Forums > MaxMSP

I-CubeX anyone?

May 3, 2012 | 12:01 pm

Does anybody here use the I-CubeX system and want to comment it?

http://infusionsystems.com

I am looking for a good but not too expensive sensor system. For my applications I-CubeX has a better sensor selection than Eowave. I need a Mac compatible editor and prefer MIDI output (not USB).


May 3, 2012 | 3:05 pm

I have used them extensively over the years. In my opnion they do a fairly good job, but the batteries are a hassle.

While the plug and play of the sensors is really nice I often have the feeling that they are not that plug and play.

The biometric sensors are a bit dodgy for example.

What I also often do is use the icube-X sensors on another ADC like the arduino


May 3, 2012 | 3:57 pm

llumen wrote:
What I also often do is use the icube-X sensors on another ADC like the arduino

Ah, the sensors are compatible, there is no tricky phantom powering or such? Do you just remove or replace the plugs of the cables?

Ardouino is a bit too much of a DIY playground in this case. But I would like to use I-CubeX sensors with an eobody box. Should that work?


May 3, 2012 | 4:13 pm

sure, they are mostly variable resistor sensors, with ground on the middle pin, so you can exchange freely without needing to worry about the right resistor value to accompany your bend sensor, I don’t cut the cable but make extention/convertion cords with plugs.

should work with eobody, they use 3point jacks


May 3, 2012 | 6:58 pm

Resistors, yes, but distance sensors, gyroscope etc need a power supply. I-CubeX says "4.75 to 5.25 V DC" but Eowave says "Built-in phantom 5V DC". Would be a different method if they really mean phantom power.


May 4, 2012 | 10:28 am

Be careful lads,

Unless something has changed in their designs recently, I-cubeX sensors usually have the signal in the centre connector. Top being the power supply and ground at the bottom ( http://infusionsystems.com/catalog/images/USB-microDig.connection-a.800×640.jpg ).

Their sensors tend to be insanely expensive but they are well designed and you don’t need to do much yourself.

If you are thingking of stripping the connectors and using one system’s sensors with another’s ADC I would strongly recommend going full DIY. You will save quite a lot but mostly would learn a lot too.

Regarding your "Phantom power" question, I would assume that is a bit of buzzwording by the Eowave lads so that it is understandable for audio-oriented people that don’t know much about sensors. As llumen said, they can all be seen as variable resistors as far as the ADC is concerned. Most standard sensors will need a 5v supply (what Eowave is calling "phantom" here), ground and its variable voltage out (which goes to the ADC). In the case of a pot or slider there is no real active component, you just add resistance to the 5v that are being supplied and get a different voltage out. On more sophisticated sensors you could have some built in active components that are also powered by the 5v source, they do their magic and output their signal as a variable voltage in the 0v-5v range.

Hope this is helpful


May 5, 2012 | 10:54 am

Many thanks to you both, your comments are very helpful.

I already doubted that "phantom power" is the correct description because this would make the Eowave incompatible to other systems.

Since I learned that sensors are basically interchangable it’s now my turn to find the interface that fits best. Only one sensor in my focus is offered exclusively for the I-CubeX and it is a resistor. So I will take either an Eowave interface or, if speed becomes an issue, a Teabox.


May 5, 2012 | 12:37 pm

Peter, just be aware that – as Miguel alluded to – the pinouts for the 3-pin connector are not identical on all sensors and interfaces; just because it’s a 3-pin connector does not guarantee they are directly compatible. You may ned to swap pins to make sure the signal, ground, and 5v connections are in the right places. :)


May 5, 2012 | 2:26 pm

Oh sorry about the mistake on the ground and signal pin, it’s how miguel said it is. my bad.

IR distance sensor and the likes normally are in the 0-5V range and that is really all that icube-X does see how much voltage there is on the signal pin, different adc’s are in essence the same.

gyroscopes and accelerometers come in versions that have the ‘conversion’ to 0-5V on their circuit.


May 5, 2012 | 3:24 pm

Thanks for the warning, I will be careful. I don’t know much about electronics but have equipment and knowledge to check the in- and outputs before connecting parts from different manufacturers.


June 14, 2012 | 2:47 am

@ Miguel, Please check again our site and post back here if you still think our prices are insane. We just did some re-org and hope the results are pleasing.


June 14, 2012 | 4:03 am

I donno about Miguel, but I’ll likely still be going to Sparkfun or Adafruit for my needs.

This: http://infusionsystems.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/135

Is literally the exact same sensor as this: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9376 – which is a third of the price. I’m doubtful that your specialized connector, cable, and labor to put that all together came out to another $14.

$14 for a two-wire cable, a connector, and some heatshrink wrap, and about 40 seconds worth of soldering.

Still strikes me as a bit insane.


October 10, 2012 | 4:41 am

@ MuShoo: Sorry that it took so long to notice your reply. Sparkfun and Adafruit are great, we agree, because we are engineers and like barebones stuff, like yourself it seems. But there are others who need the added value we provide. Even for you we think it’s cost effective if you’d be realistic about your time because it takes quite a bit more than 40 seconds to make our Touch sensor. Oh but wait, can we hire you if you can do it so fast ? We’ll be able to lower our prices once more ! By the way wrt. insanity – we rather think that it’s insane what people pay for a pair of brandname sunglasses.


October 10, 2012 | 8:57 am

It’s good to see the prices have come down. I’m personally quite happy/lucky that I didn’t drop $400 (or whatever it used to be) on a sensor system when Arduino/Xbee stuff was right around the corner for a fraction of the price. I came close…


October 11, 2012 | 7:31 pm

It would actually be interesting to hear what the original poster (Peter) has decided to use in the end. After all, his question was for a sensor system with MIDI output. Unless using a shield, Arduino default works through USB and has no sensors included – you have to figure out by yourself how to wire them and then have the skill and time (if only it could be done in 40 seconds .. ) to make them.


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