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Sound from all sensors

All the sensors working in tandom

Links I found invaluable to helping me in producing the artifact

ASCII (lf)

Tom Igoe Interview

sensor workshop

Genral bookmarks

hope there helpful to you.

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I have finished preparing my cabinet for the end of year show, which I am turning into a musical instrument. the idea is to install 3 IR distance sensors and a potentiometer into the top panel just above the doors, 2 6×9 speakers into the top, a sub will be on the bottom shelf also a computer power unit next to it which is to power the car amp. The amp will be bolted to the left side of the cabinet and  the Arduino on the right. The amp is to power the speakers and in the end of year show there will be a iMac in the middle which will have my show reel on it, as well as have the processing sketch running in the back ground for the instrument.

I started by taking it apart which was fairly easy, but keeping each individual part intact so I can put it back together again so it looks undisturbed, as if it were originally built to have the sensors in it.

The original patent number

Taken it apart as much as I need to, now comes the fun part.

This is the part I’m going to put the sensors into. Gave it a good clean and started to mark it up to make holes for access purposes. I didn’t realise the wood that’s been use is of such good quality.

Drilled holes first so I could get the jigsaw blade in, to cut the wood out.

This hole was a little bit more annoying as it had a very thick piece of wood attached to it which I had to chisel out carefully so as not to split the wood.

I made more holes that were needed really as I keep coming across large bits of wood glued together and as I wanted to keep the structural integrity intact I didn’t want to destroy to much of it. But knew I could be less accurate here as it wouldn’t be on show.

I marked where the sensors where going to go and drilled nice big hole so could maneuver the jigsaw enough to get a nice clean cut, as this is the bit people are going to be able to see.

6×9 are marked up and hole are cut. I didn’t want to make a modern oval shape in the wood (Even though it would be fairly easy to do so with a jigsaw). I wanted to make it look more original, so went with a diamond shape which is more of the 1940s which I think works quite well when finished.

One of the IR sensors installed.

The Arduino installed. I didn’t want to put screws directly though the holes provided in the board as I didn’t want to damage it in any way. So used the mounting that oomlout provided with the board and modified that slightly.

The kicker 4 channel amp I will be using to power the two 6x9s and the sub

And the power unit from one of the old PCs I have in the spare room. Which I’ll be using to power the amp. I’m using a PSU as it is able to produce a large capacity of power and still regulating at 12-14 volts which is actually better than most cars, which when installing large sound systems you should really be changing the original alternator and installing a cap or the sound quality will suffer. But in this case I won’t have to as the PSU will do all that for me.

I’m putting all this sound into the cabinet not just for my piece but so we can play music while we work to build the show.

6x9s installed

Sensors installed

All installed and ready to go



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Getting there

Sorted the serial input from Arduino to Processing so the information the IR sensors receive relating to distance so Processing can turn them into sound properly

Next is to have all 3 IR sensors and the potentiometer working at the same time

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Sound as a pound

Testing the IR sensor with minim in processing. For some reason (as shown in the first vid) the readings don’t register properly if I have the input serial baud rate the same as the initial rate that I up loaded to the Arduino (9600). So I put up the baud rate on the Arduino to the highest rate that would read anything (57600) and in processing tested all the lower ratings to see what worked best (38400-1200). 38400 is working the best for now but I’m still getting an irregular reading so I’m going to have to find out a way of smoothing it out a bit. Adding to this I also found that by matching the delay time on the Arduino to the portamento speed on the oscillator in processing (200) helped to iron out some but not all of the irregularity in the reading from the serial.

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I kept having a problem showing up in the error console in processing. It said minim error===audioOutput buffer error. Knowing I had a bit of java knowledge I thought I’d be brave and have a go in solving the problem. I opened the in dreamweaver from the minim and also downloaded the new version of minim and opened it up to find that the newer java had different instructions for the AudioOutput synth. So simply replaced the old minim with the new and solved the problem

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showing potential

Testing the code with the potentiometer before using the IR sensor as I know it to be far more stable so I know if there’s something wrong its less likely to be the readings coming from the Arduino.

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Sensory advise

Getting Arduino to recognise several inputs from 3 IR sensors and 1 potitiomiter. Slowed the abetery delay time aswell so I could se if the sensors were working properly.

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Solder king

I’ve started to construct my final piece for an Arduino art installation. The plan is to use IR sensors to create music in processing. I have 3 IRs and a potentiometer which have 3 wire each and several other wires, so I’m finding it a bit crowded on my bread board. So I bought a wing kit for the Arduino that has screw terminals as well as the normal ones. So instead of using 4 different holes on the bread board I can use just one terminal on the Arduino. The kit comes as a solder it your self pack. I’ve done soldering in the past so I thought I’d give it ago. The results aren’t to bad, even if I do say my self.

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I’d like to thank Lucky Larry for helping me teach my self the ways of the Arduino. I have found your web site most helpful. It has been a big contribution to me to understand Arduino. And to Joseph Gray for help understanding how to get Processing to communicate with Arduino.

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