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Hi, and welcome.


This attempts to be a free-form, (mostly un-cohosted) podcast about tech-oriented hobby-projects. Do not proceed if you're looking for a high-quality production.

On a semi-biweekly basis, Michai and optional cohost talk about software, electronics and mechanical engineering from a hands-on point of view. Most of the time, that means giving excuses for not having done any work at all.

Mar 31, 2018

This episode covers one more PCB-failure (see previous episode for more fail), a LED that would still emit light at a rediculously low current, shortcomings of DIY lasercut stencils from a previous episode, my entry for the upcoming IFComp, disassembly of an old bread-toaster, the RC2018/04 Retro Challenge which will start tomorrow, and some more upcoming events.

For the upcoming IFComp, I want to make an interactive cassette-tape, where the tape-reel is replaced by software driving a magnetic element to emit sound/speech, where the user interacts with the game by pressing fast-forward/rewind/play/stop on the tape-player. 

The project will thus consist of a reworked cassette-tape adapter (fitted with electronics) implementing an adventure-game. Let's create the actual game within the IFComp contest-period, and make the hardware-platform in advance - as in, now. 

Reed-switches and magnet forming a simple encoder, and the magnetic element to emit audio towards the tape-player's head: 

cassette-tape adapter with reed-switches, magnet and magnetic element


Testing the tape inside a pretty tape-player:

testing the device in a cool tape-player


Signals from both reeds-switches. By observing delays, frequency and phase-shift, the software can process game-input:

2 reed-switches acting as DIY encoder


Tetris'ing electrical components within the tape's enclosure:

fitting components in the enclosure

Testing the toaster. Cold-spray, stopwatch and 2 thermocouples:

testing the toaster


The actual "circuit". No idea what the pink wire was for. "M" is the heater specifically for the bimetallic strip, and "H" is the main bread-heater:

toaster-circuit. M = bimetallic strip heater, and H = main bread-heater