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One of my favorite projects of Maker Faire this May was Store Front Music, a wonderful interactive installation that L.A. hackerspace CRASH Space created for the Take On The Machine challenge of 2010 (watch these vidoes for more information: part one and part two). Store Front Music consists of solenoids triggered by ultrasonic sensors, allowing passers-by to make music. Now they have turned it into a kit so you can build your own.

It’s a busy day; you’re in a hurry and in your own world. Suddenly, a crazy drumming beat is in the air, you stop, the music stops. You move, the music starts up again. What’s going on, you wonder. Then you notice the keyboard chalked sidewalk you’re standing on. Each step on the keyboard draws a musical plunk from the store front. The instruments are hanging pots, cans and bottles, being struck by drum stick rods on an electrical contraption. You are triggering the music to play with your movement.

You are standing in front of CRASH Space, a DIY focused community space in Los Angeles. It is part of the hackerspaces movement. There may be one in your home town. They converted their entire store front into a motion-sensor instrument of recycled objects.

Currently the kit is offered by Jameco and consists of enough parts to make two instruments, though it doesn’t include the mounting hardware, which you can download from Thingiverse. Also, oddly, Jameco’s kit oddly doesn’t include a sensor to trigger the music….

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. carlyn maw says:

    The fact that there is no sensor is my fault. I was trying to keep things shorter and simpler partially because in our project we don’t use a one:one mapping for sensors to solenoids. As to what we’ve used, we’ve implemented versions with Sharp IR sensors, Maxbotic ultrasonic sensors and even photocells at different points in our process.  

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