Monday, February 6, 2017

project 1 | integrate, interact, intervene



{To see more about our project, click the links above!}

For our group project into the world of simple circuits and their interaction with the public, we decided to get a little adventurous. After perusing the interwebs for inspiration, we ended up ordering a kit online for a 9V Siren. Not quite knowing how we would eventually have this interact with the public, we carried on. Our kit arrived quickly, and once we took it out and began to look at it, I think we realized we may have been a little ambitious. 

Following proper procedure, we attempted to identify all the pieces, and then planned to breadboard our circuit initially. But, this was going to be a complex and time-consuming task, and Thomas gave us the go-ahead to skip breadboarding. We had misidentified some pieces previously, resolved this error and replaced a missing piece with one from the FABLAB. After that our only difficulty was making sure everything was placed in the board with the proper polarity. Allie was most skilled with the soldering iron, and we quickly got the circuit together.

Instructions for our kit

The image we would have used to breadboard our circuit.

Our touch point (and back of the circuit--nice Hersey's kiss soldering)

Our kit's speaker

More soldering to connect the speaker to the board

We immediately needed to see this bad boy in action. It was definitely working and was much louder than we expected!

So, skip a few days later, and we're getting our circuit together and putting it in its packaging. During our interlude we had been working diligently on our noise project, which inspired us to use circuit bending in this project as well! With Thomas' assistance we modified our circuit to include a potentiometer, which allows us to adjust the volume of the speaker. We also played around with touch and how the sound would change depending on if someone's hand was touching the board and/or attaching to jumper cables to the board.

The potentiometer we added

This new idea of including circuit bending finally allowed us to see the full potential of our project--why not introduce circuit bending to the world! We used a shoe box, electrical tape, duct tape, an exacto knife, and handy-dandy Illustrator to create a DJ Booth.

Circuit Bending DJ Booth

Inside the box!

The on button (red) and poteniometer (black)

Our next step was to get our DJ Booth out in the real world! We took it outside and had multiple passersby come over and want to see what all the fuss was about. The reactions were pretty humorous; one girl thought that Eugene was controlling the noises with his phone. We also took our project home, and I had one of my roommates react to it. She just thought it was making funny fart-like noises. Allie also took the device to her work.

Overall, I was surprised by how much people liked what we had come up with. I think its success with the common public was likely from the personalization that came from each person. Everyone tried different methods of controlling the sound; it was literally in their hands how the simple circuit would react. It was fun to just see this person-to-person change. .

Our circuit bent siren in action

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