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    element14's The Ben Heck Show

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    Ben works on a Laser Harp using lasers and a photoresistor while Felix sets up the intel Edison with VST: virtual studio technology MIDI music driver to play music on it. How would you use technology to discover a new way for the world to enjoy music? Let us know in the comments below!

    Episode 254: Ben Heck’s Intel Edison Laser Harp Part 2: Assembly


    Inspired by Music Tech Fest in Berlin, Ben and Felix create a Laser Harp using an Intel Edison single board computer and VST: virtual studio technology. The Intel Edison is a single board computer from Intel that includes a dual core atom processor x86 with built in RAM, Flash, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Ben does tests for the laser harp using a breadboard, a bench power supply and an individual laser pointer element.  The laser element has a current limiting resistor built in so he just attaches a voltage rail.  The photoresistor is analog, the more light you give it or take from it, there will be a different rating however if that voltage level goes past a certain amount in an integrated circuit it will either go high or low which will allow them to use it as a digital switch. He uses a photoresistor because it works well with individual light.


    After he gets a laser he hooks it up to NOT logic gate. The NOT gate has a voltage at which it will switch from 0 to 1. Knowing this value allows them to dial in their photoresistor circuit. The input and output are at different voltages allowing a 5V signal to be converted to a 1.8 V signal.  Felix lays out everything on a protoboard and sets up a VST MIDI music driver on the Edison to allow it to play music. He takes the GPIO signal and maps it to a virtual MIDI device. He reconfigures the kernel and adds the virtual MIDI device to enable it. 12 notes per octave, chromatic scale (includes sharps and flats). The different lengths of harp strings create different notes. The top of the harp has 24 lasers for 24 notes which is two octaves. Ben builds the top half of the harp with all the emitters and lines them up.