Pebble-controlled talking dog collar.
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Frameworks/PebbleKit.framework
PippyCollar
Pippytalk.xcodeproj
nRF8001-Swift
pebble
sounds
.gitignore
LICENSE.md
README.md

README.md

Pippytalk

A talking dog collar controlled by a Pebble watch.

Here's how it works:

Here's the collar in action:

Build it

This project has 5 components:

  • Hardware and collar: Follow Adafruit's amazing Phone Activated Talking Dog Collar project guide. Really, 95% of this project is following their instructions!

  • Code for the Adafruit Feather 32u4: see PippyCollar/PippyCollar.ino. This almost exactly matches the sketch in Adafruit's guide, but with an even simpler UART protocol.

  • iPhone app: see Pippytalk.xcodeproj. This is a hastily-modified version of nRF8001-Swift by Michael Teeuw. It forwards messages from the Pebble watch to the Feather board.

  • Pebble app: see pebble/. Use the Pebble SDK or CloudPebble to build and install.

  • Sounds: see sounds/. My samples are released under the MIT license; the two from "Up" are used without permission.

Lessons learned

I hadn't done much soldering or circuit work before this. Maybe my mistakes will save you some headaches!

  • The output lines from the amp to the speaker must be a direct connection (as opposed to, say, attached by alligator clips). Something about high frequency signals requiring a good connection. Naturally this ended up being the last connection I chose to solder.

  • These grabber test clips are amazing for prototyping.

  • The "activity" pin on the Soundboard doesn’t work with super high bit rates. (The pin goes low when audio is playing, to sync the red LED to the sounds.) When I encoded my sounds with Ogg Vorbis at quality 10, the pin wouldn’t give feedback. I knew it must be the encoding since the LED worked with all of Adafruit’s samples. After I re-encoded my samples at a lower quality (6-8), the ACT pin worked correctly for all of them.

  • For two boards to communicate over UART, they must share a common ground, not be powered by two different USB batteries. If you think about voltage and signals for about 10 seconds, you'll understand why. Apparently I didn't have 10 seconds to spare during the few days I spent adding debug statements in Adafruit's Arduino libraries, cycling through boards, doubting my multimeter, and resoldering every joint.

  • If you are trying to sense "taps" (shakes) on the Pebble, know that vibrating the watch (vibe_short_pulse, etc.) can also trigger a tap. So if you vibrate the watch to give the user feedback when they shake their wrist, you may end up giving him/her a lot more feedback than intended.

Photos

A few photos of the build