DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

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PalmerTech
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DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Yo!

I decided to try and make my own VR helmet, as there are no real solutions to what I want out there. Planned specs include:

Internal 5.1 Surround Sound system with USB DAC wired inline
Cooling fans to circulate air through the helmet
Unknown display (Trying to build my own, not sure how good it will work)
Gloss Blue paint job

I have the helmet made of fiberglass, ignore the peeling "paint job", that is just the release agent for the mold that I have not scrubbed off yet. :lol: I know it looks ugly now, but if you ave ever worked with fiberglass, you know that it always looks ugly at the start. ;) I will be stitching together the internal padding after I get the helmet "working".

Anyhow, I am leaving on a trip to a place with no netz today, and will not be back until Monday afternoon, so I will probably be unable to respond to any posts in this thread starting in a few hours. I would have liked to get a lot more done that you can actually see (Been working on the DAC, to be honest), but I promised some people pics, so here they are.

Image

Image
Last edited by PalmerTech on Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by cybereality »

Cool man. It doesn't look like much just yet, but you gotta start somewhere, right? I'd like to see how this progresses.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Made some more progress, got the other sides sound pod cut out. Got the DAC done, working on the force feedback modules now.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

Force feedback on the head? Ouch! lol. Are you going to try those cheap lcd's you mentioned previously?

How about using 7" screens out of an eeepc? They should be under $100 each, just have to add a driver.
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

See those metal rivet plugs? I am adding more along the front of the helmet, I want this to be my testbed for different displays, so I need to be able to fasten the LCD to it, then swap it out with another one easily. ;) I bought one of those LCDs, I also have a very nice 9" superwide display I am gonna try. I always thought "Why the hell do I keep this? It is way too wide to use for most games, and too small to be immersive!" :lol:

EEE display would be nice, but no drivers are out there at the moment, and building one from scratch is more work than I want to sink into this right now. LCDs are easy to get ahold of, the driver is always the hard part.

Force feedback has adjustable force and trigger voltage, it can be anything from just adding a little more bass to shaking your head to a concussion. :twisted: Heh, not quite, but you get the idea. I have another idea for force feedback, it is a bit more fun. I will reveal more when I know if I can actually make it work or not. ;)

Martinlandau was nice enough to tell me he is gonna hook me up with his 3D iGlasses, so I will be trying those first. Then I will try my 9", then my 7". All a matter of how big people would tolerate, to be honest.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

Any more progress to share?
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Progress? Yes. To share? Not yet. :P

I have been really busy of late, but I am still working on the helmet on a regular basis. I will post pics when I figure out how exactly I am going to do the sound on this thing... I am gonna have to make some sort of adjustable headphone pod system, not very fun to figure out.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Quick update:

Got more of the cushioning in the helmet done and sewed up, my next big step is building a pivot and lock system for the sound modules to make sure they make firm contact with any sized head, not just mine.

That is all for now!

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Got a lot done on the audio pivot'n'lock system. Also built a small optics holder, I am testing with some LCD I got from a digital camera viewfinder and a few telescope eyepieces. Obviously, I cannot easily utilize the full FOV of these cheap 44 degree eyepieces, but I can figure out the increase I am getting so I can decide if $150 for those nice 80-90 degree eyepieces would be worth it, or if I need another solution.

Still waiting on you, Martin. ;) I shall PM you, I think.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

The DAC for the sound system is all done, and I have it triggering the quad rumble motors during low frequency sounds (Two smaller ones for light "booms", and two larger ones for big "BOOMS"). I finally found a good source of info for the design of the sound module adjustment and locking system, turns out the US Military had to figure that out for helicopter pilot helmets in Vietnam. :mrgreen: So I have sound from USB, the headphone drivers are working, and the only sound related work is actually building the arms for the mount and adjustment. Oh, and I need to Dynamat the inside of the helmet (Dynamat is a sound dampening material used in high end speaker installs).

On the video side, I have been building two different attachments, one is a heavily modified VR920, the other is a fully custom design based on the work of Leep VR. They will hopefully be interchangable. The VR920 one looks to be capable of around 70 degree FOV, while the custom design is somewhere between 60 and 100 degrees (I am learning the optics as I go, so I am not yet sure. The Leep VR one is going to be a lot larger than I would like, and without a balancing arm of sorts, I do not know how practical long term use will be. :(

So yeah, that is the update for now. :P If money was no object, I would love to get some 800x600 or higher LCOS mini projectors, and use the panels from those.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

What have you used for the vr920 optics? Got an pics of the mod?
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Sorry, no pics at the moment.

I am using some telecope eyepieces I managed to pick up for pretty cheap, $80 each, and I am trying to adapt the focusing barrel from a pair of binoculars I had lying around (The optics could not be used).

