Taking Apart the ATV-360 EyePiece [Head Mounted Display]

Written on February 14, 2009 – 12:10 pm | by bluehash |

atv_360_wild_planet_hud_pcb_removedAs promised, after taking apart the ATV-360 Spy Video here, this is a follow-up on taking apart the Head Mounted Display[HUD]. The HUD has some very interesting DIY parts and ideas which you can try out. Maybe a cool wearable. The details on all the parts used are at the end of the post and comments are open for discussion.

The HUD consists of a frame which sits in the same way as you would wear a pair of spectacles. On the right side, a case is attached which holds all the necessary electronics and optics. The HUD receives video signals from the remote which houses the camera receiver. If you are interested, you can buy the full vehicle kit at Amazon.

1. First for a few views. Click on the views for a larger image.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_full_viewatv_360_wild_planet_hud_eye_pieceatv_360_wild_planet_hud_eye_piece_2

2. So that you know how it looks, I setup two scenes. One with a PostIt note saying “HI” and the other a Rubik’s cube. The LCD is monocohrome however, so the image you will see is not color.

  • The one with the PostIt note
    atv_360_wild_planet_hud_hi_post_it_setupatv_360_wild_planet_hud_post_it_hi
  • The one with the Rubiks cube
    atv_360_wild_planet_hud_rubiks_cubeatv_360_wild_planet_hud_rubiks_cube_lens_view

3. Opening is not that easy as there are no screws to take apart the top cover which says “Spy Gear”. The cover is glued to the case using glue. Taking a clue from Jake to avoid inserting the screwdriver on the side the “cable does not come out”, I managed to take it apart. Pry the side where the black cable comes out. The other side has the LCD connector, you might damage it if ou pry that side. It’s tough at first, but once you get one side, it gets easier.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_pry_open

4. Once the cover is removed, the PCB becomes visible. The main controller chip is a Kopin KCD-A300-QB. All the other parts are support components for the chip. There is a small potentiometer in one corner which allows you to change camera gain. You can see the display change in brightness when you change it. Try adjusting it, there is no harm in doing so as it can easily be bough back to it’s previous value by looking at the screen.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_pcb_1atv_360_wild_planet_hud_pcb_2atv_360_wild_planet_hud_pcb_3

5. Remove the two screws keeping the PCB in place. Also it’s time to remove the LCD connector. To remove it, pull the black tab out a bit as in the pic.
The connector will slip out easily with a slight tug. The connector is pretty rugged. I have already plugged it in/out a few times.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lcd_connectoratv_360_wild_planet_hud_pcb_removed

6.The LCD connector is glued on to the casing. Remember to break it free before going ahead.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_remove_lcd_glue

6: Four more screws need to be taken out to remove the eyepiece. Use a pair of pliers to do this.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_pliers_remove_case

7.Before I forget, the PCB has a high output smd LED behind it as below:
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_led_2atv_360_wild_planet_hud_led

8. Prying out gives you the lens casing. It’s pretty well made, with the LCD nicely sitting in it’s place. It was designed so that the lens was at a fixed distance from the LCD.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lens_case_1atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lens_case_2atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lens_case_3atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lens_case_4

9.Going further, pry the top half with a flat head screwdriver. There are four tiny rods which keep it inline. This part should come out easily.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_remove_lens_cover_1

9.Now for the LCD. The LCD is in a tiny casing which sits in a grooved box. There is a slight amount of glue on one end as in the image. With a flat head screwdriver, as shown, just give a tiny nudge and it should come free.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lensatv_360_wild_planet_hud_remove_lens_coveratv_360_wild_planet_hud_lcd_screen_cover

10. The LCD in all it’s glory!
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lcd_screenatv_360_wild_planet_hud_lcd_screen_2

11. The following views show the three pieces of the lens casing. Note that the part at the extreme right of each image has a diffused screen to spread light from the SMD LED.
atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lens_partsatv_360_wild_planet_hud_lens_parts_2atv_360_wild_planet_hud_lens_parts_3

12. This was as far as I could go. The eyepiece is glued together. Trying to take it apart would mean risk in breaking the lens.

