How do I find sensor, controller and demonstrables on the CNMAT site?
You may have to log in to get access to these. Here is Yotam's guide:
Do I have to use electronics and computers for my sensor music or art?
No. We spent most of our time on this approach but there are lots of compelling examples of other approaches, e.g., http://www.cnmat.berkeley.edu/resource/bagatelle_sound_maker_exploratorium
Notice that this has the three elements I introduced in the class: interaction (you have to spin the bagatelle), complexity (the ball motion in the bagatelle) and presence (the dish to project the sound).
What are some easy "low hanging fruit" sensors I can explore?
Here are some "free" built-in sensors: http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/event/2008/07/21/Freesensors
My Max/MSP/JItter demo has expired. Can I get a discounted copy?
Yes, send your e-mail address and name to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP
What is a good introductory Electronics Book/Resource?
I like the Forrest Mims books: http://www.w5yi.org/catalog.php?sort=21
I also like "Handmade Electronic Music - The Art of Hardware Hacking"by Nicolas Collins
Some people teach from the book "Physical Computing" by Dan O'Sulllivan and Tom Igoe. Too many of its pages are full of old ways of writing microcontroller software. It is badly in need of a new edition.
I don't like "Electronics for Dummies". The cute, friendly banter means it takes 83 pages before they get to ohm's law.
What are resistor pullups for?
To establish a source of current through resistive sensors such as fabric pressure sensors. Here are some more details:
Why did I learn to solder in the workshop?
Because if you can't solder you will end up paying $50-$100 for a $5-$10 sensor soldered by someone else, e.g., http://www.infusionsystems.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/24/product...
Most of the hip new sensors in hard-to-solder packages are being mounted on easy-to-solder "breakout boards" by companies like sparkfun, e.g., http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=23
Many interesting applications require high reliability and compactness - hard to achieve with solderless breadboards and sensors with plugs and sockets.
Which soldering iron should I use?
A good soldering iron has temperature control (not power control), cabling that doesn't melt easily, option for small tips, and turns itself off automatically after it isn't used for a while and of course has a protective soldering iron stand. Good brands like Weller charge $100 for this kind of iron. There are lots of people charging $20 to $50 dollars for irons like the yellow ones some of you tried in the workshop. The handles get too hot on these, you can't get replacement tips and the tips don't last long. It has no safety shutoff and the power control is not very reliable. One reputable store has a Weller colored (blue) version of these $2 irons (yes that is what I paid for them) for sale for $20.
What is the best wireless technology to use, Bluetooth or Zigbee?
ZigBee is optimized for low data rate, low power consumption, and works with small packet devices. Bluetooth uses a higher data rate, and therefor has higher power consumption, and works with large packet devices. ZigBee supports a larger number of devices and a longer range between devices than Bluetooth-as long as a mile. Although ZigBee is better suited for low latency applications, developments in Bluetooth address performance guarantees. This is a general comparison:
Bluetooth 2.0 now has mature audio support. This could be interesting for people integrated sensors on acoustic instruments (e.g. trumpets and flutes) because you could send the gesture data and audio together.
Here is the hot module to experiment with this: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8771
What is a wrapper? What examples of other wrappers are there?
Wrappers are a kind of abstraction (black box) that allow us to hide unnecessary or ugly details. OSC wrappers are a favorite around here for sensors and actuators because if you know how to make and take apart an OSC message you know how to deal with any device you can find or make a wrapper for. OSC is thereby a lingua franca for us.
Some important wrappers I should have mentioned are osculator, and glovepie.
What is the glove in the kit for?
I noticed that a simple pressure sensor for each finger and the thumb could be made by sewing conductive thread in the right places. Hannah is taking this a lot further. Watch out for future blogs and recipes about this, e.g., http://www.flickr.com/photos/64586501@N00/2707587302/in/set-72157606403862795/
What is the LDR in the kit for?
We didn't get round to experimenting with light dependent resistors. Hook it up between ground and one of the three resistor pullups you added to the CUI board. A challenge with LDR's is controlling ambient light.
Use straws or other tubes to control light input into the LDR:collimation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collimated_light
Here are some interesting contemporary LDR uses: http://www.musicsynthesizer.com/Hairball/hairball.html http://www.springerlink.com/content/611t752842j43643/
And here are some of those combined light/ldr’s you can build simple analog audio things with: http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/VTL5C4/VACTROL-R-ANALOG-…
Suntracker’s are a popular use of LDR’s http://www.projectfreepower.com/solar-power/building-a-sun-tracker.html
What is your favorite max object?
multislider. This is the swiss army knife object for monitoring sensor data and simulating it.
How do I do speech and singing voice synthesis in Max?
and my singing voice patch: http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/patch/3033
How do I buy more CUI boards?
Contact Dan Overholt: http://www.create.ucsb.edu/~dano/
Dan and I have talked about creating a new CUI design. If you plan to order more than 20 of these please let me know ahead of your application so Dan and I can talk about refining the design to better suit your needs.
What is the difference between the white and black CUI boards?
Some of the older white CUI boards only have 10-bit ADC instead of 12-bit.
What were those movies you showed? Where can we see them again?
Some via Netflix and some are on youtube. They are described in the calendar for the workshop.
Where do you buy the laser spinner's from? and the invertible balls?
Sources are now in the materials database:
What sensors can I connect to the CUI's?
Analog voltage output sensors to the ADC pins and SPI or I2C. Andy has OSC firmware this and tutorials will follow shortly.
How do I connect reliably to the Arduino's?
Place square header pins in the sockets and solder or jumper to the pins.
What circuits work poorly on solderlessBreadboards?
High Frequency and High Impedance circuits. Anything involving capacitive sensing.
What is multiplexing?
Multiplexing is a way to save wiring for arrays of devices like switches, sensors or led's. The idea is to address these arrays by row and column. By joining row and column wires (much like a weave) we can address NxM devices (intersections in a weave) with only n+m wires (or threads). Andy just added multiplexing support to our CUI firmware uOSC: http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/user/andy_schmeder/blog/2008/07/24/multiplexin...
Why was your Tablo demo so buggy?
Transition to Max 5. I will post a better demo soon.
How are inertial sensors used?
This one is installed on Roberto's flute:
How do I fix the Lilypad Arduino mechanical problems?
By unsoldering the pokey connectors and lifting them above the bottom of the board and resoldering. I will put up the recipe for this soon.