Instructables

DIY Replacement Zeo Sleep Monitor Headband Sensor

Picture of DIY Replacement Zeo Sleep Monitor Headband Sensor
Last year I purchased a Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager. This is a nifty Bluetooth headband that tracks your brainwaves while you sleep and presents it on your smartphone as a graph indicating when you were awake, in light, deep or REM sleep. It's like having your own personal EEG. You can use your Zeo to improve your sleep, test the effectiveness of sleep aids, or to experiment with dream recall or lucid dreaming. As a data junkie, this was something I absolutely had to have!

Unfortunately, the Zeo uses a silver-coated fabric headband sensor that the company says needs to be replaced every few months to ensure optimal performance. These replacement sensor pads are expensive (about $50 for a three pack). Worse, it seems like the company that made the Zeo went out of business last March, so replacement sensor pads are not available at all now!

You can buy a Zeo on eBay, but in order to keep it running indefinitely, you will need to be able to make your own replacement sensor pads. The design of the sensor pad seemed fairly straightforward. After a bit of research and experimentation, I succeeded in making my own replacement headband sensors, and I'll show you how to make DOZENS of replacement sensors pads that will keep your Zeo going strong forever!

DISCLAIMER: Although I have tested these sensors on my own Zeo device, you assume all risks for damage to your Zeo device by making and using these replacement sensors. I am NOT affiliated with Zeo Inc. in any way and did not consult with them in making this sensor.

I make no guarantees about the performance of these handmade sensors vs the Zeo OEM sensors, but until Zeo Inc begins selling them again, I hope this guide will help people who already have a Zeo device and wish to continue using it.


 
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I'm not really up to try and make these myself but I'm more than happy to pay. If anyone has working versions for Zeo Mobile I'll be happy to buy them from you for a price comparable to the old retail price. Feel free to contact me onthebrinkbook@gmail.com thanks!

zeoband3 months ago

Great instructable! The iron on patches are a great alternative to heat sealing which isn't normally available to a hobbyist. Did you test the resistance of you sensor against the original? I believe Medtex 180 is the same material used in the original zeo headbands but the studs seem to be conductive ABS plastic.

marciot (author)  zeoband3 months ago

The resistance was as good as my old worn out Zeo headband, but I didn't have a new one to compare against. I think it's great that you are trying to manufacture these headbands, but there was another gentleman on here who wanted to do the same and said he was unable to obtain permission to do so from the current IP holder.

marciot (author)  marciot3 months ago

I also personally contacted Ben Rubin, former CTO of Zeo, Inc, and while he was supportive of my work, he confirmed that Zeo and the associated intellectual property rights had been sold to another entity that he was not at liberty to disclose.

So something sneaky is afoot and I'm not sure what it means for Zeo enthusiasts. Maybe a Apple is working on an alarm clock?

zeoband3 months ago

For those of you who want to buy headbands: The Zeoband project aims to professionally manufacture Zeo compatible headbands so that people can carry on using their Zeo bedside and Zeo mobiles. To register your interest and receive updates, please visit www.zeoband.com.

jrhe4 months ago

Is anybody interested in buying these? I have a small batch being made. If you could email me at zeoheadbands@jrhe.co.uk then I will let you know when they are available.

An alternative is to use ECG electrodes which snap into the sensor. They'll last a few days and you can buy them pretty cheap in packs of 50.

http://www.myzeo.com/sleep/node/594
marciot (author)  Diminished Head1 year ago
(removed by author or community request)
marciot (author)  marciot1 year ago
Thanks, Diminished Head! I may give these a try and compare their performance to the fabric sensors :)

BTW, it looks like Zeo Inc also has prototype self-sticking electrodes for sale on Amazon, although they are for the Zeo Bedside (probably because of the snap positions) and the quantity is probably very limited.
Tonight I ran across 2 unused Zeo Headbands and Sensors (packages are opened) if the author or a reader wants to buy. I would sell both for about 80-100 dollars depending if the shipping is too much for me. Considering a guy on ebay wants 700 dollars its a steal.

With the 2 sensors I will give the buyer my high tech advice on a great direction to go with your sleep sensing needs going forward (upon payment only).

I also have an extra bedside mobile unit power and transmitter if anyone is interested in buying that too.
natec77 months ago
Has anyone started selling these?
marciot (author) 1 year ago
I wanted to give you guys an update on sensor pads for the Zeo Bedside. I have completed the template for that model and am now in the process of making nine of these for those of you who wanted to buy them from me. I plan to sell them for $15 each, plus shipping. Four of these are already spoken for.
IMG_2029[1].JPG
hydrorun marciot7 months ago
If you`re selling the headband for the IOS, I`d be a buyer.

