WearComp5: The low cost (under $400 if you already have laptop computer) wearable computational system (wearcomp), Steve Mann, early 1990s version

Old file still needs to be restored from n1nlf-11, but in the meantime, i'll put in a wearcomp5 summary:

If you already have a laptop computer, just take the output, run through NTSC to VGA converter, and feed to Virtual Vision glasses. See review of head mounted displays for description of VV glasses.

additional notes on low cost wearcomp: you can change the regulator in the VGA to NTSC converter to improve efficiency and extend battery life by a factor of typically more than two (e.g. typically more than twice as efficient). See wearhow, in particular, see node17.html and ignore wearcomp6/wearcomp7 heading (e.g. if you're building wearcomp5, this page is also very relevant).

You can improve on the VV glasses by getting rid of the big control box, and just driving the glasses directly as follows
Here's what we have looking at the male connector, facing the prongs (a mini 9 pin connector, just like the connector used on the PT/1 glasses described in review of head mounted displays and also just like the power connector of the ViA Flex PC, but despite its ubiquity it's hard to find these connectors and they fail easily):

c     s    bl    br    gr

  fb    lb    y     r



where:
c = center of the shielded cable (this is a very thin blue wire) = video
s = shield of the shielded cable = video
bl = black = audio jack ground?
br = brown = audio?
gr = green = audio jack ground?
fb = free blue (e.g. not to be confused with blue inside shield) = audio?
lb = light brown = brightness control
y = yellow = ground for 5 volt power
r = red = +5 volts
I put question marks after the audio stuff because i never used or cared about it --- i used my own separate headset design. Thus the only wires you need to worry about are:
looking at the male connector, facing the prongs:

c     s     x    x    x

   x    lb    y     r

where i use an "x" to denote "don't care", e.g. no need to use
"x" wires.
Important differences: when you drive this directly you need regulated 5 volts, not raw battery, and you need differential video not single-ended (the big huge "brick" shaped control box has a regulator in it and also a differential video amp) The brightness control is a voltage, typically 0 to 4 volts is the meaningful range. I use a pot to adj brightness, and i prefer this to the old user-interface with the pushbuttons.

I normally use a different connector, due to the poor reliability of these connectors. I used to use DB9, but then changed to a small 5 pin connector, connected as follows:

I follow a tradition that the VV Sport end has the male and the power
supply has the female (for safety reasons, e.g. accidental short
otherwise more likely).  I also use a new 5 conductor shielded cable
since the original VVSport cable is very fragile (video portion usu.
breaks first, so you could just replace that instead).  The wire I
use has colours different from original VVSport colours, and the rightmost
column is my new colours of my new cable:


      key
1             4
       5

  2        3

where;
pin 5 is +5v
pin 1 is gnd is yellow is connected to green and connected to shield
                          at VVSport end only to avoid ground loops
pin 4 is brightness (0 to 4 volts)
pin 2 is shield of video cable, but now i connect to black wire of my cable
pin 3 is center conductor video cable, which i connect to white, my wire

These pin numbers are easy to remember as they are closest to
the approximate voltages on the wires (e.g. 5 volt wire pin 5, pin 1
is ground which is the lowest voltage and lowest pin number, etc.),
and pins 2 and 3 are 2.7 volts roughly (video signal) but for positive
video signal, center cond. would be higher, hence higher pin number.
That way, it makes it easy to remember which wire is which.

Note that the differential video signal (2.7 volts both) is for
better immunity to noise (like when you walk through antitheft
gates in department stores, you get less "noisecrash" effect).

Contact info: Professor Steve Mann, University of Toronto, Department of Electrical Engineering, 10 King's College Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G4 mann@eecg.toronto.edu.

We're supposed to have a Copyright notice in our Web pages. That circle-C is ASCII 251 in case you were wondering.
My Snail mail (Canada Post) is also on that same page.

[Free Speech Ribbon] Blue ribbon designates Free speech (ribbon used instead of setting background color to black because this would be a Notscape specific feature).


This page written for any browser, not specific browsers. It was tested with Mosaic (e.g. lean and mean, and COMPLIANT to the HTML standards) but if you like some of the non-standard "features" (pork) in Netscape, you can do things like try a little try a little bit of push-pull. Then when you get tired of that you can go back to using the more ``lean and mean'' and compliant lynx or Mosaic browsers.