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Topic: Brass Horns, Pneumatic Solenoids, Air Compressor: Hardware Configuration Advice (Read 8198 times) previous topic - next topic

mnoble

Hello Interactive Art Arduino List,

My name is Margaret and I am a high school teacher and artist working in sound sculpture. I have technology literacy but I usually struggle. I am working towards making an outdoor motion sensor project controlled by an Arduino which activates pneumatic solenoids and an air compressor to play a set of vintage brass horns. I am stuck on what hardware elements to purchase to begin tests I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on the following:

- Universal fitting valves that snuggly attaches around vintage horns and connect to the airlines of a air compressor?

- What parts are needed to create a multi-pneumatic solenoid configuration where air can go to different horns at different times from the same compressor?

- Reliable all-weather motion sensor to activate Arduino sequence?

Thank you so much for your thoughts and advice!

Sincerely,

Margaret

CrossRoads

Just curious - what are you using to provide the equivalent of vibrating lips to the brass horns? They need more than just air blowing in don't they?

Take a look here for air valve solenoids, there could be less expensive options available as well.
https://www.hornblasters.com/products/category.php?c=air-valves-and-vale-kits
Will need a transistor per solenoid that Arduino can turn on/off as needed.

Outdoor motion sensor - you need to provide more info on how you anticipate that working, how sensitive, how reactive it should be, etc. Maybe a Passive Infra Red (PIR) could work, or be "tuned" to only sense a small area, maybe pressure sensors under a mat on the ground would be better, maybe InfraRed (IR) beam break sensors mounted horizontally would be better, etc.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

mnoble

Hi Crossroads,

Thank you so much for your reply.

Regarding your question: "Just curious - what are you using to provide the equivalent of vibrating lips to the brass horns? They need more than just air blowing in don't they?"

I was doing some research on train horns for monster trucks and they seemed to just have tubes connected to air compressors. The type of horns I was thinking of using are old car horns and the one I have for testing doesn't seem to need the same vibrational pressure as a trumpet I have. However, maybe I missing some important considerations for obtaining the correct type of pressure.

Thank you for the suggestions with Hornblasters and considerations on the sensor!

cedarlakeinstruments

You need a pneumatic solenoid valve manifold to manage single air in to multiple, controlled air out.
I may have one  I can spare in my "junk drawer." It runs at 24V, but that's not hard to handle. If you're interested, send me a PM (or I guarantee I'll forget!) and it's yours for the cost of mailing in the US if you want it.

I've done a lot of cleanup over the last few months and they might have been tossed since I haven't needed them in years. But willing to help out a school if I can :-)

Air valves tend to be more expensive than liquid valves because they need to seal tighter. But cheap water valves might work if you don't mind a little air loss. If I don't have the parts any more, you can make your own from Home Depot water tube/fixtures and eBay solenoid valves.
Electronics and firmware/software design and assistance. No project too small

PaulMurrayCbr

- What parts are needed to create a multi-pneumatic solenoid configuration where air can go to different horns at different times from the same compressor?
Would garden irrigation equipment work? Stuff you can get from the hardware store to water your garden with a computer? I have seen solenoids for this purpose in the store. If it can hold and switch water, it might work for air - depends on how much pressure you need. 12v, but you can switch 12v with a relay board or some FETs.

This sort of thing. Google "home irrigation solenoid".
http://paulmurraycbr.github.io/ArduinoTheOOWay.html

Chagrin

This 12V, direct acting, normally closed valve is what you're looking for. Even this $10 part is overkill; you'll only need a couple PSI of pressure if you're trying to match the capabilities of a human.

I'd also recommend the quick connector fittings like are shown on the above page. This style of fitting can be found pretty inexpensively for elbows, Ys, flow control, etc., and don't forget to buy the tubing that goes with it.

cedarlakeinstruments

This 12V, direct acting, normally closed valve is what you're looking for. Even this $10 part is overkill; you'll only need a couple PSI of pressure if you're trying to match the capabilities of a human.

