The Weather Box
I completed my final project for Networked Objects, working with Lesley Flanigan.
Our original idea had been to retrieve weather information from the Internet for different cities, and use this as the basis for a simple melody. This basically what we delivered:
Built into a Fortnum & Mason tea box, is an Arduino-based polyphonic synthesizer, with an XPort Internet access module. The dial allows choosing any of 8 cities. When it is turned, the box retrieves the weather information for that city from an NOAA server, and turns it into a simple melody. Pressing the red button will replay the melody. If for any reason the box cannot establish an Internet connection, it will use the data it last retrieved for that city, which it has stored in the Arduino's on-board EEPROM.
Considerably more detailed technical information on the project is here, especially regarding the audio circuit, and the process of getting the Internet data.
Here is a closeup of the control dial:
This photo shows the assembled circuit:
From left to right: the mixer bus for the audio circuit (three resistors), the AD5206 digipot for amplitude and frequency control, the 74C14 Schmitt trigger hex inverter, the Arduino Mini, the XPort Internet module, and the USB to serial adapter for power and programming. Note that pins 0 and 1 on the Arduino are connected to the XPort for serial communications. The USB to serial adapter is connected to pins 2 and 3 on the Arduino for debugging via the SoftwareSerial library.