Data Storage Implant - WIP
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    Alright. So, I've been busy lately and as a result progress had been held up a bit, but several (like 4 or 5) days ago my wireless flash drive showed up. I ordered the 32 GB model for my initial testing and first time dismantling it (in case I damaged it and needed to order another) when I get to actually making one to implant it'll be the 200 GB model (or larger, keep reading). Yesterday I did some initial functionality tests, and finished this morning, basically I wanted to know everything about how it worked under normal circumstances. For the average person, it functions like a flash drive when plugged into a computer's USB port and has a little power button on the side that turns the built in wifi network on and off, when on, you can connect to it via anything and access contents via the iOS app or a built in website. You can also change settings like the auto-off timer and the network name and password.

    For the more technical people, the wifi network access doesn't turn off when you plug it into a powered USB port or a computer's USB port (you can charge it with a simple wall adapter like you'd use for your phone if you wanted). However, while plugged in, if you turn it off with the power button or it turns off on it's own due to the timer running out, you can't turn it back on without unplugging it. When plugged in to a computer in the "off" mode, it appears to actually boot up the internal computer chip and serve the contents of the storage through that, so the computer doesn't actually have direct access like a normal flash drive. I didn't attempt to send a Formatting instruction to it, but I assume that the internal computer would refuse to format the storage chip if I had attempted to do so. Perhaps I'll try sometime. Multiple devices (up to 3 is advertised, I only tried 2 so I don't know how that claim holds up, I assume it is accurate and that you can't go over as it would simply refuse to connect additional devices) can be connected simultaneously and can communicate with each other while on the network (which I tested by utilizing BitTorrent Sync to share files over the network). The internal "shut off" timer appears to count from last time files or the website was accessed as my BitTorrent transfer was cut off roughly when the timer should have run out, I am a little confused about it though as the status light didn't actually change from the steady blinking it does when "on". It has one button, hold it for a moment to turn it on, hold it for a longer moment to turn it off. The status light stays on while it's booting up, which takes about 5 seconds. It blinks about twice in three seconds (mental count, not terribly accurate) at a steady rate when on. Blinks thrice rapidly when you hold the button to turn it off and then it turns off. The status LED turns orange when plugged in and charging, though it does still blink white if it's in the "on" state. If you turn it off while plugged in, it will take a moment and then boot up again in what I'll call "USB only" mode, where the wifi is off, but a device connected to the USB port could still access the contents through the internal computer chip. During the brief time it's off between shut down and auto boot up, the light is completely off. Also, it is possible that the LED is actually two, one orange and one white, but I think it's just a single multicolored light based on what it physically looks like. Only downside so far, aside from the slightly confusing auto-off function (which can just be disabled, and I have mine disabled now) is that the iOS app appears to be the only way to view the total available or consumed storage space and the only way to view the internal battery power level. (More on my fixes for those issues later.)

    Today, just before I started writing this, I took it apart. Found a few things...
    (I'll add pictures in a few hours and give some additional details)

    The battery is 380 mAh and is stated to last 3 hours. I assume that's 3 hours with 1 device constantly accessing data wirelessly, we'll say streaming a video using the iOS app as an example, and no other devices connected. Assuming I go through with conveying this to be implantable, I'll likely consider downsizing the battery, or getting a physically smaller one of the same capacity if possible, as it seems rather large in my opinion.

    The LED is REALLY bright in my opinion, when all the casing is removed and the LED is exposed, so I don't think there'll be any issue with seeing it through skin when we get to that point.

    The internal "storage chip" is actually a MicroSD card held in place by two little metal clasps (that don't appear to be designed to be undone once clasped. Fortunately that means that I should be able to get just 32 GB ones (or possibly the elusive 16 GB model) and just swap out the SD card for a large one, up to 200 GB. Possibly bigger, which I will test, but there may be a hardware or software limitation preventing more than a 200 GB card from being used. Phones, up until a few months ago, were still commonly limited to 200 GB cards, I'll be honest, don't know what that limitation is caused by so I don't know if it can be worked around or not, but I'll get a bigger card and test that with this at some point.

