I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. -Estee Lauder

Category: Makey It!

Ignite Week: Exhibition

Our project for Ignite Week was to create a “record player”. We used an old bike wheel and attached many wires to it. Those wires would be taped down by copper tape. In our scenario, there are two reasons why we used copper tape. One, so it wouldn’t insulate the wire, and two, when the spoon touched the bike wheel, the tape which is connected to the wire would make a sound. The wire would be programmed on Scratch to play a specific note, and the longer the copper wire would be, the longer the note. So we planned out our song, and supposedly, when the wheel spins and the spoon drags along the tape, it would play a song. But the wheel only has one pattern taped on it, so it will only play that one part and nothing else. 

Friday was the final day to put finishing touches on our projects, and we would have our first Ignite Week Exhibition of the year. Angel and I still had to finish attaching the wires onto the wheel, and we used the first two blocks to do that. But when we were finished, we discovered that the copper tape wasn’t very sensitive, so it didn’t work as well as we hoped it would. We had to slowly “scoot” the wheel along instead of spinning it really fast, and we would only occasionally hear a melody and rhythm instead of the entire chorus being played like we originally planned. The holder for the spoon didn’t really work that well, so we also just held the spoon with our hand. During the exhibition, we would play the song for them, but in the end, we just let our audience play and experiment with the wheel, even playing the notes with their hands. That worked out better because our audience could see where our project came from and our inspiration, and they would be able to experiment with it themselves which they thought was really cool.

Overall, I thought that this first Ignite Week project of the year was really fun and an enjoyable experience, and even though or wheel didn’t work as well as we hoped it would, I still learned a lot from this experience.

Make It: Create and Improve

Questions to Answer for Feedback:

-Are the notes being played clearly?

-Does the wheel spin smoothly?

-Do you hear a song being played?


Feedback from Other Group:

They can hear the specific notes, and they can sort of hear a song being played. But because we didn’t finish programming the notes, they didn’t hear the entire song. The wheel spins smoothly, but we should figure out how the notes will actually sound like a song when the wheel is spinning. They also told us how we could make something hold the spoon up so we don’t have to hold it.

Ignite Week: Day 3

Day 3 Block 1:

Angel and I continued to work on our wheel. I continued to tape on the copper tape pattern, while she would attach the wires to the tape. We have tried to play the first few notes, and they work, but the sensitivity when a note is being pressed isn’t that sensitive.

Day 3 Block 2:

Angel and I continued to work on our roles. A problem we’ve encountered so far is that the sound is delayed when we  press on the note, and we’re experimenting with looping in Scratch so the sounds won’t be delayed.

Day 3 Block 3:

Angel and I took everything off from what we originally did with the wires and tape because everything wasn’t ver organized and was falling apart everywhere. So we restarted, stripped everything off, and started to re-tape everything back on. Now, everything is much more secure, organized, and is staying on the wheel. We haven’t programmed the sounds yet, but we will do that when we are done with all the wires. Today we have made a lot of progress, and we are almost half way through with taping the wires on the wheel.

Make It: Develop and Plan

For this project, we will need to use the bike wheel, wires, the circuit board, copper tape, masking tape, a spoon, and a stand for the wheel to spin on. We will need to know how to connect multiple wires together to make a parallel circuit, so we only need to use 2 circuit boards for all the notes.

We got our ideas by first coming up with the idea of a piano on a wheel, but as we continued to brainstorm, we developed the
idea of making the wheel spin. When we complete attaching the wires to the tape pattern, we’ll first test it by just pressing on the notes, and when we create the spoon stand, we’ll spin the wheel to see if it will play the song.

Make It: Define and Inquire

For our Ignite Week project, my partner and I are planning to make a record player with an old bicycle wheel.

When I was working with Makey Makey (Makey Makey is the concept of programming and doing other things with a circuit board) on the first day, I learned how to use a circuit board to make more  complex circuits. I also learned that there is so much you can do with ordinary classroom materials, a circuit board, and some wires. With Scratch (Scratch is an online program where your can program you own games, etc.), I also learned that you can compose a song by programming notes and rhythm.

Our target audience can really be anyone, as they simply spin the wheel, and they will be able to hear a song, just like a record player.

We were inspired by the combination of experimenting with the “piano” on the first day, and the bike wheel we say lying around. We thought, “What if we put aluminum foil around the bike, connect them to wires, and when it spun around, it would play?” We thought this would be a really cool and creative idea to work on, however, there are many difficulties around this project. We need to make sure the aluminum foil is the right size, so it would play the length of each individual note. We have planned our project out so we know what we are going to do, and I hope that this works out how we planned it to.



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