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This documentation is for the old version of the Shades Audio Sensor. It was sold as a pre-production version and has been replaced by the Shades Audio Sensor V2 (which has a sensitivity switch).
The Shades Audio Sensor is a small circuit board that can be soldered to either the LED Matrix Shades or the RGB Shades. Since the connector pinout is different between these products, the Shades Audio Sensor must be configured with a solder jumper on the back. The built-in microphone picks up ambient sound and music, which is amplified and fed into an MSGEQ7 seven-band frequency analysis chip. The MSGEQ7 provides analog voltages to the RGB Shades or LED Matrix Shades corresponding to the sound levels present in each of the seven frequency bands. This enables the microcontroller on the Shades to analyze sounds and display various types of audio visualizations.
|Supply Voltage||3.3V to 5.5V|
|Microphone Gain||-44 dB|
|Preamp Gain||+29.8 dB|
|MSGEQ7 Gain||+22 dB|
|Bandpass Filters||63Hz, 160Hz, 400Hz, 1.0kHz, 2.5kHz, 6.25kHz, 16kHz|
|SPL Range||70 dB SPL to 100 dB SPL (approximate)|
|Input Signal||3.3V or 5V logic reset and strobe signals|
|Output Signal||0 to VCC analog level|
|Connector||1×8 2.54mm (0.1“) header|
If you're using the Shades Audio Sensor with the RGB Shades, we recommend using our custom 24AWG Power-only USB Cable to connect power to the RGB Shades from a USB battery pack. The RGB Shades are a fairly high-power device, and draw large pulses of current to power the LEDs. We included a very thin USB cable for ease of wearability with RGB Shades shipped before January 12th, 2016. Normally, this cable is not problematic, but the analog circuitry of the Shades Audio Sensor is sensitive to noise on the power rails. The custom cable greatly reduces power supply noise. It is only a power cable; while we generally don't like power-only cables, we needed to make a compromise in order to supply enough current while keeping the cable thin enough to wear comfortably.
DO THIS FIRST! The output selection jumper is on the back side of the PCB. It must be jumpered to the correct setting in order to access the analog output of the module. If you solder the module to the RGB Shades or LED Matrix Shades before setting the jumper, you will need to desolder the module in order to access it again.
The solder jumper has markings to indicate which side should be selected for the RGB Shades or the LED Matrix Shades. Carefully blob on enough solder to bridge the gap. This will connect the analog output to the appropriate pin on the 1×8 header.
If you're using the Shades Audio Sensor in a non-Shades application, you can choose whichever output pin position works best for you.
Flip the module over and solder on the 1×8 header as shown. As a general piece of advice for soldering headers, apply heat carefully or else the header's plastic may soften and the pins can shift.
For the RGB Shades, plug the Shades Audio Sensor into the RGB Shades 1×8 header as shown. Solder the pins, and then clip the excess pin length.
For the LED Matrix Shades, which have a 1×10 header rather than a 1×8 header, center the Shades Audio Sensor's header on the LED Matrix Shades header as shown. There will be one extra header hole open on either side of the Shades Audio Sensor's pins. Solder the pin, and then clip the excess pin length.
Select the matching code for your version of Shades and try downloading it to test the Shades Audio Sensor. If you are not using the Shades Audio Sensor with Shades, you can simply use the code below as a guideline for your own application.