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Asked — Edited

Static Noise From Ez-B4

Hello all,

So, I have tried searching the forum and the tutorials regarding a static noise coming from my new (came today) EZ-B4 without finding anything, and I hope someone that has been using it for some time can help me out.

The unit is a clean "DIY" EZ-B v4 Controller. It has the camera and the Ultrasonic sensor attached (but makes the noise without them also). I am powering the EZ-B with a 7.2v power supply (makes no noise on its own), that is attached to the EZ-B using the EZ-B alternate power source plug.
All seems to work well. Only thing is I havent been able to configure the microphone. When pressing the "settings"-icon in the Microphone-control-panel, I get an error message saying "Unhandled exeption has occurred in your application ... If you ... Object reference not set to an instance of an object"

Application works fine if I click "Continue".

Another error I get is when in RoboScratch and trying to play a "wait for Speech" The error is displayed in the "code output panel" at the bottom of the screen, and reads:

"WaitForSpeechCommand Error: System.InvalidOperationException: No audio input is supplied to this recognizer. Use the method SetInputToDefaultAudioDevice if a microphone is connected to the system, otherwise use SetInputToWaveFile, SetInputToWaveStream or SetInputToAudioStream to perform speech recognition from pre-recorded audio.
at System.Speech.Recognition.RecognizerBase.RecognizeAsync(RecognizeMode mode)
at System.Speech.Recognition.SpeechRecognitionEngine.RecognizeAsync(RecognizeMode mode)
at EZ_Builder.UCForms.FormWaitForSpeech.WaitForSpeechCommand(Int32 timeout, String[] phrases)"

I am thinking I will figure out how to set up and / or test the microphone If I really get into this. Just wanted to mention it if it could possibly be related to the noise-thing...

It is not a loud noise, just a half-rytmical static "chatter" or erratic "humming" that resembles some kind of voltage regulator or actually very similar to the noise an old analog AC automatic on / off timer would make as it spins / ticks through its timing cycle.

Does anyone else have this kind of humming static noise when EZ-B4 is powered by 7.2 - 7.4 vdc from alternate power source? Is it a voltage regulation thing that I can get rid of by using another power source or by lowering or increasing voltage to the EZ-B? Is this just the way it is supposed to be? Any chanse it could be related to Mic or speaker?

Thank you all in advance. I would love it if I did not have to experiment too much on the input power unless someone advices me to do so.

(Please be gentle. This is my first robo-anything ever, and I am finding it all very exiting and extremely confusing:)



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Welcome! The ez-b does make a little bit of static on the speaker due to the number of i/o within close proximity of the amplifier - a result of making a controller so compact with 32 i/o, camera and i2c all within a short range. Blame physics:)

If the noise is quite loud, as in your case... use a different power supply. You answered the question yourself - have you tried a battery? There is a user tutorial on selecting an appropriate power supply. There's a lot of information to learn if you wish to use an AC/DC converter for robotics - specifically since motors are not solid state and therefore do not follow the same current requirements as your power supply is providing.

Lastly, the answer to the speech recognition is in the error that you posted. If you need more information than those instructions, press the ? (question mark) next to the X (close) button on the speech control. That will bring you to it's manual page with instructions on how to configure speech recognition.

Enjoy the LEARN section - it has a lot of information which will be useful - including activities that step through the ez-b. Also, there are a number of user tutorials, which you can contribute to as you learn, as well. You'll like it here:)
Good to hear the noise probably is just static (or the power supply). The 26.5A 7.5A power supply is on its way and I will have it before my servos get here and demand some real amps. If that doesnt do it, Ill try batteries.

Thank you for being gentle. Ill go get really lost in the Learn section while I wait for the servos;)

Here is a hint, in case it doesn't become obvious as you explore the tutorials and manual. The EZ-B has a speaker. It doesn't have a microphone (and you wouldn't want it to have one. Servos make too much noise to have a microphone have any value that close to them). ARC is looking for a microphone on your computer and not finding one.

Aha... Thank you! I actually wouldnt have guessed that. And no that didnt come up to my recollection during the training for the EZ-B4 Controller. Probably in some of the kit lessons, and Im sure its clearly stated in the Techical datasheet-PDF I just downloaded:)

BTW. I killed the static sound. I dont know how, but I can trigger it back any time I want by putting a finger on the front left-ish of the Controller, so Im guessing it is some kind of interference to the WiFi antenna (or I might have some superpowers Im not yet fully in control of... Just like with my EZ-B:)
Good thing is it is completely gone when nothing covers that spot where I guess the antenna is.

I get a static noise when the EZB4 camera is on. If I stop the camera in ARC the noise stops. Is this related? Anyone think I have a bad camera (camera is new from a Dev kit)?
That's normal. The ez-b does make a little bit of static on the speaker due to the number of i/o within close proximity of the amplifier - a result of making a controller so compact with 32 i/o, camera and i2c all within a short range. Blame physics:D