the cheapest, easiest to build dream goggles EVER!

and there’s no denying it!

if you’ve looked around for nova dreamers and the likes you’ve probably ran across light machines (which basically flash 4 LEDs/eye at given frequencies)… and they’re about… what… 140$ ? ( i think i saw them).

thing is you can build them for about 5$ and custimize them as you want and i just found a very neat site that has clear and simple instructions:

you basically hook them up to a printer port and use one of the given programs (or write your own in qbasic or C as the example shows).

you can also make them computer-independent (if you look in the picture gallery and click on the audio link you’ll see how to build the second more complicated version) and just plug them in to your cd-player.

i’m certainly going to give the printer-port ones a try, i have everything right here (an old printer cable, some wires and 8 leds). worth a try, considering it’s only going to take some 5 minutes to make these.

and they’re done:

total cost: nothing. i had everything. an old pair of cheap plastic glasses that make me look like i’m about to kill someone… 8 leds… and a bunch of wiring. the parallel jack was lying around in a drawer too and the laptop is a 486 that my dad picked out of a garbage can at work… it runs dos 6.something and win 3.1… since all i need is qbasic, there’s no problems there.

after i did all the soldering and the lights go on, i had to find the right address for the port (which they say lpt1 is usually 888)… took a bit of trying different values and it wasn’t really going anywhere, so i (magically) realized the dos diagnostics tool will give me the lpt address which turned out to be 956 (in decimal)

i also put a lot of hot glue around the soldered points (leds and port) so that they wouldn’t break off with movement. the black wire is actually 9 white wires covered in tape.

anyway, these are just details.

i made my own preset using one of the small exe programs on the site. i went for 12 Hz for 5 min, then 8 for another 5… then 5 for 5 minutes and finally 2 for 90 minutes. I have to say i fell asleep by the last set of 5 (at first the lights were a bit too bright, so i only flashed one led instead of all 4 - that’s another things, it’s pretty easy to make your own flashing patterns). I only woke up after the set had finished… i was tired so i don’t remember any dreams or anything.

so yeah.

i finished it in about 2 hours (it’s kinda sloppy, but if it works i’ll buy some real cable and a more comfortable pair of glasses and build another one). the way it works is way way simple (if you know anything about basic or c programming)… you just tell it to open pin #2 on port 956 (which is my printer port) and the led attached to that pin lights up. (of course, with the programs you just say what frequency you want, for how long and what flashing patterns, with the possibility of making you own). the good part is you can have different colours for the leds and just flash the ones you want (or combinations of colours).

all in all… a true light machine for (at least for me) 0$.

lol very nice really that cheap huh well done gonna have to tell us how they feel and work :wink:

MeusOpusMagnus this is a job well done, do you think with your programming skills you could create a setting where it flashes while your dreaming a la nova dreamer except without the rem detection? I wouldn’t mind sleeping with a cable connected to my PC or Laptop if it means i can get a cue when dreaming to get Lucid. and as it’s 5 dollars to build and with some software on your end, we could have an amazing LD tool, and if it doesn’t work for some people then at least you only spent 5 dollars compared to that whopping 350 dollars on that new dream maker.

yeah totally… i think you can actually do that with the software it comes with. the way that little exe prog works (i find it very customizable for now) is you create a session and you split it in segments. say you want the lights to flash every 90 minutes at 2 flashes per second for one minute (i don’t know if it does half-minutes or seconds yet, i didn’t try that):

you cut a session in 2… one 90 minute where the intensity is 0 hz (0 flashes per second) and one segment of one minute where it flashes at 2 hz (twice per second).

and there you have it. well, i guess to loop it say 5 times you’d have to make 10 sessions (5 groups of the 2 segments above)… it would take a few minutes to set up but then you can save it and load it whenever.

the program also has a sound function (and the second version of the program, which i didn’t try seems to better integrate sound)… i didn’t try the sound function because my laptop only had a pc speaker…

i tried it again this morning with a sleep preset it has but i changed it from 1 hour 30 minutes to one hour… i have to say i slept like a baby and it really doesn’t bother me at all… i woke up (again) right after the session was finished.

i’m very pleased with it…

it basically does everything those light machines can do, but it just needs a computer. i mean, i’m sure you can reduce it to a single programable mask using a pic (i know a bit more about the pic after the kvasar experience, but i still can’t program them myself)… but why bother with the pic, the programmer and all that you would need when you can do it with some spare wires and a few leds.

i just burnt a cd with an ld preset from bwgen so i’ll try playing that while having the lights on.

