I'm guessing driving the axes rotationally is not going to happen so I anticipate modifying the design to take the input of a linear electromagnet.
I'm throwing myself in the deep end with this project so appreciate tips on the following questions:
Is my above assumption correct? i.e. linear motion will work, rotational not.
Is it possible to drive a linear electromagnet / solenoid with an audio signal? e.g. if I were to play a sine wave at 440 Hz, I would get 440 Hz motion. I do not want to use PWM, this needs to be able to work with an audio output.
Can this even be achieved without an Arduino? i.e. could I plug the output of my phone audio directly to the electromagnets to get motion, or is amplification absolutely necessary?
If this setup is possible, what components should I be trying out and what type of setup would I be looking at, keeping things as simple as possible?
Happy to provide further clarification on the goals and intended setup, ask away.
How much motion do you want? How much mass would be attached?
It would take an impractical amount of energy to get a significant amount of motion at 400Hz. A speaker and power amplifier would be the easiest way to drive it but at 400Hz a speaker usually doesn't move enough to see it. At very-low frequencies you can get quite a bit of movement from a speaker.
You could get lots of movement with a motor & crank mechanism but it would have to be a fixed or variable frequency because you can't change motor speed or direction instantly.
No. Your phone can drive headphones with a few milliwatts but it can't drive an un-amplified speaker.
I just took a quick look at some laser mirror stuff, but I couldn't find any frequency or bandwidth information. But they probably can run at abut 400Hz because they have to change direction much faster than the frame rate. I didn't find a frame rate either but NTSC video is 30 frames per second so it's probably in that ballpark.
...And I learned that they use separate X & Y mirrors (with the reflection of the 1st mirror projected onto the 2nd one).
No Arduino necessary. Use two large audio speakers with a lever glued to the center part of the cone. That design is up to you! Put the speakers 90 degrees from each other, just like in the link you gave. Put any audio signal you want to the amplifier driving the speakers. The lever will modulate the front-surface mirror.
Yes. In the end I want to have this device hooked up to an audio output in two channels, most likely from my computer and I'm assuming through my Arduino. With the x and y axes drive by left and right channel respectively. The laser light, projected on a surface then giving a representation of the sound, like an oscilloscope. So that if I were to play 400 HZ through both channels, I would see a circle, and other patterns with all kinds of other combinations.
I hadn't considered this. I thought that if the axes were driven under constant power there wouldn't be much opportunity for inertia to wreak havoc. The same inertia problem would be present when driving a mirror, too, then. I'm willing to give it a go and see what results.
Oh yea... they are not suited to this task and we're looking at a 5-7k USD range. No thanks
So... am I just dreaming here, or is there still some way to achieve this?
Be sure to add to your design the fact that the Arduino can only determine a value of your audio signal/signals at some fixed rate. Your programming skills will be put to a test. The the Arduino can only output digital signals, 0 and +5 volts.
I would like to bring the thread back to this part of the question. What, exactly, is the Arduino for? It seems to me that you can do everything you need with a pair of audio power amplifiers and the appropriate actuators, as discussed above.
I think you are both right. An Arduino is not part of the solution.
It seems the question is now about the setup: What type of actuators will give the range of motion needed to articulate the mechanism ±10°? Is this more likely to be a custom build? Once that has been determined, I guess we can figure out what kind of amplification will be needed.