Serial communication Midterm project (team of 2)

So my partner in crime for this midterm Pcomp project is Michael Kripchak. It was amazing working with him as we come from different backgrounds I got to learn from him a lot. Probably one of the good assets of ITP the fact that we get to work and learn from each other as each has different experience in work and life.

Michael’s Blog:

PhysComp: MidTerm – Let it Snow! – Michael Kripchak’s NYU-Tisch Blog

We initially decided to take this project from a beautiful sketch Kripchak coded in ICM class:

This project went through different phase, we had first agree on connecting serially this cool sketch to a Sound Sensor in which people can change the wind direction and the snow flow as they sing through the sensor: We went with this initial plan and chose to work with the: max9812 microphone amplifier.
Below pics:

After many trials trying to make it work and trying to get logical reading of numbers through the Arduino, and after many trials trying to make it work serially as well in P5js, it kept on going nuts on us. We then decided to shift to a different sensor in which we can blow instead of singing (suggested by our friend Carlie) and get the metaphor of the wind work in parallel in P5js. We also decided to pursue further the idea and add to our sketch a fan blowing physically fake snow in a transparent glass jar.

I experimented serially on a pot after giving up on the microphone amplifier, made some enhancement to the sketch added a background & sound and eventually connected it serially.

Initial Sketch connected to a pot:

Trying out different backgrounds and adding sound:


While Kripchak worked deeply on connecting to our circuit to a motor, to give the fan enough boost to make the fake snow blow and getting the right readings through Arduino. That gave us hard time and kept on interfering with the different sensors we were trying over and over again. It is good to mention that the Potentiometer was the smoothest of all, it worked amazingly:

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We ended up choosing the Piezo vibration Sensor in which we could blow and tap and get the wind change its direction serially, though it was hard to fix all the noise we were getting in the circuit but it eventually worked.

Piezo sensor

Through out the trial an errors we went also trying the flex sensor and 2 motors one of 5v and one of 12v. We also tried different fans. We also had to do some soldering to connect the motors(first time for me), It was good go through the experience and learn it, though the result was a bit funny…

Flex Sensor:




Finally we get to the final result, where we were able to make the serial communication happen through the piezo sensor tapping it or blowing on it displaying the sketch of the snow blowing in p5js, while simultaneously make the fan spin  (through a motor) and get it to make the fake snows in the jar to fly. Below a demonstration:






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