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Enginursday: A DIY Bluetooth Headphone Adapter

Using the ESP32 Thing to make an adapter for my headphones

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Has something ever broken on you, and instead of doing the normal, sane thing, you think of an obtuse work around that turns into a project? Well that's exactly what happened to me and I'm glad it did!

A good while ago the headphone plug on my phone got a bit out of shape and wouldn't make good contact with any TRS jack. I knew full well that, even if a tiny bit tedious, I could replace the part myself, but what if... I just.. made myself a Bluetooth-to-headphone adapter instead?

AudioPants

In my personal blog I have a casual write up of the process. I used the same audio chip on the Teensy Audio Board and went about figuring out how to get all the right things hooked up together to get some sound!

The experience was full of a lot of learning and some strange problems, but was a very good stepping off point from of my previous and very first SMD PCB project. In the end I walked away with a functional but not perfect project - there's a lot of room for improvement, but the needs were met and it was time to move on to more creations!


Comments 4 comments

  • Great post! Thanks!

    I do have a couple of comments (and will skip the "English teacher" stuff).

    The piece of metal was likely working as a "shield" keeping some of the noise from the "pants" out of the Buletooth module. For a "home brew", your solution is an excellent one. For "production" boards, especially ones needing FCC approval, Nate did a good blog post on sheilds a few months ago. I still think that the manufacturers of the sheilds should (and probably will eventually) produce a line of "standardized" ones suitable for "short run" uses. (BTW, it might be interesting to see how it works using an Artemis-based board rather than the ESP-32 Thing, as the Artemis has a built-in shield.)

    My other comment is regarding your blog Noties Space: I was hoping you might mention somewhere on it who "hosts" it and maybe what software you use to support it. I might be tempted to set up one myself...

    • Thank you! (and thanks for holding back on grading my grammar x3)

      That's what I was thinking but was surprised that it was only the metal working and not the RF blocking material. Which Raised a possibility of it maybe having a directional antenna effect of sorts? It's still a mystery to me but definitely interesting!

      I would love to use an artemis board in a project like this, but audio streaming support for ble is not a supported standard yet, you might be able to use a head free profile to get some audio across but most companies write their own implementation for audio transport. It does seem like the latest bluetooth sig specs are including some kinda audio profile for BLE, it'll just take some time for adoption. The ESP32 worked for me due to it's support for the Bluetooth classic profile A2DP!

      As for my personal blog, I manage it myself and for this specific site I use an open source static site generator called Publii. It is sorta a hybrid between the wysiwyg of a CMS (Wordpress/Drupal) and A static site gen. The actual files and site are hosted using netlify. Basically website is built into static files and then those files get pushed onto a host (Netlify) all with Publii! Thank you for reminding me, I've been meaning to add that to the footer of my blog!

      Thanks for feedback,

      chipperdoodles

      • I just happened to think of something else: although shields work better if they're grounded, there's a "truism" that at those frequencies "there ain't no such thing as ground", so something along the lines of a candy wrapper that has foil between two layers of plastic might have the advantage of not being able to cause short circuits when "pinch hitting" for a propper sheild can.

        Also, one minor point, with the font that your blog space uses, a capital i is indistinguishable from a lower case L, so it wasn't until I saw "Lobstereo" that I realized that it wasn't "iobstereo"... ;-)

        • Neat thought! It would be fun to poke around the problem If I had the rf tools to debug it. Maybe someday!

          And a double thank you! When I have some time I'll make sure to do my best to clean up my site! Often I'm all worn out after writing long posts I'll def miss some edits.

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