Happy New Year
mikecave marciot11 months ago
Any chance you're selling any more of these headbands?

Any chance you could ship them to London?

Thanks,
Mike Cave
marciot (author)  marciot1 year ago
Hi everyone, due to possibility of these sensors being protected by patents, and the fact that making these is so time consuming, I will no longer honor new requests for making these for folks. Thank you for your understanding.

I do still have raw materials, so if you wish to have a shot at making one, and do not wish to buy materials in bulk yourself, I might be able to help you that way.
fsudal8 months ago
Nice work! Now that the website is no longer available does anyone know of any software that can be used to upload/analyze the data from the SD card?
markgoldrup11 months ago
Thanks soooooo much!
marciot (author)  markgoldrup11 months ago
You're welcome! Glad I could help! :)
Sidx1 year ago
Hi I have been trying to get the double sided foam for the headband in England our DIY and hobby shops don't seem to keep it. Could you tell me how thick it should be or if you know a place I could get it in England.
marciot (author)  Sidx11 months ago
I use 1/16 inch double-sided foam tape, which is fairly typical in the US. The thickness isn't that crucial, but if you can find something slightly thicker, it might be best, as the 1/16th tape is barely thick enough. Have you tried hobby shops, hardware shops, or office supply shops? I am very surprized that this product does not exist on the UK.

You could always order it online internationally:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=double-sided+foam+tape


Good luck!
Sidx marciot11 months ago
Hi Marciot thank you for your help I wasn't sure what thickness to get. I have found ebay to be the best place to get the double sided foam in the end and have bought Black Single Sided Foam Tape 20mm Wide x 6mm Thick. I am not sure yet if this will work I wanted it a little bit thicker as I get marks from the studs over my forehead and have to keep changing the position every night. this is the link: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/280762140228?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 My son in law has a laser machine in my garage and has laser'd out the templates for me.
I am hoping to try to put everything together today.
regards,
Sid
marciot (author)  Sidx11 months ago
Hi Sid. Yes, that should work. Double sided foam tape would hold the conductive fabric in place better, especially as you drove in
the studs, but it's probably not a huge deal to make it work with single sided tape. You could use staples around the pads to keep the fabric in place, or maybe tuck the edges of the fabric underneath the sticky side of the tape to secure it. Even if you do none of that, it should all hold together when you iron on the patch. Let us know how it goes, and maybe post pictures of the finished product!

Good that you have a laser cutter, as cutting out the parts is by far the most tedious part of the process.
xinef11 months ago
Does anyone know where to get one of the transmitters? The thing that you snap to the headband? I have one of the bedside Zeos and it isn't receiving signals from the headband any more.
marciot (author)  xinef11 months ago
eBay. Every week a new one comes up. I suggest setting a watch on Zeo.
marciot (author)  marciot11 months ago
Actually "Zeo Sleep" is a better keyword. If you do a completed item search, you'll see that a complete Zeo sells from $50 to $200 each.
xinef marciot11 months ago
Right, so the only solution that you know of is to buy a complete Zeo, no other way to get just the transmitter piece?
marciot (author)  xinef11 months ago
If you watch eBay long enough, you might find someone selling just the transmitter, usually because their base is broken, but that's rare. I think I've only seen it once. Your best bet is to try to get a deal on a complete unit (if it's new and comes with a sealed headband, you could sell that for $75)
gmorgan5212 months ago
An easier solution: buy EKG electrodes (Amazon), a set of EKG leads (Amazon), an elastic headband (hair products and accessories) and Fabric Snaps - Size 16 (Sewing Notions). With the transmitter face down with the three battery recharger laying to the top, this puts the single snap connector on the left, two connectors on the right. Snap EKG electrodes directly onto the left and bottom right female snaps on the transmitter. Take one of the male Fabric Snaps and one EKG lead, shorten the lead and strip the wire about an inch from the cut end of the lead. Wrap the bare wire to the Fabric snap ring and snap this end on to the transmitter in the remaining female snap, cover the bare metal snap with medical tape or HY-tape. Remove the protective paper from the electrodes and place on forehead, cover the transmitter and electrode with the elastic headband and go to bed as normal. I have used this for two weeks and my readings are in line with those done with the "normal" headband.
marciot (author)  gmorgan5211 months ago
If you are using EKG electrodes, why not stick them directly to the Zeo, as shown in the picture? I've done this with the AmbuBlu Sensor SP that you can buy online.

