author
37Instructables1,298,805Views41CommentsMadison, WisconsinJoined April 25th, 2009
Hello, my name is Toglefritz. That’s obviously not my real name; my real name is Scott, but on the Internet I use the nom de plume, Toglefritz. I like to make things and I like to share my work with others. I like to take big, complicated projects, and break them down into simple steps that anybody can understand.

Achievements

1M+ Views Earned a silver medal
Arduino Contest 2016
Contest Winner Second Prize in the Arduino Contest 2016
Halloween Contest
Contest Winner Third Prize in the Halloween Contest
IoT Builders Contest
Contest Winner First Prize in the IoT Builders Contest
3D Design Contest
Contest Winner First Prize in the 3D Design Contest
Formlabs Contest
Contest Winner Grand Prize in the Formlabs Contest
Cupcake Contest
Contest Finalist Runner up in the Cupcake Contest
Art of Sound Contest
Contest Winner Runner Up in the Art of Sound Contest
Phone Contest
Contest Winner Second Prize in the Phone Contest
BOSEBuild Design Challenge
Contest Winner First Prize in the BOSEBuild Design Challenge
Photography Tips and Tricks Contest
Contest Winner Third Prize in the Photography Tips and Tricks Contest
Stuff on a Stick Contest
Contest Winner Runner Up in the Stuff on a Stick Contest
Soup and Stew Contest
Contest Winner Second Prize in the Soup and Stew Contest
Design Now: 3D Design Contest 2016
Contest Winner Second Prize in the Design Now: 3D Design Contest 2016
Bluetooth Challenge
Contest Winner Runner Up in the Bluetooth Challenge
Robot Contest
Contest Winner First Prize in the Robot Contest
Gorilla Glue Make It Stick Contest
Contest Finalist Runner up in the Gorilla Glue Make It Stick Contest
Epilog Contest 8
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Holiday Gifts Challenge
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Ugly Sweater Contest
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  • Visualize Bluetooth in a Long Exposure Photo

    You could probably apply the same treatment to a variety of different signals. This project actually started as an attempt to visualize WiFi signals rather than Bluetooth. I ended up visualizing Bluetooth signals because doing long exposure photos requires total darkness, which I thought would be challenging if one were to do a room-scale mapping of a WiFi signal. That might still be an interesting experiment though. You can check out the algorithms used to translate a single signal strength value to a color in the spreadsheet I used when formulating the code: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SZRTu5d6wJdEmbz5...

    View Instructable »
  • Visualize Bluetooth in a Long Exposure Photo

    The Bluetooth signal is certainly strong enough to maintain the connection between the phone and Bluetooth device far past the edges of most pictures in this Instructable. The Blue Paint app allows you to visualize the Bluetooth signal as far out from the device as you would like (at some point the signal will be too weak to maintain the Bluetooth connection). If you are using the app, swiping up and down on the screen adjusts the minimum RSSI value. If you lower the minimum RSSI - that is to say make the value more negative, farther away from zero - you can visualize a Bluetooth signal farther from a device. I added a couple images to the gallery showing Bluetooth visualizations farther from the Bluetooth device.

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  • Toglefritz's entry TOESbuild Speaker Cube is a winner in the BOSEBuild Design Challenge contest 1 month ago
  • Toglefritz's entry TOESbuild Speaker Cube is a finalist in the BOSEBuild Design Challenge contest 1 month ago
  • Toglefritz's instructable BOSEbuild Wall Mount's weekly stats: 1 month ago
    • BOSEbuild Wall Mount
      3 views
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      0 comments
  • Toglefritz entered BOSEbuild Wall Mount in the BOSEBuild Design Challenge contest 2 months ago
  • Toglefritz's instructable TOESbuild Speaker Cube's weekly stats: 2 months ago
    • TOESbuild Speaker Cube
      5 views
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      0 comments
  • Toglefritz entered 3DBosey in the BOSEBuild Design Challenge contest 2 months ago
  • Toglefritz posted an instructable 3DBosey2 months ago
  • Toglefritz's entry A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot is a winner in the Epilog Contest 8 contest 7 months ago
  • Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo

