Software Defined Radio with 7 Inch Touchscreen

We love to see ham and software-defined radio (SDR) projects. K7MDL discovered the Teensy-based KeithSDR project and effectively forked it with a plethora of enhancements including a color touchscreen and illuminated rotary encoders for a beautiful finished build.

Various implementations allow the device to be used as a receiver, panadapter, or control head over Ethernet. Particular attention was paid to performance with the Bit Transfer Engine (BTE) functionality of the RA8875/RA8876 controller being leveraged to provide smooth scrolling of the spectrum and waterfall without taking CPU cycles away from the Teensy 4.1.

A custom UI framework and gesture engine provide a highly-optimized user experience. Example builds and an extensive wiki can be found on GitHub, with even more pictures and detail on Mike’s blog.

TELEZ BioReactor Controller

1bit shares the TELEZ BioReactor Controller project.  Teensy runs a collection of pumps, HX711-based load cells, and associated I/O in a 3U rack.

This homebrew solution replaces about $1200 of Siemens hardware, with the added bonus that users will be able to monitor the bioreactor remotely using a custom Android app, thanks to the addition Particle Electron providing cellular data.

TELEZ is used in a variety of equipment (PDF).

Groove Coaster Controller

Everybody* loves rhythm games, and everybody* loves roller coasters, which is why the two were combined so gloriously in the unique arcade game Groove Coaster.

Originally a touchscreen game, the arcade version added two giant “BOOSTERs” as inputs, which is what GitHub user vikbez recreates with their Groove Coaster Controller project.

Consisting of a Teensy 3.2, two Seimitsu LS32-SE joysticks, two giant 60mm buttons, some 3d-printed parts, a plywood box, and some simple hardware to hold it all together, the result is an incredible likeness of the unique arcade interface. CAD files, code, BOM, and assembly instructions can all be found in the GitHub repo!

*OK, maybe not everybody, but it sounds better that way!

VEGA – Eurorack Drum Synthesizer Module

With over ten thousand unique Eurorack modules out in the wild, the level of innovation and expanse of creativity is immense. This VEGA module from FASELUNARE is a prime example.

The button layout is designed to mimic the pattern of four stars in the Lyra Constellation: Sulafat (γ Lyrae), Sheliak (β Lyrae), Zeta Lyrae (ζ Lyrae), and Delta Lyrae (δ Lyrae).

The four-voice, 6HP, Teensy 4.1-based unit is designed for creating percussive sounds, with each channel able to operate as a synthesizer or play samples from the onboard SD card, and the unique interface providing 12 parameters per voice.

While the module is currently sold out, you can sign up for their newsletter to get notified when the next batch is available for pre-order, imagine it in your rack right now via ModularGrid, or preview its capabilities on YouTube.

Nintendo 64 Controller Emulator

We see a lot of gaming console emulators for Teensy, but Ryzee119’s Nintendo 64 Controller Emulator caught our attention for its mimicry of accessories for use with a real N64.

In addition to emulating up to four controllers at once, this Teensy 4.1-powered marvel can emulate controller accessories, such as memory Paks, Transfer Paks (for Game Boy data exchange), mice, keyboards, and the Rumble Pak haptic device.

The device takes advantage of Teensy’s USB host capabilities (and cable), and only requires SRAM and a microSD card for basic usage, plus N64 Controller Extensions to connect to the console. An optional display, PCB, and case enhance your emulation experience further. Since it is USB-based, most Xbox-compatible wired controllers should work, as well as Bluetooth 8BitDo controllers via their Wireless USB Adapter, and Xbox 360 Wireless via PC USB Receiver. Firmware, schematics, and detailed usage instructions can all be found on GitHub.

kinT – keyboard controller

Kinesis are known worldwide for their ergonomic keyboards, and Michael Stapelberg’s replacement controller for the Kinesis Advantage is almost as well known.

When the Kinesis Advantage 2 was released in 2017, Michael created a new Teensy-based replacement controller board for both Kinesis models, using it as well as a chance to switch from Eagle to KiCad for PCB layout.

The PCB houses a Teensy 3.x or 4.x, as well as the required connectors, directly replacing the original electronics. It supports the popular open-source QMX keyboard firmware, meaning a plethora of features out of the box, and extensive customization potential. More about the project can be found on Michael’s blog, with source, KiCad/Gerber files, and extensive instructions on GitHub. A lengthy stream covering even more detail can be found below.

Surrounding Sounds Feedback Box

Teensy’s raw power makes it a great candidate for audio analysis and processing projects. Instructables  user Fezder realized it would have the power to do real-time audio calculations and fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) required for their Surrounding Sounds Feedback Box (SSFBB) project.

The project consists of two 2.2″ ILI9341-based LCD displays plus an analog panel meter, in addition to the Teensy 3.2 and Audio Adaptor Board. LEDs and a TI LM3915 driver, plus Microchip MCP6002 op-amp and electret microphone with Maxim MAX9814 amplifier round out the package. In addition to the FFT display, scrolling and average peak meters are incorporated. The MCP6002’s built-in automatic gain control (AGC) helps smooth out ambient sounds. Find out more on the project’s Instructables page.

FreeBSD Robot

While most of our featured projects are Teensy-centric, occasionally we play a supporting role to another board, and that’s OK! There’s nothing wrong with being Jamie Lee Curtis to another board’s Michelle Yeoh, as is the case in Hackaday user Fabio Balzano’s FreeBSD Robot + Teensy 3.1.

The bulk of the bot’s brains come from a Beaglebone Black running FreeBSD. A web-based GUI enables control and video streaming over Wi-Fi, while the Teensy acts as a speed control plus drives the steering servo via PWM. Find out more on the project’s Hackaday page.

Floppy Disk Keyboard

Teensy ends up in a lot of keyboard projects.  Choosing the “best” Teensy-based keyboard is difficult, this is strong contender for “slowest!”

Everybody’s favourite hardware necromancer, foone, has created an outrageously arduous input device that uses 29 unique floppy disks to painstakingly “key” in letters, one at a time.

The device consists of a PC floppy drive, with a USB adapter, which is in turn connected to a Raspberry Pi. The Pi reads the floppy’s volume label on insertion, and then uses a Teensy LC to send the character to a connected host as if it were a normal USB keyboard.

The whole thing is then shoved into a SCSI Magneto Optical drive for good measure. 29 disks provide A-Z, !, space, and a shift modifier. Marvel at the video below, in which they manage to spell out “Hello world!” in…well under five minutes!