2019-11-21 (Th) MIDIGlocken

Musical instrument automation is no stranger here. Four years ago, I was on a team that tried to automate a glockenspiel. We kept calling it a xylophone, and that was inaccurate because a xylophone uses wooden bars. That project has been dormant for years, but my friend and I would occasionally chat about how we would do it differently.

The other day, I saw a children's toy at a thrift store and I thought the playing mechanism was clever so I bought it to examine it more closely. I talked with my friend, and we may try again. Until then, I want to automate this toy by myself. It doesn't have continuous notes, they are scaled to sound pleasing regardless of the order they're played, presumably, so parents don't throw the thing out the window.
Toy and inspiration

Enough background
In the shower, where I keep a dry-erase board for this sort of thing, I had an idea for a mallet that could hide under each key. It would feature a wooden bead, the same size as a glockenspiel mallet head, suspended on a rubber band or spring. At the center, it would have a hub to make it connect with a servo motor's horn. The bow holding the rubber band would be adjustable, so the rubber band tension could be changed. At the back end, I put a silencer, which would be a squishy pad that could press against the bar and absorb the vibration.
Shower thought

During work, I had more ideas for designs that could be made on a laser cutter. The later models even allowed for ways to change the rubber band tension without moving parts. The mallet head had to swing on a rubber band because it needed to ricochet off the bar and not collide again, or it would change the sound.
Preliminary sketches

I drafted the least complicated design with more curves than the original. I intended to cut it from thick plastic, but the flexibility of the bow might even help the mallet swing.

Drafted mallet holder

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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