Generating pink noise

[Miceuz] just finished his first surface mount electronics project. It’s a pink noise generator that is used for testing audio equipment (scroll down that link for the English version of his writeup).

Pink noise is somewhere in between red noise and white noise. Didn’t realize there were more colors than just white when it comes to noise? The benefit of testing with pink noise is that it the power of the audio signal is stable through each octave of sound – white noise increases in power with each additional octave which can damage the tweeters in a sound system.

The goal in this design was to build a noise generator that fit into an XLR connector. [Miceuz] started with an existing design, and altered it to suit his needs. Much like a condenser microphone, the pink noise generator uses phantom power instead of a standalone power source. For instance, the design he based this on required two 9v batteries. The size, the choice of case, and the absence of a battery all spell WIN for this project.

The Serpent Mother


The Serpent Mother is certainly an appropriate name for this 168foot long snake fire art installation filled with enough goodies to impress anyone who is into flame effects. [The Flaming Lotus Girls] were allocated $60,000 in May of 2006 to bring this art project to Burning Man. A team of nearly 100 people worked together at a furious pace to pull it off. The collaboration of skill-sets is unfathomable between the metal art, firmware, software, LEDs, and propane design. The primary flames consist of  41 “poofers” along the spine of the serpent each one capable of delivering a 8′ tall flame. Tucked away near the tail is a egg that makes use of methanol and boric acid to create a massive green fireball. When the egg is open nobody is allowed with 150′ of the project. The brain that runs the beast is nothing more than a RS-485 network of humble ATmega8s. The microcontrollers are wired with XLR cable and chatting at a 19200 baud. Max/MSP is used on a laptop to control flame patterns. Here is a enjoyable write-up and video. We particularly enjoy the bit about the strange looks the team got when purchasing 50 stun guns.

DIY audio interconnects

This is one of those things that has annoyed me for so long, that I’m putting it up. I have despised, no, I have friggin loathed the quality of 1/8″ (3.5mm) cables. Cables are pretty easy; just clip, strip and solder away, right? Right. If you grew up cursed with the junk that rat shack carries, you know my pain. So, if you hate those crappy cables as much as I do, go check out this lovely little write up on making quality interconnects. (Now if I could just find a 2.5mm connector like that switchcraft 3.5mm to fix this spare apple power supply)