The picture comes from the following discussion on the former Zeo forums:

http://web.archive.org/web/20120107073301/http://www.myzeo.com/sleep/node/594
28cdrmt.jpg
darkbytes1 year ago
I made my own replacement bands except that I used plastic instead of fabric, the advantages are enormous, instead of sawing you only need instant glue and the plastic retains it's shape and holds the fabric better, plus you can staple it or simply use tape!, in the front part where the forehead would be I used surgical tape which is soft than plastic, I made my first band in 30 mins. which would have taken far longer if used fabric, Check it out!
20130715_012357.jpg20130714_190942.jpg20130714_184638.jpg20130714_184538.jpg
marciot (author)  darkbytes1 year ago
Yup, there are certainly many ways to skin a cat :) My first prototype was in fact similar to yours, only I used paperboard instead of plastic.
BobCio1 year ago
UPDATE on Aftermarket Consumables Replacements (Replacement Pads/Headbands):
Thanks to everyone for contacting me to let me know of your interest in our aftermarket headband replacements. We are completing the prototype testing for our aftermarket headband replacements for both the mobile and bedside Zeo products and are very pleased with the positive results. We expect to have the production line operational soon, and have products available for sale in the next 30-60 days. We will post here again when the production line is fully operational. These are professionally manufactured products and will meet the product quality you've appreciated in the Zeo product line. Please be sure to email me, if you haven't already, so that we may add you to our list and notify you when products are ready for delivery. We have changed our primary email address to ZeoReplacements@Outlook.com.

Regards,

Bob.
marciot (author)  BobCio1 year ago
This is great news, thank you!

-- Marcio
builderron1 year ago
In response to david33436's Jun 1, 2013. 7:29 AM; comment on the headband. "Also the headband stretches out after a few months so any suggestions for this problem?"
From builderron:
To answer the head band issue; don' use one. As a long-time Zeo user, I don't like anything around my head. I recommend HY-TAPE SURGICAL TAPE, which is latex-free, zinc oxide-based tape that is soothing to delicate skin. This tape allows extended wear, and is sweat proof. You can place a 7 or 8 inch strip right across the back of the sensor unit. This does not affect the wireless transmission capability. This tape conforms easily to the forehead, which should be dabbed with rubbing alcohol and dried before applying the sensor unit. Keep shut eyes while using liquid alcohol. Dry with tissue to ensure all alcohol is removed. If you start with a new sensor pad, and clean the skin before each use this will save the pad surface. A convenient source for the tape is http://themedicalsupplydepot.com/. Search for the HYT110BLF/EA part number.
marciot (author) 1 year ago
Hi everyone, due to possibility of these sensors being protected by patents, and the fact that making these is so time consuming, I will no longer honor new requests for making these for folks. Thank you for your understanding.

I do still have raw materials, so if you wish to have a shot at making one, and do not wish to buy materials in bulk yourself, I might be able to help you that way.
BobCio1 year ago
I am an entrepreneur with 30 years as an executive technologist and have initiated a manufacturing process to develop and sell exact high quality headband replacements. I will be manufacturing and selling both the bedside and the mobile replacements. If you are interested in purchasing these, please let me know. I am in the first stages of setting up the manufacturing and hope to have items available within a month or two. Please contact me at ZeoReplacements@yahoo.com - Regards, Bob Cio
marciot (author) 1 year ago
I'm a bit overwhelmed by the number of people who have contracted me about these. I'm seeing what I can do about making a small batch of these for sale. I'll keep you guys posted, apologies if I haven't been very good about replying to comments.
david334361 year ago
Yes I agree with your observation of June 9 at 9:54
OP Engr1 year ago
Hi,
I like the idea of DIY replacement sensors. Thank you for sharing your work.
1. You can evaluate the sensor performance by using the sleep data decoder output and looking at the sensor impedance numbers (lower is better) and comparing it to the results of a new official headband. Also look for signal dropouts showing up in the data.
2. I purchased the self stick electrode kit, but I haven't tried it to evaluate the results. Another reviewer said they had no signal loss and lower impedance than the ZEO headband. The replacement adhesive pads should be around for a long time. Also I think it would be easier to make the conductive fabric replacement for each adhesive sensor, rather than the full assembly you describe. The kit includes the adhesive pads and an adapter plate that moves the connector positions from the electronics to underneath each pad.
3. I thought the ZEO used gold coated fabric not silver? Any problems with the headband irritation some users have described?
Thank you.
david334361 year ago
Move the center of the holes on the double snaps about 1mm or less to the left towards the single snap.
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