Printed Circuit Boards

Finally had the chance to work out how to create the files for the PCB to go inside the Space Rocks, using KiCAD, and with much help from @cunabula.

The files have now been sent away to be printed, and I eagerly await being able to test them in situ in a few weeks’ time.

Some new inspiration

A few links of interest for the start of the year, and the next phase of version 1 of the Space Rocks.

Using voice to navigate digital products
Adobe XD uses voice commands to seamlessly integrate voice into prototyping workflows so that designers can be involved in the early creation stages of voice applications.
Adobe XD voice prototyping

An open source C++ toolkit for creative coding. Thanks to @cunabula for the link.

Free sounds from the Polish Radio Experimental Studio
Something for when I get some time to play with Ableton. A fascinating story, too:
Free sounds from the Polish Radio Experimental Studio – Ableton

One of the first institutions in Europe dedicated to experimental and electronic music, founded in Poland. Set up in 1957 to create musical ‘illustrations’ for movies, radio and television, Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES) was an island of artistic freedom throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. As one of the few studios in Eastern Europe with electronic music equipment, and crucially, engineers who could service it, the PRES was a center of research into the possibilities of tape music and saw the creation of many astonishing original electro-acoustic works.

Depending on how paranoid you are, this research from Stanford and Google will be either terrifying or fascinating. A machine learning agent intended to transform aerial images into street maps and back was found to be cheating by hiding information it would need later in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.”
This clever AI hid data from its creators to cheat at its appointed task

A few trends in what our industry is writing, talking, and thinking about. Here’s what to expect for UX in 2019.
The State of UX in 2019

And following on from that, this book – Calm technology by Amber Case


Final painted Space Rocks

Some photos and videos of the prepped & painted Space Rocks.



So…it seems that the combination of XBee RSSI data and the Mozzi synth can only produce intermittent or pulsing sound and doesn’t allow for constant tones, as witnessed by the following video demos. All the data that has to be sent from Arduino to the XBee in order to get it to send and receive packets is causing the audio to stutter.

To get the tones required for the final piece, the circuits will need to be created using SX1278 LoRa modules instead. These will connect the four Space Rocks via an additional transmitter, and based around this circuit:

This should guarantee that the Mozzi synths can play continuous tones rather than interrupted pulses. Although I’ll now need to find a way to fit 4+”  433MHz antennaes into the Space Rocks too.

433MHz antennae
433MHz antennae