Turn It On

Hot on the heels of Arduino Day, I started playing with microcontrollers thanks to guidance and equipment from DuKode Studio.

I made it through the perfunctory “hello world” with a blinking light.

First test: car door lock actuator

I got development on music machines started in earnest by testing a car door lock actuator. These are interesting gadgets because they have a plunger that moves in and out with a nice amount of torque, which would be great for mechanical drums. And at under $10, they’re cheap, too!

I hooked mine up to a hacked-up 12 volt power supply, and switched it with a relay on a nice little board controlled by the Arduino.

2014 04 13 relay actuator

Results

With this setup, I’ve got a plunger pushing out of a motor gun on command. The plunger could be retracted by reversing the polarity, but I decided to keep things simple on day one and just push it back myself.

Good properties for music

Less desirable properties

Good applications