Tag Archives: music

Stealth Fighter Guitar with Octolively Lighting Effects

Stealth plane guitar with octolively lighting

Herb wrote in to say:

When I saw your Octolively LED circuit, the first thing I wanted to do was incorporate it into our electric guitar project.

I teach a basic senior physics class for non-science majors and wanted to try something different; a year-long design project.

We made a guitar from scratch that resembles a stealth fighter. We even wound the humbucker coils in the guitar… Your circuit is used to drive the exhaust lights in response to playing motion…It works well and offers a unique visual effect based on the selected setting…you can even hear the circuit through the amplifier when it drives the blue LEDs…

The Octolively is wired up with the LEDs pointing down from the bottom of the guitar (back of the plane) and the sensors pointing toward the neck to respond the motion of the guitar player.

Stealth Octolively guitar in progress

His student, David, added:

Thank you for making such a great educational product to learn about LED’s and simple circuits. Our class worked together to put all of the parts in the correct place and it was a wonderful collaborative learning project.

Octolively assembly for incorporation into guitar

StippleGen and a low-power DIY laser cutter

Jens demonstrates using StippleGen2 with his low-power (300 mW!) DIY laser cutter and a classic image of Louis Armstrong.

After letting StippleGen2 crunch the numbers for a while I imported the resulting vector graphic file into inkscape and generated the G-code so that I could use my laser cutter to cut the image into a black paper. 2 hours and 23 minutes later I had a 20×20 cm piece of paper with about a 1000 holes in it and it looks awesome! Would be perfect for a lamp shade or just nice to put up in a window and let the sun shine through. I can highly recommend StippleGen2 it’s super easy and a lot of fun.

Senko [Flash]

Tatsu Iida, a member of oxoxo [zero by zero] wrote in to tell us about the interactive LED installation entitled Senko [Flash] which they showed at the Tokushima LED Art Festival in April.


They used a Peggy 2 to drive a field full of LED illuminated spheres, along with IR sensors to detect visitors entering the array. Each new person would trigger a new sphere to light up and move through the field.

?? [Senko] - Tokushima LED Art Festival

This is the largest installation we’ve ever seen based on the Peggy 2.

?? [Senko] - Tokushima LED Art Festival

Thanks for sharing your incredible project with us!

Links to many more Peggy 2 projects are on the wiki.

In pictures: Maker Faire NY 2011

MFNY2011 - 007

The Yellow Drum Machine, above, finds and makes music with a glass beaker and an empty juice bottle: Just one of an amazing number of amazing things going on at Maker Faire NY this past weekend.

Maker Faire NY 2011

Trying to get a flavor of the whole fair(e), we’ve put over 250 other photos from Maker Faire into a photo set that you can view on flickr.

The Sashimi Tabernacle Choir (on the Smithsonian Channel)

The Sashimi Tabernacle Choir

The Smithsonian Channel’s series America Wild & Wacky is featuring ArtCar Fest. In a blog post about the episode, they linked to my flickr video from Maker Faire of the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir. Here for your entertainment is my clip of hundreds of computer controlled singing sea creatures performing Bohemian Rhapsody.

Trombone Cozy

trombone cozy

trombone cozy

This trombone cozy was necessitated by a skin allergy to certain metals. It is a rectangle of soft cotton material with velcro sewn on so that it wraps snugly around the portion of the horn that comes in contact with the trombonist’s neck. I measured the length of the tube we wanted to cover, and wrapped a string around it to get the circumference. I added a bit seam allowance and overlap for the velcro to start with a rectangle of material about 3″ x 7″ and a 6.5″ strip of velcro. I rolled a hem around the four sides and sewed the velcro on. Problem solved– no more neck irritation makes for a much happier band member.

How to Make a Music Satchel

Music Satchel - 01

Much of the sewing I do is sort of off-the-cuff (pun intended.) This music satchel is a perfect example of sewing to fit the situation: It’s a set of speakers that you can wear while you’re riding your bike.

There are many reasons to take your music with you. The usual solution requires headphones. But sometimes you need to bring your party– and your speakers– along with you. We used to pull a giant stereo trailer along with us on social bike rides, and some of our friends still do (movie). But when it’s just you and a couple of buddies, and there’s ice on the ground, you don’t want to be towing 50 lbs of stereo around behind a bicycle. Granted, the speakers I used are nigh unto worthless and the amp eats batteries like candy, but they made just enough sound for our little group. I needed a small padded bag for them, though, so I made one.
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