    Sans battery, the whole thing is thinner than the USB port that plugs into a computer for charging so if the Qi charger isn't too thick, and biocoating isn't too thick, I think the whole thing can be made thin enough to not bulge too much under the skin. With the battery it's about 150% the thickness of the USB port.

    The wifi tech and internal computer chip appear to be housed inside a small metal Cover that is soldered on multiple sides to the silicon board, I will eventually remove said cover (or try to anyways) in an attempt to find out if the parts could be rearranged or made thinner.

    While in the case, during my testing it never got very warm, I'm attributing that to the case, as I've had Standard flash drives get much warmer under normal circumstances. I haven't done any testing since removing it from the case except to confirm that it powered on and off normally (thus I'm assuming I haven't yet damaged anything and it still functions normally).

    Pictures with comments on the pictures will follow in a few hours.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    If I end up rigging a Qi chargers to it successfully (and a thermoelectric charger if possible) then I will also attempt to build some sort of status light into it to indicate charge level, which solves the issue of only being able to view the charge level from the iOS app.

    As for the total free/used storage space, well, keep rough track of how big your files are and you'll be fine. I do think there was something buried in the settings that allowed you to see that from the website, I'll check. No brilliant solution to that problem at the moment.

    Also, want to add that since it does just store everything on a MicroSD card, you can always just take it apart and plop the card into a phone or computer or whatever to access the contents should the internal computer or something fail, so the data loss worry is, well... not really a worry at the moment.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    That sounds pretty well thought out. Very nicely done I can't wait to here what you come up with for the battery side.

    Have you considered a Reed switch to turn the wifi on and off? That way you can conserve battery when you are not using it.

    Is the big battery on the board and could you move it off to elongate the device while cutting down size or is the gain from doing that so minimal that it will make no difference?
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    Pictures now...
    (After noting how they look if I just insert them from a link, I've deicded it'll be better to just insert a hyperlink to the picture.)

    Here I adjusted the battery so it's next to instead of underneath the board. The MicroSD card is also visible.

    The metal plate on the board conceals what I assume is the internal computer system and the wifi tech. I intend on attempting to remove it and see what's underneath, but it's soldered in multiple places so that'll be tricky.

    I know taking a picture of a light isn't the same as looking at it, but that's the LED. (On a side note, catching a picture of a blinking light isn't easy.)

    I didn't think to take pictures before taking it apart, but there's the casing parts, they came apart fairly easily. They appeared to have a mild bit of adhesive in addition to the plastic clips. I do think I could reassemble it and have it look nearly the way it did before if I wanted to. There is a piece of copper tape (with a bit of insulating material on it) that held the battery in place and covered the exposed circuitry on the top side around the SD card (and the SD card).

    Here's some side view pictures, you'll note it's fairly thin and I'd like to keep it that way as much as possible for implanting.

    Here's the remaining photos I took, but didn't include above. In case something's more visible in one that I didn't note.

    Pardon the image quality, took them with my phone, so they're like... really high resolution, but the lighting isn't superb (thinking back on it, could have helped to put a piece of white paper underneath). (Oh and there's a phone-shadow in most of the pictures.)
  • lolsmcfeelolsmcfee October 2016
    really well thought out, how are you planning on charging this? i would be very interested in this when its built iv been looking for a data solution like this 
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    Thanks for the response, you posted while I was typing the last post there (which took a lot longer than I anticipated since I ended up setting up a new website just to host the pictures).

    I may move the battery to the end, or the side, instead of underneath. Depends exactly where I end up wanting it implanted, will need to think on that a bit.

    I do plan on using a reed switch in place of the one physical button there currently is.

    On a side note, some of the product descriptions seemed to suggest that the little plastic cap (which has a bit of metal in it) needs to physically be on in order for the wifi functionality to work. I can confirm, that is inaccurate. At first I thought maybe that bit of metal acts as the antenna, but it doesn't seem to do anything at all.

