Drums are an exciting instrument to learn to play, but often prohibitive if there are housemates or close neighbors involved. For that problem there are still electronic drums which can be played much more quietly, but then the problem becomes one of price. To solve at least part of that one, [Jeremy] turned to using an Arduino to build a drum module on his own, but he still had to solve yet a third problem: how to make the Arduino fast enough for the drums to sound natural.
Playing music in real life requires precise timing, so the choice of C++ as a language poses some problems as it’s not typically as fast as lower-level languages. It is much easier to work with though, and [Jeremy] explains this in great detail over a series of blog posts detailing his drum kit’s design. Some of the solutions to the software timing are made up for with the hardware on the specific Arduino he chose to use, including an even system, a speedy EEPROM, hardware timers, and an ADC that can sample at 150k samples per second.
With that being said, the hardware isn’t the only thing standing out on this build. [Jeremy] has released the source code on his GitHub page for those curious about the build, and is planning on releasing several more blog posts about the drum kit build in the near future as well. This isn’t the only path to electronic drums, though, as we’ve seen with this build which converts an analog drumset into a digital one.
Continue reading “Arduino Drum Platform Is Fast”
With music consumption having long ago moved to a streaming model in many parts of the world, it sometimes feels as though, just like the rotary telephone dial, kids might not even know what a radio was, let alone own one. But there was a time when broadcasting pop music over the airwaves was a deeply subversive activity for Europeans at least, as the lumbering state monopoly broadcasters were challenged by illegal pirate stations carrying the cutting edge music they had failed to provide. [Ringway Manchester] has the story of one such pirate station which broadcast across the city for a few years in the 1970s, and it’s a fascinating tale indeed.
It takes the form of a series of six videos, the first of which we’ve embedded below the break. The next installment is placed as an embedded link at the end of each video, and it’s worth sitting down for the full set.
Continue reading “An Epic Tale Of Pirate Radio In Its Golden Age”
Universal Serial Bus has been the de facto standard for sending information to and from computer peripherals for almost two decades, but despite the word “universal” in the name this wasn’t always the case. Plenty of competing standards, including USB, existed in the computing world in the decades before it came to dominance, and if you’re trying to recover data from a computer without USB you might have to get creative with how it’s done.
[Ben] recently came across a 80486 with this problem, so he had to get creative to recover the contents of the drive. He calls it the “lunchbox” computer due to its form factor, and while it doesn’t have USB it does have a tried-and-trusted serial port to communicate with other computers. [Ben] wrote up a piece of software for both the receiving computer and the sending computer in order to copy the drive sectors one by one across a serial link to a standalone computer running Windows XP, and was able to recover the contents of the drive that way instead.
All of the code [Ben] wrote is available on his GitHub page for anyone looking to boot up a 30-year-old computer again. While it might sound uncommon, computers of this vintage are still around running things like CNC machines or old mainframes.
It’s fair to say that right now is probably the worst possible time you could choose to design a new piece of hardware. Of course the reality is that, even in the middle of a parts shortage that’s driving the cost of many components through the roof (if you can even find them), we can’t just stop building new devices. In practice, that means you’ll need to be a bit more flexible when embarking on a new design — it’s like the Stones said: “You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometime you’ll find / You get what you need”
For [Ryan Walmsley], that meant basing his new outdoor LoRa gateway on the ubiquitous Raspberry Pi was a non-starter. So what could he use in its place? The software situation for the Nano Pi Duo looked pretty poor, and while the Onion Omega 2+ was initially compelling, a bug in the hardware SPI seemed to take it out of the running. But after more research, he found there was a software implementation that would fit the bill. Continue reading “Designing A LoRa Gateway During A Part Shortage”
For some power users, the one-hundred-and-something keys on regular keyboards just aren’t enough for their everyday tasks. Macro keypads are a popular way of extending one’s input capabilities, and there are almost as many examples as there are power users. [Ulrich]’s latest project, dubbed the LowPow E-Ink ShortKeyboard, is a beautiful and meticulously documented design for a macro pad that includes several unusual features.
Built around an ESP32-S3 microcontroller, the ShortKeyboard features nine programmable function keys plus an analog joystick and a rotary encoder. The keys are based on Cherry MX RED types commonly seen in mechanical keyboards, illuminated from below by by miniature RGB LEDs. A big e-ink display in the middle can be used to show the function of each key.
Continue reading “Odd Inputs And Peculiar Peripherals: The LowPow ShortKeyboard Can Work On Your Desk Or Out In The Field”
The 2022 Hackaday Prize is focused on taking care of the planet. The theme of our second challenge round, “Reduce, Recycle, Revamp” is all about tailoring your projects to make use of existing resources and keeping material out of the landfill rather than contributing to it. Our judges have scrutinized the entries and handed me the sealed envelope. All of these ten projects will receive $500 right now and are eligible for the Grand Prize of $50,000, to be announced in November.
We were looking for two broad types of recycling projects in this round, either projects that incorporate a significant recycled component in their build, or projects that facilitate recycling themselves, and frankly we got a good mix of both!
Continue reading “2022 Hackaday Prize: Reuse, Recycle, Revamp Finalists”
How do the potatoes in that sack keep from sprouting on their long trip from the field to the produce section? Why don’t the apples spoil? To an extent, the answer lies in varying amounts of irradiation. Though it sounds awful, irradiation reduces microbial contamination, which improves shelf life. Most people can choose to take it or leave it, but in some countries, they aren’t overly concerned about the irradiation dosages found in, say, animal feed. So where does that leave non-vegetarians?
If that line of thinking makes you want to Hulk out, you’re not alone. [kutluhan_aktar] decided to build an IoT food irradiation detector in an effort to help small businesses make educated choices about the feed they give to their animals. The device predicts irradiation dosage level using a combination of the food’s weight, color, and emitted ionizing radiation after being exposed to sunlight for an appreciable amount of time. Using this information, [kutluhan_aktar] trained a neural network running on a Beetle ESP32-C3 to detect the dosage and display relevant info on a transparent OLED screen. Primarily, the device predicts whether the dosage falls into the Regulated, Unsafe, or just plain Hazardous category.
[kutluhan_aktar] lets this baby loose on some uncooked pasta in the short demo video after the break. The macaroni is spread across a load cell to detect the weight, while [kutluhan_aktar] uses a handheld sensor to determine the color.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen AI on the Hackaday menu. Remember when we tried those AI-created recipes?