Interactive Devices Final Project: Obsoleting Instruments Process 3(Final).

Continue from my previous Process 2.

again, I had progressed much further since that post, mainly in designing the workable electrical and mechanical system that could fit into the Telephone and to write the Arduino code up.

First, lets start with the Final Video!


Back into the Process

Since the previous post which I’ve roughly did the belt system that drives the music card into the laser reader, I had added the motor to the system and tried it, at this point, it seemed to work as I thought all I need was to slow the motor down and it will be alright.

After I cut the hole, I proceed to modelling the card slot and i took inspiration from the ATM just to have the user to have something they’ve experienced and know how to put the Music Card in without instructing them, since subconsciously, I assumed that they interacted with a ATM at some point in their life.

After the modelling which i am really happy with, I proceed to print it.

Since it was looking good, I went ahead and make a nicer LED system for it by soldering 4 LED(3 on the bottom and one for the top).

Next, I Epoxyed the speaker onto the bottom of the front belt drive since there is already a hole in the bottom shell for the speaker.

This is a 8 Ohm 0.5watt speaker that will be plugged directly into the Arduino.

I also Epoxyed the 4 LED into the card slot to prevent them from sliding around.

And came the soldering party.

It was at this point then I realized that if i reduce the speed of my DC motor to the speed of the music, I wont have enough torque to pull the card in..


After an afternoon of panicking and finding alternative motor or even thinking to redesigning my whole belt system….

I opened up the current DC motor to see if i could make modification by changing the spur gears to worm gear, which will increase torque and lower speed(after i did some research). but this require me to rebuild the whole gearbox as well as to remodel+reprint the whole of the front and back belt system.

And then I found that I have a longer DC motor with metal gears built into it and i tried to figure our if I can incorporate this gear box into my current system, which is also rather impossible as the ratio for this gear box is about 1:45. when I only need about 1:5 to 1:8. if i use this, I will have the belt driver running too slow. same goes for this, but this is 1:250… even slower.

So to solve this problem, I tried to get the medium speed which is faster than what the song should be and will stuck about 30% of the time and removed the buttons (which detects card when user insert into it that trigger the motor to turn the belt.) that caused more friction. And I also jump start the motor by making it to spin at full speed for half a second to break the initial force required when the motor is starting.

The messy configuration, components and wirings.

It took me some time to sort out these messy wiring and make sure that none of the wires interfere with the track that the Music card is going through.

after trying out the workable speed of sound and getting stuck by removing the buttons.

and after this, I tried to code the majority of the code together.

For this, I did not expect to work this well and I am really excited about it!

Towards the end of the project.

to make use of the original button on the phone, I’ve figured that the 12 buttons runs on 2 different circuit which I could simply solder these number together and make all the 12 buttons into one button, so nomatter which buttons the user pressed, it will be registered as one button pressed.

Because I cut off the Redial button on the phone to make space for my belt driver system, I epoxyed the Redial button back to the case as there are no PCB supporting it.

Some may wonder how did I make the Music Card..

I copied a few from online like Demons by Imagine Dragons, Harrypotter’s Hedwig Theme, and Pokemon Theme song, These were labeled on the card and those that weren’t labeled was What I composed myself. Since I have no music background, I did it by trial and error to give it a tune.

This was screen recorded when I tried to compose my 4th tune for this project:

after this was completed, I screen shot it and import into Illustrator to trace it into the Card layout which I made.

and this was how the cards were made.

Laser raster and cut in school on 2mm acrylic.

AND how about the voice command in 7 different accent?

well, this is relatively simple, just type whatever I want on Webbased Text to speech reader and have it read it out in different accent and edit them in premiere pro to cut them up to the exact same length(9 seconds) and put them into the SD card within the Obseleting Instrument’s MP3 Decoder.

I really like the Japanese and Korean accent, its really funny!

Why did I made it to speak different accent? It was to engage the user and make them feel like there was really life in the system where they called/receive call from a real person, like if they discussed with their friend and their friend said that there was a Indian accent while what they heard was the British accent, they might want to try Obseleting Instrument for a few more time. The accent there is there to add variables in the system.


