Finally, between driving around to EVERY RADIOSHACK IN THIS COUNTY and being pissed off that Fry's cant seem to stock ****, I've finished the first of the production units, and will probably spend the majority of my night assembling the rest of them.
Sound quality is excellent, even better than my prototype, which I attribute to the use of a PCB instead of a bunch of wires on a perfboard. A few things to note. Yes, on this first unit, the I/O holes are a bit close together and they are off center. I will be drilling pilot holes on the rest of them so they dont look so stupid.
Also, due to money (and time) constraints, this first batch will be battery powered and non-permanent install only
. I cant quite seem to get the same kind of clarity using a cig-lighter plug and filtered voltage regulator.(Even using 5v from a megasquirt on my bench to power the detcans still produces an unacceptable amount of noise, so I know I'm not crazy.) I feel that given the purpose of these tools, sound quality is of the utmost importance, and I'm just not willing to compromise that for the nicety of car power.
As for a permanent install, I think I have a good solution which will involve encasing the mic elements in copper tube and resin (think old-school detcans) and then bolting them to the block. This should help with any ambient noise and will do a really good job of weather proofing the microphones. I just haven't had the time between school and work to test this out yet, but if it works, it will be offered in the future.
I need to get back to work, but as promised, pics:
*batteries not included :P
Shot of the volume adjustment. Everything is thru-mounted and feels SOLID. This isn't going to break anytime soon.
The hole around the power indicator LED is slightly sloppy, I'm going to grab some more drill bits tomorrow on my way home from work so that they are neater. This is how all of the units will fit together though.(except slightly farther apart on the IO).
You asked for it, and you got it: Detachable mics. I will be offering replacement mics just in case, and also mics for permanent install in the future.
Thats all for now. Hopefully I can get the group buy thread up soon. After that, these things will come flooding out of seattle