Apr 21 2009

Connected!

Since I decided to make a closed system I realized that there was missing something very important: W-LAN! So I first wanted to go with a W-LAN USB-stick but I thought it would be better to keep as many USB-ports as possible free to have the option to implement more cameras without using a hub. So I checked the reviews for PCI W-LAN cards on amazon.de and found the “TP-Link TL-WN651G” on the 1st place. Because it has some very good reviews I additionally ordered the “TP-Link TL-ANT2405C” W-LAN antenna.

Today the card and the antenna arrived. The implementation and the installation of the drivers took only a few moments and after several minutes the system was online.

dscf5636


Apr 20 2009

The box is on the finishing straight

Today I visited the joiner’s workshop for the hopefully last but one time. If everything goes well I can pick up the finished box on wednesday. Here are some more pics of the grounded box, the frame and the top:

dscf5630The grounding hasn’t dried yet.

dscf5631The square hole on the left is for a contactor and terminal panel which I havn’t build yet and the rectangular holes are for the speaker. The round holes you already know from my last post about the box.

dscf5632There are two faces hidden in this picture. Are you able to find them?

dscf5633The frame

dscf5634The top


Apr 20 2009

Ayo, I’m not tired of using technology

…so I assembled the PC for my table on last friday and installed the official beta version of Windows 7. It’s running fine since friday evening and I can’t wait to implement it into my table.

dscf5604The components (power supply unit, mainboard, DVD-burner, HDD, 2x RAM, CPU)

dscf5605The RAM (”Geil” is the German word for “awesome”, but is also used for “horny”)

dscf5611CPU + cooler

dscf5613The cooler comes out of the box with already assigned heatsink paste. One work step less, cool!

dscf5615The heart of my table – the CPU

dscf5616The successfully installed cooler

dscf5617The new – more powerful – 450 W power supply unit, which will replace the 300 W one.

dscf5619System is up and running.

dscf5621No, it didn’t take that long to install Windows 7 (because of the closed shutters), but I made a break of several hours.

dscf5627PS3Eye is running at 640 x 480 pixels and 60 fps – what else do I want more for now?


Apr 17 2009

Next intermediate result

Today I visted the joiner’s workshop for the second time. The building process of my box proceeds and all parts will be finished and grounded by the end of the day, so they’re going to varnish it after the weekend. I don’t have to tell you that I’m very excited and can’t wait to have the finished box standing in my room, to implement all the insides! In order to shorten the waiting time I made some more pictures. As I’m writing this post, the postman delivered the second supply of my ordered PC components, so you can figure out yourself what I’m going to to now! ;-)

dscf5597The frame for the inside of my table. The EndLighten will lie on top of the inner ledge. It’s 6 mm higher than the outer part of the frame, so LEDs and EndLighten sit at a level. The boreholes serve to screw on the frame to the box. The oval notches serve as cable through-lets.

dscf5598All parts are mitred cut.

dscf5600The parts will be glued together. For a higher stability little wodden platelets will be inserted into these slots.

dscf5601The side part for the fans. Below the holes there will be a slot for the speaker. The brown part will be covered with a embedded grid. This will also get varnished. The other side part will look the same but headfirst, so the speaker-slot will sit above the the holes for the air passage. This will generate a better circulation.

dscf5602The top of the box. The 7D006 will be embedded and glued onto the ledge.

dscf5603The magnetic tape and the bolts in the corners will be applied at the end when the varnishing is done.


Apr 16 2009

Make some noise!

After I made up my mind to implement a computer into my table, there was one last point, I didn’t really think about yet: sound! I already saw a table with speaker – namely Seth Sandler’s “AudioTouch” – but my first thought was: “You don’t gonna need that in your table!”. In the last days I changed my mind. “There also has to be sound in this table, if you want to have a closed system after all!”, I was thinking.

So here’s a short story. Yesterday I ordered two speaker assemblys from conrad.de but after discussing a while with a good friend of mine, I gave up the idea to use a car power amplifier to power these speaker. Instead he gave me the advice to use PC speaker to avoid the unnecessary assembling and wiring of the speaker and the power amplifier. So I researched deep into the night for some good 2.0 stereo speaker for a maximum of 100 Euro.

A little while later I fell in love with the “Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II”. They were indeed a bit out of the planned budged but what I read about them sounded so promising! After a little odyssey of placing and cancelling orders, I finally bought them this evening as a exhibition piece for “just” 97 Euro at a local “Saturn” market. After hearing them in action playing some of my favourite tracks and watching a episode of “Lost” I won’t ever give them back. They’re creating a hell of a sound, therefore there’s no subwoofer is involved. Honestly they’re a bit exaggerated for my table, but you never know! :-D

For all those, who wonder how to fix them inside my table: I don’t have a solution yet, but I will figure something out. There will be two large slots with the size of the removable facings and I’ll fix the speaker right behind them. Maybe I can use some angle iron or something like that.

dscf5588This is a harmless packaging and I don’t know what to say about it.

dscf5589The two towers

dscf5590Oops! Even when they’re naked, they still look pretty!

dscf5596The speaker in action next to my 22″ screen. While hearing some music during writing this post, I’m tempted to let them stand on my desk, but I can’t do that for my table’s sake. ;-)


Apr 15 2009

Intermediate result

Today I visited the joiner’s workshop of the joiner who’s building the box for my table. I discussed some last details on the position of the fans, a air outlet and some speakers. I also took two pictures of the actual status of the box. There’s still a lot of work to do, but he’ll hopefully finish it by friday, so it’s ready for varnishing.

dscf5585Unfinished box – part 1

dscf5586Unfinished box – part 2


Apr 14 2009

AMD Inside

Instead of searching for eggs on Easter Sunday I rather occupied myself with my multi-touch table. With a view to current prices for hardware, I decided to raise my budget and to implement a computer into my table instead of using my desktop computer for it. So I assembled a configuration which should work for now and hopefully some further years.

