Introduction: Quasaar Box - on Breadboard

About: I'm preparing for the zombie outbreak.

This is a sample recording of what the "Quasaar Box" can do. Here is one I built permanently into a small wooden box. Do not be mistaken.... It makes noise, but it makes actual notes. Do you like it?? Do you hate it?? Haha! Maybe a little of both. No foolin. It can be fun to play with and it's pretty simple to put together.

Step 1: Build It on a Breadboard

QUASAAR BOX - on breadboard
-- By theArab-EXE --
So, f you’ve been looking for a cool project to do involving sound, and the 100x Arduino piano tutorials have got you feeling the blues. Well, you could be PLAYING the blues... Check out this tutorial for a neat tone generator that uses the Arduino "pitches.h" library to generate tones, actual notes, and other cool sounds at your will.

Step 2: Materials


(3x) 10K Ohm Linear B potentiometer

P1 - A3 - value determines the baseline of our tone

P2 - A4 - value determines the high-point modulation

P3 - A5 - value determines the delay between playing tones


(1x) Momentary button

(1x) Continuous on/off SPST switch - or button ---

2 momentary will work, however the switch allows us to hold one button in the on state

--- (2x) 10K resistors for buttons

B1 - p12 - plays the tone quickly and stops playing when released

B2 - p8 - plays the tone continuously until it is switched off

//-- if B1 and B2 are pushed simultaneously, the tone jumps up one octave


(1x) LED

(1x) 220 resistor for LED

L1 - p2 - LED to provide visual feedback when a note is playing.

1 Small Speaker

Arduino NANO (Regular Arduino will work too)


Jumper wires

(cats – optional)


P1 selects a low value. P2 selects a top value. The device will randomize a number between the two and select that to play. Delay setting is for between notes. Some interesting results can be obtained when we drop the delay down to nearly nothing. If we drop P1 down to zero and change the value of P2, the device will produce a squelching sound.

Some sounds can even bring us back to the days of dial up modems. Dropping P2 down to zero and changing the value of P1 will produce a steady note from the scale. My friend Mark Morpurgo, who is a musical genius, helped me to decipher the "pitches.h" library. We were able to put together a number of different arrays based on the library. These allow us to harness an individual musical scale and embed that inside our project. This is a major benefit to our project.

Our device now resembles more of a musical instrument that one can play - to forsake other saw-wave devices that seem to merely annoy. I have included one scale in the code. It is possible to use a potentiometer to select from a number of scales. For simplicity, I use only one scale in this demo. I will post some helpful links if I can think of them. Feel free to post questions & comments. I'll do my best to help if I can.

Step 3: Add NANO

Add Arduino NANO to breadboard

I plug it in all the way, flush to the left so I can count pins easier.

Step 4: Add Buttons

Add the tactile buttons to the breadboard.

As mentioned in the sketch notes, you can use a SPST switch in place of one of the buttons.

It actually is recommended - Future updates of the device call for using a switch.

It allows for continual playing of the device.

But just 2 simple buttons are just fine for now.

Step 5: Connect to 5V

Step 6: Add Resistors

Step 7: Add Jumper Wires

Step 8: Connect to Pins

Connect jumper wires to Pins 12 & 8

Step 9: Another View of Buttons

Just another perspective of the buttons, in case the others got a little too busy.

Step 10: Add LED

Step 11: Add Resistor

Step 12: Add Jumper Wire

Step 13: Connect Jumper

Connect jumper wire to pin 2 on NANO.

Step 14: Add Potentiometers

Step 15: Connect Potentiometers

Left pin - Gnd

Middle pin - Jumper

Right - 5V

Step 16: Connect to NANO

Connect the jumper wires to pins A0, A1, A2 on the NANO.

!!!!!!! NOTE !!!!!!!

The photo shows A3, A4, A5 -- but its changed to A0, A1, A2 in sketch. Just a heads up. Sorry!

Step 17: Setup

Step 18: Add Speaker

Step 19: Upload Sketch

Upload sketch and let 'er rip!

You can get the sketch here at GitHub:

The zip folder should contain the "pitches.h" library.
If not, you can get it here:

Trouble uploading to Arduino??