I did a computer controlled mechanical drummer with four small analog VU-meters but they just don't hit very hard...
Next version will be based on a bunch of hard drives from a slaughtered server, plan is to have around 10.
So far I've only tried hooking up one to my arduino using a 2N3904 transistor as mentioned here: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,56159.msg403641.html#msg403641
seems to work fine can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be best practice to include a diode to help with any potential backward current spikes like it's commonly done on similar devices like solenoids and motors?
Can't detect any spikes with my cheap multimeter but it might not be up to the task either, same thing with normal forward current - I measure 30mA with my circuit for one Voice Coil so it seems to suggest that I should be able to go with external power on a Duemilanove or even USB with 10x30mA but then again I'm not sure if my multimeter can catch the peaks.