If I can get this working, I will definitely be posting a guide. I will probably sell this, too, as I can already see how I would make an improved version 2.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

I just found a surplus store that happened to have lens assemblies that are listed as coming from a Virtual Reality setup. They look pretty complicated, lots of mirrors and lenses, no specs or other info, though. I can clearly see where the LCD clips in, and where the eye goes, so I ordered some.

I will post a link to them for others to buy once my order ships, I do not want them to be ordered out of stock before I get my own. :lol:

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

Anybody own a telescope? Grab your eye piece out and see how good it would work as an optic for a hmd and report back :)
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by vrekks »

I saw a diy hmd that used an old viewfinder toy for the optics. Probobly not as good as a telescope but it is designed with this purpose in mind. If you want to try a real hmd I am thinking about selling my z800. PM me if you're interested.
"Who has ever torn himself from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and scepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred-piece symphony orchestra, full colour, three dimensions, and I being in and part of those incredible parlors."

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

Do you have a link to that? Is it a view master? I cant remember the FOV (i think its rather small) but the slides are similar size to the displays on a hmd so it would work i suppose.

edit. found these- http://www.stereoscopy.com/3d-concepts/vm.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Bit pricey though...
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by vrekks »

http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2906" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - viewfinder thread

Another idea would be to disassemble the Eyeclops mini projector and take the lcd from there.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024I ... MTR7BA6KYB" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You may also want to check out http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Planet-Gear- ... B0016A7PGU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; which contains a 320x240 black and white lcd monocular with optics and everything in a neat little package. You can find out about changing the input from PAL to NTSC by removing a jumper here http://jakehildebrandt.com/2007/09/30/2 ... d-display/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You could even use the mini projector mounted on top of the helmet bounced off a mirror at a transmissive (rear projection) material over your eye(s). That's all I can think of at the moment.
"Who has ever torn himself from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and scepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred-piece symphony orchestra, full colour, three dimensions, and I being in and part of those incredible parlors."

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

vrekks wrote:http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2906 - viewfinder thread

Another idea would be to disassemble the Eyeclops mini projector and take the lcd from there.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024I ... MTR7BA6KYB" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You may also want to check out http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Planet-Gear- ... B0016A7PGU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; which contains a 320x240 black and white lcd monocular with optics and everything in a neat little package. You can find out about changing the input from PAL to NTSC by removing a jumper here http://jakehildebrandt.com/2007/09/30/2 ... d-display/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You could even use the mini projector mounted on top of the helmet bounced off a mirror at a transmissive (rear projection) material over your eye(s). That's all I can think of at the moment.
I have a mini projector I tore apart, the resolution is 480x234. The LCD is 1.7", which is definitely small enough to work with. Of course, only composite input... Still may have some use as a monocle HMD, I have a zooming rifle scope with a composite camera I mounted in the end, so I could hook it up to an HMD monocle for aiming without having to sight down the barrel.

I have played with that ATV thing, the display is pretty terrible. :( However, I bought one of these recently to examine: http://www.amazon.com/EyeClops-Vision-I ... pd_sim_t_4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It displays in black and white by stock, or green tint. However, the LCDs are color! It has dual 320x240 LCDs with a 34 degree field of view, which is actually really nice for the price.

As for a projection helmet, I would love to do something like that, but I am waiting for the 800x600 ones to hit a slightly higher resolution.

Right now, I found someone online who sold me some 46 degree FOV glass optics for my KopinVGA LCD modules (Same as in the Vuzix VR920). :)

I still want to play with telescope eyepieces, but I realized something: The FOV listed for those is a circular image. Once you account for the image being 4:3, it is not nearly as impressive. There are optics out there would would manage a 4:3 image at 67 degree FOV, but they are several hundred dollars each. :(

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by vrekks »

Does the eyeclops night vision use composite video too? Have you been able to feed your own image to the displays?

About the rifle scope, that is so funny, I tried the same thing using an x10 camera and the spygear atv monocular. My goal was to attach some infra red LEDs and the camera to the barrel while the video fed into the monocular. It would effectively provide a DIY night vision scope that could look around corners. It turns out the x10 camera must have an ir blocking filter inside it so I still have some work to do. I mounted it to a pellet gun called the Airforce Condor. It's pretty badass for a pellet gun.
"Who has ever torn himself from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and scepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred-piece symphony orchestra, full colour, three dimensions, and I being in and part of those incredible parlors."

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

I know it uses composite, but I have not been able to feed video to it, yet. Just a matter of taking a few hours off to mess with it.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Wow, I was way wrong. :lol:

This thing has a single LCD, and a splitter so that each eye has a view of it. Interesting...


