I’m not. But it’s in the back of my mind now. I’m sure I’ll be spending more time on the RPF or Make forums soon. Well here’s why I bring it up – I’m driving around the other day & I’m thinking about ‘which Arduino should I get’, when I get around to thinking about all the sensors & accessories I could hook up to it. I don’t want a big hassle when I want to fiddle around with electronics so I was thinking about a way to spare even more parts from being spent (soldered) on a prototype than the breadboards alone might accomplish. That brings me to what I made today:
Uh-gly! This is the only shot you’re getting, trust me: no one wants to see the soldering job on this beastrocity. Right now, it only does one thing (it lights up), and it doesn’t even do that like it means it.
Basically what I have here is a quick project to serve as a proof-of-concept for an analog electronic signal network. When needing low price, reliability or rapid-development you can almost always go with something off-the-shelf. In this case, telephone jacks connectors (RJ11) seemed like a quick & easy way to get this bird off the ground, and (if further developed) make for modular & expandable setup.
Here’s a general layout diagram:
- 9-volt battery (I didn’t have any AA/AAA carriages) awaits user-input via
- momentary switch, which meets up with one of the 4 wires at the back of the
- phone jack, which is of course has a
- regular telephone wire connecting it with another
- phone jack the current is runs through a sufficient
- resistor, protecting an
- ordinary LED.
- In a larger setup we could see a central network ground or perhaps one at each non-passive station; however as currently configured,
- the electricity runs back through the jacks & line, closing the circuit at
- the negative battery terminal.
There’s a lot of room for improvement. For starters, using RJ61 or Ethernet (8P8C) would nearly double system capacity with little other changes. But we have the makings here of a method of signaling confederates in a show or activating equiptment via relays.
Shift register-based parallel to serial circuits could be added to make each individual wire of each line carry multiple signals. It would be even better if they could be added inline, after the fashion of couplers or RF filters.