Toddler Jukebox Requires No Quarters or Button Mashing

Ahh, toddlers. They’re as ham-fisted as they are curious. It’s difficult to have to say no when they want to touch and engage with the things that we love and want them to play with. [Shawn] feels this way about his son’s interest in the family Sonos system and engineered an elegant solution he calls Song Blocks.

The Sonos sits on a dresser that hides a RasPi B+. Using bare walnut blocks numbered 1-12, his son can use the Sonos without actually touching it. Each block has a magnet and an NFC tag. When his son sticks a block on the face of the right drawer containing embedded magnets and an NFC controller board, the B+ reads the tag and plays the song. It also tweets the song selection and artist.

The blocks themselves are quite beautiful. [Shawn] numbered them with what look like Courier New stamps and then burned the numbers in with a soldering iron. His Python script is on the git, and he has links to the libraries used on his build page. The Song Blocks demo video is waiting for you after the jump.

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Hackaday Links: Sunday, July 7th, 2013

hackaday-links-chain

IR control for your home theater doesn’t have to look ugly. [Rhys Goodwin] put his IR blasters inside his audio equipment.

Steam powered windshield wiper. Need we say more?

An assembled version of the FaceDancer is now available for purchase. This is a man-in-the-middle USB tool developed by [Travis Goodspeed]. When [S.A.] sent us the tip he mentioned that the board is a pain to hand solder if you’re making your own; this is an moderately affordable alternative.

[Aaron] makes it easy for audiophiles to listen to Soundcloud on their Sonos hardware.

We’ve heard of fuzzy clocks — they only give you a general sense of time. Here’s a fuzzy thermometer that uses the vocal stylings of [Freddie Mercury] to get a general feel for how hot it is.

While you’re still laughing, this most useless machine taunts you in more ways than one. It uses audio clips and theatrics to vary the way in which it shuts itself off. [Thanks Itay and David]

Modern CNC techniques make short work of prototyping for the Ford Motor Company. [Thank Wybren via SlashGear]

Making home automation modules talk to each other


[Danny] has been working on an RNET to Sonos bridge. These are devices from two different manufacturers used to facility whole-house audio systems. Usually there’s a main controller with a large color screen and then several satellite controllers like the one above which have some of the features but at a lower cost. Normally you’re limited to using hardware from one line of devices in order to get them to talk to each other but [Danny’s] saying ‘no way’ to that restriction.

His latest post has some of the details on how he pulls this off. He used an RS232 serial connection with an Arduino to sniff out the data stream from the RNET base unit. Once he figured out the protocol he used the Arduino to parse all incoming commands, format them for the Sonos controller, and send it over the Ethernet cable to that device. He’s got everything tied together and working. Take a look at the proof in the clip after the break.

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