Jason's notes

Kinetic & Measurement Project Idea

Kinetic (Primary)

My idea came from music boxes. It doesn’t need electricity but transformes kinetic energy to sound & melody. I still remember when I was a kid trying to figure out how it worked.

Music box

So my plan is to make an acoustic instrument with the concept of ‘water xylophone’. Instead of having fixed pitches for each glass, my idea is to use pumps to dynamically modify the liquid level, therefore, changing the pitch. At the same time, there will also be a motor driving a metal stick that knock each glass in sequence. In theory, all the power should come from a hand crank generator which I can replace with a solar panel in the future.

For the melody part, I hope I can find a way like the music box which is totally mechanical, or I will use a microcontroller.

Sketch 1

Sketch 2

I got some test tubes and did some test, but they only cover a pretty short range of note. I did find that larger tubes tend to have a larger coverage. So I’ll order some bigger ones.

idea from: vimeo.com/318663122


Measurement (Secondary)

For my measurement project, I want to track the energy usage of my water heater. And see how much energy can I save if I switch it off when I don’t need it. I’m also curious about if the weather (temperature) could affect the energy cost since the initial water temperature may be higher when it’s a hot day.

Power outlet with the smart switch

I’m using a WiFi outlet switch which can also record the energy cost.

Mobile application showing energy usage.
App UI