Help with trying to make an Arduino-powered MIDI keyboard-controlled ferrofluid pattern-making exhibit! Answered
Hi guys, apologies for the long title. As it says, I'm trying to create a science exhibit that best explains a scientific phenomenon, while being fun and user-friendly. In this case, electromagnetism.
Essentially, I want to hook a MIDI keyboard to a USB host shield on a Duemilanove I have lying around. The arduino reads those inputs, and outputs a designated pattern or single pin current to some electromagnets strapped under a tank of ferrofluid. When someone comes by and plonks on the keyboard, pretty patterns SHOULD HOPEFULLY rise and fall in the tank.
Attached is a diagram for easier explanation.
I have a couple of issues, though.
1. The arduino coding, which I haven't started with. A quick google search returned a post from Circuits@Home, where Colin from MAKE uses a modified PS3 script to recognise USB MIDI inputs.
This is my first real Arduino project. I've only tinkered with the I/O before this, nothing major.
2. A Duemilanove can only output 0.2 watts from a single pin (correct me if I'm wrong). Is this enough to drive a reasonably strong electromagnet? Are there some conditions I need to fulfil? Number of coils, materials for the core, etc.
3. I plan to make the ferrofluid with vegetable oil and toner. Will any old oil and toner do? Most websites come up with a specific variety, but that model usually isn't available in my area. I don't understand toner nomenclature at all lol.
4. Is it possible to wire/program the Arduino to allow a small speaker/synth to output sound, while having the current to power a set of electromagnets? I expect there to be about 12.
That's all for now. I'll update if I make any discoveries/progress! Thanks so much!