    Also, these are my first two posts (this and the prior one) from not my iPhone. I didn't realize how different the desktop version looked. On my iPhone the website looks fairly desktop oriented, which I prefer over a bad mobile site, but it doesn't look just like the actual desktop site does.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    Another post while I was typing...

    I plan on building in a Qi charger (a wireless charging standard, the kind used in new wireless charging phones and some watches).

    If I can, I would also like to incorporate a Peltier Generator, which is a type of TEG (thermoelectric generator), which would charge the device from your body heat. It would go much slower than the Qi charger, but would mean that you wouldn't necessarily need an external device to charge the implant (which I feel is a must, even if the TEG takes a couple days to just get to a full charge).
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    It's still a little ways off, but my plan is to make 2 completed devices in the 32 GB size and send them both to someone else (from the forums here) to biocoat and test. Assuming that goes well and the devices are both still fully functional, I'll be convinced that I succeeded and will make at least one larger capacity (200 GB unless I end up finding out that I can go larger with a custom SD card) to have it biocoated prior to implanting. At that time, I may offer to make more, and sell them.

    I will probably do some testing with the 32 GB devices for a few days, using them, charging them, etc... after biocoating just to ensure that the biocoating didn't mess anything up. And I'll test my final device for functionality prior to implanting.

    EDIT: (And of course I'd also test any devices I sell prior to selling, if I end up doing that.)
  • ThomasEgiThomasEgi October 2016
    that micro-sd card holder looks like you could slide the micro-sd card a tiny bit towards the usb connector to make it release the card.

    You should not remove the metal RF shield. It's purpose is to shield your RF circuitry. This prevents electromagnetic problems with nearby other circuits (such as the SD-card). Also, it protects the RF circuitry from getting affected by other EM radiation. Just leave it, or you may get unreliable operation under certain circumstances. Last thing you want is corrupted memory on an implanted device, or failure of circuits like the battery management etc. Same goes for that copper-wrap+insulator. Once you arranged your components to your liking be sure to shield them properly and ground the shield. With the exception of your antenna and the QI-charging coil you want no parts outside the shield. You may need to guide the magnetic field with a special magnetic shieldy like thing to prevent the copper shield from blocking your charging. Detials about this can be found in a number of Qi-circuit related application notes. 

    If you can't hold your horses and want to remove that metal cover, be sure to take pictures of the chips inside. Maybe it contains some nice cortex m0 or simmilar chip that could be reprogrammed to serve additional needs.

  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    I was thinking about it last night and will likely peal back the cover just to see what's behind it. Any finished product will have it in place. Good thought about the copper tape acting as shielding, I figured it was copper tape just because it's thinner than traditional heat-resistant electrical tape, but if that were the only thing, then the small amount of adhesive most electronic parts have would have probably been sufficient in the manufacturing process. Anyways, I have a couple rolls of copper tape available and will re wrap the components. (I can't just leave the existing tape in place as it also does most of the holding of the battery in place, there is also a small amount of adhesive that holds the battery.)

    My next few steps will involve...
    Removing the shield cover, just for fun, to see what's behind it, end products will have it still soldered in place.
    Experimenting with larger SD cards, including a 256 GB one, to determine if the 200 GB maximum capacity is limited by the rest of the device or just that they never bothered to make a higher capacity version.
    Qi Charger. Which I'll probably add using a DIY kit designed for adding to phones, end results may go with slightly more custom Qi charger assemblies, depending on the size I can achieve.
    Once the Qi charger is completely functional, (which is necessary I think for the final product) I will do some experimenting with TEG charging (which is optional, but I think it'd be nice to have if possible).
  • _Larry__Larry_ October 2016
    Have you considered the possibility of being unable to access it once it's implanted? The skin is notorious for causing problems with waves passing through it like GPS and Bluetooth. I wouldn't be concerned about accessing it with your phone but connecting to WiFi may be spotty.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    What do you mean? You access it by connecting to it via Wifi. I considered that the range may be reduced, but if it's accessible from a 15 foot radius, that ought to be sufficient for the typical phone or computer access, I don't think it'll be big problem, wifi tends to be stronger than Bluetooth or gps signals when passing through matter like walls. There's not really any way to test that until it's implanted. Like the TEG, some things just can't be tested prior to implanting it. Not tested properly anyways.
  • lolsmcfeelolsmcfee October 2016
    awesome work so far jupiter im really intrested to see were this goes in the near future 
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    Well you kinda have a way to test it but it isn't really for sensitive people.....animal analogs would be a decent test subject for penetrating the skin. If you spot a road kill just snag it make a pocket and stuff that bad boy in and bam you have an implanted deer. Give it a solid range test and see.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    I assume you're joking...

