Tag Archives: Duemilanove

Video: Drawing musical instruments with MusicInk

An Italian startup aptly named MusicInk is using Bare Conductive ink and an Atmel-powered (ATmega328) Arduino Duemilanove to create educational musical instruments that can be drawn and played in just minutes. According to Liat Clark of Wired UK, MusicInk’s official kit currently includes a set of stencils, a trumpet with several keys and a guitar with a few strings.

“The circuits are mediated by an Arduino Duemilanove board, with a Sparkfun MPR121 acting as the capacitive touch sensor controller,” writes Clark. “The controller, contained in a slick wooden box, can hold up to twelve individual electrodes.”

Meaning, a class can theoretically play 12 “instruments” at a time, depending on their complexity.

“At the more basic end, instruments have just one connection and play one note, but a keyboard with multiple notes can be set-up and the guitar in particular is setup with divided tracks for the same reason,” Clark notes.

The MusicInk team – which recently presented their kit at Maker Faire Rome – includes product designers Riccardo Vendramin and Gilda Negrini, along with software engineer Luong Bui.

“This is just a prototype,” Vendramin explains. “We want to improve and do something wireless. It started out just as a project for the Polytechnic University of Milan … For me, the future of design stands between technology, the art of design and manufacturing skills.”

Prototype or not, Clark confirms that the result of keying the notes – even for adults – is a lot of fun.

“It’s impossible not to get caught up in the sheer novelty, with this reporter instinctively beginning to strum the black ink lines of the guitar as though it were the real thing, rather than simply pressing each one as would be sufficient to get a response,” she adds.

Interested in learning more about? You can check out MusicInk’s official project page here.

Designing an Arduino-powered pneumatic flight simulator

A Maker by the name of Dominick Lee has created an Arduino-powered pneumatic flight simulator dubbed “LifeBeam.”

According to Lee, the LifeBeam Flight Simulator is basically a motion platform capable of performing full rotations tilting at about 40-degrees – an efficient equivalent to the traditional “Stewart Platform” simulator. Indeed, the LifeBeam manages the same physical movements (2DOF), although it only runs on two pneumatic cylinders while the Stewart platform requires 6.

So how does LifeBeam work? As Lee notes, the LifeBeam comprises a “full setup” of equipment that runs simultaneously and collaboratively.

“The data is first sent from the graphics or gaming PC through a custom software program that acquires game data. The game data is scaled and converted into specific coordinates for the roll and pitch (X and Y) axis,” Lee explained.

“The program sends out the final signal which is received by an Arduino Duemilanove (Atmel ATmega168 or ATmega328). The Arduino has a complex program on it that combines the serial commands and parses certain values to calculate a voltage which is then converted into PWM and sent to a low-pass filter which smoothes the PWM into analog voltage. The analog voltage is connected to a pneumatic valve amplifier which controls the pneumatic cylinders to make the platform move accordingly.”

Interested in learning more about Dominick’s Arduino-Pneumatic Flight Simulator? Be sure to check out the official project page on Instructables here.

Vintage radio modded into a docking station

A modder named Øyvind Nydal Dahl has converted an antique 1937 Phillips radio into a  smartphone docking station.

“I had this old Philips radio laying around that I couldn’t use because it only had an AM receiver. So, I thought it would be cool to make it into an iPhone dock,” Dahl explained in a blog post published on Build-Electronic-Circuits.com.

“The first thing I did was to remove old the old parts from it. Then I cut out the front of an old speaker and replaced the original speaker element. The reason for this was that the original element didn’t have any bass at all.”

According to Dahl, a Fiio L11 was used to dock the iPhone and enable sound – amplified via a TEA2025 amplifier circuit which provides 2.5 watts of power.

“I made the display by drawing it on my computer, then printing it out on a sheet of paper placed behind a plastic window. I used LED’s on the back to indicate volume and source selection. The LED’s [are] controlled by an Arduino Duemilanove,” said Øyvind.

“[Specifically], J1, J2, J3 and J4 are connected to outputs of the Arduino. The volume knob is a dual potentiometer (two potentiometers in one), so I have used one to control the volume and connected the other one to an input of the Arduino. The Arduino then controls the LEDs according to the potentiometer.”

Additional information about the modded antique radio can be found here, while the relevant Arduino sketch is available here.