… i should mention that i didn’t have an LD in about 4 months now (busy with school and a bit stressed out) so i don’t expect any miracles out of nowhere. but i’ll keep you guys updated.

(also, i’m trying to figure out if i could build one using the serial port, since most computers nowadays are a bit short of lpt ports, especially laptops. i’ll be reading about that)

you know if you could go wireless you could make a fair amount of money out of it. could you actually go wireless?

well, i figure with a programmable pic and a few buttons or a dial you could… using 2 aaa batteries and stuff… but then it wouldn’t be software driven (it would, but programming a chip is no fun) and the fun part about them right now is how customizable they are.

besides, i think the whole point is how ridiculously easy it is to make (solder 9 wires to some leds and an lpt jack and you’re done) and how cheap it is (add a pic + programmer + battery support and batteries, it goes up… not by 150$, that’s true, but still).

anyway… and the design isn’t mine so i couldn’t make money off it even if i’d want to :wink: hehehe

a little update:

although they haven’t given me any ld’s yet, the mask is way cool and somewhat addictive hehe. i only used bwgen before as a sound machine, but never a light machine and i have to say it’s a great experience. the sleeping sessions i’ve made (very straight forward 5 min segments that take me down to 60 minutes of 3 Hz sleep (from 12 Hz)) seem to be giving great results with dream recall and well, getting some seriously deep sleep (i realize they might both be placebo-related but still).

as for the program and creating a 90 min flicker to signal rem (the coincidence hit/miss technique) it doesn’t work: that is the program won’t allow 0 HZ (for no flickers) or units less than one minute long.

i’ll try coming up with a basic program that does that (once i understand the time variables in basic hehehe)… i also have yet to try the linux program.

does anybody have experience with light machines? i don’t know much about light machines sessions and what gives result so if anyone used them and knows what works maybe they could shed some light on the subject?

an update and a post i just posted at dreamviews:

here’s a second version of the goggles:

and here’s a small program i wrote to do what’s been mentioned earlier in the thread (signaling at 90 minute intervals):

it will ask you for the port settings (888, 956, etc)… see the instructions page for how to get the number (mine is 956).
then it’s going to turn all the leds on.

it will then ask you for a number of variables, and i’ll explain all of them:

turn LEDS on for (seconds): - here you have to specify for how long do you want the leds to be on… you can say 0.1 seconds to… whatever, 30 if you want. experiment with that.
turn LEDS off for (seconds): - this is where you say for how long the leds should be off (same value, or different than above, if, say, you want the leds to be on for one second and off for half a second)
number of led flashes: - this is how many times to repeat the on-off signal (say you want the leds to flash 5 times for one second on, half second off, this would be 5).

At this point you’re done setting up the way the lights will flash.

Number of signals: - if you want the signal to be repeated more than once after each cycle, this is where you specify it. I’ll explain how it works after i explain all the timers.
Delay between signals(minutes): - this is the delay between the signals… NOT the delay between the cycles, keep that in mind.
Repeat cycle every (in minutes): - THIS tells the program when to repeat each cycle (once every 90 minutes for instance, in which case this would be 90)
How many cycles?: - 4 for instance will repeat the entire loop 4 times and then exit.

so the way the timer works is pretty simple. say you want the signal to be given every 90 minutes, but at the same time you want 2 signals at 5 minute intervals every 90 minutes… this is where the number of signals and the delay between signals comes in, repeating the signal and the time delay between the second signal. if you just want one signal every 90 minutes, you just have to put 0 in these two fiels (number of signals and delay between signals)

i know it may sound complicated, but it’s really intuitive. if you try it once you’ll see it doesn’t take that long to set up and it’s really not complicated at all.

so possibilities of signal are:

start<----------x minutes------------->XXX(flash)<-pause->XXX(flash)<-pause->XXX(flash) go back to start and count x minutes again

or just

start<----------x minutes------------->XXX(flash) go back to start and count x minutes again

