Practical Project 1: Magic Mirror Hardware

Returning again to the Magic Mirror, it's time to add more hardware functionality.  Let's give the mirror a camera and a microphone so we can use gestures and voice for input to better control the magic mirror.

First some notes about soldering.  What is solder?  Solder is conductive metal that establishes a joint between two electrical devices whereby one gives electrons the ability to travel through the path of least resistance being a path through the solder.  Solder, when hot, turns into a liquid metal that is easy to work with and turns back into solid metal as it quickly cools down.  You can pick up solder along with a soldering station from your local electronics store.
Note that Solder does create toxic fumes and should only be worked with in a well ventilated environment.  To create a joint, heat the pad and the wire one wishes to attach to the pad, then introduce the solder to the pad.  The heat will draw the solder into a liquid form on the pad and secure a joint with the wire.  Avoid placing solder directly on the soldering iron's tip other than to "tin" the tip prior to starting the solder.

Okay, now that this is out of the way, let's consult the documentation for what we are about to do with the audio connector to a DragonBoard 410c:

Completing that tutorial will give working audio.  Now onto the video, the easy part.  Grab any usb camera and attach it to the DragonBoard 410c USB port.  I chose a small camera that works with other raspberry pi projects and used the GPIO port.  I got it to work, but I highly recommend not following my example and selecting a standard USB web camera as it's a far easier option.
For my setup, I had to 3d print a mount for the camera so it would face the right direction inside the magic mirror.

While this blog post is short on content, I feel it best to end it here as this is meant to be a first introduction to the world of soldering and the tutorial referenced from Qualcomm took me a half day to accomplish.  If you're following along, I decided against overwhelming in a task list.  So next time, I'll share the code and final project for the software to allow for gesture recognition and voice commands.


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