    What the heck kind of idea is that? You have a very peculiar mind there...

    How does surrounding it with raw meat sound? Like chicken breast or ground beef? I know that sounds odd, but I'm starting to think it's worth doing some sort of range test prior to implanting it anyways. Though, I figure if there would be any reduction in range it would be minor, else we'd know about it by know. Heck, holding my phone close to my body or in my pocket would likely have a similar effect (less so, of course) on my phone's range.

    Here's what I'll do, I'll do some range testing and compare it with specialized wifi routers (of which I have a few from major and minor brands) to see how the range holds up. If it ends up being similar to the typical 50-100 feet (depending on walls and such) I'll assume it'll be fine over the 15 feet or so I expect would be typical for implanted use. Of course, the walls in a building typically have high voltage electrical wires and things running through them that likely interfere more than any part of the body would. Still, I see the concern.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    I'd like to add a couple details (more for record purposes in the event I end up not doing something).

    I need to get my hands on one or more small magnets (preferably actual implantable ones) to test range and magnetic interference for the reed switch. Since that will be a somewhat mandatory control method in order to use the finished device. Also, not to self... need to get around to getting one implanted...

    To accommodate the lack of a battery level viewing method without an iOS device, I'd like to incorporate a second reed switch (the two will likely be on the opposite ends of the device so they're easy to locate and trigger when under the skin) to check battery level via a second (in addition to the already built in one) LED. In order to do more than just determine if the battery has any charge at all (that is, check approximate battery charge percentage), I may end up attempting to incorporate an arduino chip (because it'd probably end up more space efficient than any sort of constructed-by-me charge-checker circuit). Will likely leave the feature out altogether and just do a simple LED to determine if there is any charge in the battery and if the battery is actively charging should the arduino take too much space. I feel something is necessary to diagnose why you may have a difficulty or issue connecting when you think it's turned on. Like it isn't turning on. Could help determine if the battery is low, or if you're simply not triggering the reed switch properly.

    Also, in response to recent discussion about standardizing certain "safe" implant parts, I do intend to do some sort of experimenting with 3D printed (likely aluminum) shells to contain the battery. This is as a safety precaution in the event the battery malfunctions, heats up, leaks, melts, combusts, etc... while inside a body. The aluminum would hopefully contain any leaked acid long enough to have the implant removed. Unfortunately I have no good ideas for determining if such a leak has occurred.

    Feedback desired:
    What sort of battery life (per charge) is acceptable for this sort of thing? Obviously if you wanted to stream a movie or something, 150 minutes would be a nice minimum to have, but battery size is also a concern (I want a as-little-bulge-as-possible implant). I figure if you don't ever need to do something like steam a movie, and you use the device primarily for mobile device backup or excess photo storage while on the go, and you only do things like copy a movie from the device to your phone or whatever to watch the whole thing without needing the device to be constantly on, shorter battery life is reasonable. What do you think? What sort of uses would you have. I know when I go on vacation (particularly site seeing vacation) I tend to like to document everything. Taking literally hundreds of pictures a day is common, and with camera resolution increasing just as fast as phone storage space, I'm often running out of room, and being able to offload pictures to something that I have with me but don't need to remember to carry with me all the time is a high priority use for me. Particularly in foreign countries where wifi isn't so common and cellular data is more expensive (thus rendering the internet a poor backup location).
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    I'm not joking usually human analogs are pigs but if you don't have access to it anything would likely work. I say a larger animal simply because it's easier to work a pocket into and reseal. It's a lot better then a chicken breast size wise and workability.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    Give it a rough coating once you get to that stage and then slap it in.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    Sorry can't edit from the phone. You could zip lock it instead to test it sooner.
  • lolsmcfeelolsmcfee October 2016
    considering the size of the battery and the possibility of a thermo-electric generator, if the generator is working all the time while using the device or not the batter life could hopefully be a full day, if it was a full day ( give or take a few hours) at the end of the day you could chill out and ware the QI charger for an hour or two, if that dosent fill up the battery then going to sleep and letting the TEG work might charge the rest, for all of that assuming the TEG is something that could work.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    @Meanderpaul I'll put you on my shortlist for one of the two prototype devices for testing.
    PS I can edit things on my phone just fine. What sort of phone are you using?