(keep in mind if you add a 5 min delay between signals and you repeat that 3 times, the 15 minutes that makes will ADD to the 90 minute cycle, so the REAL cycle will be 105 minutes, even if you entered 90 minutes for the cycle… so if you add the delay between signals, be sure to take it out from the cycle timer… if you want 3 signals at 5 minute intervals every 90 minutes, be sure you enter 75 for the “Repeat cycle every (interval in minutes):” value.)

the good thing about the little program is that it’s all variable based, so it’s very customizable. the bad thing is that it takes some time and you can’t save/load the settings (yet). another bad thing is that the signal only uses 2 leds (using all 8 leds was WAY too bright) and this is not customizable (unless you change the program yourself). Also, there may be bugs in the program (if you use 0 values here and there, or smaller than acceptable values or stuff like that, i’m not yet sure where these are)… so yeah, keep in mind i wrote this last night pretty quick and i didn’t consider exceptions and all that.

in the future i might try to set up a load/save function and maybe use preset signals (where you’d control the frequency of the signal in times/second but not how the leds light up).

anyway, i don’t know how to make an exe out of it, so you’ll have to use qbasic to run this :smile: it’s easy for me cause i use an old laptop running dos, but i don’t know how well this will work in say windows xp so i’m sorry about that, i know it’s a pretty nasty issue.

if anyone decides to use this let me know if it works for you.
i used it last night and the signals worked perfectly… the only problem being i take off the glasses while i sleep, so it so happened that every signal sent the glasses were probably on the floor (i’d wake up, see the timer had signaled, see the glasses on the floor and then put them back on… and the next time it would be the same thing, the glasses would be on the floor and i’d put them back on and fall back asleep) …

what i’ll probably add is also a key function that cuts the time of the next loop down to 5, 10 or 15 minutes or so… so if you wake up at 6 in the morning and there’s 60 minutes till the next signal, you can just push the button and fall back asleep, knowing the mask will signal in 15 minutes instead, when you’ll probably be in REM.

so yeah… i’m talking too much for nothing, the program is really small so i’m making it sound more complicated than it really is.

props go out to MeusOpusMagnus

you have done an amazing job, well done. This is the revolution…

to stop the glasses from falling off during the night, you could put the led’s into a sleep mask. Also is thats a printer port cable hooked to the glasses right?

Is there a way to strip this cable down to it’s raw wires and then perhaps make the cable thinner, as small as a cable from a headphone cable?

Or even i had an idea, is it possible to ge the LED’s to flash from hooking them up to a mobile phone, and porting this software you have made?

hmm, i assume a phone could make the leds flash, but i don’t know anything about those.

and yes, the cable could be very thin, which may be good, but may also be a bit more dangerous: a thicker cable doesn’t wrap around your neck as easily as a softer one would (i got headphones cable around me once, not pleasing to wake up because you’re breathing hard).

and yes, the printer cable is hooked up to the glasses, you can see where it hooks up at the arrow in the lower right corner of the picture.


if anyone’s getting inspiration from these glasses and wants to embark on something a lot more serious, i found a thread at dreamviews and i jumped right in.

the idea is to design a pair of glasses that detects REM in other ways than eye movement (heartrate, ECG, GSR, etc)… We’re getting closer and closer to a computer software driven pair that would measure GSR through sensors probably attached to the fingers (galvanic skin response, which changes significantly in REM)… eventually it might even break from the computer and become free standing, but for now we’re planning to do the data acquisition thorough a serial/lpt port.

as always, the price is the issue here and what we have could be built for about 15$ and doesn’t require programming PIC microcontrollers or anything fancy.

here’s the thread: … sc&start=0

so if anyone’s willing to help out with the electronics, it would be greatly appreciated. for now i’m trying to build a simple GSR unit that already switches the signal from analog to digital… we’ll figure how to connect it to a computer later :wink:

someone should start making these in mass, and sell them on ebay for like 20-30 bucks with instructions

i would pay since i dont know anything about LED/etc

hey, i could teach you if you really want a pair… better than wasting 20-30$ on something worth under 5. :grin:

it’s really not hard… but i guess if you don’t know much about leds you wouldn’t happen to have a soldering iron lying around either would you ?

