Dev Kit - Week 3 things I noticed

So far I’m happy with this kit. The potential of this little robot is great, I’m an engineer so I like to fiddle with robots and I notice things. So far Mycroft seems to be working ok, here are a few things I’ve noticed over the past few weeks for those interested.

  1. The fan, installed per the instructions blows outward but the box is really open to ambient air so I’m not sure the heat sinks are having air flowing across them if that was the design intent.

  2. The fan when blowing inward is aimed directly at the touchscreen cable. Which blocks the path to the heat sinks. To get this a little better I pulled the ribbon cable down and tried to get it closer to the speaker box. I might take the box apart and try to reroute and tape down the cable differently.

  3. The fan is pretty loud. Totally understandable, I’m going to experiment with a Noctura fan to see if I can reduce the white noise.

  4. During a meeting, I paused an I heart radio station with the touch-screen option and left it paused for a few hours. For some reason that station no longer buffers correctly and the sound is intermittent. Restarts don’t clear the cache. I can listen to other stations without issue which is super unexpected.

  5. The pull down menu on the touchscreen is hit or miss on functionality. I tried hitting the factory reset but nothing happened. I’m not sure if I ran out of patience or nothing happened. But the restart and turnoff buttons seem to work fine.

  6. Naptime skill to sleep leads to infinite thinking mode (captured in other places on this forum) and is listed on the bug list.

  7. The Mycroft website doesn’t let me change options for my device. Hitting edit under my device, and filling out the options in “Manage your device configuration” the save button is greyed out.

  8. At 6:42am this morning the clock read 6:4 .I snapped a picture and looked away. by 6:48am the clock was back to normal and it’s been fine since.

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1-3 were mentioned on the chat server the other day. I ended up ordering a new fan. The placement is definitely not ideal, but the current design means there’s not much other placement available. If they used a small spacer on the header it might work out to have it mounted closer…dunno.

#8 has been reported in chat (first by me and then verified by another user.) However, I haven’t seen it in a couple days.

For us, it was a specific number that ‘disappeared.’ On my unit, times ending in 2 had an invisible 2. For the other user, it was times ending in 1.

Incidentally, what time zone are you in? The other person had to change time zones to repro.

I’m in Eastern standard time. Yes, after looking periodically over at the clock it seems that 2’s in the minute space vanish.

Thanks for all the great feedback Stephen!

  1. Will get the team to take a look at the instructions for this.

  2. This is definitely something to be mindful of. If it sits across the fan it can also be quite loud. We should potentially add some more detail into the instructions but the whole cabling, air-flow, fan noise stuff needs to be carefully considered for the production units.

  3. Curious to know what your temperature LED generally sits at? Currently the fan speed control is quite basic - if temperature > some_degrees: fan_speed = 50%. So there are improvements we can make on the software side too.

  4. I’ve also seen issues with the i heart radio Skill on this, but I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. We’re still looking at what our default music Skill will be as Spotify continue to be less than helpful and unfortunately a lot of services have terms prohibiting use in voice assistants. Whether this is something being enforced by their upstream partnerships I’m not sure. One way or another we need a reliable and dead simple way for users to play music. Home media servers are great for many of us, but my grandma shouldn’t need a Jellyfin/Emby/Plex/Kodi server running…

  5. Still working on these:

  • Factory reset and update device haven’t yet been implemented.
  • On screen wifi management needs to be integrated with the mobile setup process (aka “Wifi Connect”)
  • Restart and Shutdown have some… quirks… that need to be ironed out.
  1. Discovered this one the other day myself. It’s the conditional logic on the ssh key field. Current work around is to enter any content into the SSH key field and then it will let you change settings. However there is currently a separate issue that prevents the device from picking up the change to the output voice so its currently limited to Mimic 2 unless you manually change this in ~/.mycroft/mycroft.conf. I’ve got a PR to fix it, we’re just working through some other implications of the change.
  2. Haven’t yet worked out what’s going on here. I hadn’t seen that it was a different number for another user…

#3 The top LED temp light goes from purple to orange. At orange you really hear the fan otherwise the unit is pretty quite. I would say the LED turns orange every 5-10 minutes for about 30 seconds to a minute.

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