In Conclusion

Throughout this Project, I’ve learnt many things like how to model objects in Tinkercad and make measurements properly, there are always failures in everything that I modeled before it works, and this is why 3D printing is a good prototype process where I printed it out and tested it to know if it work or not, if it doesnt, I will shave off some piece to see if it fits, if it does, I will make new measurements for the edited model.

I am really glad that this many piece worked well together and this was the biggest challenge.. since there are so many components working together (electrical and mechanical), even if one of the parts failed, it would not work as well as it is now. So I considered myself really lucky that the parts happened to work well even when there are misalignment everywhere.

Also, to have a Telephone case in the start and scale everything into the Telephone case was really a challenge especially at the start when I could not measure how big the internal was and could only make a guess and print some test print to try it out.

In this project, I realized that if I were to do a project that require multiple fields of knowledge like mechanical and electrical, It was better if I did not know how hard it will be, if I were to know that every part of the project will be something that I don’t know, I will be too afraid to jump into this project. I did something, realized that it doesn’t work and find solution to that single problem and proceed to work on the project and faced another problem, solving and learning one problem at a time lead me to the completion of the project.

Now that I had completed the project and looking back. Obseleting Instrument is really a complicated project as a whole, but thinking about it, I am just putting many small system into one project- like using one laser diode and a photo resistor as a switch,  playing a tune when triggered, a physical button to sense if the phone was picked up, using a relay to control circuits of different voltage, running two DC motor at the same time and so on… Obseleting Instrument is just a collection of small systems, which I personally thinks was what made my journey of doing this project really interesting because I explored the basics of these components and learnt a whole lot through it.

Interactive Devices Final Project: Obsoleting Instruments Process 2.

After the last post where I’m almost done with the laser reader and there are still improvements to be made to it, but I will focus on other component and will come back to make it sound nicer if I still have time, for now, I need to slowly build towards the completion of Obsoleting Instruments first… I will need to a way to feed the music sheet into the laser at a constant speed, so after some research and thinking, I could use DC motors with gear box that drives the music sheet through a belt

system, so, with that in mind, I purchased some special rubberbands and the belt driver thing, as well as some gears and shafts and the plastic DIY construction pieces to test it out.

First, Since I’ve got the Landline Telephone, i need to clear the little plastic pieces inside to make room for all my components, and I thought it would be a simple task, but MANNNNNN ITS SOOOO INTENSIVE(because i dont have a proper tool to do it)

Theres a Chinese saying “Small knife cuts huge tree” its a torture and yet quite satisfying for me.

its like the loding screen, I can see the final point when doing it, so the hole need to go 1 round. and my finger hurts.


This thing tortured me, I tortured it back. Fair Game.

Slowly, i manage to cut all protruding parts except for the two longest one as i still need to close the top back and secure it.

and then put the belt and the belt wheel to check the distance required to have the just right tension as too tight it will not spin well and too loose it will come off easily.

I tried placing then together so they could sandwich the music sheet, but this is too near and it wont work well

and if I use a gear system, I could do more of the thing, but still need to consider about it.

After I got the usable distance, I proceed to 3D modeling the parts that is required.

The initial concept of the belt system. I know its abit overkill but.. I dont know where will it fail so I decided to give the music sheet full support, also, this was measured according to the belt length, Motor dimensions, phone dimensions, laser dimensions and the music sheet dimension to make sure they all fits. The complex base plate is to enable me to insert the belt after assembly.




I placed some holes to save some material and reduce printing time.

Then split the base into two part so that I can work on half and combine them later, I think it woule be much easier for me this way.. (And I dont have to print 6 hours just for the base.


It worked really well, but there is only one problem, my top cover of the phone could not close as it is slanted, so I have to shift the whole plate to the back, or place the top belt about 40% inwards but I cant just shift both belt wheel as there will be the laser reader there. so…

I will settle on my 6th one for now, since this is only half of the system, I need to get my music sheet up first for me to test the speed of the motor with this system since if half doesn’t work, nothing can work.


Pew Pew PEW. look at dem laZEERRRRR


I supposed it will work if i attach the motors to it. will upload another post once I’ve Progressed more.

Interactive Devices Final Project: Obsoleting Instruments Process 1.

After the Initial concept, I’ve 3D modeled the Laser mount and Photoresistor mount.

