posts tagged with the keyword ‘noisemakers’

2017.11.03

NoiseMaster IX

Once again we’ve got a noisemaker to tell you about. As you may know, there’s a whole series of these things, and they were all at Maker Faire Milwaukee in 2017, and each one is getting a blog post. (More links are at the bottom of this post.)

NoiseMaster IX

This one features a really nice (looking) speaker that was donated to the cause when I posted about needing unused speakers. This one was in a cabinet that was probably 25 years old, and had what I assume was fiberglass insulation inside of it. I ripped the cabinet apart at Milwaukee Makerspace one day and trashed everything but the sweet speakers which have “Muscle Magnet” power!

NoiseMaster IX

We’ve got a Teensy LC in this one, along with a Teensy Prop Shield (Low Cost version). I made the mistake of soldering a Teensy LC onto it instead of a Teensy 3.x and then realized it wouldn’t play the sounds I wanted to play, but it can do some speech synthesis stuff, so I embraced that. (You’ll hear what it sounds like spouting random phrases in the video below.)

NoiseMaster IX

One of the weird things I did with this one was make the wood look like plastic, and the plastic look like wood. Sort of. I mean, the wood is really MDF, but I gave it a glossy coat of paint, to move away from the stained wood I used in other noisemakers, and I sort of thought it looked more like a plastic surface. (Except for the sides, because MDF is stupid.)

NoiseMaster IX

For the “spools” I 3D printed them with wood filament, so they sort of are wood, but still plastic. Sort of. It’s confusing. Everything about this one is confusing I guess.

spool

Here’s the spools I modeled to serve as standoff between the top and bottom pieces. The spools came about after I modeled the feet. What feet?

foot

These feet! While the wood (uh, MDF) and plastic were on the controller part, I made bright green plastic feet, which are actually modeled as tiny speakers, to attach to the large blue speaker so it could “stand” face down on the table.

NoiseMaster IX

Because the Prop Shield has a built-in amp, it was much louder than most of the other noisemakers, so this was a good way to dampen the sound a bit. Hear this noisemaker in all its glory!

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:

2017.10.29

NoiseMaster VIII

We’re back after a short break with another noisemaker! Oh yeah, there’s a whole series of these things, all of which were shown at Maker Faire Milwaukee in 2017. (More links are at the bottom of this post.)

NoiseMaster VIII

I built this one very quickly while Maks was using my shop. I tried to stay out of his way and built it off to the side while he was using the workbench. I grabbed an Arduino Leonardo I had on hand and I just stuck some wires in the header pins and stuck them down with gaff tape. I also hot glued a small speaker into place and added a small terminal block to wire things up. There’s a MicroUSB cable to provide power.

NoiseMaster VIII

This one was built with a bunch of scrap wood and MDF. The one tricky thing with this one was something I wanted to try with the button. I used a breadboard compatible button and mounted it on some perf board and drilled a hole through a 6mm piece of Baltic Birch and used a Forstner bit to pocket out a space for the square body of the button so it would sit flush. (This was meant as a test for a future project, so I was glad it worked out.)

NoiseMaster VIII

Super-boring looking! Fast build, no decoration, plain wood and MDF, with a few screws and a tiny button. Plain. Simple. Blah.

NoiseMaster VIII

This one did have what I considered a fun sound though. It’s pretty much a siren. Woo-Woo-Woo-Woo goes the noisemaker! I can’t remember where I got the code from but it uses freqout, so that’s exciting. Enjoy!

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:

2017.10.15

NoiseMaster VII

The next noisemaker in this ongoing and seemingly never-ending series is one of my favorites. This time we’ve done away with any sort of real “enclosure” and everything is just mounted on a board. We’re also using a real Arduino on this one. It’s an Arduino Nano, which you can find online for approximately $3USD nowadays. It’s quite a step up from the ATtiny85 chips used in many of the previous noisemakers.

NoiseMaster VII

Even though we moved away from an enclosure on this one, we still have to mount things, so why not model and 3D print some things? We’ve got a button and a potentiometer as our controls, and each one has a small printed part to allow for mounting to the board.

NoiseMaster VI

Again, the best thing about 3D printing in this process is you can create exactly what you need. With bits of scrap wood you’re constantly cutting and drilling to get things the right size. With designing your own parts, you make what you need. Here’s a piece that holds the button I had and has a small hole near the base to allow wires to come out.

NoiseMaster VI

This piece holds the potentiometer. It’s the correct thickness to allow the potentiometer to fit and the shaft to go through the hole. The holes for mounting screws are also the exact dimensions needed to work with the #4 screws I had. Making things fit together is about 90% of making.

NoiseMaster VII

Here’s a neat trick. Remember all those hard drives we took apart? Well, I saved all the magnets, and they’re handy to have around. Since they are attached to pieces of metal with mounting holes on them, I screwed one down to the board…

NoiseMaster VII

…and it’s perfect to hold a speaker in place. Really. That speaker ain’t going nowhere! You can pull it off, but it’s on securely enough that it takes some force, and it’s not going to fall off or get knocked off easily.

