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Topic: Wireless sensoring (Read 507 times) previous topic - next topic


I'm a percussion player and have in the past developped settings where I controlled live electronics via sensors on my instruments so that playing motions could be used to generate control data. I had used a Eowave sensor board with huge amounts of cables. On some instruments that was okay but on hand-held drums like tambourines this is just a nuisance. I plan to take up the project again but with arduino boards. So my next step will be to go wireless on the tambourine controller. On a tambourine I will have 1 FSR to read finger pressure on the head and a accelerometer/gyro unit to translate both shaking motion and orientation into control parameters. Now my original idea was to replace the cables running from the arduino (due or whatever) to the sensor and back with a wireless connection. Of course on the sensor end i would not only need a transceiver but also a voltage source for the sensor - does any such thing exist? If so what is it?
But then again it might be better to keep the microcontroller and the sensor transmit the controll values wirelessly? The problem here is mainly size. The drum is only about 23cm in diameter and 5cm deep so the arduino mini would be the largest possible board. then add the gyro/accel board and a wireless unit and I end up with no space to put my hand to hold the drum, no?
Any tipps on how to address this? My ideal in terms of size is something like the K-bow by keith mcmillen.


The Arduino itself will use very little power and could easily be battery powered. You would need to find out how much current your accelerometer uses, but it isn't likely to be much.The radio transceiver is likely to be your biggest power consumption, but nRF24L01+ transceivers are cheap and use very little current. The downside is that they have very little power and I don't know how well they will cope in an environment with a lot of electrical equipment. If you can get away with that and don't need it to run for a long period, you could probably get away with some rechargeable AAA cells, or maybe even something smaller.

I don't know what sort of Arduino hardware you'd need. The Lillypad is designed to be wearable and is quite small - or you could use just the bare chip to get it as small as a 28-pin DIP, or even an 8-pin DIP. I think the main criteria will be what pins you need to talk to the accelerometer and transceiver, so you need to decide what you're using for those first. Perhaps it would be best to get the concept working with a UNO or similar and then look for options to shrink it.
I only provide help via the forum - please do not contact me for private consultancy.


Thanks Peter,
unfortunately I have no experience with RF or other technologies. Can anyone suggest examples for suitable transceivers? AAA batteries are too big, the footprint must be small so it doesn't interfere with the playing.


Can anyone suggest examples for suitable transceivers?

I already suggested nRF24L01+. I doubt you'll find anything smaller or needing less power. To repeat, I suggest you get something working to prove that the concept is feasible, before you concern yourself with reducing the size and weight of your product.
I only provide help via the forum - please do not contact me for private consultancy.

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