21 Oct

Minions Operation

I bought a Minions Operation game for my Nephew & Nieces (who are Minion mad) but it felt like (MB Games?) Hasbro Games missed a trick by not having it play Minions samples. So I added that feature by adding a WT588D voice module controlled by an Arduino Mini Pro.

This meant dismantling the whole thing and breaking the plastic rivet things… I guess it won’t be going back to Amazon any time soon 🙂

I made use of the ‘buzzer’ by driving it with a transistor for 500ms. I’ll replace the light bulb with an LED that stays lit while the sample is playing.


The original version doesn’t need a power switch as the tweezers and metal base are the switch. My version draws power when idle, so I needed to remind people it was still switched on. I added a ‘nag’ mode that plays ~60 second samples of one of the 3 Minions cover version songs (selected at random) every 2 minutes if nothing happens, until someone turns off the power (when I add a power switch). Nag mode is really really annoying after a while – especially when you are trying to test it works properly…

I’ve got to put all of the electronics on a prototype board and then cram all of this stuff plus batteries underneath the playing surface. There isn’t enough room in the original battery/buzzer box, but it looks like the plastic frame is designed with extra modules in mind so I should be able to design and 3d print a suitable enclosure.

The WT588D has 32MB of flash memory which was more than enough for 40+ samples at 22000Hz Mono as well as the 3 x nag tunes and then some. I think it was showing 88% used in the upload software.


It is run in 3 line mode with 3 pins to ‘select’ the device, send a clock signal and pulse the binary data that corresponds to a randomly chosen sample. I think it was playing sample 32 when the scope captured this clock (top) and data.

Last Updated on 21 October 2015 by Mark

21 Oct

Music box


Edit – copyright claim!! omg. YEah so will dispute for fair usage!


A quick demo of a project Asha is working on, hopefully i’ll edit this post with a bit more info as it comes.

Short story is that it is a flex sensor running through a pro mini, and using the radio chips that Neil kindly donated. The data is driven through Max MSP which in turn increases and decreases the level of volume through the PC.

Maybe I can persuade her to write about its process here….



Last Updated on 21 October 2015 by Edward Ward

18 Oct

3020 playtime

Playing with my CNC after a few weeks off. Its making a bracket for a lamp that is taking me forever to getting finished.

Feed is 1500mm/s with a 2mm cut depth – job time was 3.5 mins! Takes 1.5 hrs to print out, and that’s only 5mm high (this stock is 10mm).

It’s also a little easier to tidy as the dust isn’t airborne, and not micro fine like the plywood was.



Last Updated on 18 October 2015 by Edward Ward

12 Oct

Delta Vases


One of the finished models.

Approx. 3.5 hrs each – running on spiral vase mode, at around 15mm/s in Cura.


Close up of the print in action.


Each scaled to ‘fit max’ in Cura, so its capped at height in this case, so each vase has the same height.


Finished, with MM to spare!


First go with LayBrick – no calibration or anything, so rather pleased with the outcome. Some strings, and odd bits, but maybe room for improvement down the line.


A closer, in process shot. The material shows a few blemishes, but overall smooths out the layers really well!

Last Updated on 12 October 2015 by Mark

12 Oct

Addressable LED – how do they even?!

To say it was rather a last minute thing – the turn out was rather good! Despite Rob having man flu and Mark being on holiday, somehow, we managed to get stuff to work! No doubt due to the hard work of clever chaps Neil, Graham and new guys Brian and Dan. That left the rest of us wondering what the heck was going on… But by the end of the session, us newbs had some LEDs blinking, using libraries and even some hand written code!


We took over the Interior Architecture studio this time round, as the Old School house was pre booked, and I no longer have the workshop key. We managed to stay there till 10:45! General consensus was that the group enjoyed the space – having desks to work on and chairs that fit under them. We also had a TV and some banging tunes, when the connection wasn’t cutting out that is!

So, the brief was… lets see what these guys can do. Half of us never having used the libraries or LEDs before – lead to some interesting discoveries. We had an array of products to play with, all based around 2812 SMD LEDs. Some in strips, some loose, some on breakout boards (much easier to handle!) and some 2D arrays. By the end of the night, most were responding to something, either the library samples, some changing colour based on the values of a distance sensor, and some scrolling through a smiley face on the array.


The solder station set up – some hadn’t soldered before, so we were shorting out breakout boards left right and center! We did a good job of getting this fixed and tidied though.


Not addressable, but David’s approach worked anyway! Press the button and the blue LED turns off, and the red LEDs blink –  a couple of days in with the Arduino tutorials.


Neil came along with this setup and running – a set of 3 AdaFruit NeoPixels on PCB, looks like the way to go for these things I reckon. I believe these were scrolling through the Fast LED library.

Neil and Brian then went on to getting it to respond to sound using a sound sensor – didn’t work overly well, maybe it was damaged?

Over all it was a good session, most people got something out of it. Certainly an appreciation for the complexity that is Addressable LEDs!

Last Updated on 12 October 2015 by Mark