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