    I have not tried it, but I feel that getting the EchoPi to work with a Bluetooth speaker should not be too difficult. The Raspberry Pi 3 has build-in Bluetooth capabilities, so it should just be a matter of connecting to the Bluetooth speaker. You may need to install a Bluetooth manager such as Blueman (sudo apt-get install blueman). I feel like there are some interesting possibilities with Bluetooth speakers paired to the EchoPi. I can imagine using a waterproof Bluetooth speaker so you can effectively have an Amazon Alexa for your shower.

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  • Toglefritz's entry A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot is a finalist in the Epilog Contest 8 contest 7 months ago
  • Toglefritz's entry Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo is a winner in the Arduino Contest 2016 contest 7 months ago
  • Toglefritz commented on Toglefritz's instructable A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot7 months ago
    A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot

    Hey Exotechmaster55,I think putting a camera on the robot would be a great idea. I was actually considering equipping the robot with an FPV system like those used for flying quadcopters. It is possible to get such a system quite inexpensively: https://hobbyking.com/en_us/quanum-complete-fpv-bundle-set-w-goggles-5-8ghz-32ch-video-tx-rx-cp-antennas-and-camera-pnf.html.Since these FPV systems are designed for use on RC aircraft, they are designed to run off battery. I am sure it would be relatively straightforward to run the camera system off the robot's battery.

    Hi Aidan17m,There are several challenges for powering the robot with a battery. Weight is one issue. Another challenge is selecting a battery that is capable of delivering the large current needed by the servos. Each of the HS-645 servos can use up to 350mA under load. This means that the robot can, in theory, use up to 4.2A of power. Batteries like those found in Xbox controllers or ordinary alcaline batteries are designed to power very low current devices. To keep up with the robot's power requirements, you need a more specialized battery.That said, some quadcopters, which are very high current machines, do use removable cartridge-style batteries that could be easily changed or charged on a stand. It may be possible to use LiPo batteries like those used for quadcopters to power the qu...

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    Hi Aidan17m,There are several challenges for powering the robot with a battery. Weight is one issue. Another challenge is selecting a battery that is capable of delivering the large current needed by the servos. Each of the HS-645 servos can use up to 350mA under load. This means that the robot can, in theory, use up to 4.2A of power. Batteries like those found in Xbox controllers or ordinary alcaline batteries are designed to power very low current devices. To keep up with the robot's power requirements, you need a more specialized battery.That said, some quadcopters, which are very high current machines, do use removable cartridge-style batteries that could be easily changed or charged on a stand. It may be possible to use LiPo batteries like those used for quadcopters to power the quadruped robot.

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  • Toglefritz's entry Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo is a winner in the IoT Builders Contest contest 7 months ago
  • Toglefritz commented on Toglefritz's instructable A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot7 months ago
    A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot

    Hi bege1. Yes, it is certainly possible to power the robot with a battery. Lynxmotion, the same company that makes the Botboarduino and the SSC-32 servo controller used in this Instructable, also sells a selection of 6V NiMh batteries suitable for powering the robot: http://www.lynxmotion.com/c-136-nimh-batteries-chargers.aspx. I have not tried powering the robot with a battery because I like the idea of being able to run the robot as long as I want. I think you will have two issues adding a battery to the robot. First, there is not really any extra space for a battery in the design presented in this Instructable so you may need to modify the 3D printed parts a bit. The GitHub repository has the files in IGES format which is editable in Fusion 360 or other CAD programs. The other issue...

