August 2012 Archives

UP--San Francisco Urban Prototyping

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...not the cartoon.

UP, is a festival!  And somehow it reminds me of Singularity Sky, by Charles Stross--wherein an unstoppable, singularity driven group called "Festival" enact vast and unpredictable change(s) upon whole planets.  Anyhow, the brainstorming  session this past tuesday was certainly filled with willing, intoxicated participants, all eager to foment "something" upon the 5th street soma corridor.  Conversations included tunnel planetariums, chalk art walking zoetropes, smell exhibits, networked bathrooms, etc.  I like the idea of something solar, networked, array'd etc-- might put the hardware hat on.  We'll see what comes out of of the kitchen.

The Festival itself includes a makeathon, subsidized projects, as well as a weekend exposition!

7-segmented display install (pt2)

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almost pi!

Here's the finished product.  The orange fountain is made by global tap, and designed by Ideo.  The electronics, and signage are in-house.

the board with the displays (yes, there's a rework wire!):

And the original post with video!


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a tiny atiny microcontoller amplifier!

The 8-bit atmel attiny13  has 6 i/o and a crystal-less speed of 20mhz.  We've paired it with a 2x1 audio switch and a 2 watt utility amplifier on a 50x50mm board.  Every i/o of every chip is accesible via the terminals.  You can strip the unit down and make it just an amplifier, or just a signal generator, or just an audio switch!  This capability also gives some nice redundancy and bypass abilities.  One of the two dip-switches operate dependent on the programming of the attiny.  The second one can be used to manually control the audio switching.  The output crossover capacitor is pretty hefty at 1000uf, providing some nice low end in the speakers, but can be easily swapped out.  There's also an isp header for atmels mkII in-system programmer.  Lastly, we have a 5v regulator and a 12v regulator, both of which can be accessed via terminal.  The unit will certainly work with just a 9 volt battery, but the audio output won't quite have punch!

So, what can we do with this!? 

  • make an under water sound target for pyjama sharks (done!)
  • make a handheld function generator
  • throw in a photodiode and make a light dependent audio switch--i.e. "rise and shine!"
  • seamlessly switch two audio sources (i.e two ipods), based on any sensor
  • simple theremin with some adc and a sensor.
  • make a simple vu meter with audio feedback, or pehaps just a burglar alarm
  • generate audio based on i/o input
  • play with led's!
  • make most of the ghostbusters hand held tools
  • you get the idea!

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