Hi Paul - thanks for your reply!
So you did something with an Arduino board? I’ve found this chap, was
it something (vaguely) like this: http://jazarimusic.com/ ? Do you
have any more info on your project it does sound interesting! I am
somewhat of an electronics / robotics n00b (can you tell? haha) so
every piece of info I can get is of great use
Well, I wanted to make a device which played samba-type rhythms which could be controlled by Twitter (don’t ask!). So far I’ve got it playing rhythms, but not the Twitter bit.
It consists of a cowbell, two bongos, and a larger ‘bass’ drum. There are lots of patterns stored in the code, and every two bars each instrument chooses a pattern to play at random (the bongos count as one instrument), making a huge number of possible rhythms.
The solenoids were salvaged from printers, which is a bit of a bummer since they are all different, and I think may be different voltages. The one on the cowbell works really well, the others not so much. They look a bit like this: http://is.gd/g1uEV
Basically I just cable-tied a ‘stick’ (in this case a bit of pencil) to the solenoid lever. It’s all a bit of a hack really. If I could afford it, I’d buy some decent solenoids and do a proper job!
I’ll try and come down on Saturday to this printersmash thing
(especially useful if you can get solenoids out of them!) and do some
more research in the meantime too.
I won’t be there on Saturday, but my project is at the Hackspace, if you ask Bob I’m sure he’ll show you. He won’t be able to show it working though, because I have the Arduino in my flat!
There are a couple of pages here from a guy who made actuators out of car door locking solenoids:
Most solenoids are probably usable, it’s just a case of giving them the right power, and working out a mechanism to make them hit the drum!