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    Hi bege1. Yes, it is certainly possible to power the robot with a battery. Lynxmotion, the same company that makes the Botboarduino and the SSC-32 servo controller used in this Instructable, also sells a selection of 6V NiMh batteries suitable for powering the robot: http://www.lynxmotion.com/c-136-nimh-batteries-chargers.aspx. I have not tried powering the robot with a battery because I like the idea of being able to run the robot as long as I want. I think you will have two issues adding a battery to the robot. First, there is not really any extra space for a battery in the design presented in this Instructable so you may need to modify the 3D printed parts a bit. The GitHub repository has the files in IGES format which is editable in Fusion 360 or other CAD programs. The other issue is weight, so you may want to avoid using too heavy a battery to power the robot.

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  • Toglefritz commented on Toglefritz's instructable A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot7 months ago
    A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot

    Hey Noch100,That robot actually looks interesting. One of my goals for this project was to make the quadruped robot quite large, mostly because I think it is more fun and more impressive to make a robot the size of a small dog. If you look at that CraftBot robot, it is using micro servos. The quadruped in this Instructable uses high-torque, standard-size servos so the robot itself is much larger and more powerful.

    Hi Nestordane, thank you so much for your vote! I really appreciate it. All of the design work for this project was done in Autodesk Fusion 360. Additionally, all of the assembly animations throughout the Instructable were created using Fusion 360's Animation workspace.

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  • Toglefritz's entry Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo is a finalist in the Arduino Contest 2016 contest 7 months ago
  • Toglefritz's entry A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot is a finalist in the Design Now: 3D Design Contest 2016 contest 7 months ago
  • Toglefritz entered A 3D Printed Quadruped Robot in the Epilog Contest 8 contest 8 months ago
  • Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo

    The EchoPi has most of the functionality of the Amazon Echo. Both the EchoPi and the Amazon Echo process voice commands using the same service, so their responses will be the same. Both devices can also interface with the app so they can both use the same skills. Along the same lines, both the EchoPi and the Amazon Echo can interface with smart home devices. One major difference between the two is that the EchoPi cannot use Amazon Music, which is only available for licensed commercial products. The speaker system on the EchoPi is also not as loud. On the other hand, the EchoPi is totally flexible so you could build it into anything.

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  • Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo

    Hey oliver.goldenstein. Your build looks great! I like your implementation of the switch and LED indicator in one part, it's very elegant.

    Hi DannyM62. I think your question has been answered already, but yes, I think you can have as many EchoPi devices registered on your Amazon account as you want. I personally have eight EchoPis on my account from the various builds I tried. There could be a practical purpose to having several devices on your account. You could enable specific skills for different devices depending upon their location. For example, you could load up a kitchen EchoPi with recipe- and cooking-related skills, a shop EchoPi with skills useful for building things, and a living room EchoPi with entertainment skills.

    If you want to change the sounds, either to silence or some other tone, you can replace the .mp3 files located in <alexa-avs-sample-app-master\samples\javaclient\src\main\resources\res>.

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  • Toglefritz's entry Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo is a finalist in the IoT Builders Contest contest 8 months ago
  • Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo

    When plugged into an HDMI device, the Raspberry Pi will default to HDMI output. You can manually set the audio output by running the command "amixer cset numid=3 1" in a terminal window. The 1 at the end of the command sets audio output to the 3.5mm jack. For reference, in case you want to set the audio output mode back, a value of 2 is HDMI output and a value of 0 is the default automatic audio output selection. For more info, see https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/audio-config.md.

    Hi oliver.goldenstein, I just wanted to say I appreciated the point you made about using a button to activate Alexa for use while playing loud music. Since the EchoPi is not using the kind of fancy far-field microphones found in products like the real Echo or the Google Home, it has a hard time hearing the launch phrase if there is a lot of background noise. I like the idea of using a button to get around this issue. This is actually an issue I face with my Google Home if it is playing music; but with the EchoPi the problem is fixable with a button.

