AIY Microphone barely working

15 posts
by JPrograms » Fri May 19, 2017 3:40 pm
I assembled my AIY project kit yesterday according to the included instructions in the magazine (except renamed the json file to assistant.json per online instructions) I downloaded the latest OS image and started it up as the instructions said. I ran the Audio Test from the desktop and the speaker worked great, but the audio recording is very fuzzy and I have to yell to hear my voice. Any ideas on what the problem might be?
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by Protorabbit » Fri May 19, 2017 4:02 pm
Same problem here, i think it's a defect

I mailed
An email adres i found on
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by JPrograms » Fri May 19, 2017 5:51 pm
I emailed them too. Haven;t got a reply yet. If you do get a reply with a way to fix it could you post it here? Thanks
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by Protorabbit » Fri May 19, 2017 7:08 pm
of course i will :)
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by scraggleDog » Fri May 19, 2017 9:17 pm
I had the same problem to begin with. What fixed it for me, was re-writing the image to the SD card. The first time I did this, using Etcher, it appeared to write the whole image, but failed on the verification part of it. I just ignored that and figured it would probably work. The speaker test was fine, but the recording playback was terrible. When I re-wrote the image, it passed the verification this time and when I ran the speaker test and recording test again, the problem was fixed. It might not work for you, but it fixed the problem for me, so might be worth a try.
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by JPrograms » Sat May 20, 2017 10:56 pm
I accidently messed something up with my install, so re installed the OS using Etcher. I had a clean install that time but problem still persisted. At two different times it did start working, but stopped after a while. I found out that it might be some components on the back of the mic that came loose when I tried repositioning the tape they holds it on. I may try some testing with that and will let you know what I find ;)
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by JPrograms » Sun May 21, 2017 10:06 pm
Now I'm thinking that it may be software. Still not sure though :(
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by S0litaire » Sun May 21, 2017 10:42 pm
Did you get your microphones to sit flush against the inside of the box?

My first try the pickup from them was terrible, then I noticed that the pins from the central connector stopped them sitting flush up against the holes.

I made a small slit in the cardboard to accommodate the pins and got then as close as possible to the holes.

The sound pickup was greatly improved. worth a shot if using the box.

Bill "Solitaire" C

Anáil nathrach, ortha bhas betha, do cheol déanta
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Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
by JPrograms » Mon May 22, 2017 5:02 pm
I'm currently testing without the box and problem still persists.
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by JPrograms » Tue May 23, 2017 1:46 am
I did a little testing and here's what I know so far:

The problem is not in the Voice HAT board, for I tried attaching the microphone directly to the raspberry pi via these instructions:
The results were exactly the same.

That leaves either the software or the microphone. I'm not exactly sure but I saw, after Google-ing for answers, that the LRCLK and BCLK pins might be running wrong. Again, not sure on this and I couldn't find much info on it either.

Also as an FYI I have been using the command
Code: Select all
arecord | aplay -

for live mic playback/testing (Be careful as it may repeat itself through the speaker)

Hope this helps for further testing.
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by JPrograms » Wed May 24, 2017 1:54 am
So after almost an entire week searching Google for answers, here's how I fixed it:
Blow on it.
I don't know why but it works perfect now. I blew pretty hard on the microphones and they work great now. WAY louder than I thought it would be. Very frustrating though that it was a five second fix :lol:
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by » Wed May 24, 2017 1:16 pm
I'm getting this too.

[quote]Blow on it.[/quote]

Oddly, that helped a bit, the first time, but it didn't hold up long. It didn't sound good, but I think the voice recognition might have worked if it stayed. I'm going to try swapping the mic/hat/pi/sdcards with another guy at work who got one too. I'll see what works.
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by JPrograms » Wed May 24, 2017 1:47 pm
Yeah, I guess mine was only a temporary fix too. But now I know it is (probably) the microphone that isn't working, not the software.
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by sheridat » Wed May 24, 2017 2:12 pm
I had my box apart the other day to solder pins on the hat..

I put it back together and it no longer worked. Looking at the log I was getting an error regarding the microphone. Took it apart put it back together - wiggled the leads and so on - eventually in desperation I re-imaged the SD card and hey presto it worked.
I was convinced it was hardware - and it turned out not to be. I'm frightened to touch the thing now.
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by JPrograms » Thu May 25, 2017 1:22 pm
I've tried imaging three times and it's changed nothing do I don't think it's a software problem
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