IEEE Spectrum: If You Build It, Santa Will Come

1423049
Drawdio is in IEEE Spectrum’s “If You Build It, Santa Will Come” – thx Erico!

This is part of IEEE Spectrum’s Special Report on IEEE SPECTRUM’S 2009 Holiday Gift Guide. What better way to introduce a young person to the joys of engineering than by giving a gift that you construct together? I tested four suitable kits. Two are for unusual electronic musical instruments, and two are for dabbling in radio.

The Drawdio turns a pencil—or a pencil sketch—into a musical instrument that sounds something like a kazoo. The kit, available from Adafruit Industries, costs just US $17.50, takes only an hour or so to assemble, and includes everything you need but the AAA battery. If you have any experience soldering components to a printed-circuit board, assembly will be a snap. The hardest step is pushing a thumbtack (included) into the end of a pencil (also included) to make electrical contact with the graphite that runs down its center.

Drawdio is simply an oscillator whose frequency is controlled by the resistance of the circuit path connecting the part of the pencil you grip with the attached thumbtack. You can make sounds by grabbing the pencil in one hand and touching the tack with the other, but that’s not the fun way to use it. Instead, draw a heavy line, laying down a lot of conductive graphite as you go. Then press on one end of the line with the forefinger of your free hand while holding the tip of the pencil on the other end of the pencil line. Apply adequate pressure, and Drawdio will emit a low buzz. Moving the tip of the pencil closer to your finger reduces the resistance of the frequency-control path, shifting the sound to a higher pitch. So it’s not hard at all to generate a simple tune. If you have trouble hitting the right notes consistently, just mark their positions on the line.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 30,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — Supply delays have made their way inland with railway bottlenecks

Wearables — Light up the outside

Electronics — Current limiting!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: 9K Subscribers, Cheat Sheets and More! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — WFH Stress Monitor, Helping Parkinson's Patients with IoT, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 9/15/21 feat. Adafruit LED Glasses Front Panel – 116 RGB LEDs w/ I2C Driver -STEMMA QT! @adafruit #adafruit #newproducts

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.