    @lolsmcfee "All day" isn't very specific I'm afraid, will it last all day, constantly streaming data, no where near that. Will it be able to be on all day so you could connect to it and stream data if you wanted to, probably close to it. Though it'd be "all day" similar to watches a year ago, that is. It'd be like, "all day" could be all of a work day while you're out. So roughly 8 hours. I'll do some testing, but I fully expect the TEG will take a full 36-48 hours to completely charge the battery. Depends on the size of the battery, and exactly how much power the generator makes. Which I'll test soon, gotta order more parts before I can do much else.
  • TheGreyKnightTheGreyKnight October 2016
    So, for battery failure testing, I recommend a few things. First, a thermal sensor connected to something that will alert you if temperature gets too high. Another would be a capacitor connected to a circuit that will fire off a certain signal whenever the battery runs totally dead. And finally, some sort of reactive sensor that will signal whenever the chemicals present in the battery are detected.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    Ya let me know lol it could take me a little while to get a critter so let me know a couple weeks ahead of time.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    Thermal sensor, good idea. Can connect that to the arduino chip. Thinking Arduino Gemma Board would be best. Never done any project like this with arduino though, so I'll admit that it's a little bit of a mystery right now how I'm going to make all this fit and not be too large. Not sure what purpose that capcitor would serve. Could momentarily light an LED, but that only helps if you're looking at it when the battery runs out. More likely I think I'll do my LED that's going to indicate approximate battery charge level (if I can do that in a small manner) else it will merely indicate if there is any charge at all by being as directly connected to the battery as possible. So that triggering the reed switch can power the LED without doing much else. To check for battery power. The chemical sensor... might be too complicated for the moment. If you want to built something that's around the size of a corn kernel, go ahead. I'll add it in. Else, perhaps a future revision with more safety features.
  • TheGreyKnightTheGreyKnight October 2016
    A chem sensor is no different than a thermal sensor. You just need to replace it if the battery goes
  • lolsmcfeelolsmcfee October 2016
    And i ment all day as just being on and ready to stream data, i would turn it off whenever im not using it myself though
  • ightdenightden October 2016
    You'll need a large temperature delta to generate any sort of power from one of those peltier generators, and you won't have that once it's implanted.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    @ightden I have done some testing and believe a variance of 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to power an LED. Don't know how long that would take to charge the battery, but I figure, if it's off... no matter how long it takes, a little power is better than no power. And if it turns out to be nearly useless, perhaps I'll omit it from any versions I make for other people, but I do want to include it in my version such that I can have it implanted and test it to be sure. (On a side note, any heat over 96 degrees generated by the device while in use should increase power output from the generator, which (since the device would be on at the time) wouldn't necessarily charge the battery, but it certainly could increase usage time a bit. Maybe.)

