2019-10-02 (W) Electronic Wind Chimes EWC_Handheld

This project started unexpectedly. Most of my projects started in the imagination and planning for a few weeks. In this regard, the project was right on track since I imagined this build and aspect for months while I built the other EWC projects. I wanted something portable like the EWC_Pocket but with more range and I wanted it to be self-contained instead of one that needed a full-fledged computer or a separate sound module. This one started unexpectedly because I did not intend to start any music project so quickly after the enormous Electronic Wind Chimes. Despite the ordered but informal sound, I missed having the background noise, but the bulk of the device made it a challenge to use often. Perhaps I'll hang it on the wall later.

Enough background
The concept of the EWC_Handheld was a portable pseudo-random sound generator with multiple channels and minimal controls. One of the potentiometers will control the tempo. One pushbutton will prandomize the settings of the current channel such as a new instrument, pitch offset, and play frequency. The second potentiometer will adjust the velocity of the channel in question. The last button will accept the current settings and add a new prandom channel. Since this will allow fifteen unique channels, it will be more versatile than the EWC in a sense.

Another function that has been under consideration for a while was a device that allowed the user to control a switch that would generate a note when pressed and sustain so long as it was held. Each new press would stop the old sound and start a new prandom note. This was conceptualized as a single piano key, but that would be too small for a simple prototype. This mode will become active when the tempo is set to zero.

Parts were scrounged from stock
  • Plastic chewing gum case
  • Two slide pots
  • Two chassis-mount pushbuttons
  • Cherry green keyswitch
Slide potentiometers were mounted on the side, and pushbuttons were mounted above them. The keyswitch was affixd to the bottom, so the, whole device was suspended by the keyswitch. In this way, when the case is pressed it should feel like a big paddle, and the green keyswitches have a satisfying click, but they have a stronger spring than the popular blue switches. All the square holes were cut with a nibbling tool and the chewing gum case was easy to work with.
EWC_Handheld chassis

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6

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