I'd also recommend the quick connector fittings like are shown on the above page. This style of fitting can be found pretty inexpensively for elbows, Ys, flow control, etc., and don't forget to buy the tubing that goes with it.
Good point: for car horns, you're probably OK with any valve. For something that's normally operated by human mouth pressure, it may be harder. Most solenoid valves are "pilot actuated" meaning they use the back pressure to help them open and the minimum usable pressure is often 20+ psi and ISTR that the average human blows at about 3-5psi.
Electronics and firmware/software design and assistance. No project too small

mnoble

Thank you much to all replied here. I am still digging around and will update as the project develops!

miguemesa

Hi Margaret! while researching a similar topic I found some info that might be interesting for you:

https://youtu.be/asp0TcxYWa8

https://archive.org/details/organbuildingfor00wick

First I found the video and then the book. My guess is that you already have the instruments but this info might help you in further projects.

Cheers!

Johan_Ha

Just curious - what are you using to provide the equivalent of vibrating lips to the brass horns? They need more than just air blowing in don't they?
I'm working on a midi trumpet, which will mainly focus on simple buttons, a pressure sensor (that only measures blowing pressure, not actual lip vibrating) and a midi connection to a simple general midi synth. But the idea of connecting stuff to real brass instruments got me really interested!

The Hornblasters or train horns look really interesting. They seem to work with a vibrating membrane, the frequency of which is "locked" by the length of the horn, just like with real brass instruments. In real brass instruments you have to blow the somewhat right note with your lips, and the fingering, which sets the length of the tube from the mouth piece to the bell, just confirms the tone. So these Hornblasters might have some preset tension in the membrane for each desired tone. And then the length of the horn just confirms the right tone or frequency. If a trumpet player's lip tension doesn't meet exactly the length of the horn, it's still the length of the horn that sets the right note. This might be true with the Hornblasters, too (my guess). So what I'd like to test is cutting the Hornblaster right at the root of the horn-bell part, leaving a hole just at the membrane cup. Then I'd attach a horn instrument without mouth piece to the hole.

First I'd test the membrane (diaphragm) without the attached horn instrument. I'd run air from a compressor through the thing. I'd try to vary the pressure to see if only changing the air pressure would change the produced frequency in the membrane. If that doesn't change the frequency (pitch), I'd need something to change the tension of the membrane. If that starts to work, I'd be ready to attach the horn instrument. What it would need is something to control the pressure of the supplied air, maybe something to control the membrane tension, and three sollenoids pushing the valves of the horn instrument. Everything disguised in a paper mache mannequin.
____________________
- One day my stepper motor driver works like a charm. No task is too big for it and I can do anything with it. Next day it refuses to work and even the tiniest motor blows its fuse. What's wrong with it?
- It's bipolar.

allanhurst

Johan_Ha

As an experienced trumpet player, I lnow that it's a  mixture of lip tenson and air pressure which picks out a particular note from the harmonic series..

How might your device achieve this?

Allan

Johan_Ha

This is probably getting out of hands with expenses, but I have an idea how to emulate lip tension and air pressure. I'd even use a real trumpet mouth piece. The mouth piece touches the membrane from one side, like in the image. From the opposite side a large ring presses the membrane against the mouth piece. The whole membrane capsel has to be large enough for this tension ring to fit in. The tension would be adjusted with a solenoid. The air pressure would be controlled by a pressure control valve. The source of air would probably have to be an air compressor large enough not to have to run while my trumpetist is playing. And a pressure lowerer adjusted to the highest pressure needed. And the actual pressure control valve, which sets the pressure for each note, while the solenoid sets the tension for each note. While solenoids or linear actuators push the valves of the trumpet.
____________________
- One day my stepper motor driver works like a charm. No task is too big for it and I can do anything with it. Next day it refuses to work and even the tiniest motor blows its fuse. What's wrong with it?
- It's bipolar.

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