    @TheGreyKnight Alright. Didn't know that. To be fair, never looked at or used one. A chemical sensor that is.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    Little update, ordered more parts. Should arrive in about a week. Then I'll be working on Qi charging implementations. Got several different DIY "kits" (which I intend on dismantling) to test with and still hope to have the final product using a custom built one to fit the shape of the rest of the implant, so it doesn't take up too much space.
  • OniExpressOniExpress November 2016
    You won't get a temperature difference of 5-10 degrees on an implanted device except under very specific circumstances. Eventually yes, incorporating this into implants with heat generating components is something to consider, but again if the implant is running 10 degrees hotter than internal body temperature you're going to have a bad time.

    I'd focus on the wireless charging first so as to run testing, then incorporate the fail-safe features as mentioned above. At that point you'll have a functional proof of concept for a first-get device.
  • ChaphasilorChaphasilor November 2016
    any updates? Did your parts arrive already?
  • JupiterJupiter November 2016
    Yes, they did. Sorry for the delays for those of you keeping up with things. I've been extremely busy lately and haven't had time to get back to working on it. It is a decently high priority for me, I just haven't had time over the past couple weeks.

    I expect to have more regular availability starting this coming week, so I intend on getting back to it. I hope to have the first implementation of a Qi Charger sometime before next weekend. It may be a little bulkier than the final design though.

    Haven't abandoned the project, don't worry. Thanks for keeping up with things though.
  • _ru_ru November 2016
    Really stoked to see where this project goes. I've been thinking about doing something along the same lines of this but it seems like you're much more knowledgeable in this area than I am. :) 

    If it connects to wifi, though, wouldn't it (theoretically) be easy to hack? In my mind I guess something like this would be useful for files or data you don't want to keep somewhere accessible like a phone/computer, so it'd need to be pretty secure. Whoever was doing the hacking would have to know what they were looking for, of course, but hypothetically if these things gained popularity it wouldn't be that hard. Again, you seem much more knowledgable about this than I am, so I'm sorry if that's a stupid question haha.
  • JupiterJupiter November 2016
    It creates its own wifi network that you connect to in order to access the contents, so it's about as secure as any non-password protected device on a password protected network is. If you turn off the wifi when not using it (to conserve power) then it could only be hacked when you are using it. Again, the best protection from hacking is to simply not announce to everyone that it exists (your specific one that is). If no one knows about it then no one can hack it.

    Looks like I should be able to begin working on the Qi Charger tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday.
  • JupiterJupiter November 2016
    Alright, so I didn't have a whole lot of time today, but I did get a bit of work done with Qi Charger examinations. I determined that the circuitry powering the Qi charging receiver is larger than I thought. At least it is in the cheap ones I purchased, I imagine the expensive ones built in to smartphones are smaller. I may dismantle a Qi charging phone to find out if it's got a separate chip or if it's just built into the main board.

    I intend to experiment a bit with antenna sizes, to determine if a smaller receiving antenna still functions fine, I don't see why it wouldn't. (To be clear I intend to remove several of the loops from an antenna, not to squish the loops closer together.) I think a smaller antenna would be fine, I assume it'll result in a lower power input, but that should be fine as the biggest battery I think I'll end up using in the finished product will be 400 mAh. Probably going to use more like 200 mAh due to the size.

    The Qi controller chip is flexible, slightly, but I don't think it's flexible enough to say, fold in half in order to make it smaller, depending on the size of my antenna, the chip will likely still be smaller than or the same size as the antenna.

    I like pictures, pictures are good. I took pictures. I decided that I want to tear open the 1000 mA Charger I got to compare that with the 800 mA chargers and see if the chip or antenna are any bigger, then I'll post pictures. Unfortunately. That won't be tomorrow. I will be busy all day. So, Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, I'll do some research, but I'm curious to know if anyone has any thoughts on the following:

    If the device being has an input power regulator, then what harm would there be in directly connecting the Qi antenna to said device's original power input? That is, bypassing the Qi control board. I know that without the control board there's nothing that tells the charging pad to stop transmitting power when the device is fully charged, but I figure that may be an option for the implant since you'd never leave it another room and forget about it, as long as there's some method to tell the user that the device is fully charged and the charger can be disconnected.
  • lolsmcfeelolsmcfee November 2016
    awesome work love hearing updates like this, as for the last i think for safety and trying to convince alot of people to get something like this keep the power regulator 
  • ChrisBotChrisBot November 2016
    I was talking to one of the guys from Grindhouse about their Qi Charger. Here is the reference link that they sent me for a super small Qi receiver circuit. You'll still have to figure out the coil, but this should at least get you started.

