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DIY: My first “acoustic laptop”

Published desember 11th, 2010 by

My first piezo-instrument

A picture of my first experiment with creating an acoustic laptop, which basically is miked wooden box with a interesting soundgenerating objects inside.

Really easy to make, all you need is a piezo element (you’ll find them in those cheap birtdaycards that play music, or you can order them online.

The piezo element is soldered to a headphone jack and then glued to a wooden box. Plug the box into an amp, I used my guitar amp, and you’re all set.

Video: Acoustic laptop in action

Lydeksperimentklubben 14.12.10 from Arnfinn Killingtveit on Vimeo.

When used in this way the piezo turns into a really sensitive “microphone”. If you stroke a feather over the wooden box, you will hear it as clearly as if you did the same inside you ear, it is quite exiting the first time you try it!

The piezo works by picking up vibrations and turning them into electrical signals, so the fun part is finding interesting objects to put in the box, like I have here. Springs and rubber bands are obvious choces, but the fun part is just rummaging through drawers looking for weird stuff and trying them out.

Here are some of the things I tried in my box:

-Pink wine bottle cap with a heart on a spring. Makes a deep and rytmical sound when you hit it with you finger. Sawed off and glued to the bottom of the box.
– Two rubber bands, creates a melodic bass sound.
– Large metal spring, has a very deep metallic sound, scratch it hard with your nails and it’s almost like a bass guitar with extreme fuss.
– Brass lion face, sounds like a bass drum when you tap it carefully.
– Three needles, simply pressed into a joint of the wood. These are my favorites, they have different tone depending on how far into the wood you press them, and rings almost like glass when you pick them with your nails.
– Wind up toys! These where a huge success, creating rythm and drama. You can eighter just let them loose, or hold them in your hand and touching them to the different objects.
– Electric cappuccino mixer. This was really a must, it gives you control and is also really loud as you let it vibrate next to an object! Must be heard to be believed!

I had so much fun making these, hope you’ll try it too!

Will try to put up some audio or video soon.

A little less clutter:
flickkah

Posted in Artwork, DIY, DIY with kids

Mini-diy: Upcycled tin cans

Published oktober 9th, 2010 by

Simple DIY project, using two empty tin cans, the back covers of two old issues of Computer arts, and the roots from tall grasses growing at our local beach to tied it all together. Doesn’t get much greener than this :)

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids, Greener, Home and Garden

Mini-DIY: Make your own BORG with voice recorder and playback

Published november 23rd, 2009 by

borg

Resistanse is futile!

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids

DIY: Handpainted giftwrapping from cardboard boxes

Published november 8th, 2009 by

upcycled_cardboard_boxes

How-to transform a boring cardboard box into something cute, beautiful and worth taking care of instead of throwing away, with very little work. This is a good little project to do with your kids.

(mer…)

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids, Greener, Home and Garden

DIY: How to make your own iPhone macro lens

Published september 22nd, 2009 by

iphone-macro---nærbilde-av-fluevinge570

Learn how you can take amazing pictures with a homemade macro lens for your iPhone or other smartphones.
(mer…)

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids, Featured

Tiny Eco Warriors #1-5

Published juni 15th, 2009 by

Upcycled tyke # 4 : Elton

This is a good project to do with kids. Just start gathering bits and pieces of junk in a box, or clean out a few drawers, and you soon have enough raw material to create your own little eco warrior tribe!

Any material can be used. On the creature above we have a wine cork body, milk bottle cap feet, Elton John glasses made from a piece of balsa from a broken 3d puzzle, some feathers, a thumbtack nose, and eyes made from nuts. Oh, and the mouth was cut from a newspaper.

(mer…)

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids, Featured, Greener, Repair the planet

DIY bottlemounted moustache

Published mai 29th, 2009 by

Step 4: Debug

5 minutes with a pair of sissors and permanent marker, and VOILA! You have a new facial ornament!

(mer…)

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids, Featured

MiniDIY: Office companion made with a grape and toothpicks)

Published april 25th, 2009 by

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids

Deadly cute DIY Vibrobot!

Published desember 18th, 2008 by

Creating a vibrobot with 9v battery, motor, and potentiometer
See it on Flickr

I made this cute little vibrobot today, with some spare parts I had lying around. Got inspired by an old Makezine article, and decided to smack it together.

It turned out pretty cool actually, it hums around like a happy little bug. I gave it a cute nose with a potentiometer, so when you twist the nose you regulate the speed of the motor. I finished with adding more cuteness in the form of magic marker eyes and black spots on the back.

Here is a quick video:

My daugter thought it was awsome and figured out the potentiometer bit all by her self. My sons couldn’t care less. Guess who will inherit my tools when I die! :)

Creating a vibrobot with 9v battery, motor, and potentiometer

I think I have to modify the vibro bit a little to get more action out of it. I just taped a small nut to the shaft of the motor, and it doesn’t really vibrate as much as I hoped for. The bigger the nut the better the action! Wisdom!

The feet are a piece of fence wire I found lying around, and I used some pieces from a mechano set as a frame to hold stuff.

See more images of it on Flickr.

Parts used:
Wire for the feet
Wire cutters
9v battery and connector thingy
Small motor from some broken toy, had it forever.
Red electrical tape
Soldering iron and solder (not really needed, you could just use tape … or gum).
Mechano pieces. I fastened the feet by pressing the wire between two metal mechano pieces with four screws.

(Ps: There is a clear danger of burning out the motor when using a 9 volt battery)

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids

DIY for kids: Toy Art Car Project!

Published oktober 4th, 2008 by

Noah (6) and Leo (4) creates their own “art car“. A great environmentally friendly DIY project to do with your kids.

Posted in DIY, DIY with kids, Featured, Greener