Please let me know what you think
Do we need an open source portable audio Bible player design that can be made by anyone? Would anyone be interested in a complete design made available for free in the public domain? – right from schematics, PCB design, enclosure design (for 3D printing) to firmware and software to allow users to prepare and upload content.
The design information could include step-by-step videos on how to manufacture everything – including PCB production at home, how to hand-solder SMT components, 3D printing of the case (enclosure), etc.
I really need your feedback. It will involve a lot of work and I don’t want to waste time and effort on something that is of no use to anybody, so please give me your feedback here.
What needs to be done
Check with VLSI that they are happy with the MIT license for releasing the firmware code (which includes some of their code).
Update 18 July 2017: VLSI have granted their permission – praise God!
Note that with the MIT licence, you can use the code as you please and you are not compelled to release any derivative code (unlike the GPL), although it would be wonderful if you would contribute to this open source project for the benefit of all.
The firmware build process needs to be made easier so that it is easy for anyone to download the source code, get the necessary tools and build a firmware image.
Then, the firmware source code needs to be published on GitHub.
At this stage, building happens on a Linux machine. If anyone wants other build environments to be supported, then please give me your feedback here.
Update – 19 July 2017 – the firmware is now hosted on github:
Schematics and PCB
KiCad is used as the EDA tool for schematics and PCB design. I think that the schematic files should be decoupled from the PCB files and they should be published in independent source trees. This is because multiple PCB designs could be made for each schematic design. If you have any thoughts on whether or not this is a good idea, then please give me your feedback here.
Update – 19 July 2017 – the EDA files are now hosted on github:
Here is a PDF of the schematic: OSAB schematic
The idea is to design an enclosure that can be printed on a 3D printer. I’ve started work on designing one in OpenSCAD and it is still a work in progress (well, it’s been sitting in that state for too long now). I’ve got to the point where I need to do the PCB design and produce a 3D model of the PCBA (that’s one of the reasons for choosing KiCad). Then, the 3D model of the PCBA can be incorporated in the enclosure design and the rest of the enclosure designed around the PCBA.
The problem is that when you use a component that is not already in the KiCad library, then you need to make a footprint for it (easy) and then make a 3D model of the component (not as easy). So, I’ve lost some momentum there… need some time and motivation to continue… unless someone else is willing to help?
I don’t have much experience in designing enclosures, so any input will be welcome.
The OpenSCAD source and STL file could be published on GitHub.
Update – 19 July 2017 – the enclosure design is now hosted on github:
Content uploading software
The software for uploading the content (.ogg audio files) onto a microSD card is written in C and PERL and works well on a Linux machine. Some thought needs to be given to how to develop something that will work well on Windows and possibly Mac as well.
This code needs to be hosted GitHub.
Update – 19 July 2017 – the audio tools are now hosted on github:
Some kind of bug tracking system needs to be set up, or we could just use the one built into GitHub.
A web-based forum needs to be set up where developers, builders, manufacturers or any interested parties can post questions and answers.
Howto Guides and Videos
Videos, guides and documentation need to be produced to show people how to manufacture audio Bibles by hand. No doubt many people would prefer a pre-built PCBA, but many from the maker community would appreciate learning how to etch a PCB and assemble it themselves, upload the firmware and 3D print an enclosure. It’s really rewarding to build something yourself.