This music visualizer project combines two of my favorite things, Arduino’s & BlinkM’s, with another one of my favorite things, music! In the video above, all the BlinkM’s are mapped to display the same value, but they can be controlled individually with some modifications. Check out the link for complete build instructions and the Arduino source code. [via arduino.cc]
This project demonstrates using an Arduino, a LM386N opamp circuit and multiple BlinkM LED units to create an audio visualization device. The audio is not pass-through so it requires a dedicated mono input. In the video demo, the Arduino enclosure is connected to the tape-out of a DX052 mixer and powered by USB by my previous DX052 power hack.
MAKE subscriber Jeff writes in to share his latest project, a Propeller powered Arcade Machine. Rather than building a PC-powered MAME cabinet, he decided to base his around a Propeller microcontroller. While it is kind of funny to put such a tiny device in a large cabinet, writing some fun games for the system should be a fun challenge. Good luck getting it working!
The Propeller Proto Board USB has all the features of the Propeller Proto Board and includes the USB programming interface on the board for those projects which need the USB interface in the application.
The glowing reviews of Make: Electronics just keep on coming. We’re thrilled by the response. And yes, we love that it’s selling plenty of copies, but the thing we’re most excited about is that people get it — the goals we set forth, to create an attractive, engaging, fun, plain English beginner’s guide, that made it okay to make mistakes, seem to have paid off. It seems to really be filling a need we suspected was significant. The book is currently ranked #669 on Amazon and remains at #1 in the Circuits, Robotics, and Robotics and Automation categories, as well as #3 in Electronics overall.
A few days ago, we (author Charles Platt and the book team) got a wonderful congratulatory note from physical computing and Arduino pioneer, Tom Igoe, author of Physical Computing and Making Things Talk (which he did with Make: Books). Today, Tom sent us a link to a review of the book he posted on his blog:
Charles Platt writes in a tone, and with a philosophy that I thoroughly agree with: learn by doing it. I love the fact that he not only gives exercises, but gives some that he knows are going to fail, and tells you so. He shows you what can go wrong, and makes you do it, so you’ve already experienced the failure and don’t fear it. Exercises like licking a 9V battery, or measuring the resistance of your tongue seem scary at first, but are safer than they seem, and valuable learning exercises.
Platt doesn’t hide his mistakes, either. He uses them as stories to illustrate his lessons. Reading – and seeing in pictures — how he blew up a capacitor, for example, is fascinating, and lets you know that when you make mistakes, you’ll survive too. The stories of his mistakes are very reassuring.
There is plenty of electrical theory in this book, but you don’t feel like it’s being shoved down your throat. Platt explains conversationally in examples, pictures, and short biographical sketches of some of the big names in electrical history. By the end of each chapter, you’ve absorbed a lot of material, without the feeling of exhaustion that comes from reading most textbooks.
Make: Electronics Our Price: $34.99
Want to learn the fundamentals of electronics in a fun and experiential way? Start working on some excellent projects as soon as you crack open this unique, hands-on book. Build the circuits first, then learn the theory behind them! With Make: Electronics, you’ll learn all of the basic components and important principles through a series of “learn by discovery” experiments. And you don’t need to know a thing about electricity to get started.
Trimpin in his studio, with his kinetic sculpture “SHHH.” Photo (c) by Susanna Howe/Corbis
In response to my posting about Trimpin: The Sound of Invention, the sweet-looking documentary about engineer, inventor, and sound artist, Trimpin, the PR folks for the film emailed to let us know that it will be showing in San Francisco and San Rafael, starting this Friday. Here are the show dates, times, and locations:
Red Vic Movie House
Friday, January 29 – Sunday, January 31, 2010
Fri: 7:15pm, 9:15pm; Sat & Sun: 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:15pm, 9:15pm
1727 Haight Street San Francisco, CA 94117
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
Wednesday, February 3 and Thursday, February 4, 2010
6:45pm and 9:00pm, both nights
1118 Fourth St., San Rafael, CA 94912 (415) 454-1222
If you go to see the film, let us know what you thought in the comments.
