Introduction: Build a Helpful "Writers Block"

About: My name is Miranda and I am a currently a data analyst in Seattle, WA. I have been doing projects since the 9th grade and my favorite types of projects include homemade toys, props and useful/fun gadgets! Con…

For this project we will be constructing an (ideally) helpful "Writers Block" designed to provide assistance when one is experiencing a lack of inspiration. Personally I have noticed that I tend to get all of my ideas at once, and even if I write them down I still rarely end up looking back through my notes later. The goal of this device is to provide a simple, easy-to-use solution to that problem.

(Also I am a sucker for a good pun).

The way it works is it sits on your desk, and whenever you have an idea/question/observation you press the record button on the side of the box and say your thought aloud. The box then stores the recording, writing it as a file to your desktop (or location of your choosing). Then later when you feel stuck, you just hit the red button on top and it will start spewing your previous thoughts back at you in a random order.

Quick note:

Many thanks to Dharshan for helping with the code for this project!

Step 1: Materials

For this project I used:

  • LabVIEW and the chipKIT WF32
  • Small/Cheap Computer Microphone approx
  • Cardboard box
  • Construction paper and felt
  • Hook-up Wire and Two Push buttons
  • Two 220 Ohm Resistors
  • Small Breadboard

Please feel free to take your own approach to the visual aspect of this project, I used green paper and red felt to decorate my box but I would love to see what others come up with!

Step 2: The Circuit

The circuit is pretty straightforward. I basically just wired two external buttons onto the WF32 from pins 26 and 27!

Step 3: The Body

For the body of the device, I used an sturdy longer box that I had cut in half and then glued green construction paper to.. Then I hot glued the button connected to pin 26 onto the side for recording. Next I mounted the microphone inside and taped the cord to the box. I glued the button connected to pin 27 onto the top of the box and covered it with soft felt. I moved my circuit to a smaller breadboard and shoved it and the microcontroller into the box.Then I just cleaned up the wires and decorated the box!

Step 4: The Code

Here is the code for the project! You can also change the recording duration from the preset 7 seconds.

Step 5: How to Use

To use, plug in the chipKIT and microphone into your computer and click run in LabVIEW. You are now ready to record at any time, just press the button connected to pin 26. Record as many times as you want. Once you have finished recording, click stop and it is now ready to play back anytime you press the button connected to pin 27.