Veho 360 speaker: a must-have accessory for your Propeller BOE

Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,668
While playing around with some cheapo external speakers on my Propeller BOE at Parallax, Andy alerted me to one that Kwabena had last summer as an intern. I contacted Kwabena and found out it was the Veho 360, a really audible speaker with a short cord and jack, slider-adjustable volume, and USB recharging. Purchased two of them. They're $16 each on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Veho-VSS-001-360-Portable-Capsule-Speaker/dp/B002CS2T4I and probably cheaper elsewhere. Ask erco to find the best deal.

These are of great quality. Plenty of volume and responsive to different frequencies. They'll fit under the Propeller BOE on a PropBot and would be considered an absolute must-have for anybody who picks up a Propeller BOE when they are released (update: just after Christmas, and yes, I'm doing everything I can to get this production underway). Having seen some of the examples being developed by Andy and the education team I think you'll want one of these. Below is an example with my primary use at the moment, a talking ultrasonic distance sensor.

The speaker is louder than it sounds considering it's on level 2 (of 3) and that I'm talking directly into the camera's microphone.

From my home office, and only reporting erco-worthy news finds. . . Ken Gracey

[video=youtube_share;XXv3Nw5jqFY]

Comments

  • 27 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • bomberbomber Posts: 297
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cool! I will devinently be getting one of those!
    " 'I hate my code' is the developers version of 'Do I look fat in this dress?' " Quote by Kelly Sommers
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 19,551
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken,

    I really like the rechargeability aspect of that thing. I can't count the number of 9V batteries I've gone through with my little RadioShack speaker-amp because I forgot to turn it off. Do you have a sense yet of how much actual play time you get between charges?

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they'’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’'s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It'’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • doggiedocdoggiedoc Posts: 1,994
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Just ordered 2! Thanks Ken!
    Some times my mind seems to wander..... these days I just tag along.
  • ercoerco Posts: 14,462
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    You'll find me in the new Robotics forum.
  • zappmanzappman Posts: 321
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have been using these speakers with my propeller boards, Diamond MSP 100B Mini Rockers Mobile speakers they are rechargeable and stereo, only $20.00
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 5,699
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cool! Now if I could just get *MY* Propeller BOE!! :smile:
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • graffixgraffix Posts: 373
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil, says 8hrs constant play.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 19,551
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thanks, graffix! (I guess I could've read the specs. :) )

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they'’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’'s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It'’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,668
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    mindrobots wrote: »
    Cool! Now if I could just get *MY* Propeller BOE!! :smile:

    That makes two of us, because I can never get by with just one of these boards. I'm very confident this is the best board we've ever delivered - it's all here, packed into a really handy size. The right number of decisions were made regarding I/O usage vs. I/O jumpers to connect to devices, leaving 14-16 I/Os free all the time. And those pins that are connected are attached to must-have tools! If C has been a hold-up in some educational situations it'll be the case no longer, too. Hopefully I convey confidence and not arrogance as I really just want people to know the Propeller BOE is a fantastic Propeller programming platform.

    Ken Gracey
  • KyeKye Posts: 2,200
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The speakers last like forever between charges. If used sparingly, the one I used lasted 6 months between charging. I didn't use a whole lot but atleast the battery keeps its charge.
    Nyamekye,
  • Kenny GardnerKenny Gardner Posts: 168
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    What is that display?

    I have to have that!

    Kenny
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,668
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    What is that display?

    I have to have that!

    Kenny

    Hey Kenny, it came from EarthLCD but it is no longer available. It's a 5.7" VGA and I made the stand for it on our router.

    Ken Gracey
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 10,826
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Nice and tiny speaker. Great find.

    However, the speech audio leaves much to be desired ATM. I could not understand the 22 at all.

    I too loved the LCD display Ken.
    My Prop boards: CpuBlade, TriBlade, RamBlade, www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index)
    Emulators (Index) ZiCog (Z80)
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd)
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 19,551
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cluso99 wrote:
    However, the speech audio leaves much to be desired ATM. I could not understand the 22 at all.
    'Sorry. [sigh] I'm confident that Chip's vocal tract object can produce intelligible speech. It's "just" the phoneme translation that needs additional work.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they'’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’'s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It'’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 10,826
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Yes, I was just commenting. It is great that a prop can do any sort of speech given the amount of work and the time it has taken to get any computer or phone to do it.
    My Prop boards: CpuBlade, TriBlade, RamBlade, www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index)
    Emulators (Index) ZiCog (Z80)
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd)
  • Tracy AllenTracy Allen Posts: 5,617
    edited December 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    In connection with another thread I was looking for a small but good-sounding OEM speaker. When this note about the veho360 came up about the same time, I jumped on it too, to hear what might be possible and how they did it. It does in fact sound very nice for its size and is a good bargain. Anyway, for anyone who is interested, here is a teardown.

    veho360.jpg

    I slit the bellows in the middle, which is quite unecessary, as there are (As I discovered to my chagrin) four small phillips screws that hold it to the bottom of the casing. That reveals the back of the 4Ω 2W speaker and a glimpse of the circuit board in the bottom half.
    veho_sliced.JPG

    The top of the bellows is glued to a slip ring that allows the top to rotate freely (at least up until the point that you over-twist the loose flexible speaker wires!) Again I jumped the gun by pulling the bellows loose from the slip ring. You can get it out with the slip ring attached by judicious prying with a screwdriver. Under the slip ring it becomes evident that the speaker and the grill have been put in place with an aggressive adhesive in a well on the other side.
    veho_4ohms_slip_ring.JPG

    The circuit board is sparse, one SOIC-8 audio amplifier chip. The chip is marked MD2103N, and the logo looks sort of like a crescent moon. I wasn't able to locate that chip in a quick search. Wire connections off-board go to the audio input plug, the lithium battery, and the speaker.
    veho_lithium.JPG

    The battery charging circuit from the USB connector to the Lithium battery is pretty simple, a 2.2Ω resistor, a diode, and a capacitor. It is no wonder they instruct you not to leave it on charge for more than 4 hrs. Batteryspace.com sells a similar lithium polymer battery (PL502030) rated at 230 mAh.
    veho_litium_bottom.JPG
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  • tdlivingstdlivings Posts: 435
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    @Ken
    Is the propeller BOE pre-order happening yet?
    I see you now list the 360 speaker in new products, do you plan on a higher price package version of BOE with added accessory's like the 360 speaker?
    I also like the display but alas not avaiable.

