It’s that time of the year again! The 2013 Maker Faire Bay Area is next weekend (May 18-19th) in San Mateo, California.
I haven’t had time to post about it, but over the past few weeks I’ve been busy working on a special project for the Maker Faire this year.
This year I am bringing a new and improved version of the “Geiger counter-powered ambient music thing” that I threw together at the last minute last year (and never really came up with a good name for). In that project, I connected five of my open source Geiger Counter kits to an Arduino that sent MIDI commands to a Sparkfun Music Instrument Shield. When each Geiger counter was triggered by background radiation or one of the weakly radioactive sources nearby, the Arduino would send a command to the shield to play a musical note.
This year I’m bringing a new and improved version that uses a new piece of hardware that I designed specifically for the Faire – the Geiger Pad.
Each Geiger Pad contains a fully functional Geiger Counter based on my Geiger counter kit. The output of the Geiger counter is connected to a cluster of 14 very bright 5mm UV LEDs. On top of the Pad is a petri dish filled with uranium marbles. Each time the Geiger counter detects that a gamma ray was emitted by the marbles, it flashes the UV LEDs. Since the uranium marbles fluoresce green under UV light, this produces a brilliant green glow.
Today (yes, once again at the last minute) I finally got all the pieces together and working. If you come to the Faire you’ll be able to see it in person, but I also posted a short video on flickr:
The Maker Faire website lists me in Expo Hall, but it’s more likely that I’ll be somewhere in the dark area of Fiesta Hall instead. Check the Maker Faire website later in the week for more details.
See you at the Faire!