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Thread: DIY ALD from off the shelf parts

  1. #1

    Default DIY ALD from off the shelf parts

    I think its possible to create not only a very competitive ALD (assisitive listening device), but also a hearing aid system from off the shelf parts as well. In other words you make your own system. I believe a simple system can now be built by people that are not electrical engineers or similar.

    I think a parts list could be assembeled such that even non tech people can purchase and use.

    Rough estimates - good hearing aids run about $3000 each. A device like a Zoomlink runs about $1500. So thats roughly $7500 for a system that will be obsolete in 2 or 3 years.

    I think we should attempt to make something simple to give people an option. Maybe this will fizzle out to nothing, or maybe it will take off and be useful and developed, or maybe its already been done by others a thousand times I dont know.

    I got inspired my what Musick7 did, except it looks like he is high tech capable, I am not so much. Also he is doing the processing inside his hearing aid which is a principal I dont want to follow. I want the processing done outside the hearing aids to free the hearing system from the #1 bottleneck and limitation of hearing aids -Processing power which which is limited by available battery power.

    I would like to start very simple and follow the KISS design idea (keep it simple stupid). Its possible that even trying to build a very simple system involves problems that will essentially impossible for the layman to oversome.

    I would be nice if others would buy the parts too, utilizing the ideas here or thier own ideas, but at least provide your gained knowledge here for others to benefit from. I purchasd some items on Amazon last night and they are being shipped out. Its my attempt to piece together a very simple starting system that uses bluetooth, cost so far is $128. Many of these parts can be used for other things so service a dual purpose which is nice. I have to run now but will be back later today.
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  2. #2

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    Some very good information on what bluetooth is at wikipedia at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_profile

    Its a technology that I have ignored for years and know little about. It sure has developed alot though recently and has become much cheaeper.

    I am looking at this as being two problems, a software problem and a hardware problem. To me the software problem is where I want to get to, where all of the potential is. I envision geting to the point where I use a PDA or similar with small usb sound cards attached to process the sound, then cheap class 1 usb bluetooth dongles attached to transmit sound to class 2 or class 3 bluetooth recievers in the hearing buds. The hearing buds will look identical to a BTE hearing aid as a final goal, with the mold and the casing simply purchased from some source.

    quick review on bluetooth

    ClassMaximum Permitted Power
    mW (dBm)Range
    (approximate)Class 1100 mW (20 dBm)~100 metresClass 22.5 mW (4 dBm)~22 metresClass 31 mW (0 dBm)~6 metres

    ClassMaximum Permitted Power
    mW (dBm)Range
    (approximate)Class 1100 mW (20 dBm)~100 metresClass 22.5 mW (4 dBm)~22 metresClass 31 mW (0 dBm)~6 metres

    Latency is an issue with bluetooth, I think what that means is that there is a delay between the mic getting the sound and what you hear. Thats way beyond my scope right now so I will ignore it but it could end the project as well as many other issues.

    My first goal and to assemble a simple wireless microphone speaker system. In fact I am going simpler than that. The first goal is simply a wireless mic that transmits sound via bluetooth to a usb bluetooth reciever attached to my pc. If I can succeed there great then I can move on to the next step. It seems like it should be a simple thing but you never know.

    I tried to get a class one (320 ft range) bluetooth transmitter that was portable, I cannot find this nor do I know if it would be considered safe to wear this powerful of a transmitter around your neck. I think what I ordered was a class 2 with a 33 ft range, good enough for now. Here are the parts I have so far:

    100m Wireless Bluetooth USB Dongle for PDA/PC/cellphone
    Kinamax BT-USB Wireless Bluetooth 2.4Ghz 100-Meter USB 2.0 Dongle Class 1 External Adapter
    Cyber-Blue Bluetooth v2.0 EDR USB Dongle Class 1
    Tiny Bluetooth USB Adapter Dongle (Black)
    Sony Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Transmitter (Model# TMR-BT10A
    3.5mm Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Audio Dongle Adapter for CD/DVD Players MP3 MP4 PC PDAs iPod PSP any 3.5mm Jack Devic
    Jensen WBT210 Bluetooth Portable Universal Stereo Receiver with Intergrated Microphone

    Some problems that immedietly come to mind. I doubt the bluetooth transmitter's 3.5 plug will provide phantom power for a microphone. If not I have some self powered mics. I think being able to use any mic you want is critical and full of potential. For example, the pockettalker will not let you use standard mics which is irritating to me.