maybe you know someone who does ? it’s really ridiculous how easy these are to build, all you have to do is drill 8 holes and do some soldering.

anyways, if someone really wants to build these but doesn’t know how let me know. you’ll need

  • a power drill + bits
  • soldering iron
  • a printer port (easier if you just buy the metal port instead of the printer cable)
  • 8 small red leds (or red+green, but i suggest you stick to red if you’re to use them at night, green light out of nowhere on your eyelids, ESPECIALLY when you’re eyes are adjusted to the dark is NOT FUN!!!)
  • thin wire (coated in plastic)… enough to cut 9 lengthy bits and have some leftover, so for a 5 feet cable from computer to glasses i’d suggest 50 feet of wire… you do the math.
  • cheap (but comfortable) plastic glasses

(if you want to use a printer cable you need to figure out which wire goes to which pin, so be sure you’ll buy one were you can pull back the plastic on the port back so you can see where they’re soldered… else you’ll need to measure some stuff (get a friend, two 1.5v batteries and a friend and i’ll tell you how to figure out which goes where if you don’t have anything to measure conductivity with)… it’s a bit more tricky, but it’s not hard)

so yeah, if you have all of the above and you want to build them but you’re a bit lost, i’ll gladly provide step by step instructions.

even better if you could please provide a video tutorial, not too long, then that would be sweet, even a tutorial on how to go about and setup the software. I would be up for sending you a donation and i am sure everybody here would.

video tutorials = not so very good.


1- need to be long to explain the entire process
2- get big as they get long
3- take lots of time to transfer over at slow internet speeds.

so unless you assume everyone has dsl or cable… yeah, not a very good thing to do. what i CAN do however is draw some simple illustrations that would explain the process. i think that would be enough, because you really don’t need to SEE how i drill 8 holes, everyone knows how to do that.

and, as i mentioned before, no need for any kinds of donations, copyrights, etc… ever
i’m not doing any of this for money… besides, i got most of this information for free, charging for it would make absolutely no sense.

okay then fair enough, i think it’s still amazing.
pictures would do fine, Keep up the good work.

well a little off topic but have you tried these yet?

are they increasing your ability to have LDs?

i worry that i would roll around at night and the wires/glasses would fall off.

AH! Yes, that’s exactly what happens :smile: I only tried them one night though, so i can’t say anything much about that.

You could add an elastic to them, or mount the whole thing on a sleeping mask and see how that goes. They work perfectly as a light machine so far (and have been effective with the sleep induction, which may help with WILD, but i didn’t have time to try that out). I’ll keep toying with them for the next week (i have a break)… so we’ll see how they go…

That’s why it would be fun if people would test these out, considering the ammount of time it takes to make them.

Also, I’m starting work on the new GSR device i mentioned earlier (i just bought mostly everything i need and then some). I just ordered the missing parts from Texas Instruments and in a few weeks from now I think the unit will be ready for software testing… I’ll post a diagram of the objective soon, so that people can follow up if they want.

Get this: GSR REM detection (live computer monitoring) —> Light or Vibration signaling (or possibly both or maybe even sound) + Software programmable 3 led/eye Light Machine for about 20$… (downpart = wire hanging from your face)

Then you wonder why wellness tools would charge 1000$ for the same thing. Sure, most $$$ from the Nova Dreamer went to the research, but wellness tools has no excuse.

i used these again last night and i’m getting real close i think. I had a dream ABOUT lucid dreaming, we were a whole bunch of people talking about lucid dreaming and masks you can use to induce them and stuff like that.

What happens is that i fall asleep as lot easier without the mask on than WITH the goggles on. I woke up at 5 this morning and i was REALLY tired… it took me 15 min nonetheless to fall back asleep after setting the mask and putting it on, and by that time the LEDS went off and woke me back up (i was JUST about to fall asleep).

So i’ll try setting the timer to 30 minutes this time (rather than 15, which was a bit too fast) and see how that goes.

(and here is the diagram for the new device: - If anyone has any ideas or sees anything wrong with it please let us know. It uses 2AAA batteries)

so this latest one is supposed to be stand-alone, not needing a connection to the coputer? or what?