    Let us know how the coil thing goes. They have always held a mysticism for me.
  • JupiterJupiter November 2016
    @ChrisBot Thanks for that. Very useful. Seeing as how I'm not building this entirely from the ground up (the computer circuits and everything are part of a completed, mass produced, consumer product) I think I'm going to do some experimenting first, I'd like to think that the already built in power regulator could safely receive poorly regulated power as long as the input limit was your standard USB grade power, typically 5 V. The main downside to removing the Qi control board, which is actually bigger than the device's computer board, which does way more, would be that the power transmitter Pad wouldn't know when to stop transmitting power. So if the power isn't being absorbed by the battery, due to being full, (which is what would happen, it wouldn't overcharge the battery) it would cause the receiver coil to heat up rapidly. Which is obviously undesirable. I want to determine if charging that way and having some mechanism to direct the user to remove the charging pad would be doable. If not, I'll go with downsizing the Qi receiver circuit.
  • JupiterJupiter November 2016
    If I end up incorporating an Arduino Gemma into the final design, there'll be plenty of room for the Qi circuit. The use of the Gemma would be for providing mild additional feedback with a couple extra LEDs and maybe an extra button. It would also handle monitoring the battery for chemical leaks, expansion, and overly high temperatures.

    Might be time to consider implant sites. This project is starting to get slightly bigger than I originally intended. Is a 1" x 3" x 0.5" device too big to implant? That's currently how big it would be (post biocoating). I'd like to get it smaller, down to 0.75" x 2.5" x 0.3". But I doubt I can get it smaller than that and still have useful battery life time beyond 20 minutes or so. (I'll mention I've not yet experimented with different size batteries, so I may be able to do longer than that on a tiny battery. Which may negate that issue.)
  • ChrisBotChrisBot November 2016
    You may have answered some of these questions before, so I apologize in advance.

    Does the device you have right now have a wireless charging circuit, or are you going to add that? I am not sure if I am interpreting this correctly, but you need to keep that special receiver circuit if you want wirelessly charge the device. 

    I also wouldn't worry about the coil heating up. If you think about wirelessly charging a phone, it doesn't really heat up when it is done charging. The lipo charging circuit will continuously trickle charge the battery once it is full. 

    Also, just a silly thought. If the coil or the battery does start to heat up or expand, you will probably be able to feel it so there might not be a need for another system to monitor such things. It looks like the control board may even be monitoring temperature of the battery as well. See how there is the 3rd wire (the white one) connecting the battery to the board? That normally indicates such a functionality. 

    Does the device have some sort of LED that turns on when the battery is low?

