After applying to the Interactive Technology Program at NYU this past winter, I decided to step up my game a bit and produce a solid portfolio of projects for the year. I know, I know it’s May and I’ve been slacking a bit on the blogosphere end of things, but there are 4 projects down and 8 more to go, so I’m going to recap a little bit and try to catch up. From here on out, we’ll have one blog per project, I promise.
January: Death By Arcade
I started researching MAME cabinets in December and around the new year, ordered all of the parts I would need to build a homemade MAME cabinet for the showspace at Death By Audio. With some woodworking help from my roommate Alex, we built the Death By Arcade video game emulator. I documented this one pretty well in January’s blog. Since it’s finalization at the end of January, we’ve now raked in almost $200 in quarters. Street Fighter is a big hit, but there are over 40 games installed on the emulator, and they change depending on Gavin’s mood. If you ever come to a show at DBA, check it out.
February: Digital Video Mixer
Attributed to an online class on Processing and Arduino with Joseph Gray, February’s project was an intensive programming code that took a video input and affected it in real time using an Arduino – something the class referred to as a “ProjBox.”
At the end of February, I split the output signal to a series of televisions in the Monster Island Fuck Ton show. While still a bit glitchy, I think this project is going to keep improving as I learn more about Processing and Arduino. However, I don’t think I’ll be lugging a bunch of televisions to any shows anytime soon. The current 4-television setup is sitting in the back of Death By Audio.
March: Urban Gardener’s Window Box
I took a break from electronics in March and built a pretty heavy-duty window box that hangs from my sill in my bedroom. Since I cut the pipe out of my wall last summer, the awning window has been separating me from the frigid Brooklyn winter air. In March, I opened it for the first time in months and took the measurements for my hanging garden. A two foot square box cut from weather-treated pine would do the trick. I drilled into the brick using a pretty hefty hammer drill, then hung the edge from the top of the sill using braided steel cable. All-in-all, the box can hold probably 150 lbs and currently houses a few heads of romaine. If we ever get some consistent weather going on here, I’ll plant some more stuff in the coming months.
April: Homebrew Kegerator
I’ve been homebrewing for almost a year now, and have just finished my seventh beer, the Tricerahops (thanks Edan). For anyone out there that partakes in homebrewing, you know the bottling process takes FOREVER. First sanitize all the bottles, siphon out the beer, fill up each bottle individually, cap them, store them, etc, etc. It’s a good 4 hours. This time, I wanted to just pour my beer into a keg and have it on tap.
I found some old Cornelius (Corny) soda kegs on eBay as well as the double tower tap and a CO2 tank. The first mini fridge I found in Queens had some problems with leaking freon, so I found another at Hofstra University that did the trick. A few hose clamps later and everything is rigged up. The pressure is low, so I’m still messing with it a bit, but soon I won’t have to worry about bottling my beer anymore. Thank God.
Which brings us to May. I’ve now been accepted to ITP and am planning on dedicating my time to grad school starting in September. That doesn’t mean I can’t stick to a project schedule, especially if they coincide with school. Some plans for the future?
Well I’d love to affix a series of Piezo transducers to this old piano and hook them all up to different effects. If I can’t tune it, might as well make it sound crazy. Since it’s an easy and relatively affordable project, this is probably going to be May.
Also I’d love to make my bicycle-music-amplifier-solar-Lithium-battery-charger-smart-phone-GPS-all-in-one-system feasible. I found a company after the 5 Boro called Goal Zero that is pretty much doing exactly what I had planned. Perhaps running it off of a front hub dynamo is a good idea?
Kleebtronics Inc. is also up and running as a custom electronics fabrication company. This blog will eventually be dedicated solely to my first business venture, and the developments that come from that. I’m also looking to build my dot com, so if you’ve got some web development skills, come on over.
It’s an exciting time, and with grad school on the horizon, things are looking up.