I will post pics once I figure this all out.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

Keep up teh good fight Palmer, throw us an update. Has the fatshark man made any noise?
Last edited by Okta on Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Woops, sorry for not updating in so long.

Right now, I am still "working" on this, but that work is really just waiting, for these reasons:

1. The fatshark guy did not ship till like a day or two ago. Mostly my fault for not following up with him, though Chinese New Year did not help (He is over in China).

2. I got a girlfriend. 0_o

3. The eyeclops stuff is interesting, but not at all useful for 3D. I am still keeping the lenses, though, might be good for a future mono HMD using a 7" or so LCD. Too big for what I want to do, but may have some use.

Thanks for pestering me, I need it. :P

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Alright! Got my new lenses on my VR920, and I gotta say, it is very, very sexy. 47 degree FOV is absolutely fantastic! The glass optics are good quality, and crystal clear, but there is definitely some slight distortion on the very edges of the image (no worse than the stock VR920 optics, though).

My IZ3D driver trial expired, and the Vuzix drivers do not work on windows 7, so I cannot try 3D yet. :(

I took some pics of the internals, will post later today. And note that while this works perfectly, it still needs a lot of work to make it all hold itself together. ;)

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

PalmerTech wrote:Alright! Got my new lenses on my VR920, and I gotta say, it is very, very sexy. 47 degree FOV is absolutely fantastic! The glass optics are good quality, and crystal clear, but there is definitely some slight distortion on the very edges of the image (no worse than the stock VR920 optics, though).

My IZ3D driver trial expired, and the Vuzix drivers do not work on windows 7, so I cannot try 3D yet. :(

I took some pics of the internals, will post later today. And note that while this works perfectly, it still needs a lot of work to make it all hold itself together. ;)

Well done. How big does the screen appear with 47 degrees in comparison to a tv? And are the optics obtainable for us at a decent price? If so i might get some and a vr920 as this sound like a great setup.
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

At a distance of about 2.5', it is the same size as my 22" IZ3D in width, and a little taller.

The optics are the tough part... The set I got was from a pair that got returned, it was the ONLY set he had. :( He has said there is a possibility at some point in the future of making a gaming HMD, but that is a ways off.

That said, I will likely end up selling this when I am done with it. ;) This was a fun journey, and I am gonna try to get this guy to make a gaming HMD if I can, but this mod is a dead end, one off route. I could document it all I want, but the fact remains that likely, nobody is ever going to replicate this by buying a $300 headset AND a VR920. I have that V8 in the mail for high FOV 3D gaming, and I have a few other smaller HMD projects that do not need the features of the VR920.

Also, the whole thing works, but it is a mess, gonna need to do a lot of rewiring to make this fit in the case. ;)

So I guess the best way to put it is that unless I can get this guy to either sell just the optics, (He gets them from his factory as assembled units), this project is not a good way to go. As far as VR920 mods, I am still a firm believer in cylindrical optics. My current plan is to finish this, play around with it a little bit, then sell/trade it away so I can continue in my quest to make a TRULY awesome DIY HMD. Not sure if a VR920 is the best base, but it may be.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

Hey Palmer any more udpate or pics to share? Ive got a bunch of meccano and some more magnifiers on the way to play with for my project.
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by PalmerTech »

Nothing to speak of. I had some real life issues hit me rather hard, I lost my entire workshop area, so everything is packed up in boxes right now.

I am hoping I will be able to start back up in early August or so. :cry:

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Taylooor »

Sooooooo, how's it going with that VR helmet, Palmer? Hehe ;)

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Neil »

Here are the original pics. I didn't want to edit the original message with a correction.

I like the old design. :lol:

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by cybereality »

Taylooor wrote:Sooooooo, how's it going with that VR helmet, Palmer? Hehe ;)
Huge, and totally worthwhile grave-dig!!!

My first response is simply hilarious.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Likay »

The cradle of Oculus. 8-)
Mb: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
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3D:100" passive projector polarized setup + 22" IZ3D
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Okta »

Ahhh the magical old days :)
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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by 3dpmaster »

Palmer is back! greetings :)
Full immersive research:

HMD:
SONY HMZ-T1
FOV: 40° diagonal

HMD project:
FOV: >180°

Link: http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=14332

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by cadcoke5 »

You can always go with Captain Z-ro styling.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by DAWKY »

please tell me you kept this going!!!

ive always wanted to implement this into a helmet!!

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Blinkstar »

Guess this was just another broken pipe dream.

Guy's probably living in an alley somewhere.

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Re: DIY Virtual Reality helmet worklog

Post by Lhun »

Blinkstar wrote: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:58 pm Guess this was just another broken pipe dream.

Guy's probably living in an alley somewhere.
Oh you ham. :woot
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