Blog Posts

Sky Vane – Acoustic Art Installation

The Sky Vane is a reactive sound installation that generates a stunning ethereal soundtrack based on readings from atmospheric sensors.

The sounds you can hear in the tweets below are created from readings taken from a simple set of sensitive weather sensors (temperature, pressure, humidity, and light). These readings are dynamically assembled, manipulated, and evolved in real time using both a Raspberry Pi and Teensy microcontroller.

The Sky Vane is designed by pyka, a team that designs interactive sound tools and makes engaging experiences. Check out more projects from pyka on their website, their Twitter account or over on Instagram.

Digital Saxophone/Clarinet

The Vindor ES is an electronic saxophone / clarinet from Vindor Music with has a sophisticated and easy-to-play design.

The Vindor ES is a USB MIDI controller with a built-in synthesizer, speaker, headphone jack, plus a 1/4″ jack output for an amplifier or guitar pedal. Developed for the educational market, it comes with online and mobile education software.

The digital saxophone is controlled with a Teensy 3.1. Vindor used SPI (for the SD card), TSI (touch sensors for individual buttons) and DAC (for the audio generation, including the fabulous audio library). There is also a Freescale pressure sensor to measure breath and an amplifier/speaker.

Find more information and check out more feature demos over on the  Vindor Music website.




YaRC Vehicle Series

Welters Hackz has published details of a series of radio controlled vehicles, the YaRC 1 and 2 and the latest addition, YaRC mark 3.

The acronym YaRC stands for Yet another RC vehicle. The first YaRC was made out of Lego bricks and used a Teensy 3.2, a Raspberry Pi and various motors. The second YaRC added in a camera for video transmission and a WiFi dongle to help with communication. The third YaRC kept the software of the previous two projects but upgraded almost all of the hardware, including a chassis upgrade and a newer Raspberry Pi.

Welters Hackz has done a great job of documenting the evolution of this RC project, with build logs, schematic diagrams, component lists, useful explanations and links to helpful code repositories. Check out the YaRC project pages for the YaRC 1 and 2 and YaRC mark 3 on

Convolution Software Defined Radio

PJRC forum user DD4WH made the Teensy Convolution SDR, a software defined radio for long wave, medium wave, short wave and wide band FM stereo.

Software defined radio (SDR) is a radio communication system in which the traditional hardware systems — such as mixers, amplifiers and filters — are replaced with software.

DD4WH used a Teensy 3.6, a PJRC audio board, a quadrature sampling detector (QSD), an oscillator capable of being tuned by I2C, three encoders and an antenna to make the Teensy Convolution SDR. DD4WH chose to do the main filtering and demodulation in the frequency domain using a fast convolution approach, enabling much steeper filters than the usual phasing approach.

Detailed specifications and a project guide for the Teensy Convolution SDR project have been published on DD4WH’s GitHub. The original forum post about the project is also really worth checking out, with helpful comments about sourcing components and troubleshooting the code.




Dancing Fountain

Artist and “fountaineer” Alexis Richter has created a water fountain that analyses music and synchronizes its movement and light.

Richter’s hardware analyses the music being played then uses that information to control the fountain’s water pump and RGB LEDs. That gives him the ability to create colorful, kinetic displays of water synced perfectly to music.

The fountain has been on show at music festivals and public spaces all over the UK, including Glastonbury Festival and Boomtown. You can see more examples of it in motion on Instagram, and you can read more details or book it for your event on Richter’s website.


SimpleRick: Low Cost Ultrasound Imaging

SimpleRick is a low-cost DIY 2D ultrasound imaging hardware project designed by William Meng.

SimpleRick makes innovative use of Software Defined Radio, pairing it with an ultrasound transducer to make a maker-friendly, affordable ultrasound imager. It works by sending out acoustic sound waves and then listening for audio bouncing back from objects in the path of the waves.

Meng’s project is based on an open hardware ultrasound project called un0rick. For SimpleRick, Meng replaced the more expensive specialist components in un0rick with a Teensy and Software Defined Radio.

Meng has written up the SimpleRick project and released the hardware design files and code under the TAPR Open Hardware License over on his GitHub, where you can also find an overview of the system architecture and some great experiment logs.


“Luz” has used a Teensy 3.5 to make a device that is capable of reading and writing old SEGA ROMs.

The retro computing and retro gaming communities are always a fantastic source of inspiring electronics hacks. This awesome project uses a Teensy 3.5 to read and write old SEGA ROMs. For this project, Luz decided to go even more retro by using an old school technique called wire wrapping instead of making a PCB.

Wire wrapping involves making electrical connections with a tool that wraps bare wire around a connection point rather than using solder. You can read more about this fun technique in this Jameco blog post, or you can see how Luz used it in this project in the photo above.

Once wired up, Luz uses this project to read old SEGA ROMs, allowing us to use the code in gaming emulators or even alter the code and write it back to the ROM  with added cheats! Luz has released the code for this project on GitHub.


Musician and maker Ghost in Translation has made a simple polyphonic FM synth called SimpleSynth.


SimpleSynth is a Teensy-based polyphonic synth with a pleasingly simple design. It can perform FM, AM and ring mod synthesis with one carrier and one modulator, and has arpeggiator and drone modes. Attack, decay and release can be controlled, as well as modulator gain and frequency.

Making use of a Teensy audio board, Teensy 3.2 and nine potentiometers, it is compatible with any midi instrument or DAW that sends MIDI note messages, and has a specific light-up feature when used with the Novation Launchpad S. Ghost in Translation posted about SimpleSynth on the forum, with a demo uploaded to YouTube and detailed build notes with code on GitHub.