Posts Tagged ‘Workshop’

Possible Arduino Projects

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

This is really just a short note to file away for the future.  Having recently discovered the Arduino, and seem many of the things it’s been made to do, I wanted to jot down a few ideas I might follow up myself one day.  Real Work seems to get in the  way most of the time, but with a long history of dabbling in radio and electronics and having built many gadgets, radios, remote controls and so forth, the Arduino looks like a fab  way to interface with mechanicals.

So the first idea is a way to play some little bells to make tunes.  I have a couple of sets of mini bells from B&Q some years ago which play a fixed set of Christmas tunes, controlled from a small box and a 12v supply.  If I can interface each bell line to the Arduino using a (reed) relay [or even directly, perhaps?] I’d have an eight note one octave player.  A quick look on the ‘net shows someone has made a similar bell tower from hand bells, however I’d like to be able to play more than one note at a time.  Input from a text file of some sort – I’ve seen a form of music notation that might do the trick, but this needs more investigation.  Ultimately I could build a multi-octave machine like a player piano or adapt a harmonium.

Second Idea: Temperature sensors on the heating system to measure use and efficiency – and combine with a gas meter reader to complete the energy consumption records  via Pachube (i.e. to add the the electric consumption data).

Third idea: Talking parrot, an adaptation of an ambient orb.  I have a USB parrot which only works on Win and has no recent drivers or apparent way to use in Linux/OSX – so I’m going to keep it for possible hacking in the future.  Flap wings or nod head , open beak etc to relay data values of some sort.  The higher the home energy use, the more the little bird will fidget.

Weekend News

Sunday, January 24th, 2010
Desk in the syudy

Study Desk (Tidy)

A fairly full weekend almost over.  Much time spent tidying the study – and it’s much better for the  work that’s been put into it,  It’s also enabled me to commission an old Apple Imac in some sort of electric blue.  It’s a bit of a beast, somewhat slow, and with a paltry 10Gb hard disk I’m wondering how I’ll get on with it.  Something of a challenge, but it’s rather fun to give it a go.

At the same time I’ve been able to take out a network hub and one of the ATAs for the phone system, so that will save a bit of 24 hour juice.  You probably won’t be able to see the difference in the Pachube data, though.

I have also patched two POTS type extensions into the study from the Grandstream GXW4004 under the stairs – so that’s now utilising all four channels.  Because it supports loop disconnect dialing, it enables me to have my Ivory 332 on the desk with its gorgeous real bell ring.  It’s a nice contrast with the Grandstream BT200 which keeps crashing every three or four calls – so maybe there’s been s dodgy firmware update recently.  Time will tell what happens to that.

Piano practice, and homework, has been patchy this weekend, despite some enthusiasm to win a competition to do the most piano practice this week.  Project work has been minimal – looks like someone’s going to have to learn the hard way that M&D aren’t joking when they predict Homework Club.

I have also patched two POTS type extensions into the study from the Grandstream GXW4004 under the stairs – so that’s now utilising all four channels.  It enables me to have my Ivory 332 on the desk with its gorgeous real bell ring.  It’s a nice contrast with the Grandstream BT200 which keeps crashing every three or four calls – so maybe there’s been s dodgy firmware update recently.  Time will tell what happens to that.

Piano practice, and homework, has been patchy this weekend, despite some enthusiasm to win a competition to do the most piano practice this week.  Project work has been minimal – looks like someone’s going to have to learn the hard way that M&D aren’t joking when they predict Homework Club.