Introduction: Arduino Sound Sensing Light for the Deaf

Deaf or not, this sound sensing light is definitely an awesome creation to own. Why? You may ask, well first off, if you or someone you know is deaf then you now have a device in order to be able to see lip movements in any light setting, with the ability to change the sound sensitivity, color of the light, brightness, angle, and more. Now, if you are not deaf, then you of course could wear it as an aid to the deaf around you while talking in low-light settings or you could just have an awesome attachment to wear at raves, concerts, conventions, or just around in every day life. With the ability for the light to flux with your own vocals or with the sound around you, you can have your own personal strobe light that allows you to be the light of any party or situation. Keep reading to learn how to make your own!

Step 1: Materials

Before you begin, you are going to need the list below before you get started. I have linked everything, however, you may find these materials elsewhere if you wish (Most of this is at Walmart).

1) Arduino Uno R3 (What I used OR you may use the Arduino Pro Mini if you want it to be more compact)

2) Adafruit Electret Microphone Amplifier with Adjustable Gain (Sound Sensor)

3) Adafruit Neopixel Jewel 7 (Basically a smart LED)

*4) On Stage Microphone 19-inch Gooseneck (Pick a color. I also got a 13-inch Gooseneck, but it is not necessary)

*5) On Stage TMO2B Microphone Table Mount (Whatever color you please)

*6) 9v Battery Clip with 2.1mm X 5.5mm Male DC Plug for Arduino (This is a 5 pack, you only need one though)

*7) Soldering Iron (You do not need anything crazy, but you will get what you pay for)

*8) Lead-Free Solder (You will not need a ton)

*9) A Damp Sponge for cleaning your soldering tip (or, if you want to be fancy, you can get a Brass Sponge, up to you)

*10) Single-Sided Protoboard (Or you can not and just attach everything directly to the Arduino if you do not care to use your Arduino again)

*11) Circuit Board Headers (Or you can use the small one that comes with the sound sensor, you only need four)

*12) 3' Velcro Roll

*13) Fabric (You could just rip up an old t-shirt instead)

*14) Pick any shirt you please or a jacket, up to you.

*15) 9v Battery (Cheaper at Walmart)

*16) Electrical Tape (Much cheaper at Walmart)

*17) Stranded Wire (Or normal if you want, but seriously, get this at Walmart, not online)

*18) Wire Cutters/Strippers (Your have some laying around the house)

*19) Scissors (Suggested, or you can just tear)

*I would suggest getting the majority of the starred items at Walmart or a store, rather than online, it will turn out a lot cheaper that way.

Step 2: The Coding

Go ahead and download the Arduino IDE coding program version 1.8.2, now all you have to do is copy and paste the code. Once you plug in your Arduino via USB, select the board and port of your Arduino under the tools tab, as well as, change your preferences in the first tab to choose where it references for your libraries (Make sure this folder is named Arduino). Now, you will need to download the Arduino Files, the libraries should go in your libraries folder and the final code will be the code you use. The code has notes within it for you to be able to adjust this technology to your liking, including sensitivity, brightness, color, and light length. After you do this, all you need to do it upload the final code Arduino document onto your chosen board.

Step 3: Wiring Part 1

Go ahead and solder your Sound Sensor and Neopixel Jewel 7 using your soldering iron, solder, and stranded wire. You will need a data out wire for the Sound Sensor, a data in wire for the Neopixel (The out is only for if you connect multiple Neopixels), and you will need a ground and power wire for both. Make sure to give yourself more wire than you think you will need just as a safety.

Step 4: Wrapping the Wires

Time to clean things up a bit, you will need your newly soldered Sound Sensor and Neopixel, plus the electrical tape. Make sure that none of the internal wiring is exposed, if it is then cover it with electrical tape to prevent short circuiting. Now, wrap the three wires into one wire with electrical tape on each device separately as shown in the picture above. After wrapping the wires to the appropriate length, trim off the excess and leave some of the wires unwrapped for soldering in a upcoming step.

Step 5: The Velcro

You will need the fabric, velcro, and scissors for this step. Cut the fabric 2 inches bigger than your Arduino device to leave room for the velcro and attachment. Then cut four strips of the velcro and place on the outside edges of the cut out fabric. Once you cut both the hook and loop sides, attach the sticky backside to the shirt or jacket of your choices, you may place it on the top front or top back, whichever you feel is more comfortable. This will be where the Arduino and battery center sit.

Step 6: Piecing It Together

If you decided to get two goosenecks, then go ahead and screw those together, along with the table mount. After these are one part, go ahead and thread the Neopixel wire through the mount and goosenecks. I personally did not run the sound sensor wire through the goosenecks, you will only need to secure it a bit with some electrical tape on the outside.

Step 7: Soldering Part 2

Time to solder again, this time you will be connecting the headers and the wiring of both the sound sensor and the Neopixel to the protoboard, which also acts as a sheild. To line the headers, just place them either in only the pin holes you need or the whole line and then place the protoboard on top. A few tips, make sure the long side of the headers are in the Arduino and the short side is connected to the protoboard; I would also suggest to cut your protoboard to approximately the same size as your Arduino. After the headers are in place, go ahead and solder them to the protoboard. Next, solder the ground wires to the two separate ground rows and connect them to the pin through solder. Then solder the two power wires to the 5v connection row and connect through solder. Pay attention here, solder the sound sensor data out wire to the A0 pin and connect through solder. Then solder the Neopixel data in wire to pin 2 and connect through solder.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

Tape over the protoboard as shown above to prevent wires from being pulled loose and connect your 9v battery clip to your Arduino. Next, use some electrical tape to tie down loose wires and if you used two goosenecks, put a piece of tape where they are screwed in together to prevent them from becoming unscrewed. Place your Arduino in the velcro pocket of the shirt and you are almost ready.

Step 9: Last Thing

Place the goosneck around your neck and adjust the gooseneck to the angle and size that you would like it to be. Attach the sound sensor to your neck near your vocal chords using duck tape or electrical tape; you may adjust the sound sensitivity on the back of the sound sensor to your liking using a screw driver during the wearing of your device. Plug in your 9v battery and you are now ready to wear your sound sensing light in any situation. Have fun with your new creation!