Parts and Notes:
Main controller chip :: Kopin KCD-A300-QB
Documents :: kopin_kcd-a300-qb_dsiplay_driver
Notes :: This is the driver chip for the 300M LV monochrome display. It is designed to accept a standard monochrome video signal (525 or 625 lines), and convert it for the display. Unfortunately its a monochrome driver and not a color one.

LCD Display :: Kopin 300MLV CyberDisplay
Documents :: kopin_cyberdisplay_300m_lv_feature_sheet
Notes :: This is the LCD Display with the connector. The feature sheet shows a frameless one, but I’m unable to find the document with the framed one.

If you find this interesting or have some new ideas or links, please post it in the comments. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to Subscribe [email] for more followups and hacks.

if you are interested in purchasing one, Amazon sells a full vehicle kit:

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17 Responses to “Taking Apart the ATV-360 EyePiece [Head Mounted Display]”

  1. Shubhika says:

    Very Cool! I love the new layout btw.

  2. ralfthewise says:

    check out:
    http://jakeofalltrades.wordpress.com/2007/09/30/25-head-mounted-display/

    For a similar hack, and info on wiring up a separate video source

  3. bluehash says:

    I’ve already included Jake’s writeup in the above post. It’s in Step.3

  4. MAtthias says:

    Where can I buy a headset only? Perhaps in Germany/Europe?

    • Luke says:

      i have the same problem, I bout mine at a garage sale for $3.00 and it didn’t have the earpiece or the head mounted display.

  5. Arvin says:

    The best way to buy the headset is to buy the whole set. Look on ebay I bought complete brand new 2 for $50.

    I already have hacked the headset to display video from other video sources like wireless cameras and DVD etc.

    I am currently trying to figure out how can I separate the TX & RX from rest of the circuit board so everything is compact.

    Hope this helps.

  6. bluehash says:

    @Arvin, That would work out cheaper.
    What’s the maximum range you could get out of it?

  7. joel says:

    the site’s gaining good audience .great man

  8. zholy says:

    Look at my instructable = it makes you feel, that you are watching the screen in the cinema … not a small TV from distance !!!

    http://www.instructables.com/id/HUD-hackmodification-to-make-a-bigger-screen

  9. zholy says:

    Oh … and there is one info, you should know (I mentioned in my instructable) … on this page in step 9. and 11. – have a close look at the third pictures. There is a thin film on those plastic parts and without those films, you will not see the picture on/from the LCD (just the LCD) !!! you need those thin films, to see picture.

  10. its great....u hav done fantastic work says:

    wow its good..no no ,,its one of the best ..
    but display should be the non monochromatic..

  11. Anonymous says:

    If you find the TX pinout for the ATV 360
    Email me @ Brandonlee123456789@hotmail.com

  12. bluehash says:

    @zholy, Thats a nice instructable. Thanks for letting me know.

  13. john says:

    in Germany you can get it here :

    http://www.spy-tec-world.com/

  14. john says:

    125 EUR, huh, lucky me, i got my from local discouter right after christmas for 60 eur.

  15. Mark says:

    @Arvin

    I grabbed one of the spy cars when amazon had it on sale. Anyway, I was able to pull the video transmitter and receiver gear from the remote and car circuit boards to make it more compact as you had mentioned.
    It takes some time, but with desoldering the components I was able to make it very compact. I just had to trace the circuit board to make sure I had all of the components to make it work.

    You can see what it looks like here(scroll to the bottom):
    http://letsmakerobots.com/node/1908

    I’ve since trimmed the circuit board for the camera part even more than whats seen in the last image. I just haven’t posted that image.

Me

Welcome to my place on the web. I note down anything interesting most of them relating to my experiences, Tech, To-dos, How-tos and various hacks. Most of my time is spent in tinkering around with hardware, building robots and working with DSPs.More

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