Turn up the tunes with these Maker music designs

If you frequent Bits & Pieces, you know that we love ourselves a good hacked musical devices. Whether it is a series of stepper motors belting our Guns N’ Roses or long outdated computer parts being repurposed into instruments, these techie tunes just warm our hacker hearts. Today, we have two more musical creations to add to our ever-growing list.

Taking inspiration from the Moppy Project — which we have previously featured, Maker Tyler Bletsch puts his own spin on the floppy drive music player.


While he started out by creating his own Floppy Shield for Arduino code (available on GitHub), Bletsch later changed his idea to incorporate a full Arduino library, entitled “Floppy Music.” which is also readily accessibly for download. With this shield in hand, he was able to link not one, but four floppy drives to his board with regular cables to produce one of our favorite movie themes.

Bletsch continues to make updates to his creation, which you can follow along with his breakdown here. Previously, he was selling the boards he had produced, but has recently sold out. Not a bad problem to have, if you ask us!

While the floppy music player has become a common yet awesome hack in the Maker community, a dedicated web radio player is not.

A Maker by the name of Vassilis Serasidis has recently tasked an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega168) to become an inexpensive web radio player with full stereo sound. There are thousands of radio stations being broadcast across the Internet at any given time and our Maker knew there had to be a way to harness them all.


His design features two switches that allow for station switching, but the heart of the system is the trusty [ATmega168 based] Arduino. Serasidis describes his gadget’s function, “”The Arduino sends a request to a WebRadio server through the ethernet module (ENC28J60). The ENC28J60 is connected to the WebRadio server, sends the request and waits for response from the server.

According to the Maker, he devised the unit so that “the response will be the header information of the radio station followed by the audio stream (MP3 or AAC). The Arduino gets the answer from the server and sends the received data to the VS1053B MP3, AAC or WMA decoder.” In turn, an outward facing LCD will display the information provider.

Those wanting to read Serasidis’ entire tutorial on how to harness the power of WebRadio with an ATmega168 can click on over to his informational guide.







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