From tinkering to production…

White-noise please

Some time ago the kids were resltless sleepers. Some web searching seemed to indicate that some white-noise in the background might help. So after trawling the shops for something that played white-noise and finding nothing that quite met the need… I decided to build something.

I grabbed a spare raspberry-pi, a touch screen and downloaded some mp3 files. I took apart some cheap PC speakers and cobbled it all together. Now we needed an interface that made it simple to use.. So with a little bit of python code knocked up a very basic GUI: List any mp3s on the sdcard, play, stop, repeat etc.

Just a little bit of background noise – a whisper of rain like sound and voila – problem solved.

Four years later the “device” is still going strong and gets used every night – all night.

Baby tech

When the kids started to crawl I wanted to introduce them to my passion (at least just a little)… At the time I was tinkering with bits and pieces for a home made arcade machine. I had a whole bunch of buttons, LEDs etc and figured I could put something together that the kids might enjoy. I figured if I took the building blocks from the white-noise machine build – it wouldn’t take much to make something with lights and sounds and big buttons.

Some jumbo buttons (100mm) – red, green, blue and yellow were placed on the top of an off-the-shelf enclosure. Another raspberry-pi, speakers and some neo-pixels. Hit one of the buttons and a random sound or music clip gets played.

It worked!

It was a delight to see the little ones hit a button and squeal when sounds came out and lights flashed. I was even surprised to see their much older cousins playing with it when they came to visit.

The journey doesn’t end here.. stay tuned for the next update to “The Journey”.