Keeaplive post


In case anyone is keeping track, I didn’t post anything in a while… Mostly due to a very stressful move that I had to go thru. I was kind of “homeless” for about 6 months trying to buy a house and encountering some frustrating issues.

But all of this is now behind me, and I moved to my beautiful house upstate New York 🙂   I finally have room to work on my project and a beautiful backyard with no neighbors too close.

While I lived with my parents, I worked on couple of interesting small DIY projects, on which I might do a write-up or two.

I created an “AudioFX Stick” –  small arduino like device that has audio on board to use with FX props or toys. It still needs some work, but based on it, I created 2 devices, both out of necessity.

First device was a smart LED strip. Staircase in parent’s house had very bad lightning so I decided to create motion activate LED strip.  So I got a 1m RGB LED strip w/ aluminum enclosure (it had diffuser too) and in Radioshack’s enclosure create a controller that has PIR motion sensor, light sensor, IR receiver and a push button.  It’s controlled by my AudioFX Stick. When it’s dark enough and motion detected light will turn on. If no motion detected over period of time LED strip will flash as a warning and then turn itself off.  It can also be control with a remote (any remote can be programmed) and a button. LED Strip can be even set to various colors.
It worked pretty well, and saved me and everyone who lived in the house from stumbling in the dark 🙂

Second device was an IR controlled in-line volume changer. It might be silly but it had a purpose. I had no regular TV in my room, just 30″ LCD monitor, TiVo and computer speakers.  Tivo would connect to monitor via HDMI cable, and monitor had line out to connect to speakers. There was no way to control sound volume remotely. So I took one of my AudioFX stick prototypes and made it control digital potentiometer. It also had an IR receiver,    LED bar (w/ 10 LEDs) and a rotary encoder to control sound manually if needed. This was a challenging project as I discovered digital pot has issues with audio signal. It would cut off sine wave below 0, mangling sound. Thanks to some folks at DIYAudio forums, I was able to modify circuit to introduce a bias (basically move sine wave above 0 before it reached POT and then lower it back).  It worked but had it’s issues. Every time I was changing volume device would create a loud pop. Large volume, louder pop. But it seemed to be just a limitation of non-audio digital Pot.

Then just before I moved out, I started working on a musical controller based on Isomorphic keyboard. I already build my prototype with bunch of arcade buttons, but never completed it. Still on my to do list 🙂