Section I: Circuits, Tutorials, Instructions
How to use Test Equipment
Color Organs, no Arduino
- EL wire color organ using transformer to boost the voltage (Instructables). Clever idea, readable hand drawn schematic
- Color Organ using surface mount components (Instructables) Designed to be super small, it uses surface mount components. Based on a single LM339. Hand drawn schematic extremely difficult to follow
- Jameco project 3 channel LED color organ based on an MC33204 quad op amp and using a MC34072 to create a virtual ground. Well drawn schematic
- Two channel LM324 based color organ from USB E Kits. Looks pretty straightforward.
- Color Organ Triple Deluxe II. Very well documented color organ based on 8 2N2222 transistors. Excellent explanation. An earlier version (Color Organ Triple Deluxe) is simpler but doesn’t perform as well.
Color organs, with Arduino
Getting sound from a microphone into Arduino is pretty easy. You do need to amplify it because the signal straight out of a microphone is too weak for Arduino.
Sparkfun makes a nice little product with a built-in amplifier. It has fixed gain. You need to speak right into it. If you want to respond to music, you’d have to stick this right in front of the speaker.
Adafruit a similar product with adjustable gain.
To respond to different frequencies, you need to separate the incoming sound into how ever many ranges you want. Two or three is usually good: high range, midrange, and low range. Note that the amplifier and filters are completely independent of Arduino; you’d use them regardless of whether you are using an Arduino or driving the LEDs directly with a transistor.
Arduino is too slow to do in software, so you have to use hardware to make 3 different filters, and then feed the output of each filter into a separate Arduino analog input pin. Designing filters is an old and continuously evolving art. Fortunately there are some online tutorials that show how to do this, although some are not well documented and are termpermental, meaning they might work in one particular setup but then not another. My students have had very mixed results.
This last one is from Jeremy Blum, who usually does excellent work. I’ve not tried his yet because I don’t have patience for videos.
The key words to Google on are “color organ” and “sound to light” .
- Another color organ, this with a hand-drawn schematic
- Sound to Light (color organ) using Arduino (Instructables)
- This color organ is from Jeremy Blum’s extensive tutorials, which are excellent
Color organs, unsorted
Some might be duplicates of those above
- Vibrati Punk Console: The basic Atari Punk Console plus a The Low Frequency Oscillator for vibratto effect
- New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) at NYU’s ITP Experimental
- Arduino realtime audio processing
- Sensorium/Mozzi real time audio synthesis for Arduino
- Control a Servo Motor Without Programming (Make Projects)
- Controlling EL wire on the high voltage side using an optoisolator and triac (Instructable)
Tutorials, except Arduino
- Nice Basic Electronics tutorial series (Instructables)
- Sparkfun Eagle tutorial
- Tube Theremin in 1955 Popular Electronics
- Eagle Tutorial
- Physical Computing Tutorials at NYU’s ITP
Section II: Components
- Al lasher’s (Berkeley, very knowledgeable staff )
- Electronics Plus (San Raphael, very knowledgeable staff )
- Arch: Art supply store near Potrero Hill
- Center Hardware: Hardware store near Potrero Hill
- Tap Plastics: All sorts of plastics, resins, and mold making supplies and tools. Laser cutting service.
- Jameco. Belmont. Surface mail usually arrives the next day. Very friendly and helpful staff. If you need an order in a hurry, call them after you place the order and ask them if they can ship it the same day. A human always answers the phone. General electronic, Arduino, etc.
- Electronics Plus. San Rafael.
- Oddwires. Contra Costa county. Surface mail arrives within a day or two. Small company, will often stock what we ask for. Orders placed by 4pm usually ship the same day; email or call to confirm. General electronics, Arduino. Stock many Adafruit items that we use often: Motor shields, servo shields, WAVE shields, etc.
Surplus: great prices, usually new or almost new, might not always have the same parts
- All Electronics
- Marlin P. Jones and Associates (MPJA)
- BG Micro
- Surplus Center
- Electronics Goldmine
- Electronics Surplus
- Radio Shack recording module
- 1/8″ Mono Panel-Mount Audio Jack for connecting devices to audio inputs and outputs
Home Automation (Sometimes useful for sensor and control modules)
Section III: Unsorted and misc
Local places to work on projects and get informal help
- Open hack night every Wednesday at Tech Liminal in Oakland
- Techshop: Giant workshop with wood and metal working tools, 3D printers, laser cutters, etc. etc. Gym-like membership.
- Hacker spaces often welcome non-members to bring projects or questions
Websites with excellent Arduino parts, tutorials, examples
- Arduino forum
- Arduino Google+
- Excellent introduction to Arduino: Arduino in a Nutshell
- How to interface Arduino to a wide selection of input and output components
- Using a transistor to control a high current load with Arduino
- More than a very brief tutorial, Getting Started with Arduino is a very useful set of links about learning Arduino
- Adafruit Arduino stepper motor tutorial
- How to connect the MindFlex brain wave sensor to Arduino
Other lists of links
- Massive list of all types of resources
- Massive list of all sorts of input devices
- Resources for a class on Mechanisms and Things that Move at NYU’s ITP
- Sensor workshop at ITP, including long list of different sensors
General Industrial Supplies
People, Projects, and Groups we admire
- Physical Computing at NYU’s ITP
- How to hack toys and inexpensive devices to make your own Low tech Sensors and Actuators for Artists and Architects (16 page pdf)
Materials and Products
- RISDpedia: a collaborative instruction manual for artists and designers to share information about the exact products and materials we use and how to use them
Motors, Mechanisms, and Animatronics
- Arduino Animatronic Eyes
- Servo City Huge selection of brackets, structural elements, hubs, gears, etc.
- Heavy duty servo motor geared pan/tilt mechanisms
- Robot Marketplace
- 507 Mechanical Movements, some animated
Mechanical and Mechanism Construction
- How to build simple mechanisms out of cardboard and wood pamphlet by Paul Spooner
- Animated linkage mechanisms
- Library of kinematic models for design
Arduino Project Examples
- Old control system in cement factory replaced by Arduino and other stuff
How to protect electronics in rain, dust, etc.
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