Recycled Sound – An Art Installation Not Lacking Arduinos

[oakkar7] wrote in to show us [Ben Johansen] and [Jonathan Snow]’s  interactive art installation, Recycled Sound(Website has a virus). The exhibit will premiere  in the TWU Arts Triangle Walking Tour March 25th from 5-7pm.

Currently a work in progress, the final plan is for the outdoor installation to feature a podium in the center with a rotating top, and various islands surrounding. As the podium’s top is rotated the surrounding islands come to life with a variety of light and sound displays which vary depending on how the podium is turned. While the electronics are not recycled, the actual sculptures and music making elements themselves consist of scrap yard parts and factory waste.

The whole display runs off of 12.. yes TWELVE Atmel 328s with Arduino boot loaders! The center podium houses a transmitting circuit consisting of two atmega 328s with Arduino boot loaders sharing a crystal, an hmc 6532 magnetometer breakout board and two RF transmitters.  The Islands each contain a receiving module with, obviously,  an Arduino and RF receiver. The receiving Arduinos connect to opto isolated switching modules for motors and lighting. Check out [Ben]’s blog for in progress shots, code, and build information.

If you are looking to control some 12V motors/lights with your 5V Arduino be sure to check out the pictures in the blog. While we here at Hackaday may be quick to jump into soldering [Ben] follows the proper development progression to the letter. Each aspect is bread boarded, then refined, then transferred to a soldered perf board.

update: His site has some kind of malware going on. None of us noticed it in Firefox, but after complaints we fired up ol IE. Yup, nastyness there. You can go there at the following link if you dare.

More after the jump:

Here is a shot of all the hardware, sans microcontrollers:

They have also devised clever way to mount motors in plywood, using an angle iron to anchor the motor and attaching it with a hose clamp. The motors either swing chains to strike recycled xylophone keys or flick cardboard against tuned PVC pipes.

Each of those noise makers (and we assume the lighting) gets one of these switching circuits:

RF communication is achieved using Sparkfun’s RF Link Transmitter,  and RF Link Receiver (which is currently out of stock) in 315 MHz and 434 MHz flavors. We are interested to know where the transmitters are going to be located in the all metal base, as it has the potential to act as a giant RF cage. The pictures seem to indicate that they are using 1/2 wave wire antennas,  but are winding it into a coil. After many an RF module headache we would suggest cutting the wire antennae in half (1/4 wave), straightening them out and sneaking them outside the rotating drum to get better reception.

We cant wait to see how the final installation turns out!

6 thoughts on “Recycled Sound – An Art Installation Not Lacking Arduinos

  1. Seems that this persons blog has a virus on it… dont wonder off the installation page or it will try to install some pcupdate product on your machine. Lovely… I wonder if this person knows about it.

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