    As can be seen you can get usb bluetooth dongles now for $1.50. I got some of those to see how they work, plus some more expensive class 1.



    ClassMaximum Permitted Power
    mW (dBm)Range
    (approximate)Class 1100 mW (20 dBm)~100 metresClass 22.5 mW (4 dBm)~22 metresClass 31 mW (0 dBm)~6 metres
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  3. #3

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    A prof in texas doing a very similar system
    http://www.hearinglossweb.com/tech/ci/tech/pda.htm
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    153

    Default

    I have purchased an I-pod touch which is similar to the I-Phone but doesn't have a cell phone. There are hundreds of thousands of applications that can run on the touch. I purchased one for $9.99 called "Sound Amp". It basically turns my I-Pod into an ALD. Since the Touch doesn't have a a microphone, you have to use a mic/headphone plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack. There is one mic/headphone combo called "monster" that separates the mic from the headphone part and gives you about 30 inches to place the very strong mic on a table for example (I attach the mic to a fork and set it in the middle of the table at a restaurant or meeting. The Sound Amp program has several settings, one is flat, and the other three increase the higher frequencies in different configurations. I find the flat to sound the best. I can use it without my hearing aids. I know some people who have used ear buds with their CIC and also get good results. I haven't tried it with my I-com because the earbuds are good enough for me. I've tried it with bluetooth headphones but the software cant access the bluetooth on the I-Pod...yet. The author of the application is working on that. So, the I-Pod touch costs $199.00, and the mics/headphones are about $25.00 and the software is another $10.00. The Touch is a mini computer with wifi and tons of other cool stuff. This is the future for ALD's.

  5. #5

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    That is great to hear. The apple products tend to be very good. I know my wife's ipod is like indestructable and the sound quality is second to none.

    Thier application idea is fantastic where you can get almost any application with more coming. I am planning to get a more generic version of a PDA like thing but the apple products are hard to beat.

    I found some really good reading at the prof's website mentioned at the above link. I enourage anyone to google his name and surf his site.
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  6. #6

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  7. #7

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  8. #8

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    Some of these links were really hard to find. Here is one of the best ones...

    http://www.hearcom.eu/about.html

    Once again the Europeans seem to be ahead in like, everything
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  9. #9

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    It turns out that building a simple mic, headset system is very possible, but some basic problems need to be solved. So far I am stuck right at the beginning, learning about bluetooth. It turs out that bluetooth USB is available widely in europe and japan, but not so here yet for some reason, at least not in such a way that it is easily configurable with Windows and other operating systems. I know that licensing fees and greed in general are responsible in a large part to the difficulties people here face in getting these things to work on thier pc for now.

    I briefly got one USB adapter to work and will continue.

    I recieved my Sony portable bluetooth transmitter with 3.5 mm input and Jensen reciever with 3.5 mm headphone jack. They work very well. The sound quality sounds to me like CD quality, absolutely no noise or hiss, even though the 3.5 mm connection is not ideal (but it is the most flexible). The transmitting range is 10 to 30 feet so far, good enough for now.


    I would skim through these links if you are interesting in this subject. The second article is great to me not so much for the speech recognition, but for the fact that it cleans up the sound so well.
    http://www.maycom.nl/Documents/ManualNtrans.pdf

    http://www.wolfgangherbordt.de/resou...technology.pdf

    ******
    Listen to these sound files if you hearing is good enough. Incredible!
    http://www.wolfgangherbordt.de/6.html

    http://www.wolfgangherbordt.de/7.html
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  10. #10

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    I forgot to mention, that I can only spend about 30 minutes a day on this project. So it will it will be slow going. Right now the problem is getting a bluetooth dongle to be recognized by windows and understanding in basic terms how it transmists files and sound.
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