D.09 Tinkering and Circuit Refinement

To start with, I had a circuit which was powered by the 5v supplied by the Arduino. Rearranging the circuit, I chose to dismantle an LED torch to utilise 3 of its components (the cell casing which held 3 x 1.5v batteries, the switch and the LED) creating a larger circuit, that had it own light, and was is completely battery powered.

Splitting the voltage between two compnents, I was concerned that neither would have enough power to work correctly. When I initially set up the circuit, I decided to use a resistor with the LED because I didn’t know if it was going to be safe without one. Upon testing, I realised that the LED was not working at full brightness but the motor was at full speed. This indicated to me that the resistor I put in was unnecessary, and was further proven by my discovery of an existing resistor at the switch.

When the motor first powers up, the light does dim for a split second. I believe this will be due to the initial acceleration from rest and the extra power that the motor requires to do this. That aside, the circuit works well and I am ready to implement this with the rest of my mechanism.

D.08 Motor Testing

I have 3 DC Motor of different sizes to test and decide which will be the most appropriate for my project.

The circuit I have wired them up to contains an Ardunio (used for its 5V power supply) and potentiometer (used to control the flow of voltage) and the motor being tested. In my final circuit, I will used a 9V battery instead of the Arduino, the potentiometer will be locked to a certain level and replaced by a switch, and a lamp will also be connected to the circuit since, as I discovered in the previous post, a bright light will help the effect.


Motor A

Size: Small
RPM: Unknown
Grip: Poor (Something will need to be welded to the end to allow the motor to be incorporated into a mechanism)
Test video:

Motor B


Firstly, the Motor C struggled to get going with only 5V of power, but I believe that using a 9V battery will assist this.

Secondly, I noticed that potentiometer only had control over the motors at the very end of its turn, making it behave more like a switch than anything else. Although I was able to slow Motor A down slightly with very small turning increments towards the end, I do believe that the RPM is still too great on this motor.

Despite this, Motor B is likely to perform the best for this experiment. Before welding my circuit together, however, I would like to try all 3 motors once more, but with the illusion pattern taped to the top. This will help me to gauge how fast a rotation is required to make the illusion work.


A.23 DIY Phone Speaker

Today I began sketching ideas for the DIY Phone speaker gif. What I have in mind is essentially a quick vector transition from form to form. Something that would stylistically look like this:

Contract Transform by Fredrik Andresen on Dribbble

Below are my sketches, there are many ingenious ways to amplify the sound from your mobile with objects found around the house. I chose the glass tumbler, the toilet roll tube, the coffee cup and the beer cans.

Thinking about the way they will all transition into each other depends heavily on the order. Here in my storyboard, I established one and elected to cut out the toilet roll tube model and instead incorporate that into the beer can model.


On the phone screen, i’d like to display an equaliser to help sell the idea quickly (as this will be only 4 seconds long). From the Jailbreaker gif, i’ve learned that considering something like what to display on a mobile screen is a decision best made at the beginning of a project.


These sketches are super crude, but this gif will have a quick turnover and all the assets will be rebuilt in Illustrator. So its good enough to enable the beginning of my production

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 12.34.16

C.08 QR Code Prints

This is an extension of the previous post C.07 QR Code Generation, with the same aim to replace the input (key presses) with QR code detection through the webcam.

To begin with, I opened vendtest (the processing sketch that set up communication with the arduino) and copied the code over to the QR sketch I had created previously.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 01.51.43

I edited the if statements copied over from keyPressed to use the decoded message in the condition. They didn’t work initially, and after some time scratching my head, it dawned on me that I may have made a similar mistake to the one I made last week (using = instead of  ==). A quick search on processing.org reveals that when comparing two strings, the function equals() should be used.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 09.47.05

I replaced it as shown, almost forgetting to put my strings in inverted commas.

C.07 QR Code Generation

Today, I did some experiments with QR codes to extend upon the structure I already had which sent 1’s 2’s and 3’s from processing to Arduino depending on key presses.

Goal: To replace the input (key presses) with QR code detection through the webcam.

One thing I know about this process is that the QR code detector will return the key code for the letter 1 rather than a number value 1. So this needs to be rectified.


Using the QR code generator that was recommended by the links in C.06 Troubleshooting and Structure and saved them as usable qr codes like so:

Before printing and testing the qrcodes on the webcam, I decided to upload them in processing to make sure they could be decoded properly (see line 72). This threw out an error ‘No QR code image found’. I tested this against a file path that was deliberately wrong and that threw a different error, so there must be something wrong with the QR code image.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 22.16.09

I suspected that this was because I tried to use the phone number section of the qr code generator and only used one digit. Running the jpeg through an online QR code decoder, produce the correct result however.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 22.24.16

My options from here on are: a) To try again with text instead of a number, b) To find a site that will let me download the jpg for free c) use preexisting QR codes with an if statement that uses that data as a condition for returning 1’s 2’s and 3’s.

A. Try again using a text string

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 22.35.05

I repeated the process with the text string, 1 2 and 3. This time skipping the step where I sharpen the image on photoshop (to save time) and exporting them as png files (to match the example).

Again the same error came up.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 22.51.47


c) Use pre-existing QR codes

Just to see if the decoder works with other qr codes, I have downloaded one from the internet. Running it through the online decoder reveals that is contains the string ‘12345678’.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 23.00.35

Interestingly, this gives a different kind of error, I thought maybe the image itself was too large. The sample image was 216 x 216 pixels so I resized the tester qr code.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 23.08.08

This worked and the string was returned. When I tested it out on the original 1,2 and 3 (digit, not string) QR codes, it also worked! However the data returned was TEL:3 rather than just 3. So I will use the 1,2 and 3 (string) QR codes instead.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 23.18.24

I don’t think this would have been much of a problem when printed out but I am glad I was able to fix this issue, regardless.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 23.30.17