    Tom
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,668
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    tdlivings, the Propeller BOE pre-order will begin on Thursday. It was supposed to begin today but I was kink in the process.

    The veho360 speaker will be included with all Propeller BOE pre-orders.

    There are a few other accessory parts we will offer in a single package (SD Micro Card, veho360 speaker, wires, and an XBee). That kit hasn't been defined yet, but if you wound up buying it you might have two veho360 speakers at some stage.

    Ken Gracey
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,385
    edited January 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    So when will someone hack the lipo battery connection so the veho will power a small prop circuit too?
    Andrew Williams<br>WBA Consulting
  • gwtthrgwtthr Posts: 30
    edited January 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    If you disconnect the battery will it run off usb power?
  • roglohrogloh Posts: 398
    edited January 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    gwtthr wrote: »
    If you disconnect the battery will it run off usb power?

    I suspect it should but won't regulate voltage too well. Actually I saw one of these the other day in a local retail shop nearby and was tempted to pick one up to go pull it apart and use it for something I am working on, then I ran into this older thread which had already done it. I did some digging online and think I have found a data sheet for it (but it is in Chinese). A google translation of it looks like it runs at up to 5V so it probably can run without the battery off USB. However the 2.2 ohm resistor and diode they used in series is a bit ugly and it probably relies on the actual battery for some of the voltage regulation. Without the battery fitted you'd want to strip those two parts out in order to keep a stable voltage supply when the current draw changes. Ideally I would add some type of dedicated voltage regulator between this chip and the power source. I can't say I like the charger circuit much, seems scary doing that with LiPo batteries.

    Here's the best link I found with some specs. It doesn't say MD2103N but does show MD2103. I hope it is very similar or the same part but don't know for sure.

    http://www.chipsourcetek.com/Downloads/MD2103%20v1.0.pdf

    Roger
  • gwtthrgwtthr Posts: 30
    edited January 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    rogloh wrote: »
    I suspect it should but won't regulate voltage too well. Actually I saw one of these the other day in a local retail shop nearby and was tempted to pick one up to go pull it apart and use it for something I am working on, then I ran into this older thread which had already done it. I did some digging online and think I have found a data sheet for it (but it is in Chinese). A google translation of it looks like it runs at up to 5V so it probably can run without the battery off USB. However the 2.2 ohm resistor and diode they used in series is a bit ugly and it probably relies on the actual battery for some of the voltage regulation. Without the battery fitted you'd want to strip those two parts out in order to keep a stable voltage supply when the current draw changes. Ideally I would add some type of dedicated voltage regulator between this chip and the power source. I can't say I like the charger circuit much, seems scary doing that with LiPo batteries.

    Here's the best link I found with some specs. It doesn't say MD2103N but does show MD2103. I hope it is very similar or the same part but don't know for sure.

    http://www.chipsourcetek.com/Downloads/MD2103 v1.0.pdf

    Roger


    Thanks. I'll take a look at the specs and try to decide which way I want to go with the battery.

    Maybe I'll test it without a battery in the circuit. I can always wire it back in.
  • roglohrogloh Posts: 398
    edited January 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    gwtthr wrote: »
    Thanks. I'll take a look at the specs and try to decide which way I want to go with the battery.

    Maybe I'll test it without a battery in the circuit. I can always wire it back in.

    So I picked up one from the store and opened it up like Tracy had done a couple of years back now. It still all looks the same, no apparent design changes. I plan to yank out the battery as I want to embed this in something else with its own power supply. One thing I realized though is that the usual 500mA current capacity of a USB port may not be sufficient to drive the power at full rated output on a 4 ohm load. I think the amp can put out 3W at 5V into 4 ohms which would pull more than 500mA (depends on gain and input levels etc). The LiPo battery can probably source enough current for that, while USB is in their design basically just for charging.

    As I plan to run at a lower voltage in my application it shouldn't be a big deal to remove the battery and add in a 3.3V regulator between USB and the amp, and this lower voltage may limit the current on USB (it is very loud already so I am not worried to drop it slightly). One more potentially useful thing is that the Left and Right channels appear to be wired into the USB socket as its data pins, so you could in theory use one cable to run everything to it, power and audio signals combined. Could be handy...

    Roger
  • gwtthrgwtthr Posts: 30
    edited January 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I've used my new Veho 360 a handful of times and my jack is already separating from the wire. I'm very disappointed.

    IMG_7277.jpg
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  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 5,668
    edited January 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    gwtthr wrote: »
    I've used my new Veho 360 a handful of times and my jack is already separating from the wire. I'm very disappointed.

    No worries about that gwtthr. Drop my your shipping address and we'll replace it for you. I agree that the speaker shouldn't fall apart so quickly and we can do a warranty replacement for you.

    Ken Gracey
  • gwtthrgwtthr Posts: 30
    edited January 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Wow!? Really? A replacement? Talk about great customer service. I thought I was out of luck. One more reason to be happy I choose Parallax. Thank you!
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