With a view to the next release of tBeta, which will hopefully be more optimized for quad core processors one day and the upcoming PS3Eye driver for Windows with multiple cam support and also the final version of Windows 7, which will support multi-touch natively, I bet on AMD’s current flagship – the Phenom II X4 940 with 4 x 3,0 GHz, since I made very good experiences with AMD CPUs over the last years.

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition

I ordered the components at www.mindfactory.de and www.nordpc.com – two German shops with excellent prices and fast shipping. The complete configuration looks like this:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Box
Mainboard: MSI K9N2GM-FIH – Motherboard – Mikro-ATX – GeForce 8200
RAM: 2x GeIL Value DIMM Kit 2048MB CL5
PSU: be quiet! Straight Power BQT E6-450W
HDD: Samsung F1 HD322HJ 320GB SATA2 7200 16MB
DVD-Burner: LG GH22NS30 SATA black bulk

Since I decided to implement the computer into the table, I had to replace the power supply unit, because my already bought be quiet! Pure Power 300 W wouldn’t deliver enough power to the configuration above + fans + LEDs and I don’t want to use two PSUs.


Apr 7 2009

EndLighten brightly polished

Last week I brought my EndLighten to a plastics-speccialist in my town, since I was afraid I could destroy the edges through flame-polishing. A polishing process with sandpaper was too much work and besides I didn’t have the necessary sandpapers at hand. Two days later I received a call, that my piece was ready to pick up. I don’t know, which polishing-method they used, but the edges look and feel very smooth.

dscf5578Polished edges – part 1

dscf5580Polished edges – part 2


Apr 7 2009

I’m no box-champ

…so I decided to assign a joiner respectively furniture-designer to build the box for my table. Since I’ve spend more than just a few Euros on my project, I want to have a smart and modern table at the end.

I’m sure I would be able to do it by myself, but at the end I would have a unstylish wooden box, which serves the purpose, but doesn’t look really good. Since a modern multi-touch-table is more of a technical piece of furniture than just a wooden box (in my opinion!), I didn’t want to go that way. Besides I don’t have the equipment a joiner has to work as clean and precise like he does.

My job insisted to design the setup, the box itself (that happened partially during a long conversation I had with the joiner – more precisely he gave me some additional advices) and to integrate my components into the box, so please no one strikes on the idea, that I let somebody else do the (whole) work ;-)

The top of my table will look just about this:

MTT Top


Apr 7 2009

Pimp my cam

Since I meanwhile got all parts for pimping my Sony PS3Eye, today the time had come. Last week I already dismounted a cheap USB webcam I ordered from ebay some days earlier, following the advice of NUI Group member “Aitor”. This cam only costs a few bucks including shipping and has built-in a lens mount which fits perfectly on the board of the PS3Eye with the same spacing between the screwholes (18 mm from middle to middle). I don’t know how people can earn money, since the cam costs 2 $. Maybe it doesn’t work? I don’t know – I just need the lens mount. Funny thing, that a few days later I received another cam of that type without ordering or even paying for it – crazy! :-D

dscf5479Nice package, right? All too well that the cam hasn’t to work.

dscf5482Okay, it could still work, but that doesn’t matter anymore.

dscf5484Doesn’t really look that cheap..

dscf5487The two screws on the backside have to be removed for lifting up the lid.

dscf5489The inside looks like this. There are another four screws I had to remove to lift up the board and to remove the lense mount from the board.

dscf5492After lifting up the board I only had to unscrew the lense out of the mount.

dscf5493And here it is.

The next important component was the “NIR Optical Filter” I ordered round about two and a half weeks ago from ebay seller “omegabob”. Highly recommended, because he manufactures these filters intentionally for using them in a PS3Eye. And he ships very fast!

dscf5451The filter in a protection-box laying on the transmission chart.

dscf5452Very little pretty thing, isn’t it?

The third important component had been the longest time in the coming – the wide angle lens from dealextreme.com. At least the shipping was free.

dscf5532“2.1mm 160-Degree Wide Angle Lens for Security Cameras and Webcams”

dscf5535This lid will be very helpful while inserting the lens into the mount!

Okay, now here we go. Since I’ve gotten all my components together, the rest was no big deal anymore.

dscf5556Lens, mount and PS3Eye with NIR Optical Filter already implemented.

dscf5561You have to deal the board with great care, because as you maybe can see I already broke a very small corner of the cmos-chip’s glas while inserting and testing the NIR Optical Filter last week, although I didn’t screw the mount too tight.

dscf5568After cleaning the NIR Optical Filter with a Q-tip, I also used it to push the filter into the mount. It fits perfectly in it and since it’s a bit lowered unlike before, I don’t have to worry about crushing the cmos-chip’s glas, because now there is a space of 1-2 mm between the glas and the filter.

dscf5571I didn’t use the original scews any more, because they were to small and short for this mount. Instead I used the screws from the dismounted webcam.

dscf5574And here is the result of the combination of the used components.

sony_ps3eye_nir_optical_filterPS3Eye Test App with original lens (running in the evening with a shining lamp)

sony_ps3eye_nir_optical_filter_wide_angle_lensePS3Eye Test App with new wide angle lens (running during the day with bright daylight – it’s only about the field of view, not the brightness or something else)