2019-11-29 (F) Weekly Summary

This tip came from someone I met in person at a Nevada hackspace. I was not fortunate enough to see the build itself, but it was worthy of a Hackaday article, even if I did not know the builder.

He made a puzzle game, which he described as an "Escape room in a box." I agree with the description. The theme is that the player is trying to disable satellites from launching warheads with a cold war era feel.

Last week I started a new project where I began automating a children's glockenspiel. I thought I was going to mount some servos and mallets to the top and call it a day, but I thought it would be so much more fun to make it behave like a player piano where they keys move, seemingly on their own.
Replacement foam for noise dampening

Instead of rotary servo motors, I chose solenoids. They react faster than servos and are less complicated. By definition, a solenoid is a spool of wire, while a servo is a motor with feedback. It took a couple of days to find a suitable electromagnet, which is a solenoid with an iron core.
A strong electromagnet

As a test, I outfitted one of the toy keys with a steel screw so the electromagnet could move it when power was applied. The way Little Tikes built the glockenspiel, the keys were nearly balanced so the weight of the screw makes it harder to draw the key. So long as I can overcome that problem in testing, when I rebalance the keys later, it should assist the machine.
Adding iron to glockenspiel keys

Testing for the magnets started with a 12-volt dc supply, and it could draw a loose screw from the floor. When everything was inside the toy, there was not enough power to lift a key. I switched to a 32-volt supply, and by pressing a button, I could ring a note.
(0:12) Ringing a key with magnetism

Once I proved the concept with a single relay, I attached eight solenoids to a strip of plastic. The magnet's spacing matched the glockenspiel keys. Every key can be activated independently.
Solenoids for days

The rest of the summary posts 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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