Projects (unrealized)

This is an area where I am recording some future project ideas I have for the AVR.  I'll add more as they occur to me.  I'll also add a new section with photos and code and stuff - if I ever get any done or even start working on them...  If you have any suggestions on these rants or other project ideas, let me know.  I'd probably be glad to give you input on any ideas you have as well.

  • Four voice music box works  Ideally a Windows program will take a MIDI file, some .wav files and generate a data file for this.  Probably the biggest challenge on this one will be on the Windows side.  I know next to nothing about MIDI.  I've used .wav files within Windows programs but I'm not sure I can convert them into something useful. I'll have to find or write a waveform editor to allow me to make single wavelength samples.  I'll also need to write something to derive wavform envelopes and pitch and amplitude vibrato.  I'm not sure that MIDI can even represent those; the samples that I here when I visit websites would certainly indicate that you can't.  It will also be a big challenge to see what I can store in 8K.  I thought it would be interesting to make some music boxes that play my sister's music.
Basement layout
  • Light controller for the basement   The rear overhead lights (B and C) are constantly getting left on; particularly B over the washer and dryer.  Turning them off requires a walk down the stairs.  It seems no one else in my family is willing to do that unless I yell as one of the kids.  The switch at the top of the stairs(1) should act pretty much as it does now when turning on lights. That is, turn on only the front lights (A).  When turning off though, it should turn off all the lights (A, B and C.)  There should be a timer to turn off all the lights after 6 hours or so.  Also, a infrared beam style switch (2) should be added to allow the light in the laundry area to turn on by simply walking between the end of the shelving and the furnace.  The existing switches(3) for light groups B and C should remain or be replaced with push buttons.  Since the switches will no longer be carrying much current, and the contacts may be pitted and unreliable for logic level switching I may need to replace all of them.
  • Front doorbell  It would be interesting to add additional sensors to record how many times people come up to my front porch and how many times people press the door bell. Perhaps a camera could be added to show who was at the door.  As long as the AVR is there, I could add sensors to the front door and the garage doors to see when and how long they were open.  I could also measure inside and outside temperatures. This could all be sent back to my PC through a serial connection.  Maybe since the serial port on my computer is already being used, I could connect it to one of my children's computers and have it periodically update a web page.
  • Robots  This one is pretty wide open, but Stephen would really like to help with a robot project.  I don't have any specific concept here.  It would be a good platform for working with sensors and actuators.
  • Kinetic sculpture  Again, although I have a few ideas on this, nothing has made me say, "I have to do this right now!"  I've thought for a couple years about something sort of like a rollercoaster.  I'd use steel balls either on a Plexiglas track or inside clear plastic tubing.  They would be sensed optically and then propelled at various points around the course by electromagnets.

    Another idea I've had for this would use sympathetic vibration to make a swing go, but the source of the vibration, and therefore how the swing moves, would be a mystery (maybe.)  That's my theory anyway.

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