.05 mini-project: 3D form machine [Albert Chong]

The Wavemeter


1.  Abstract

While living in dorms and apartments, noise level is a common issue among tenants as college students can’t stay quiet when housed together. I hoped to solve this problem with The Wavemeter, a machine that would inform you if the noise level in your room is too high. The Wavemeter measures decibels through a sound sensor and a motor is triggered once the noise level in the room reaches a certain decibel. The motor sets off a mechanism to shake a ribbon, which oscillates like a wave. This motion would alarm the user to quiet down, which would turn the Wavemeter off.

2. Materials

1 DC Motor 12V 1.2A, 1 Sound Sensor, 1 Arduino Duemilanove ATmega328, 1 Breadboard, Wires, Foam Core, MDF Board, Steel Spring , H Bridge

3. Process

I first wired and coded the sound sensor and DC motor to work properly. Values taken in by the sound sensor ranged from 94-576 and through a series of measurements, 140 was the level of talking whereas 200 was loud noises in the wood shop.  Therefore, I set the motor to trigger when the sound values are at least 170.

In order for the ribbon to imitate a wave, I needed a continuous up and down motion, so I put a oval piece of wood that pushes down a panel of wood that is rotating on an axis. In order for the panel to rise back up i put springs on the bottom of them for them to bounce. A strip of ribbon was attached to the end of the panel and through trial and error, I had to find the right length, width, and tension of the ribbon in order to find the oscillating motion I aimed for the Wavemeter to produce.

Code : Arduino Sketch: wavemeter

4. Problems

The first problem was that I could not code the sound sensor to work as its supposed to. According to the website, the sound sensor was supposed to trigger HIGH when the ambient noise was higher than 70 decibels. Yet, I could only use it as a microphone to take analog values. Since it is a small microphone, it could not record values very accurately. Also, the motor was moving too fast  causing the wood panel and the ribbons to move violently. Also, as the wood piece on the motor was hitting the wood panel too hard, which created a woodpecker-like noise. I tried to slow down the motor through an H Bridge but failed as it smoked, so I didn’t go any further with it. Furthermore, I feel like the ribbon could be improved to have better motion. Thus, to improve the Wavemeter I would have to slow down the motor and make the mechanism move more smoothly in order to create a more natural and silent interaction.

5. What I Learned

-How to use a sound sensor and H Bridge to control a motor

-Different mechanisms

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~ by Albert Chong on March 30, 2010.

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