VFX1 Virtual Reality Headset LinkBox

 

[Kevin Mellott’s] take on the VFX1 was to update it so it can be used with modern computers requiring just a USB socket and VGA feed.

The VFX1 is a Virtual Reality Headset that hit the market in the first half of the 90’s. The headset was the first of its kind to hit the home market and was ahead of its time. The VFX1 was developed and marketed by Forte Technologies, who’s assets where purchased in 1997 by Vuzix who now produce modern day Video glasses with optional tracking system.

What [Kevin] has achieved is nothing more than remarkable. The original system required a massive ISA card and a link from this card to the Feature Connector on the display card. [Kevin] did away with the ISA card and FCON replacing it with what he calls the LinkBox. This LinkBox has serial or USB out and accepts stereo/mono VGA input or RGB.

The system can now be used with modern day computers including laptops. Those into VR should really check this out.

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Hacking iPod headphone controller for use with Android

[Buddhra] wanted to use a set of ear buds that also had a controller built into the wire. The headset he chose to go with is meant for use with iPod, but he figured it should be possible to make it work with Android too. He was right, and managed to alter the controller for Android use and still fit it into the original case.

He had already made a custom control module that has fast forward and rewind features and play/pause events. The signals used for the controls are based on resistive dividers. The play/pause button on the iLuv headset already worked, so he cracked the controller open to see why the forward and back buttons didn’t work. It turns out all he needed to do was add the right resistors to those buttons. Here you can almost see the 0603 surface mount packages he used to add a 220 Ohm resistor to the back button, and a 600 Ohm resistor to the forward switch.

Making a Bluetooth Headset into a Wireless Music Streaming Device

This bluetooth headset hack, although simple, may provide some hacking inspiration. Turning a Bluetooth headset into a wireless input for one’s stereo is definitely something that makes one think “why didn’t I think of that?” It’s also good if you’ve got a tight hacking budget as there’s not a lot of stuff to buy.

In addition to a possibly broken headset, a 3.5mm stereo plug and some wires are needed for this. Throw in some tools that every good hacker should have around like a soldering iron and glue gun and you’re ready to get started. [Dex] does a good job of describing the process, from disassembling the headset to wiring the stereo plug to it. When making the conversion, one must remember to bridge the left and right output channels, as most headsets only output a mono signal.

There’s not a whole lot else required to do this hack.  Could be a good beginner project. For another Bluetooth-based hack using scrounged equipment, check out this Cellphone controlled retro-radio hack.

Bluetooth handset hacks

Cramming Bluetooth headset circuitry into an analog telephone body has become an extremely popular hack. With declines in the prices of these headsets, and older telephones being seen as storage-room-clutter this hack is just waiting for you to get started. Join us after the break for a look at what others have already accomplished.

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iGiveUp Bluetooth handset


Instructables user [ManaEnergyPotion] has posted a rather humorous Bluetooth handset hack. He simply took apart an airsoft handgun and a Bluetooth headset, and then placed the components neatly within the case. The earpeice is actually in the barrel of the gun, while the microphone is in the handle. You pull the trigger to answer a call, or to end a call. The best part is that they took this to the iPhone product launch, and posted a video of people’s reaction to this as an actual product concept. You can check it out after the break.

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$25 head mounted display


[Jake] sent in his source for a cheap head mounted display. In his writeup he notes that the spy video car comes with quite a pile of handy electronics – video tx/rx, camera and this simple black and white monocle head mounted display. (Which happens to be available as a replacement unit for a mere $20) The screen is a Kopin 300M (Black and white, 300×240 pixels) The display is actually somewhat usable out of the box, but he takes the time to note some simple mods that’ll improve the displays performance.

If you ever bought a virtual boy just to gut the display, then you know you want one. In fact, I’ve got a perfect project in mind for this particular toy.