Introduction: NeuroSky MindWave Mobile Teardown + Customized EEG Headpiece

About: Hi to all! I create technological couture; with a background in fashion design combined with engineering, science and interaction design, I create systems around the body that tend towards artificial intellige…

This is an Instructables on how to tear down // hack Neurosky's
MindWave Mobile - towards creating your own headband or an
3D printed EEG headpiece [like I did] with LED indicator.

Neurosky's MindWave Mobile $109.95 through SPARKFUN.COM

I created this headpiece for an Intel-Edison based mood measuring SYNAPSE project in where I couple the Edison to the Neurosky MindWave Mobile. Download and tweak here my MINDWAVE MOBILE headset on TINKERCAD.

Specifications NeuroSky MindWave

30mW rate power; 50mW max power- 2.420 - 2.471GHz RF frequency- 6dBm RF max power- 250kbit/s RF data rate- 10m RF range- 5% packet loss of bytes via wireless- UART Baudrate: 57,600 Baud - 1mV pk-pk EEG maximum signal input range - 3Hz – 100Hz hardware filter range - 12 bits ADC resultion- 512Hz sampling rate- 1Hz eSense calculation rate

Step 1: STEP 1 Dissasemble // Take Apart

There are small philips screws behind the primary MindWave Mobile sticker.
Remove these and you will have access to the little NEUROSKY EEG board.

KEEP screws in little box or plate as you might want to keep all the things you tear apart, never throw anything away that you hack apart, until you are super certain. You might need it later.

PICTURE #1 #2 #3 #4
These are some snapshots of what the headset looks like disassembled.

Note that there are essential five parts:

1. The arm that goes on to the forehead sensor
2. The main body of the headset, including the wiring for the AAA battery
3. The ear loop and clip
4. The TGAM board. #1 and #3 are wired onto the TGAM board directly. This is the rectangular board
5. The Bluetooth board. This board sits on top of the TGAM board. It also receives the wiring from the power. This is the board in a "T" Shape. Note the power switch built into this board.

Step 2: STEP 2 Dissasemble // Watch the Wiring

This is a closer look at the wiring.

Based on this wiring, you should be able to move the two boards out of the headset body. You should snip the battery wiring and replace that with your own battery box. Note the positive and negative ends of the wiring.

Alternatively, you could slice the headset and use that battery compartment If you keep the exact same wiring configuration, while removing the plastic "over­-the-­head" loop and replacing that with soft components, you should be able to effectively mock up a headset that is using the MindWave Mobile internals. You will need to create your own On­Off ­Reset switch. Note that the switch has three settings.

Step 3: STEP 3 Dissasemble // Electrode

The earlobe clip I would keep the way it is, but the forehead sensor can be easily taken out and replaced into a new mount, watch out that the wire stays connected in the right way. See picture of how the sensor looks like when disassembled // taken out of the the arm that goes on to the forehead sensor. I would leave it since it's most reliable.

Step 4: STEP 4 Dissasemble // Earlobe

If you DO plan on reusing the earlobe loop / clip, this is how it looks like.
Note that it needs the right kind of pressure if you decide to redesign.

Step 5: STEP 4 Redesigned the EEG Headpiece (in 3D)

Redesign of headpiece using AutoDesk's MAYA [software]

STL file in TINKERCAD for you to download and edit
and start to redesign & tweak to your wish / color / shape!


Never copy-paste, but add something new. For example,
besides design, an added LED's in my headset that blinked
as mind waves were being triggered :D #FTW #indicators

Brain waves are:

Delta wave – (0.1 – 3 Hz)
Theta wave – (4 – 7 Hz)
Alpha wave – (8 – 15 Hz)
Mu wave – (7.5 – 12.5 Hz)
SMR wave – (12.5 – 15.5 Hz)
Beta wave – (16 – 31 Hz)
Gamma wave – (32 – 100 Hz)

Step 7: HEADBAND (another Case Study)

Another valuable resource:
[not by me, but by a user making a flexible band]


This was done with a MindWave instead of a MindWave Mobile. The main board with the five point output to brainwave sensors is the same. The difference in this 3rd party tutorial is that they cut more wires and that it is using the RF MindWave board instead of the Bluetooth MindWave Mobile board.

Step 8: How I Utilised the Hacked NeuroSky Mindsense Headset

I created this headpiece for my Intel-Edison based mood measuring SYNAPSE project (wearables project using wireless bio signals to mood-map de body and data visualise through the wearers garment) as demo during INTEL's IDF (Intel Development Forum) in 2014

LOVE and happy creating <3