Self-Playing Whistle While You Work From Home

In ridiculous times, it can help to play ridiculous instruments such as the slide whistle to keep your bristles in check. But since spittle is more than a little bit dangerous these days, it pays to come up with alternative ways to play away the days during lockdown life.

Thanks to some clever Arduino-driven automation, [Gurpreet] can maintain a safe distance from his slide whistle while interacting with it. Slide whistles need two things — air coming in from the top, and actuation at the business end. The blowing force now comes from a focused fan like the ones that cool your printed plastic as soon as the hot end extrudes it. A stepper motor moves the slide up and down using a printed rack and pinion.

Here’s a smooth touch — [Gurpreet] added a micro servo to block and unblock the sound hole with a cardboard flap to make the notes more distinct. Check out the build video after the break, which includes a music video for “My Heart Will Go On”, aka the theme from Titanic. It’s almost like the ship herself is playing it on the steam whistles from the great beyond.

Speaking of, did you hear about the effort to raise and restore the remains of her radio room?

7 thoughts on “Self-Playing Whistle While You Work From Home

  1. Leave the 180 in the piston rod out, do it inline. Lower slop and friction first. Then find how a weaker direct drive stepper motor can do it. Four slide steel guitar strings are in the Orchestrion that Pat Metheny plays with. Those steppers can play the slide blues. Look into how an organ pipe is keyed for better diction of the notes, interrupt the supply of air into the fipple. A set of 3 and you’re set for a Bach trio sonata. Taken entirely mechanical with gears and cams and you have a Bird Organ one of the oldest known auto-play musical instruments.

  2. Wow that’s nice try, but when I played the video I was part laughing part crying due to hear torture. Sounds like the classroom of Mrs sadistic playing flute at the year’s end show. And parents are recording it.
    Nice upgrade, appart from mechanical ones already stated, would be a Soundwave feedback with fft to close the loop and adjust the notes (all?) that are off. It would then perform like a real player : first approximate guess with accuracy linked to the experience, then micro adjust to tune the note.

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