chebe: (Default)
In times gone by, when you caught a cold or got a cough, one of the things you could do to try and cure it was to tie a red flannel around your neck, under your clothes. Did the extra layer of warmth actually help, or was it just superstition? I'm not in a position to answer that, but it sparks some interesting questions.

For all its vibrant colours, traditional torque design, and dynamic nod-to-Newgrange kerbstone spirals, this piece strikes me as something futuristic, or interstellar. How Niki massaged the felt into these shapes I've no idea but, except for the torque clasp, this is one solid piece.

Mannequin wearing black tshirt, and a red felted torque piece

Red flannel neckpiece at Dublin Maker
Photo by chebe

Glorious details )

But for all the set-backs and frustrations, this piece turned out to be many peoples favourite. Everyone who tried it laughed, some almost split their sides. Niki has some good ideas on improvements for the next version, and at the very least there will be fewer microcontrollers involved! So keep an eye-out for the next revision.
chebe: (Default)
I've had one of these for a while now. What is it? It's a microphone, with all the added bits necessary (opamp etc) to create a signal loud/strong enough to be read by microcontrollers, and other things. But, I've been having a hard time learning how to use it.

First there was the physical hurdle, is it even connected properly? I eventually grabbed a six-pin header (female on top, like on the Arduino itself) and used three of its pins. VCC goes to 5V, GND to GND, and AUD to Analog In pin 0.

Now I'm struggling with how to read the values. If I just print the readings as fast as the Arduino can handle (by default, meaning no delay()s), I get a range that approximates a nice sine or cosine wave, centered maybe (evaluating by eye) around 510. But what do I do with it?

Well, I've managed loud sudden noise detection, like a bang, a knock, or a loud clap. It's actually rather like an analog version of the push-button switch state from my LED-top.

//You set the previous value to be the sensor value.
previousReading = sensorReading;

//Then you update the sensor value with a new reading.
sensorReading = analogRead(mic);

//You take the difference between the two values.
readingDifference = sensorReading - previousReading;

//You set a desired sensitivity rating, in this case 100.
//If the difference exceeds the sensitivity threshold it's an event, do something.
if(readingDifference > 100)
    numBeats = numBeats + 1;
    Serial.print("Beat ");

So now I guess I could hook-up those lights that turn on and off with clapping, but there's not much else this would be good for. Maybe a more sensitive version for just pulsing lights with a strong bass-beat in songs? Ideas on a postcard. Have to study more about sound wave analysis to be able to use this sensor data to more advantage.


2009-Oct-08, Thursday 10:50 am
chebe: (South Park)
I admit it, I'm awful at updating, especially when I have nothing to update about. I got distracted from my gloves project, and am currently working on how to use audio signals. I got myself a tiny microphone, and hooked it up to my Arduino Duemilanove via breadboard. Only, I've realised that I know nothing about audio sampling or analysis! So, I'm trying to piece together a working knowledge, all the while hoping that the microphone is connected up properly (I have a sneaking suspicion that the contacts aren't being properly contacted). So this is likely to take my full attention until I either crack it, or get bored.

In other news, there is talk of workshops in TOG. One on electro-clothing (essentially playing with EL wire) will be first, in the next two weeks. Also, there may be one on more traditional forms of sewing in the next few months. Keep an ear out if you're interested.
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