Introduction: Sound Box

The idea was to create some sort of sound box where the sound was created by floppy drives controlled by an Arduino. We experimented with different kinds of controls to use. We had some fun ideas but due to a problem concerning timings in the code and time constraints in general we were unable to finish the original idea. Instead we created the current controls which are shown in this project!

Much inspiration and ideas origin from Sammy1Am'svideos and tutorial. So all kudos to him. Our code is also largely based on his Moppy code. It's actually more a tweak than a new code tbh, but none the less it's worth mentioning.

Step 1: Components

The box

A large peace of 8mm plywood



Sheet of plexi

The circuit

1x Arduino Uno (what i used anyway)

1x 12V adapter fitting the Arduino (optional if you want to power it with your computer by USB)

2x Potentiometers

Lots of cable

8x Male to female extension cables for small circuitry (preferably color coded)

Shrink tube

2x Floppy-readers

2x Small PATA jumpers

1x Computer power-supply (manly for its molex port)

1x Molex 5,25'' to 2 3,5'' adapter (see picture)

2x Small breadboards (if you want it to be flexible, otherwise just solder everything)

Floor unit

2x Arcade style push buttons

1x Small box to mount buttons on

1x Old Ethernet cable (I used it because it has many smaller individual wires inside)

Step 2: The Box

We built a very simple box to accommodate our circuitry. It's a simple rectangular box with a shelf inside to mount the floppy-readers on and a power-supply beneath. The proper dimensions may be found in the pictures in the gallery.

Once assembled, choose a proper place to drill out a hole for the power cords which will be needed to power the drives and Arduino. You will also need to make a hole in the front preferably for the sound to escape through. The dimensions and shape of this hole isn't very important, just make sure its about as big as in the picture above and be creative.

In the top of the box you will also need to mount two long splines of plywood for the plexi to rest on. These will need to be the same length as the plexi and as long as you have 8 mm plywood it will still fit the drives on the shelf. Mount the splines as far under the boxes upper edge as the plexi is thick, a snug fit look really good!

Then you will have to mount both the power supply and the drives in the box. Mounting options differ from different devices so you will have to come up with your very own way to mount them. I don't recommend hot glue, its not strong enough.

The sketch can be found on github in the docs folder

Step 3: The Circuit

Follow the Fritzing schematic on how to connect the circuitry, real life mounting options can be found in the other pics.

Order doesn't matter, but i would recommend to do it in this order: Connect the chosen power lines of the breadboards to GND and +5V.

First breadboard. Add the potentiometers on their long cables, remember where they are placed on the box(picture). Disregard the buttons at the moment, they will be added once the floor unit has been created at a later step. But apart from that you should make sure to have all other connections made on this board.

Once that breadboard is done you will have to do the other. Same goes here, just follow the Fritzing schematic and you will succeed. The color coding of the cables leaving the breadboard correlates to the actual drives I've added in the pictures. Just follow these and it should be a walk in the park to connect them. Don't forget the small jumpers shown in the pictures!

Now, connect the molex spliter to the two different readers and then to the power supply and you will be done with the circuitry for now.

Step 4: Floor Unit

Mark out where you want the buttons to be and make holes. It's preferable if you can open the box, otherwise you will have to make it so you can. Then add the buttons in the holes you've made. After that you'll have to decide how long network cable you want for the floor unit. After that you'll just have to strip the cable and solder it to the buttons, don't forget to first thread the shrinking tube on the leads before you solder.

On the other end of the cable you will probably have to solder some kind of solid wire to the end of the network cable since those are usually made of really tiny wires which doesn't work very well with breadboards. After that you'll just have to connect them to the appropriate breadboard according to the schematics you skipped earlier, use the hole you drilled earlier.

Step 5: Software

You can download the code for the Arduino from this github link, go to src and grab the poppy_simple folder.

We need to upload code to the Arduino. If you have not already, you will need to download the Arduino IDE to upload the code. Now open up the Arduino IDE, connect your Arduino via USB to you computer and press the deploy button. During this step I would strongly recommend you not having the power supply to the drives connected to the wall. We've experienced different bugs and hiccups in the upload phase if you don't. After uploading succesfully, proceed to the next step.

Step 6: Try It Out!

Connect the power supply to the wall aswell as the Arduino. Put the floor unit on the floor and position yourself in front of the box on a table or something along those lines. Now you are all set, twist the potentiometers and step on the buttons!

Note: English isn't my first language. Therefore there might be extensive errors in the text, but I've tried my best to correct them.