News

Hyperion Poi Update

Just a quick update on the poi status today – the good news is that the first pair has already shipped.  The bad news is that a new bug has turned up in the WiFi module.  Silicon Labs released a new version recently that fixed the problems we were fighting with before, but it seems to have introduced a new problem. The problem is that the firmware update process fails as often as 50% of the time.  This happened occasionally in the old version, but the poi software would automatically fix it using the module’s recovery mode.  Now, when it fails it’s totally dead and there’s no recovering it without desoldering the whole thing. Hopefully this will be a quick fix, but we’ve got to wait for Silicon Labs to figure it out.  We can’t put more WiFi modules on poi controller boards until we’re sure we won’t have to take them back off again, and we can’t ship more until we know it’s fixed. In the meantime, there’s plenty of other work to be done.  IR and WiFi sync are still being worked on, and we’re going ahead with production of parts like the LED boards that aren’t affected by the bug.  I’ll post more as soon as there’s...

New tubing colors!

We’re now offering the Hyperion with colored tubing!  In addition to white HDPE and clear polypro, you can also get your hoop in violet or aquamarine polypro.  Colored tubing is an option for both new hoops and re-tubing – it’s listed in the ‘material’ selection box on the order page. The colored tubing has some effect on the appearance of the LED colors, but not much, and makes the hoop more attractive for daytime use. If you have a request for another color, let us know!  We’ll be adding more options in the future if there’s enough...

Hyperion Poi Update

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project by pre-ordering Hyperion poi! The project is progressing steadily, but a few weeks behind the original schedule. Mostly it’s been non-technical issues – things like the outside area of our shop being broken into twice within 10 days earlier in the summer. (Despite being given two license plate numbers of vehicles used in the burglaries, the SMPD has apparently accomplished nothing more so far than losing the half hour of surveillance video submitted into evidence.) Earlier this year new 3.5mm LEDs became available that let us fit 45 LEDs where we were only expecting to have 26. The results have been great, with the higher resolution making complex patterns much more distinct. The new LEDs are more sensitive to heat, though. The first prototypes were hand-soldered, which was tedious but produced usable boards. The first panel of LED boards assembled with our automated pick-and-place machine, on the other hand, got too hot in the reflow oven and had many failures. The whole panel was a total loss, and we’ve had to reorder more LEDs to try again. De-panelizing the long, thin LED boards is also problematic. The individual boards are scored so they can be broken apart after the soldering process is complete, but the thin circuit board material and the shape of the boards makes it very hard to break them apart without twisting the boards and damaging the LEDs. This is not a huge problem; it’ll just require using one of the milling machines to cut them apart. This means more setup time and some extra labor, but it...

May 18 Software Update

A new version is available for download in the Download Updates section.  This version should fix a bug that was causing Bluetooth-linked hoops to frequently drop their connection in certain circumstances. This is the first update released since the introduction of the 2nd generation Hyperion controller.  Gen 2 hoops started shipping earlier this month and all hoops with serial numbers of 161705 and above are Gen 2.  This update fixes a few Gen 2 specific bugs and some minor bugs common to both. The update file contains the software for both versions, and your hoop will use the version it needs.  The exception to this is older Gen 1 hoops that had a bug that prevents them from using the combined update file.  For those hoops, an alternate file is provided that has just the Gen 1 software.  After this update is installed, those Gen 1 hoops will be able to use the combined file for future updates as...

Special update instructions for Mac users

Note: Before you begin, always save a copy of the config.ini file from your hoop.  This file contains important settings, including the hoop’s name and the number of LEDs.  Copy the file back to the hoop when you’re done with the update. The Mac OS X operating system creates a lot of small hidden files when working with removable disks.  Depending on the applications you’re using, this can mean that the hoop will run out of disk space before you can copy all of the new pattern files to it. To get around this problem, we’ve posted the update as a disk image file for Disk Utility.  Start by downloading the Mac update file from the ‘Download Updates’ section of the website.  When you open the file your Mac will mount it as a new drive called HYPERION.  You can drop your config.ini file into this virtual drive now or you can put it back on the hoop later, but make sure you keep a copy of the file so you don’t lose your settings. Disk Utility is located in the ‘Utilites’ folder under ‘Applications’ in the Finder.  Select ‘Hyperion_March2016.dmg’ on the left side of the screen and click the ‘Restore’ tab at the top.  Drag the drive marked ‘Argent Hyperion Media’ to the Destination field and click the ‘Restore’ button on the lower right. The system will ask if you’re sure you want to erase ‘Argent Hyperion Media’ and replace it with the contents of ‘Hyperion_March2016.dmg’.  Double check that these names are right – you do not want to accidentally overwrite another drive with the update.  Older hoops may show...

Pattern updates and ‘out of space’ errors

Several people have reported running out of disk space on their hoop’s drive while trying to load the new pattern update.  We’ve identified three common causes of disk space errors: If you’re deleting files using a Mac, you’ll need to empty the trash before you can add more files. Make sure you don’t put the pattern update .zip file itself on the hoop.  You just want the files in the .zip file. If you’ve reformatted your hoop using a computer, the allocation unit size might be too large. The first two are pretty straightforward, but the third is more subtle.  Space is allocated for files in fixed-size chunks, so even the smallest file occupies at least one of those chunks.  If you format the hoop’s drive using Windows, it will use an allocation unit size of 4096 bytes, and the new update won’t quite fit. The easiest fix is to have the hoop reformat itself.  The internal format command uses an allocation unit size of 512 bytes so the small pattern files don’t waste nearly as much space.  Follow the instructions from yesterday’s blog post to reformat the hoop’s drive using the 44-key...