Moving Drone Sound Installation

Hey mind hive!

I have an idea for a sound installation that involves Arduino, however currently at this stage of planning, I have some questions that aren't related to Arduino specifically but the build of the installation, and was hoping to find some answers here.

Any help would be appreciated

In the link below there's a little diagram and document that explains the project and the questions that came up.


I am unfamiliar with the unit


Otherwise cool project.


cable guide chain

I am thinking of the things used in 3D printers or ENG trucks that keep the cables neatly as something goes back and forth or up and down.


Put a motor, limit switches, speaker, and Arduino on each moving carriage. Provide the carriage with power and serial communication. Send the value 'X" to all carriages via serial. The carriages can produce the audio tone and the motion independently.

Thanks John

Do you have any suggestions on how to run power to the carriages? The battery isn't optional as it needs to perform virtually endlessly. running power to the carriages raises the question of cable management, considering there are 7 carries that need to stretch 6 meter wide cables can get really messy and tangled.

Intresting, I will explore this.

Hz refers to Hertz, Sec refers to seconds. Just wasn't sure which unit to use but basically represent a speed of an LFO


Hz / sec (forward slash) would be the rate of change of the frequency.

Hz is cycles / second, so the rate is cycles / sec / sec, just like accelerating back in Physics.

And the section in your PDF seemed to be talking about motion or movement, not sound or frequency.

THX for the clarification.


I would run conductive tracks along the rails and use spring-loaded brushes to get power and communications from the tracks. The tracks can be hidden on the back side of the rails if they are unsightly.

What are you making the rails out of? You might be able to press copper wire into router-cut grooves to make the conductive tracks.

6 meters is a long distance, but not unreasonable. You only need to run two wires to each speaker and as long as they are high-flex, it should be very reliable. For a cheap rail, you can use aluminum "C" channel bolted to the wall. There's a 1/2" wide variety that can just fit a go-kart ball bearing (I can look this up if you have trouble finding it) that could be attached to your speaker. A stepper motor and a loop of thin stainless wire rope and a couple of pulleys will be enough to control the whole thing back and forth.

Cable carrier will keep the cabling neat.

You can also use T-slot extrusion like 80/20 for the rail, but depending on brand, it can get expensive fast. 80/20 has a lot of motion components though. I've seen them used in some outdoors applications and it's pretty rugged.

Should be enough links in this post to get you started :slight_smile:

This would be the neatest solution.
Conductive tracks would indeed give power to the carriage\speakers, though it was brought to my attention that if I have 7 Bluetooth speakers then how would I send 7 different audio sources to them? Typically say, a computer sends 1 Bluetooth signal..

How long is the installation going to be in place? Conductive tracks get noisy over time and especially over that distance, can prove difficult to maintain good contact.

Not sure at this point. Though the idea for it to be for an extended period of days,weeks...

Are there any especially quiet step motors that you would recommend for this?

Stepper motors are generally pretty quiet when run properly. Most of the noise will be from the mechanism itself.

Run properly in what way?
I'm concerned that 7 of these motors will be quite noticeable, considering much of the focus of the installation is the sound component this will negativaly impact the experience

Basically, not hitting any resonance peaks. Which you will only know of when it happens, but the solution is generally to run a little faster or slower so you don't hit the peak.

It's not the motors that will make most of the noise: it's the stuff that it's moving.

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.