Light painting – still shots and animations

[Kim Pimmel’s] been doing some really interesting light painting with an Arduino. In the past we’ve seen several light painting projects which use long exposures to capture moving LEDs, or moving LCD displays. But [Kim’s] stepping it up a notch, using cold cathode flourescent lamps, electroluminescent (EL) wire, and lasers. The vibrant colors put out by these sources make for some great photos, but that’s not all she’s got up her sleeve. After accumulating a ton of still photographs from various shoots she decided to edit them together into stopped motion videos.

After the break you can see that one method she used to make these images was to spin the light sources on a standard audio turntable. An Arduino is controlled through processing via Bluetooth in order to move the stepper motor-mounted lights while the record player spins. Add some futuristic music thanks to Daft Punk (which is exactly what she did) and you’re in business.

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Wristwatch Turntables

Ever wish you could DJ on the fly while using equipment that your already wearing? Well neither have we but heck now we can, cheaply and easily with the Wristwatch Turntables. While being functional and stylish, this interesting project is fairly easy to construct and if need be, even sports a full function digital watch.

The audio electronics are donated by a pair of talking / musical  greeting cards. Both, “record your own” and “just deal with what we give you” types, though which ones you choose is left up to your taste. The greeting cards are then cut apart for their hidden goodies and then a little circuit bending action is performed to monkey with the amplifier of the sound module.

Potentiometers are added, buttons are relocated, and everything gets housed in a small box, with a wristwatch ran down the middle so you can wear the whole deal and blast your funky beats anywhere you may be. Join us after the break for a quick video.

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Measure earth’s rotation with PlayStation Move

This somewhat odd-looking apparatus is being used to measure earth’s rotation. At the heart of the system is a PlayStation Move controller, used because of its dual-axis gyroscope which has the highest dynamic range compared to other available products like the Wii Motion Plus. It rests on a column perched atop a record player that was chosen because of its precision rotation rate. The two rings that flank the controller make up a Helmholtz coil which is used to cancel out the earth’s magnetic field which was found to be interfering with measurements taken by the Move controller. By recording data over time the experimenter can prove that the earth is indeed rotating, as well as ascertain longitude data and find true north. Check out the data-packed video after the break.

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Steam-powered Rickrolling

This is a steam-powered record player; awesome. But wait, that’s not all. Watch the video after the break for about two and a half minutes and you’ll realize that it’s also a Rickroll. No, you’re not getting baited into clicking through to Rick Astley’s music video, the LP that’s playing on the turntable is a copy of “Never Gonna Give You Up”; all kinds of awesome.

This all started with a steam engine machined from a stainless steel bolt and a brass cylinder. It was tested using compressed air before building the boiler. But what’s a steam engine without a purpose? The problem with using a steam engine as a turntable motor is speed control. This is where we move to modern technology, using an Arduino to measure the RPM and adjust the steam engine using a servo motor.

The builder makes a comment that this sounds terrible, but considering it’s steam-powered we think it sounds just fine.

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Audio cabinet refit with modern equipment

Hard at work on making this 1960’s Fleetwood audio console usable again, [Travis] packed a lot of power into the retro case. Both the radio and turn table had stopped working but the cabinet looks great and the speakers still work. In the lower center cavity you’ll now find a full computer motherboard and replacement amplifier. A new turntable has been added with an interesting vibration-dampening shelf to support it. [Travis] built the shelf with a void in between two layers of wood which he filled with sand to help with isolation. The remote control for the amp also needed some work as the receiver is pointed to the back of the unit. To fix that a second IR receiver found a home behind the fabric for one of the speaker grates. That receiver is monitored by an ATmega168 microcontroller and signals are repeated back to an IR LED mounted near the amplifier.

Turntable light sequencer

[Benjamin] built a sequencer that uses a turntable and light sensors to lay down a funky beat. If you like creepy videos with repeated gratuitous corderoy-clad rear-ends we’ve got you covered after the break. Art film aside, he’s got an interesting project. Four light sensors are mounted below the turning record with LEDs hovering above. His hatred for old LP records is apparent because holes must be drilled in a disc for the light to shine through. The four notes in the sequence can be altered in voice and color, along with controls for motor speed and direction. The project also has four manual inputs to add some variety to the repetitive beat sequence. It’s a bit less practical than the penny sequencer but fun none-the-less.

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Hey man, you seen my turntable around here?

It’s all fine and dandy to have a turntable that sounds great, but [Mike] wanted one that looks great too. He build the transparent record player above and loved it for a little while. When his interest in it waned he built another, then several more. They all have some element of transparency to them, and each is a work of art. Makes us wonder how often he needs to dust his house to keep them looking so good.

Is turntable technology too advanced for your tastes? You can stick with your Edison cylinder, we won’t make fun.

[Thanks John]