4/19 Windchimes

This week the me and Michael made some progress on the formation of the chimes physical appearance. The solenoids have come in and I have begun placing them in the striker to see if they fit and if not then I will have to use the dermal tool to make some space. I have also been looking into different materials for the chime part and so far my findings say that aluminum sounds the best for our purposes.


Michael has be working hard to integrate the digital LCD into the transmitter but is facing some problems. The screen is not writing letters like he wants it to but instead is creating random symbols. He is trying to fix it right now but might need some help from mister Bahn. The next step for me is to get some chimes out of aluminum and to get a base board to hang the chimes and striker from. Michael’s next step is to get everything with the transmitter and receiver working properly.


Constructing the dinger and transmitter.

Throughout the course of this week most of what we have been working on has begun coming together.

I connected the XBee setup to the same Arduino as the LCD is using so now they are able to work in sync with each other. The potentiometer switches between songs and pressing the button will select the song shown on the display and send a command to the receiver to play said song. Once we receive the LCD backpack I can make the final version of the remote, the LCD backpack is to reduce wire cluttering.

We received the remaining Solenoids this week, Tyler has attached them in a crude setup with a chime tube to test the setup. Finding a solution to the double ding is seeming more and more meticulous and time consuming. Tyler also was able to write out all the commands for the songs we will play in Arduino sketches that will be ported over to the receiver. Hopefully in the coming week we will find a soulition to the extra ding and be able to start putting together the major pieces of out project.

Kinetic Sand Art Progress : 4/8

Last week some adequate progress was made for the kinetic sand art table project beginning with some modifications to the main program of the table and the creation of a magnet holder.

Magnet Holder being 3D-printed

The images below show a snippet of code from the main plotting program as well as an image of a shape that would be created from a list a coordinates derived from the serial monitor print of the program.

Code Snippet
Coordinates for a double oval shape

Wind Chimes Update

This week Michael and I were working on our separate sections of the project. He was working on the transmitter, receiver, and the LCD screen that will go on the transmitter box. I was working on coding songs to play as well as trying to get the physical striker working and consistently hitting the chime. I’m making good progress on coding the songs, it is fairly simple. At the moment I’m not using the striker for testing I’m actually using a function on the board called “tone”. This allows me to play an sound out of a speaker which copies the tone I put into the code in the frequency section. I have also made slight progress on the actual striker. We are currently working through a problem where the chime when struck by the striker will be hit once then come back and slam against the striker making two sounds. I am trying to find a solution at the moment.

Michael has been making incredible progress on all of his items. He was able to fix and issue last week with the LCD. He has also finished work on the LCD, making a final code draft and tested. He has also been working on the final code for the transmitter and receiver.

Submarine Progress

The last two weeks have seen significant progress in the ISR submarine controls. I have configured two full sized NEMA 17 stepper motors to be driven by two drivers and the Arduino, and I have implements very basic control with two dual axis joysticks. Each joystick controls one stepper motor, and the speed of the motor is dependent upon how far the joystick is pushed from the center. Eventually, I will need the joystick to control the angle of a fin and not just the speed of the motor, however this is mainly a software issue and not a hardware issue.

The 2 stepper motors controlled by 2 joysticks.
Continue reading Submarine Progress

Kinetic Sand Art Table Update

The past two weeks have been full of progress. My part of the project has been creating the gear portion of the project. I began this part last week and had several prototypes created and had to make various adjustments. After 4 attempts I had a working piece that allowed our bearings to fit in perfectly.

My next step was to create the little pieces that attach to the top of the gear. I went on a trip to New Orleans, so I missed a few days of work, but once I returned I made great progress in completely finishing the gear.

Gear assembled and attached to Linear Rail
Bottom side of the gear piece

I have a few options on what to work with next, I could create a holder for the magnet, Sort out different grains of sand, or start designing the bottom portion of the project. I will most-likely begin designing the bottom portion of this project so that we can starting coding with both of the stepper motors.

Coding for the wind chimes

Over the course of the following week Tyler and I have been able to work out the more vague portion of the project that seemed a bit more complex, which has to do with implementing wireless functionality as well as how we would relay music to the chime. After a bit of troubleshooting I was able to send simple messages between the two XBees we had which will allow us to communicate with the receiving Arduino what song we would like the chime to play. I spent the last couple days of the week understanding the LCD’s functionality, currently I’m experiencing an odd issue where the LCD is displaying random figures in the main program I have started developing for the transmitter, I think this may be due to some of the surrounding functions I have implemented because the display works fine while running a sketch with basic commands for the LCD. Tyler has begun translating some songs onto Arduino sketches we can use once we get the remaining solenoids we need for the dinger, as well as working on the dinger itself.