    When I was designing the EchoPi, I wanted to avoid using two separate power supplies because I think that would look strange and seem unpolished. So, I used a single 5V power supply to power both the Raspberry Pi and the audio amplifier. Five volts is sufficient to power the Pi 3; in fact most Pi 3 starter kits include a 5V power supply. Five volts is also enough to run the audio amp. However, as you pointed out, 5V is the minimum the amp requires, which probably negatively impacts sound quality. On the other hand, the EchoPi does not have access to Amazon Music, so the only sound it makes is Alexa's voice. I figured that Alexa does not necessarily need high quality audio to be heard and understood.You could certainly design the EchoPi so that the amp is powered by 12V for optimal audio...

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    When I was designing the EchoPi, I wanted to avoid using two separate power supplies because I think that would look strange and seem unpolished. So, I used a single 5V power supply to power both the Raspberry Pi and the audio amplifier. Five volts is sufficient to power the Pi 3; in fact most Pi 3 starter kits include a 5V power supply. Five volts is also enough to run the audio amp. However, as you pointed out, 5V is the minimum the amp requires, which probably negatively impacts sound quality. On the other hand, the EchoPi does not have access to Amazon Music, so the only sound it makes is Alexa's voice. I figured that Alexa does not necessarily need high quality audio to be heard and understood.You could certainly design the EchoPi so that the amp is powered by 12V for optimal audio quality, while the Pi 3 is still powered by 5V. SparkFun sells a nice breakout board to convert 12V to 5V: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9370. However, that module costs $30, which is a sizable portion of the whole cost of the project without that part, which is why I decided not to use it.

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  • Toglefritz's instructable Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo's weekly stats: 9 months ago
    • Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo
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  • Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo

    Hi jmeadcwh, thanks very much for linking to that video, I almost forgot about it. I actually built the first version of the EchoPi from the Novaspirit Tech video. Since that video was created, however, Amazon changed a few things on their GitHub repository. Most importantly, they changed the Alexa Voice Service terms and conditions to allow third-party devices to use voice activation, like the EchoPi in this Instructable does. They even provide two different wake word engines in the repository. The second significant change Amazon made is including a setup script so it is no longer necessary to use custom scripts other people made.

    Hi christian.koder. The EchoPi is activated by voice just like the real Amazon Echo. You just say "Alexa," wait for the tone confirming that the EchoPi is listening, and then ask your question. The EchoPi is not able to play music from Amazon Music because Amazon reserves that capability for commercially-available products. There is actually an application process for using Amazon Music on a device and Amazon must approve the device. I believe other music services like Spotify and Pandora work in a similar way, although you might be able to figure out a different way to get those services to run on the EchoPi, like the WiFi radio project by Adafruit: https://learn.adafruit.com/pi-wifi-radio/overview.

    I am still trying to figure out this issue because it never happened to me while building the Echo Pi. One thing I found while researching the issue that you might try is, rather than using a custom name for the Device ID while going through the steps on the Amazon developer site, like "RaspberryPiEcho" used in this Instructable, you could try using the default "my_device." Using "my_device" for the Device ID seems to fix authentication issues for some people.

    Thanks to everyone who caught the "blue issue" with the EPS file. I think I changed the file a bit at one point and forgot to re-test the template with Ponoko. Anyway, I fixed the file and updated the GitHub repository with the working version.

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  • Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Amazon Echo

    Hi eclecticangler. First of all, thank you very much for catching the speaker missing from the parts list. I updated the list to include the speaker. I also converted the design files and updated the GitHub repository (https://github.com/Toglefritz/EchoPi-Hardware) to include STLs for 3D printing. I also added IGES files for the laser cut parts to the repository so you can easily modify the design.

    Hi robotmaker, you have a good point. Unless you already have a spare Raspberry Pi and your own laser cutter, buying an Echo Dot is probably cheaper than building your own. The way I see it, this project is more about building skills and learning more about the technology than saving money. I also think there are some great offshoot projects you could try by incorporating Alexa into other objects. For example, GE made a table lamp with Alexa functionality: https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/07/ge-alexa/. I am currently trying to figure out a way to build Alexa into a cutting board or other kitchen tool because, for me at least, the Echo is most useful while cooking.

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