Yay I’m done with another small kit. This one is a nice battery-powered USB charger. You can plug in anything that charges over USB like iPods, cameras, cell phones, etc. to get a lot more run-time. It runs off of 2 AA batteries, alkaline or rechargeables and has 2.5x more juice than a 9V-powered design.
iPod video (tested, using alkaline batteries): 3hrs more video (1 full recharge)
iPod shuffle (unverified): 60 hours more (5 full recharges)
iPod mini (unverified): 26 hours more (1.5 full recharges)
This project is suitable for beginners, some soldering tools are necessary but even if you’ve never soldered before it should be pretty easy. You can etch a circuitboard and/or breadboard this up, or simply buy a kit.
I also spent a bunch of time documenting the process by which kits are born, so that people can learn about how to design stuff like this.
I finally got off my butt and finished documentation for MIDIsense, a simple and inexpensive MIDI/sensor system for artists, musicians and experimenters. I did a workshop with these in March and they worked great so I’m happy that they’re finally available.
The only board I’ve released so far is for log resistive sensors. These are pretty common: photocells, bend/flex sensor, force sensors. My example right now is a laser harp using $3 laser pointers and $0.50 photocells. I’ll probably do an example with a bend-sensor glove or tapping a force sensor next. I’m also, of course, hoping people decide to buy the kits and come up with neat new interfaces.
I’ll release the Analog/Digital I/O board next, which will be much simpler, in a sense…but will allow 5 buttons/switches and 6 analog inputs, such as distance sensors and linear potentiometers.
More importantly, I need to hack on the windows python code because the windows MIDI subsystem seems quite slow in comparison to even a 3 year old iMac!