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Published on: October 22, 2013 / Comments: 2

The Happy Birthday Box

Everyone usually agrees that home made gifts are usually more heart felt.  So instead of buying a gift,  Christian decided to make one for a friend.  Not too far from a musical birthday card, the Birthday Box, will present a message to the receiver on an LCD screen, and sing the song happy birthday.

The Happy Birthday Box uses a piezo buzzer for a speaker generated by an Arduino.  The text message is displayed on a standard 16×2 LCD screen, and powered by a battery pack.  There is a small roller switch as well, I assume everything turns on / off when you open and close the box but it wasn’t specifically stated as the functionality.

Keep this project bookmarked, and add a few LEDs for that valentine of yours.

Check out a quick video after the break;  Source code and more pictures on Christian’s blog.

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Published on: October 6, 2013 / Comments: None

HardDJ Arduino based MIDI controller uses hard drives as jog wheels

Stumbled on this awesome project that uses 2 old hard drives platters as rotary encoders / jog wheels.  Obviously for the purpose of DJing!  I love it when people reuse hardware that was originally intended for another purpose.

The build uses an Arduino Mega 2560 as its main processor.  RGB LED’s for the VUmeters, some slider pots for fading, and some extra buttons and knobs for MIDI events.  On the PC software side, the author is using mixxx for the MIDI mapping.

 

Check out the video after the break.  More pictures in the gallery.  Source code here on GitHub. More documentation here.

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Published on: September 22, 2013 / Comments: None

Attiny 2313 V-USB Media Volume Control

I know this awesome project is a few weeks old but I’m going to use the fact that Rupert recently posted an update as my excuse to share it on hackalizer. As the title implies the V-USB Media Volume Control project is using V-USB. V-USB is software which makes it possible to add low-speed USB to almost any AVR microcontroller without any additional hardware.

Inside Volume Control EnclosureFrom selecting the perfect rotary encoder to designing and etching his own PCB and eventually making a custom enclosure, this project shows is all. Rupert explains some of the minor but important differences of the rotary encoder such as the number of detents and amount of force required to turn the knob and press the button.  He also shares an important lesson on load capacitance with regards to the crystal on his home-brew board. Check out the build video after the break.

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Published on: September 17, 2013 / Comments: None

Build an Op-amp based RIAA phono preamp

Believe it or not some people are still in to vinyl, actually I think more people are getting into vinyl nowadays!  One thing you might not have on that fancy turbo pandora playing surround sound is a phono input for that crusty record player of yours.  Why not build a preamp so you can hook it up?

The build is based on an OPA2134 op-amp and uses a bipolar +12/-12 power supply.  Since this type of amplifier is high gain it is important to make good design decisions to reduce noise.   First off you should have an earth ground, and a fully shielded metal enclosure or else you might be picking up a lot of unwanted noise.  Second the power components should have ample space away from the audio components.  The rest can be handled with some resistors and caps.

Nice build.  Schematic included, check out the project on diyaudioprojects.

Published on: September 16, 2013 / Comments: None

LightBox – A Video Jockey oriented RGB LED controller

Bocho came up with a really neat controller for RGB LED strips.  The idea is to compliment a VJ performance, full of knobs and sliders of course.  Something that you can tweak in real time, but can also be assisted by the music.  Bocho started out with this post on bass detection on Arduino, which was then rolled into the controller.

The build uses 3 high power transistors for controlling current, and various pots and sliders that control oscillation speed, luminosity, hue, and selecting manual or beat detection all controlled by an Arduino.  Even better the project is wrapped in a decent looking enclosure.

Source code is available here. Full writeup here on bocho’s blog.  Enjoy a video demonstration after the break. (more…)

Published on: September 15, 2013 / Comments: None

Lazy Sunday Links – 9/15/2013

Sunday is a good lazy day. Time to learn stuff and bang out some easy hacks.

 

Chirp is a Javascript toolkit for creating chiptunes.  Only works in Google Chrome but sounds retro-tastic and actually sounds pretty good.

Voltage dividers are an essential skill to learn when building circuits. Go learn some voltage diviers.

Transmit data serially without a Microcontroller.  Uses a specialized IC by Holtek to transmit and receive, but really quite useful if you have some data you want to move and don’t feel like adding a Microcontroller to your project!

The gMax is a pretty large 3D Printer on kickstarter.  It boasts a 16″ x 16″ x 9″ print volume.  Wow that’s some large prints!

Don’t understand how hobbyist FDM 3D Printers work ?  Here’s a writeup on how they work.

The illustrated guide to crypto hashes.  Informative

Tuning an RTOS can be daunting to pick the right scheduling algorithm. How to select the right algorithm using system modeling.

If you’re not a VIM guru, you’re probably using the nano text editor.  Here’s some tips to make your nano experience a little more pleasurable.  Works on the Raspberry Pi too.

 

Published on: September 6, 2013 / Comments: 1

A few questions with the TubeCore Duo creators

We had a chance to catch up with Jason from TubeCore, so we decided to ask him a few questions.  TubeCore currently has a Kickstarter running to launch their product the TubeCore Duo.  The TubeCore Duo is a hackable, retro inspired modern boombox that sports all the goodies.  Streaming via WIFI and Bluetooth, to a hybrid vacuum tube amplifier powerhouse inside.  There’s even a Raspberry Pi running XBMC.

[su_dropcap style="1" size="2"]Q[/su_dropcap]So tell us your inspiration for creating the Duo.

[su_dropcap style="2" size="2"]A[/su_dropcap]I grew up in recording studios and on stages. I cut my teeth on HiFi and couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I wanted to combine solid HiFi principles to small form consumer audio; a sort of HiFi for everyone. I wanted to build something that didn’t exists and love music. So the choice was natural.

[su_dropcap style="1" size="2"]Q[/su_dropcap]You’ve obviously already passed your funding goal, do you have any concerns at this point ?

[su_dropcap style="2" size="2"]A[/su_dropcap]Logistics. When I started this, my biggest concern was getting the 56 I would have need to fund out the door and use the profits to reduce my need for off the shelf solutions and have my hardware custom designed. Because of the huge support of our fans, we have been able to develop some key relationships with our suppliers and have drawn the interest of some national and international distributors. While this relationship building is critical, with an on off system we are burdened with the task of developing 10 times the relationships we would have needed before. More input channels are being created and the time dedicated to maintaining each has drastically increased. All said, I have compensated by sleeping less. You get used to it actually.

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