I am using the Cypress Analog Coprocessor Pioneer Kit to sense data from the environment. One way to process data is to convert it to sound. This is the process I take in exploring harmonic and near-chaotic events in nature.
The development kit is really easy to get started with. It includes five types of sensors with the software to start collecting data immediately. In this project I explore an inductive pendulum, an inductive phonograph stylus, a light sensor to detect a remote control, and a light sensor to record the periodic motion of a drinking bird toy.
I actually spent three weeks on this project, collecting and analyzing the data, which would have been much longer if I had to build the circuits and software on other development boards. So it turned out to be more fun than expected :)
To set up the board, go to PSoC Analog Coprocessor Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-048) and click on the Getting Started tab. Download the IDE, install and start it. There are projects already set up to use each of the sensors, and you can learn how to use the Bridge software from the application notes for each sensor.
Save data from the Bridge Control Panel by clicking Chart->Export Collected Data->(Data Tab) and set Format to Text:
Now you can use the Data2Wav program to convert the exported data to .wav files.
The Induction Phonograph
This is the idea of using a phonograph to create waveforms using an inductive sensor and an arrangement of metal objects. To do this I needed an extension to the PCB induction sensor that was built into the board. I made a loop of wire with about 10 turns and compressed it until I had the right inductance. I could tell by the LED that the sensor was working. The metal objects to be detected were various coins arranged on the platter, like this:
This worked OK, but the entire PCB was being supported by the stylus arm and was a bit of a kludge.
I also tried with HDD platters:
Eventually, what worked the best was putting coins in the middle and using a stylus mounted induction coil to sense the coins. This way the waveform would change over time as the stylus moved toward the center of the record.
The Inductive Pendulum
This series of experiments used pendulums with weights attached at various points along the string. The easiest way to do this was to attach binder clips to the string at different points.
The Drinking Bird
The periodic motion of the bird interrupting a light source was tracked by the light sensor. The data was surprisingly regular:
Using the light sensor once again, it surprisingly picked up decent resolution of a remote control pointed at it. I had replace the IR LED with a visible light yellow LED to get results, which were bursts of sound.