Tympan Rev E In The Works

Welcome to 2021 everybody!

We are happy to announce that the Tympan Rev E is under development, and we plan a release this year. The current state of our progress can be found in the Rev E Hardware Repository. The design up there now is a daughter card for the Teensy 4.1 which is way much more on all accounts than the Teensy 3.6 that the Rev D is based around. More fast, more memory, more more.

In our effort to make the Tympan Rev E as good as it can be, we are opening this thread to ask for feedback and features that you would find useful. What do you like/don’t like about the Rev D that we can make better?

If you want to be up to date on our development process and release date, follow this thread and our twitter @tympanorg

Oh, and yes, we will be providing a discount code for the Rev E to folks who have purchased previous versions of Tympan hardware. Thanks for your support!

Yes! Firstly, you are all very awesome and thank you for everything you’ve done so far.

Here are issues I ran into using the rev D out in the ‘field’.

  1. The ‘wear on a loop around your neck’ format is very disorienting. I have single-sided hearing loss, and wound up sewing a mounting vest to slide the box into. The hanging loop on the case itself was not helpful-- the box would swing as I moved and getting sound from a swinging box nauseated me pretty quickly.

  2. I want this to fit on my head!

  • Could you fit it in the brim of a hat like the cynaps group does?

  • If the board itself could be less ‘pack of gum’ shaped, that’d be nice-- maybe something hexagonal? Some friends and I might enjoy working on a few more artistic hoard layouts, if this is an area that’s difficult for your team.

  • Could the case be curved so that when attached to a headband, it looked kinda nice? The boxy-ness is perfect when it’s on a table, but I’ve found I need a really bold lipstick to pull off the look in public.

  • Personally, I’d love it if the board were triangular, so it would fit better in my own wearble design, but I’m biased.

  • The 3.5mm jacks are bulky. Could you break them out so they’re anchored in the case rather than on the board itself? Or use micro/2.5mm/a jack with a smaller footprint? It seems like those jacks add a lot of space to the device, but I guess an adapter would also take up some space. Maybe a floating jack design, though, so it didn’t need to be quite as long?

  1. This is a tiiiiny thing, but I haven’t managed to figure out how to control the on-board LEDs yet. While I was testing the device, if it wasn’t bluetooth tethered at the time, the box would flash red and blue, like a police car. Any chance you could make it a little clearer in the repo or change the default colors so that this isn’t the case? It was kind of weird in public, and I just covered mine with a strip of tape.

  2. Could you update to USB C? (I’m sure you’re planning to, but, ya know…)

  3. Battery life is OK, though it doesn’t last all day. The device sometimes overheats if it’s constantly connected to bluetooth . This is probably a software-side fix rather than a hardware-side one. Adding a small button to ‘wake up’ the device for a bluetooth connection, etc might be helpful.

  4. I know a ‘rainproof’ design is not terribly realistic for a hearing device, but it would be really nice. Maybe an optional gasket for the case?

  5. Could you label on the case where the microphones are? I find myself forgetting and then wearing the device upside-down.

  6. If there’s any extra room on the chip, cool rainbow LEDs distributed around the board would rock. I’m a dork, but if I’m gonna have a custom-programmed audio device, I want it to look so cool. That being said, I am already so cool, so these are optional. :stuck_out_tongue:

  7. Fewer breakout pins-- I haven’t used the pins once, and I’d really appreciate the reduction in board size. Maybe a more compact form-factor for the leads?

Things I liked:

  1. You are using really fabulous microphones. The sound quality I get through my tympan D is better than commercial sound processors-- both the medEl AdHear and Cochlear’s BAHA (which whistles whenever it hears music…). Your mics are amazing. I suspect your algorithms are really nice, too, but I haven’t heard your mic ‘brickwall’ yet, so, well done!

  2. Wind isn’t a big problem with your case design.

  3. I don’t accidentally hit the power switch or the volume.

  4. The tympan design embossed on the case is very cool. I point to it whenever I explain the mechanics of otosclerosis to friends and strangers alike.

Additionally, one of the electrical engineers I worked with mentioned that there’s another component that could replace the physical codec you’re using that’s much smaller. Would you like me to forward her suggestions regarding that to you? In our redesign, we kept the old codec because I wanted to avoid code changes, but if you’re pushing a redesign, it could really help in reducing size.

Lastly, thank you al so so so much for all you’ve been doing. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Rev E, plus I’m very curious about how the BTE project is going.



Thanks so much for your input and for your creative use of Tympan!

There’s alot going on with your post, so I’ll try to be thorough and succinct.

  1. Yes, the lanyard is not the best solution. We want to make a modified case available with a kind of ‘clip’ that will attach to belt or vest pocket. Would this be good in your opinion?

  2. What a great idea! I am curious about the creative board layout ideas, and I have lots of experience in this regard. (I designed the original OpenBCI hardware). The beauty of open-source is that you and your friends can fork our design on github. Since we already have the AIC shield, and we’re coming out with an Earpiece Shield, we are kind of married to the current board layout and form factor. That said, the Earpiece Shield and our BTE units are something that you might be interested in working with?
    The 3.5mm jacks are also something that we will have to keep because they are most widely used and available for off-the-shelf audio tools. BTW, what are you using? That said, I do like the idea of being able to “pull off” the audio jacks if you’re not using them and want a smaller board to play with. That could be done with some mouse-bites or V-scoring in the Rev E version.

  3. Interesting. The library does reveal the LED pin aliases for general use. They are amberLED and redLED, and they can be called using the macro myTympan.setAmberLED(HIGH) for example. This could be more fleshed out in the documentation, it’s true. Also, the bluetooth module can be disabled by putting it into reset. This will ‘kill’ the blinking red/blue strobe. We don’t have a macro for disabling the BT module, but that could be added. For now, try digitalWrite(myTympan.BT_nReset,LOW) and see if it works?

  4. Yes, we are going to upgrade the USB. Either to USB C or a more robust USB Mini instead of the Micro.

  5. The units ship with a 500mAh battery, but you can upgrade to a larger one if you want by simply swapping it out for one with bigger capacity. This is an excellent use case for access to the breakout pins! Those are GPIOs that the Tympan can access to read a button press, for example :wink:

  6. OK, we have a couple embossed markings and also color coded the audio jacks. We’ll see about making it more clear.

  7. Again, a great use case for the breakout pins! The Tympan Rev D is based on the Teensy 3.6, and you can interface many popular RGB LED modules, like the Adafruit line of NeoPixel products. For a start, their NeoPixel Stick (8 LED bar) is easily powered by the 3V from the Tympan.

  8. As we use those breakouts for our Shield line they will have to stay, and you can use them yourself to add features!

We would be happy to look at options for the CODEC. We had our reasons for originally choosing the TI chip that we’re using, but if you’ve got one you like, please post it here and tell us why you like it so much!