Archive for November, 2009

Augmented Kazoo

Posted in Art, Design, and Imaginary Existance, As Built on November 2, 2009 by xeracy

Well halloween has come and gone. I made a  Silly String Pumpkin as seen on Instructables via Hack-A-Day, but my servo motor died the day of halloween after all the stores had closed.  Needless to say, it was a sad halloween for hobby tech.

Anyhow, I got home from work today, and was playing with a toy kazoo shaped like a pumpkin (also had a bat, spider, and skeleton).

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I figured it would be cool if the amount of control you had over the noisemaker could be translated into something like mouse movement for DJ scratching software, or something akin. I set to work desoldering the IR encoder from a usb mouse and adding leads for remote mounting. For a first pass, I used the  mouse hardware in lieu of an arduino build from scratch.

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While holding the ir led and sensor in place on either side of the kazoo, i was able to control the vertical movement of my mouse, up and down. Unfortunatly, since hot-glueing the components together, it seems the mouse only goes down unless it is spinning quite fast. I understand that the encoder wheel from the mouse and the noise-making fan inside the kazoo have completely different timings, so i will next look into fixing that issue. Perhaps I can use the original mouse encoder wheel and a custom tube to make a version 2.0….    yeah, probably not.

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Anyhow, heres a quick demo video of my project thus far.