Tag Archives: Tyler Bletsch

Video: Atmel’s ATmega644 powers this Nickelphone

A Maker by the name of Tyler Bletsch has created a keyboard that redefines the notion of “coin-operated.” Yes, the Nickelphone can emit square wave tones via a piezo buzzer, although the 25-key piano is really designed to function as a MIDI keyboard capable of driving a full synthesizer.

According to the HackADay crew, Bletsch selected Atmel’s ATmega644 as the “brain” because it is Arduino-friendly and boasts a total of 32 data pins – allowing him to assign each key its very own pin.

“Each coin was soldered to its own wire and connects up to a 1MΩ resistor array,” explained HackADay’s John Marsh. “Coin-presses are recognized by the simple capacitive sensing technique outlined here, but [Tyler] needed to take advantage of a workaround to accurately detect multiple presses.”

Interested in learning more about Tyler’s ATmega644 -powered Nickelphone? You can check out a detailed project guide and related source code here.