Apparently I’m not the only one charmed by the simple elegance of the Geneva wheel movement (Wikipedia). Thingiverse users PrintTo3D and raumfahrtagentur have created printable and laser-cut-able versions, respectively, of the classic mechanism, which converts continuous rotary into intermittent rotary motion, with positive locking of the stationary shaft between cycles. PrintTo3D has also posted a YouTube video showing the final printing, assembly, and action of his model.
I was inspired by a friend (EFNet – steve nash aka oz) on IRC – he (or his friend(s)) had setup an incoming phone number that would just rickroll you.Â Nothing else. Well, hell, that’s easy to setup with Asterisk, but I was determined to do one better.Â Not only would I setup a phone number that would rickroll you, but I would also make the number call you back and rickroll you again. With Asterisk, PHP, MySQL, and great SIP service, this is cake.
Fun for modding and doing more with your Asterisk box
Bletchley Park, the historic site of secret British code breaking activities during WWII and the birthplace of the modern computer, is again in the news thanks to John Graham-Cumming‘s book The Geek Atlas. O’Reilly pledged to give 50p per copy of the book sold in the UK to the Bletchley Park Fund and we are delighted to send our first cheque for Â£1000.
Unfortunately not everyone has heard of the plight of Bletchley Park. The Bletchley Park Trust is aiming to preserve the core heritage of the site and to build on the work of the wartime pioneers through education and technology innovation. The Trust does not receive on-going operational funding and therefore is dependent on money generated from donations or any additional on-site or off-site activities such as their online shop to enable it to continue its work.
If you’re in the UK, and haven’t bought a copy of the Geek Atlas, definitely consider it — not only is it a great read, but John and O’Reilly are sending a little love to this magnificent geek landmark with every sale. Also check out my review of the book on the GeekDad blog.
The next Make: television video highlights an InvenTeam from the Garfield-Palouse High School in Palouse, Washington. They found a need to adapt large-scale agriculture equipment for different ability levels. With the help of some skilled engineering mentors and a lot of hard work on their part, they created a simple, effective, and useful invention call the Agralift.
Freya’s Cabin is constructed from CNC-cut plywood layers pressed together, with each layer having a cutout shape like a stage set. The structure is held together with glue and tension rods that fix through pre-drilled holes in every layer. Some of the layers, including the balustrade of the lake-side front, are clear acrylic. This allows light into the middle of the structure and creates a forest-cover-like affect. The structure is raised up off the ground with lots of golden metal “stems” randomly arranged and “planted” into the concrete foundations. Freya’s gold tears are made with perforated metal sheets, copper and aluminum alloy. This shiny golden material wraps the cabin’s sides, roof, and underside.
This dude is Hans Christian Ã˜rsted, whose 1820 discovery that electric current produced magnetic fields was, supposedly, entirely accidental: He was preparing a voltaic pile for a lecture demonstration and there happened to be a compass lying nearby. He has become a sort of mascot for the Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results (JSUR), a new open-access journal initiative that hopes to provide a forum for life and computer scientists to publish results they lucked into and maybe can’t fully explain. From their website:
Can you demonstrate that:
* Technique X fails on problem Y.
* Hypothesis X can’t be proven using method Y.
* Protocol X performs poorly for task Y.
* Method X has unexpected fundamental limitations.
* While investigating X, you discovered Y.
* Model X can’t capture the behavior of phenomenon Y.
* Failure X is explained by Y.
* Assumption X doesn’t hold in domain Y.
* Event X shouldn’t happen, but it does.
Its eyes blink with data transfer. Spotted first on my Sunday scroll through the CRAFT Flickr pool. Image/video after the jump to protect delicate sensibilities. As Mark Frauenfelder, Editor-in-chief of MAKE, wrote in 2006 about a similar project:
Taxidermy is an ancient craft but contemporary concerns about using animals to make things are worthy of discussion. As someone who eats meat, wears leather, and uses rat traps to kill rats in my attic, I’m in no position to point my finger at anyone practicing taxidermy. We’ve kept the comments section open for this entry, and I encourage people to continue the conversation. I know this topic elicits strong emotions in some people, but please keep the comments civil and constructive. – Mark Frauenfelder editor-in-chief of MAKE