And after the Laser mount was done and working great, I went ahead to print the Photo Resistor mount.


It is designed to hold the photo resistor and allow the connector of each Photoresistor to be protruded out so that I could solder the circuit with the pull down resistor right on the module to remove the need for having a breadboard in the Telephone as the space will be limited in it, and i guess this will be the more efficient way of doing thing while making sure all connections are secured.

The soldering took some time to complete but luckily for me, I only need to do it once, or so I thought… (some part broke when I bring this to school so I did re-solder it again.)

I also purchased an old Landline Telephone on Carousell, I must say that Carousell is a wonderful thing.

In the end, the only part that could be reused is the phone’s body, the speaker/handle/hearing thing, the buttons and the telephone wire.


Meanwhile, I started to write the code on Arduino for the Laser and Photoresistor.

The value will be higher than 800 when the laser shine directly on the Photoresistor and lesser than 100 when blocked, so I can simply write if( value <= 400), play tone 1.


After some coding, this is my prototype for the music player part which is to be installed into the Landline Telephone.



Interactive Devices Final Project: Obsoleting Instruments Concept.

The speed of our advancing technology and the technology that is getting obsolete are on the same pace, 15 years ago, we were using Floppy Disks, 10 years ago, we were still using Compact Discs and the millennials now does not know what a Floppy Disk is. We still see CDs now but they are getting obsolete really soon as there are lesser devices playing them now.

Choosing of the Best Appliances.

For this project, I want to give new life to daily objects which are on the path of becoming obsolete by making them a musical instrument, there are many common appliances that are in this category and should be ancient in a few years time –

CRT TV( Cathode Ray Tube or also known as the old Fat TV)”
Remote Controllers
CD and all devices which plays them
MP3 Player
Old Gaming Console
Top Loading Washing Machine
Landline Telephone
Fax Machine
Public Payphones
Answering Machine
Slide Projector
Dial-up Modem
Basic Alarm System
GPS Units

Bold are appliances which are totally possible for this project since I want to make musical instrument and they naturally produces sound in their normal usage context.

Green are appliances which are Bold and their normal usage context have the interactions when the user use them, which make them exactly what I could use for INTERACTIVE DEVICES.

Image result for old gaming consoles

Since the signification of a Gaming Console is different for every individual, people plays different consoles and different game or not at all, it is difficult for me to create something that all the end user(during the End Of Year Show) will resonate with.

Image result for landline phone
The best of all will be the Landline Telephone as I am sure that most of the end user will have some interaction with it some point in their life and the basic function of a Landline Telephone is to receive a call or to make a call, this resulted in almost the same user interaction throughout the globe – making a call or when the Phone Ring = Pick up.


And the Instrument that I have in mind…

After my researches on musical instruments,
I’ve decided to use the musical box concept where the user could play music by inserting a sheet of musical notes and it will play music digitally.

This could be done by using a set of lasers and photo resistors to read the musical notes on a clear piece of plastic scrolling through the system.

There are 14 sets of Laser and Diodes due to the research I had done on music theory(not posted yet as it is still an ongoing research) whereas there are 8 notes in an octave but only 7 different notes in an octave C D E F G A B C, so by placing 2 octave next to each other, there will be 14 white keys C D E F G A B C D E F G A B as I chose to omit the last C so that it looks visually completed from the looks of piano keys.

And what about the black keys? since I don’t want to add in 10 keys for the major and minor (black), I could use a combination of the adjacent white key to produce the sound of a major and minor. For example if I want the C♯(D♭) key, I could have CD shaded at the same time to produce a C♯(D♭) sound.

Flow of usage

  1. The phone will look like a normal phone with an exception of a slot to insert the musical sheet into the system in the body of the phone.
  2. Nothing can be done when the phone does not ring or the user does not make a call.
  3. Scenario 1 – Phone Ring -> User pick up phone -> voice command user to insert the music sheet -> User insert music sheet -> the phone pull the music sheet -> User listen to the music.
  4. Scenario 2 – Phone does not ring -> User Pick up the phone -> User hear the *toot toot toot* tone of the land line phone -> User dial some number on the number pad -> User hear the tone of an outgoing call -> Voice command user to insert music sheet -> user insert music sheet -> phone pull the music sheet -> User listen to music.