    Would you mind drawing some diagrams of what the final system may look like? (With and/or without the gemma)
  • JupiterJupiter November 2016
    @ChrisBot Some have been, no big deal though. Here's answers in no particular order (though mostly reverse order as I scrolled back up one question at a time while writing my answers.)
    Diagrams. Possibly. But not until I have a completed prototype with all the hardware bits wired in. (It's easier for me to physically experiment with building something than to do diagrams first, unless you know of some software capable of simulating everything so that I can do my experimenting with the diagrams.)
    The LED does not appear to turn on if the battery is low, but I don't know for sure, I never drained it below 10% in my testing. I'll make a mental note to do so.
    I was thinking the cool may heat up if the Qi circuit is removed. I am opposed to removing it, but thought I might try since it would save a ton of potential space.
    As for feeling the battery heat up, you could potentially, the purpose of the Gemma is mostly for diagnosis in the event of a problem. If the battery malfunctioned, is poorly charged and can't power on, etc... so you can determine why the device may not be working without surgically removing it.
    It does not have built in wireless charging. Adding that. I fully believe the built in computer has capabilities to determine battery issues, but it has no way to relay said issues to the user, hence the Gemma addition. Again, that's sort of a side idea. It's something I want to add if possible, but only if I can get it to fit into the space requirement. Since it's implanted, it's important that it stay small.
  • OniExpressOniExpress November 2016
    Have you looked at Logism?
  • JupiterJupiter November 2016
    Hadn't heard of it before. Have now. Thanks for that. It's handy.
  • Ryderbike1Ryderbike1 November 2016
    The Gemma is way to large. It's designed for clothing. It has what 4 pins? You should try the aduino pro mini. Its smaller than the storage drive. Plus it has about 15 output pins. And it's currently about $10. Should stack right on top of the existing storage chip no problem.
  • Ryderbike1Ryderbike1 November 2016
    so I have been fully sucked into this now and I cant stop thinking about it. I'm beginning to wonder if using the original board is even a good idea. From my admittedly basic knowledge of Arduino I know its possible to Read and Wright data to a SD card and to connect to WiFi with breakout boards. It should stand to reason that you could replace the original board with a Arduino. This would far simplify the entire device. You could then add the battery monitor quite easily. Admittedly the code would be a entire different beast to deal with. I think you could get it down to a size in the range of 1" by 1.5". That should fit in a forearm quite well.
  • JackalopiateJackalopiate December 2016
    @Ryderbike1 The teensy 3.5 has a built in sd card reader, and is... teensy. its a bit on the longer side, at around 2.5" with an sd card in it, but its only 0.7" across and .1" thick.

    However, the problem with an arduino based system is that you probably can't access the sd card with a regular file manager wirelessly.

  • JupiterJupiter December 2016
    Sorry for my absence everyone. Holidays. Busy. Back to working on things now. Let me take a moment to address a few comments.

    I'm open to attempting to replace the original board with an arduino chip. I do agree the Gemma is less than ideal (it has 6 pins by the way as I recall, though it's been a little while since I looked at it).

    The Arduino Pro Mini and the Teensy... both sound fine. I have very little knowledge of Arduino programming so any such implementation would potentially take a while. But I will look into it soon (not going to try to say when for anything, as my previous time estimates have been a little off). I will say that (due to power levels) the Arduino would be better equipped to run and charge the battery from a Qi charger.

    Recently I decided that if I were to use the original board I would remove the USB A male connector to save space. Since it's not useful once implanted.

    About accessing the data from the Arduino remotely. I'd like that since it would present a few options. I'd probably attempt to handle an FTP server and a tiny web server to distribute the files. I would probably also attempt to enable saving an SSID and password to the Arduino to allow it to connect to an existing wifi network so you could access the data without disconnecting your phone, tablet, or other computer from the internet, obviously it would switch to hosting its own network when the saved network wasn't available.

    In case it wasn't clear, the current board doesn't support accessing data from a standard file manager, only via the onboard web server.

    Now I should ask, anyone have Arduino experience of any sort? Particularly the programming area?

    As far as my silence. I do want to continue work on the project, however, I don't have a lot of free time these days to work on much anything, and admittedly the project isn't a super high priority for me. I do have the money to purchase materials and parts to build things, what I lack is time to fully implement everything. Especially if there'll be coding involved. So, if anyone else is able to contribute, that would be wonderful.
  • lolsmcfeelolsmcfee December 2016
    i really wish i could help with this but im shite at programming 
  • JackalopiateJackalopiate December 2016
    If you put together a list of features and hardware you have in mind, I could work on some of the code. Personally, I wouldn't worry about software too much until you have the hardware more or less locked down. There are lots of things that can go wrong with hardware that can be fixed via code. I haven't messed around with FTP on arduino before, but it looks like others have made libraries for it that could be useful.
  • JackalopiateJackalopiate December 2016
    Also, take a look at the Adafruit HUZZAH. Slap an sd card slot on that baby, and you're good to go.
  • djsloowdjsloow December 2016
    I'm not an expert and maybe this just is not what I think it is, but what about RTX41XX WiFi Module?

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