We’ve all been there. Someone will say something like, “I remember when we had to put our programs on a floppy disk…” Then someone will interrupt: “Floppy disk? We would have killed for floppy disks. We used paper tape…” After a few rounds, someone is talking about punching cards with a hand stylus or something. Next time someone is telling you about their relay computer, maybe ask them if they are buying their relays already built. They will almost surely say yes, and then you can refer them to [DiodeGoneWild], who shows how he is making his own relays.
While we don’t seriously suggest you make your own relays, there are a lot of fun techniques to pick up, from the abuse of a power drill to the calculation of the coil parameters. Even if you don’t learn anything, we get the desire to make as much as you can.
Continue reading “If You Aren’t Making Your Own Relays…”
[Lucid Science] shows us how to make some simple reed switches. Reed switches are simple components that detect a magnetic field and can close or open a circuit once detected. While not really a thing of beauty, these DIY reed switches should help you out if you just can’t wait to order some or you fancied trying your hands at making some components from scratch.
Reed switches normally come in very small form factors so if you need something small then this may not be for you however the video does show you on a macro scale the fundamental workings of a reed switch. To make your own reed switch you need only a few parts: some copper, enamelled wire and magnets. They really are simple devices however sometimes it’s easy to overlook how simple some things are when they are so small that you can’t really see how they work.
Making your own components from scratch is probably the best way to understand the inner workings of said component. In the past we have seen some pretty awesome self built components from these beautiful DIY Nixie tubes to even making your own LEDs
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[tinkartank] wrote in to tell us about the chess board step sequencer he built. It’s a great piece of work that combines the wonderful classical erudition a set of chess pieces confers with modern technological musical equipment such as a monome.
The build began by routing small holes underneath each square and fitting very small and fragile reed switches. Sixty four of these switches are wired into rows and columns then attached to the digital inputs of an Arduino Mega. To close these reed switches, magnets are implanted into the base of each chess piece so whenever a piece is on the board is moved a circuit closes.
On the control side of things, [tinkartank] built a very nice control panel to change the key being played*, the tempo, an ‘arpeggio dial,’ number of steps, and if there is a whole or half step in between notes. With this control panel, [tinkartank] can play just about any scale.
How does it sound? Well, the Arduino Mega outputs MIDI so realistically it can sound like anything imaginable. From the video demo (available after the break), we really like the interface and a reed switch array chess board is slowly climbing up our ‘to build’ list, if only for all the cool stuff you can do with one.
Continue reading “Chess Board Step Sequencer”