NoiseMaster VII

The Arduino Nano is on one of my Nano BOB boards. I use these to allow screw terminal connections to a Nano. (I really should get these listed on my Tindie store one of these days.) Power is provided by a Mini USB cable, and yes, there’s two 3D printed standoffs under the PCB. As a bonus, the wires used were pulled out of some phone wiring I rescued from a dumpster.

NoiseMaster VII

I like this one so much, I may be reusing some of the parts in another build I’m working on. Hopefully I can post about that in the coming weeks.

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:

2017.10.13

NoiseMaster VI

Once again we’re moving along in our noisemaker series and this time we’ve got a few new things going on, but again, we’ve got a device that makes noise when you press a button. This is also the first noisemaker that features an external speaker.

NoiseMaster VI

The enclosure is another simple wood affair, and there’s a push button, and we’ve also got a… gear? Yes, there’s a gear, and under the gear is a copper board which is usually used for making PCBs, but in this case it’s used as a thin surface that allows the gear to mount to the shaft of a gear motor hidden below.

NoiseMaster VI

Just like with the last noisemaker, I used some Forstner bits to hack out a large hole and then cover it with a plate. It makes the surface look nice, and the inside/bottom is a hidden mess (which is totally fine, right?) This noisemaker has one more trick up its sleeve, I mean, it would if it had a sleeve.

NoiseMaster VI

There’s no microcontroller in this one. The electronics consist of a power supply running to the button, then to the motor, and then to the speaker. That’s it. Interestingly enough, you can get some pretty cool noise happening just by running power through a motor and speaker. Since it’s a gear motor it’s already got a great whirring sound to it, so the speaker helps amplify it. And, the bonus is that by affecting the spinning of the motor, you affect the sound. (See the video below for a demo.)

NoiseMaster VI

When I started this project I had to find old speakers, and this is from a set I rescued from the trash and had to bust apart the old wooden cabinets that had way too many screws in them. (I had these sitting under my desk at work for a few months.)

NoiseMaster VI

Still, they’ve got a funky look and mounting them just took some scrap wood, plastic strapping, and a few screws. Easy speaker stand!

NoiseMaster VI

There’s a few more two-piece noisemakers coming, but this was the first one in the series I finished. Stay Tuned!

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:

2017.10.12

NoiseMaster V

We’re moving along in the series with yet another noisemaker. This one features a control interface! Which is to say, there’s a potentiometer involved to alter the sound. This one is mainly wood with some pieces of HDPE added in. Originally I had the speaker mounted to the front, and it sort of looked like a radio, but for some reason I can’t remember, I moved the speaker to the back of the unit.

NoiseMaster V

Besides just having a button to activate the sound we’ve added a slide potentiometer. I grabbed a big pile of them from eBay years ago to have on hand, and I still have a lot of them around so I figured an audio project would be a good use for one. You may notice that the green button I used is a pretty close match to the green filament I used for 3D printing the potentiometer mounting plate. That worked out well.

NoiseMaster V

I designed the mounting plate so it could hold the potentiometer in place using two #4-40 bolts, which screw directly into the potentiometer to hold it to the plate. I then added four more mounting holes so the plate could mount to the enclosure. I kept those #4-40 for consistency. Again I’ve gone with the green PLA for the plastic parts, creating some interesting contrast between 3D printing with plastic and wood working. (And yes, there’s also blue HDPE pieces on this noisemaker.)

NoiseMaster V

Because the slide potentiometer needs to mount fairly close to the surface, and I’m using wood that is well over a 1/4″ thick, I had to chew out a bunch of the wood to make a big hole for things to work properly. I used some Forstner bits to make a rough slot in the top. Since the plate will cover it the beauty (or lack of beauty) of the slot didn’t matter much. (I’ve never really used Forstner bits in the past, but they’ve become a favorite of mine in recent years.)

NoiseMaster V

Our control interface, a button to activate the sound, and a slide potentiometer to alter the sound. I tried to position them for comfort when using two hands, though you can sort of operate it with one hand. The handle (knob?) for the potentiometer is also 3D printed, though it is covered in black Plasti Dip which gives it a nice feel when touched. I thought about making spares in case one “disappeared” during the show, but I never made more, and it did not disappear.

NoiseMaster V

The knob model had some rounded edges, and once again I’ll have to say I was pretty impressed with the Maker Select Plus at being able to handle it. It did take me a few iterations to get a knob that I liked, but this one turned out pretty well for a quick ‘n dirty project. It slid onto the potentiometer shaft very well as a press fit, and I felt pretty good that it would not have been easy to remove without some effort.

NoiseMaster V

And of course, one last hack… The screws I had were a bit too long for mounting the speaker as I did for some other noisemakers so I ended up hot gluing a white plastic puck behind the speaker to increase the distance so the screws would work. The puck was another thing I grabbed from the junk pile at work, because you never know when you’ll need some small white plastic pucks.

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:

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