final project: technical issues and documentation

The main tech issue I am having right now is trying to run six motors triggered by light sensors using a Teensy 3.1* and a DC Opto-Isolated 8 Output Board.

Because the Teensy only wants 3.3V, I am in the process of pumping up the voltage for the Opto-Isolated Output Board that wants 5V. According to the Teensy 3.1 specs, it is “5v tolerant” but I cannot afford to fry another one** so I am going to experiment with two different logic level converters from the ArtFab Lab, the BOB-11978 from SparkFun and the 4-channel LLC from AdaFruit.

The attached photo shows the hook up pre-LLC. The six wee incandescent bulbs are standing in for the six vibration motors (for ease in testing).

Note that there are two power sources. The 3.3V powers the Teensy 3.1, and it is this signal I need to step up to 5V to communicate with the OIOB. In addition, the OIOB needs a higher voltage to power the motors, hence the 12V power supply.  (In my pre-LLC experiments with the incandescent bulbs standing in for motors, the wee bulbs need 12V to come on to full brightness. 9V was very dim. Obviously, the mini-motors may work with 9V or less, but for now I just need to get the circuits working. Also, the OIOB can take a max of 24V, but I doubt I will need anywhere near this much power for the motors.)

* Originally, I was attempting this with my Arduino, but somewhere along the way, I managed it to fry it (even though it is a ‘Rugged’ Arduino) so that it works a little bit, but some connections in the board are wonky.

** Yep, in addition to abusing my Arduino, I also fried the first Teensy 3.1 I tried. This is getting to be expensive.

What I have described is for just one component of my final sound art project. The full installation will be various sites within my house. Because this sensor/motor piece will first be displayed in the Miller Gallery on May 2nd, it is the component I am most anxious to solve in the next couple of days.





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