Super Otamatone

Evan is working on upgrading his Otamatone by replacing the internal analog synthesizer with a digital synth.

Using a Teensy 3.2 paired with an audio shield, the project aims to put a digital synth in an Otamatone that will include presets that can be configured on the fly.  This could be very useful in making the instrument a bit easier to play.  After all, the world needs a better Otamatone.

Code for the project can be found on GitHub.




Ambilight with FastLED

David Henderson and his brothers installed their own ambilight on the back of their new TV and the end result looks awesome.

Ambilight is a technology by Philips that uses LEDs mounted on the back of their TVs to add ambient light.  David retrofitted his TV using a total of 100 addressable LEDs.  The project uses a Teensy 3.2 and takes advantage of the FastLED library.

Check out the Instructables page for details on how you can build your own.

Code for the project is also available on GitHub.

Polaron DIY Drum Machine

“A guy called Tom” made the Polaron, a 16 step, 6 track digital DIY drum machine.

Driven by his curiosity to understand and experiment with interaction patterns on digital musical intruments, Tom made the Polaron.  It combines features from other drum machines that he knows and loves as well as new features he found useful during development.  The current list of features includes:

  • 16 step sequencer
  • 6 instrument tracks
  • 2 pots for parameter control
  • parameter locks: all instrument parameters can be recorded for each step
  • different pattern length for each instrument track
  • midi sync
  • crunchy 12bit stereo outputs

This video show the Poaron in action with a Waldorf Blofeld keyboard synthesizer

The project is fully open source with the code available on GitHub

There is also Wiki page available with instructions on how to build your own

Impedance Spectroscopy

Circuit Cellar Magazine Issue #344 features this article by Brian Miller, using AD5933 and Teensy LC.

Measurement of impedance over a range of frequencies can be useful for testing speakers & microphones, monitoring corrosion in metals, and biomedical applications.  Pick up a copy of Issue #344 for the full build details, including schematics & access to the software.

Console Emulators Collection

Jean-Marc Harvengt has done some pretty amazing work with a collection of console emulations, including the Atari 2600/5200, NES, Colecovision, and Philips Odyssy.

Jean-Marc was inspired by  Frank Bösing’s work on emulating the Commodore 64.  Currently the collection supports the Atari2600, Philips Videopac/Odyssey, colecovision, NES and Atari 5200 consoles; and the Zx80/Zx81, Zx Spectrum, and Atari800 computer cores.

All the emulators support both ILI9341 TFT and VGA output.

There’s some pretty amazing work going on here that brings up some serious nostalgia.

Code for the collection is available on GitHub.


Vortex Manipulator

Roger Parkinson made a very cool Vortex Manipulator, complete with a Dalek detector

Inspired by the vortex manipulator worn by Captain Jack Harkness of Dr Who and Torchwood, this steampunk-esque wrist mounted device includes a lot of useful features.  In addition to having clock, it also has a compass, picture gallery, heart rate monitor, and Dalek detector.

The device is powered by a Teensy 3.2 and uses an ILI9341 touchscreen for the interface.  The Teensy worked out well as a development platform for the project.  It had plenty of capacity to add more features as the project progressed, such as a heart rate monitor with an I2C interface.

Detailed information about the build can be found on this page.

Code and Eagle files for the project can be found on GitHub.



Music Reacting Infinity Mirror

Forum user Haybur upgraded his LED display from college into in a sound reactive infinity mirror.

The first part of the upgrade was using WS2812 LEDs and mounting them on a wall, then someone suggested turning it into an infinity mirror.

The memory and processing power of the Teensy 3.6 with Audio Shield and using the audio library along with the OCTOWS211 library made the project happen.

Interactive Bumblebee Costume

Ian Cole and a team of makers at MakerFX transformed a wheelchair into an amazing interactive Bumblebee costume.


Magic Wheelchair, a nonprofit organization that builds epic costumes for kids in wheelchairs, matched ATMakers to a kiddo for a wheelchair build.  ATMakers joined forces with MakerFX to build a wheelchair costume in 3 short weeks – in time for the Assistive Tech Industry Association conference.

Alex, the young man receiving the wheelchair uses assistive technology devices to communicate, so as part of the build the team decided their Bumblebee needed to be interactive using a keyboard.  The interactions they selected could be usable by Alex and worked into his physical therapy in the future.

The dashboard has a capacitive touch horn, two assistive technology buttons, a 320×240 LCD video screen, and 3 addressable LED rings.  The dashboard sends commands to the costume using USB MIDI notes.  This allows the costume to be controlled by either the dashboard or a keyboard.  All the controls and LEDs are powered by a Teensy 3.6 with a Teensy Audio Shield.  They used the FASTLED Library and the Non-blocking WS2812 LED Library to control the LEDs.  The USB Host capabilities of the Teensy 3.6 were used for the MIDI connection.

Code for the project is available in this MakerFX GitHub repository.