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Unread 01-30-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
AshofRebirth
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Bummer! My Necomimi broke

I thought I'd try coming here for some advice. Why not.

http://neurowear.com/projects_detail....html#ShopList



In short. Bought a pair of Necomimi for 140+ dollars. Took good, good care of it. Stored it in the original box. Wasn't rough when I used it. A little less than a year later and it WON'T TURN ON *anguish*. No matter what I do with the batteries...
Contacted Neurosky. "Sorry, it's out of warranty! derpderp" when they know this is a common problem... anyway.

Since it's out of warranty and well, not working, I was thinking I could tear it apart and possibly.. if a miracle comes: fix it. Or, take it to someone who would have knowledge of these things.

Any general advice? I'm up for anything. Just as long as it doesn't cost more than 100 because I might else well go buy a new one (unless it'll like make it better than the original. Then sure.)


I wouldn't even mind dissecting it for parts. I just need some ideas from people that are at least semi-experienced in this haha
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Last edited by AshofRebirth : 01-30-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 07:03 PM   #2
verdatum
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That totally sucks. It sounds like either a disconnected wire or a corroded battery contact.

If it is a corroded contact, you just look for gunk on the metal bits where the battery fits. You clean it off with some rubbing alcohol and something sorta scratchy, like a toothpick broken in half. Keep at it until it's shiny.

If it's a loose wire, then you get to go hunting for it. This is generally done by taking it apart and going over it with a combination of a visual inspection and a continuity tester, a common feature on multimeters. Once you find the bad connection, you probably need to solder it back together. If you don't have soldering experience, you should practice on some cheaper electronics first, or get someone with experience to do it.

Taking apart stuff like this is often a bit rough. A lot of times they involve snap fittings which can be fragile and hard to disassemble. If you aren't sure how something comes apart, examine it carefully, and don't force anything. Keep an eye out for hidden screws; they are often hidden under stickers or pads that have been glued in place. Keep a small container handy to hold all the parts. Sometimes I do all my work in a large tupperware container just to be sure nothing gets lost. If there's anything even slightly weird about how a piece is seated, take a close up photograph of it before taking it apart. This avoids all those "does it go in this way, or this way!?" dilemmas.

Oh and you should probably be careful about static when it's apart. Chances are pretty good a small static shock won't destroy the simple electronics in there, but there's no point in taking needless risks. Touch a copper plumbing pipe to ground yourself and either use a grounding strap, or just be careful not to wear fuzzy clothes that build up a charge. Keep your fingers away from any microchips you see unless you're grounded with a strap.

Hope that helps.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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You could try installing a second battery compartment with it's own switch (or if you take them appart just removing and replacing the switch) but that would require adding bulk to them or running a wire down to another 'holster' for the battery... though if you have long hair you might be able to run the wire down the back and into a shirt or something...
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Unread 01-30-2013, 11:27 PM   #4
djlemma
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What is the turn-on mechanism for the ears? Switches go bad all the time, especially if it's one of those little tact switches.

If you take the thing apart, do your best to identify what's what, and take pictures of whatever is confusing to you and post them here. There will probably be a microcontroller, some power supply stuff, some amplifier stuff, the on/off switch, and the leads for the ear and forehead sensors. If any of those things has fried or lost a connection it could mean the device won't power on....
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Unread 01-30-2013, 11:40 PM   #5
AshofRebirth
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Verdatum, you always know just what to say. Thank you again! I'll keep all that in mind. And yes. Yes it does suck.

djelemma, it's a um.. push button? If you look at the video, you can see exactly what it is. You push it and the cat symbol lights up blue and turns on the device. Push again and it does the exact opposite. It also blinks (or does..something. I forget.) when the battery is low, if that makes any difference.

Thanks guys! I'll post images in this thread once I start trying to take it apart. Wish me luck!
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Unread 02-01-2013, 03:31 AM   #6
Blue Leader
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I don't know if it'll help, but I saw a pair of ears similar to these, but instead of using brain waves or whatever to control the movement of the ears it came with a small remote control attached to a wire, and you just pressed the buttons to make the ears move. It was around $20-30 if I remember correctly. It was on Jlist.
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Unread 02-01-2013, 11:57 AM   #7
Amanita
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^I wonder if I could use the mechanism from those cheaper ears to work a pair of antennae? I've got a costume in mind, with two straight antennae that sit on top of the character's head. And it would be pretty cool if they moved- leaning back when he's upset (kinda like ca ears), twitching, and so on.
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Unread 02-02-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
djlemma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshofRebirth View Post
djelemma, it's a um.. push button? If you look at the video, you can see exactly what it is. You push it and the cat symbol lights up blue and turns on the device. Push again and it does the exact opposite. It also blinks (or does..something. I forget.) when the battery is low, if that makes any difference.
Usually behind the fancy plastic cover, there's a cheap little button like this.. I didn't see where it showed the button in the video, but I imagine if there's an LED involved it's slightly more complex, but still a sub-$5 part. If that's the broken part.....

There's some other stuff that it could be, but I'm not sure what the thing looks like. Checking the power switch and the power supply (battery pack in this case) would be the first things, though.

I assume Neurowear won't even let you pay them to service the thing, right? They just want you to buy new? That's one of the things that sucks about modern electronics.... not meant to be repaired.
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