About Me

Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The creative genius (butcher boy) called me to help him with a plan

The task
It sounded simple enough. Butcher boy from work said he wanted to turn an upright piano his flat had acquired (legally) into a device for controlling PC media plyaers, so b y pressing a Piano key, you could play/pause, stop, skip and shuffle the tracks on the playlist.


They had a PC which was networked and could thus be controlled from elsewhere, and they had a piano.

The how, and why and when.
You need:-
  1. A Maplin's joypad for gaming
  2. A screwdriver to take the controller apart
  3. Soldering Iron
  4. Wires
  5. Sticky tape
  6. Blue tac
  7. 5p coin
Why the 5p, I hear you cry?
  • You use the blutac to attach one wire to a 5p and stick this to the underside of one of the keys ( following the dis-assembley of the piano).
  • Another wire is connected to the tray in which the keys sit. The two are arranged such that when you press the key, the 5p comes into contact with the bare end of the wire in the tray, thus making the contact.
  • The wires then connect to a controller which has had the buttons removed. Detailed study of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) allow you to work which two points need to be connected in order to complete the circuit. You then solder the wires from the piano onto these points.
  • This is repeated for 4 piano keys.
Then you go for pizza.

  • Then you download a plugin for the media player of your choice (winamp) which allows control of the media player using a joypad.
  • Assigning the piano key presses to a function took a little effort, involving checking the positioning of the two contacts such that they were not touching at rest, but did touch when the key was pressed.
  • Finally you load some random tracks and assign the keys.
Middle C - Play
The next one to the right - Stop
The next one to the right - Skip forward
The next one to the right - Toggle shuffle on/off
  • Then you check the display on the small 2 line LCD display that Butcher boy and the Supermarket vetrans have got and lo when you press play it changes and from the speakers you hear Feeder. Stop, and skip also work..............
The final step is to move the power switch from the PC case and extend it so it it is under the Piano keyboard so you can turn the PC on/off when the piano is back to normal.

I do not accept responsibility if you too end up with burned fingers following this experiment.
However should you decide to copy the idea, then you must contact the patent office who have the details of the PC-JukeBox-Piano-atron.

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