Soft MIDI Pedals

Daren Schwenke is making his own MIDI pedals by fabricating his own custom pressure sensors measured by varying capacitance!

Daren’s old MIDI pedals were wearing out, so he decided to make new ones to replace them.  He made is own foot sensor by making a capacitor out of 2 pieces of foil with mylar between them.

Current code for the project is available on GitHub.

LED Top Hat

Chris Faye made an awesome LED top hat.

The hat uses an 8×32 LED matrix in 4 sections that run in parallel using the FastLED library.  While battery life does depend on the brightness of the LEDS, Chris did wear the hat and had it running for about 5 – 6 hours at the Edwardian Ball without needing to change the batteries.

There is some good discussion on this forum thread about trouble shooting some issues where the LEDs were dramatically slowing down after about a minute.

Code for the project has been published on GitHub.

Euroshield by 1010Music

The folks at 1010Music have released the Euroshield, a Eurorack and audio interface for Teensy.

Euroshield allows users to customize their own synthesizer module.  It uses the standard Eurorack power systems as well as standard patch cords for input and output of standard Eurorack level audio, CV and MIDI signals.

A few of the features include:

  • Two audio inputs and outputs using the Eurorack -5V to +5V standard
  • DC coupling allows audio ins and outs to be used as control voltage connections
  • MIDI input and output via 3.5mm TRS minijacks
  • Board design allows mounting in Eurorack while exposing the Teensy
  • Built-in controls enable users to create a fully functioning product:
    • Two knobs
    • One push button
    • 4LEDs
  • 10 demo Sketches include sample code for filtering, reverb, and VCO.

SparkFun AVC Rover

Jesse Brockmann built an autonomous rover for the SparkFun AVC where’s he’s competed for the last 4 years, winning in 2016 and 2017.

Jesse started working on his first rover in 2011 and finished it in 2014 to compete in the SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition.  He offers some great advise for people helping to build their own.  He says the most important parts are the brains, his uses a Teensy 3.5, the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), and the RPM sensor.  Another important consideration is the base platform.  Jesse uses a 4×4 platform with a low center of gravity.

You can get more information on builing your own rover an the DIYRovers Google Group Forum.

 

 

 

Making a Twin Engine RC Airplane Safe (TwinAir Project)

Zaite12, an RC Airplane enthusiast, added a flight system (TwinAir project) to a custom made RC air plane make it safer to fly in the case of engine failures.

Zaite12 and a friend have been flying RC model airplanes for a number of years and have watched many twin engine aircraft tragically crash – mostly due to one engine failing.  A plane can be landed safely after an engine fails, but it is no trivial task.

 

The pair had been talking about building a twin engine airplane and this got Zaite12 thinking about how to more reliably deal with the inevitable loss of an engine.  Humans are not reliable enough for this task, but a computer is.  He got to work on a system to manage a long list of tasks.  While the Teensy 3.1 he started with quickly ran out of inputs and outputs, a Teensy 3.6 had what he needed to make the project happen.

The key features included in the system are:

– PWM edges from the 8 output channels of the RC receiver have to be accurately timed
– Output/control of all servos
– Engine RPM
– Airspeed
– Ground logic through the use of a proximity sensor (possibly in future we will use squat switches)
– RPM synchro using a PID loop to make the aircraft “sing” and not “wah wah wah”
– Telemetry downlink and voice annunciations on the FrSky X9D Taranis Plus transmitter we use (e.g. “Right engine fail”)
– Execution flow is critical and must not block for any significant time, under any circumstances, even if a sensor fails or physically disconnects
– Fallback assumptions in the event that one or more sensors fail (e.g. ground proximity)
– Datalogging of all important data for subsequent analysis

Soon the initial design goals were complete and they pair could deliberately cut an engine in flight, the rudder was managed automatically by the new flight system, and the aircraft could still be flown.

Here is an example of the telemetry data displayed on the receiver

In this video their custom RC aircraft experiences a genuine engine failure and they are able to keep it flying.

Code for the project can be found in this forum post.

Ultimate Gumball Machine

Arduino “having11” Guy took a gumball machine and stepped it up a notch by adding LEDs, WiFi, and an LCD Screen – just to name a few improvements

This ultimate gumball machine features an interactive TFT display that allows users to dispense gumballs and change the LED colors.   A Teensy 3.5 provides the processing power needed to drive the display.

Code for the project can be found on the Hackster.IO project page

Files for the 3D printed parts can be found over on Thingiverse