can be attached with Velcro to a card

I’ve found a very nifty ┬ásolution for wearing the camera. I can pin or clip it to every sort of clothing. The images are still shaky but he, life is bumpy ;) To my relieve people didn’t look too suspicious when I passed them, I’m still a bit embarrassed though.

It was quite a puzzle to see where I missed pictures. (In the future I will note exactly when the camera stopped and restarted.) When I empty the storage it takes at least a couple of minutes to store them on hard disk. So there are gaps. I filled the gaps with duplicate pictures but I’m still files short…? I think the 60 second laps probably isn’t exactly 60 seconds so after a couple of hundred pictures you start noticing that. I’ll have to wait and see how that works out in the app.

The main challenge is dealing with the gaps in the data from all the devices.

2. My Suunto watch does a great job during the day but when I sleep it loses connection with the skin and it stopped at 4 a.m. Which was still almost all night. But it will have to do better when the project actually runs. I think I’ll buy some medical tape to fasten it for the night.

I don’t think it can log 24 hours of data, but it’s close. To be on the safe side I’ll store the data somewhere in the middle of the day.

Logging my activities was a very mindful thing to do. I thought it would irritate me but it made me quiet and alert at the same time. May be using pencil and paper helped there too.