Every now and then I think about small spectrometers (my university final year project was one). Today I'm thinking about ways to have a battery-powered spectrometer communicate with a smart device.
The way I did it in the project was to host a web server on the spectrometer and have it act as a WiFi hotspot. This seems massively overcomplicated and gave me an intense dislike of creating webapps.
Possible reasons to *want* to connect a spectrometer to the smart device:
- Minimise the UI on the spectrometer (this may not be a good goal, but it would help to reduce the cost of the spec itself to the user)
- Do more processing of the data. I'm not sure how much analysis you'd *want *to do without a PC though.
- Simplify the spectrometer itself (but you're just shifting the complexity elsewhere)
Ways I've thought of to do this:
- Bluetooth - not a lot less complicated than Wifi, but maybe less icky? Tens/hundreds of kbps
- Audio - either over a cable (RIP 3.5mm jacks) or coupling through the air (susceptible to external noise). Basically work like an audio modem. Tens of kbps
- Light! - Use camera screen to transmit to photosensor on spec, use light on spec to transmit to camera on device. Data rate is probably LOW (~60bps)
On the subject of "more button is more better", the reason I haven't finished off the electro-sax project is because I want to get the buttons right.
Capacitive buttons are just too much of a pain. I need to keep recalibrating or they go all fucky.
The only problem I had with using the Cherry MX style switches was their activation point being too early. I reckon that could be fixed with a custom slider (if I had access to a resin printer to get the quality I need)
The idea I'm toying with is basically making my own switch. You just have the mechanical part complete a circuit, maybe to something like a battery contact.
There's already a lever I'm pressing down, and I want the activation point to be when the lever is fully down. Why not simplify the whole thing to a switch matrix again?
The only problem I've had so far is finding the right spring/contact for it to hit. I know it exists somewhere, I just need to find it.
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