Head Tracking Redux

So, it’s been three and a half years since I first made my head tracker to aid me in my “Dangerously Elite Adventures in SPAAAAAACE!!!” and for at least half that time I’ve intended to make a more permanent solution…  Well, I finally got around to it!

It started with me finally making an order at DirtyPCBs (formerly ‘dirt cheap dirty boards’) like I’d been planning to do literally since they opened.  I needed a PCB that would allow me to stack an MPU-9150 or 9250 on an Arduino Pro Micro, both common and inexpensive Amazon/eBay jellybean parts.

Head tracker PCB stack.

Something like this…

The turnaround would have been faster but, because I’m an idiot who can’t use a calendar, I missed the cutoff for getting them done before the Lunar New Year (or as I like to call it, ‘Moonpocalypse’ or ‘Lunageddon’ due to Shenzhen practically becoming a ghost town) as it is, once they were in progress, it was quick, and the extra $20 for express shipping was well-spent, taking only a couple days to reach me.  The boards turned out quite nicely.

Head tracker PCBs from DirtyPCBs.

Not bad for $31.95, considering $20 of that was express shipping.

Clearly I had that done back in February… So for almost half a year I’ve had these PCBs kicking around on my workbench.  I learned two things from the next part of this endeavor; I don’t like machined headers as much as I thought. And I’m never delegating soldering to someone else ever again.

Old versus New

Old versus New

I’m quite happy with the design of the housing…  It required a little additional improvisation because the sensor I have is a 10-pin version, so it sticks out on one side.  I printed it in eSUN ABS+ filament, and then sanded the absolute fuckery out of it.  There’s still a stray layer line here or there, but minute enough that the barest coat of primer would hide them…  I want to hit it with a nice matte black finish.

Honestly, I think my favorite part of this build is that I finally got to use my heat-set threaded inserts!  I mean, I’ve sort of used them before, but this time I really used them, in more than just a slapdash manner… Though this is the first time I used the 2mm ones at all. And those tiny freakin’ cap screws! Aren’t they great?! (I almost went with button-head Torx for the coolness factor, but they were too long.)

Now, you may have noticed that there’s no way to attach this to my headset… That was intentional. (No, really!) I didn’t want to spend a ton of time finishing it only to have mounting hardware that breaks, or that only fits my current headphones, etc.  I’m designing a spring-loaded claw that goes on the headband of my headphones and when it’s not holding this in place, it collapses flat. I said to hell with it and ended up using an X-shaped rubber band I bought a pack of a while back… Works like a charm, and it’s black so you don’t even see the thing atop my headphones.

In the not-too-distant future, I hope to make my own head tracker hardware design, based around an ESP32.

Anyway, that’s it for now!

One Response to Head Tracking Redux

  1. Pingback: Week 07, 2015 – Keeping Track of One’s Head » MAKE COOL THINGS

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