Jason's notes

Xylophone Box

For my midterm kinetic project, I was initially plan to build a water xylophone music box powered by a hand crank. However, the water pump I found was either too noisy or too slow, which doesn’t fit my requirement. So I ended up making them only generate fixed frequencies.


Follow by the ideation & circuit design, I soldered all the component on a prototype board and laser cut a box.

10000uF seems enough for this project, it also take less crank to charge up.

finnished circuit on prototype board

The motor was mounted under the lid which made it a clean surface.

motor and circuit in box

The voltage meter is kept in the design to make sure I won’t charge too much and break the capacitor.

voltage meter showing 10.9 V

The finished design looks like this:

instrument 1

instrument 2


I finally tuned the glasses into 8 notes in the chromatic scale and did some test. As you can see in the video, the noise from the crank & motor is super loud. It almost cover the sound from knocking the glass.

Also, this is how it sounds when it’s powered with a 5V external adapter. Sounds a little better ahhah. Maybe replace the hand crank with a solar panel could be a solution.

To be continued

For the next step, I need to figure out how to lower the noise rate and also increase the range of frequency one pipe can make. This project won’t end up here, I’m planning to make a different design in the future.