I worked with Jen making our Drawdio circuits (this is a wonderful image of us both). We were focused at the beginning but kind of hopped around the instructions intuitively toward the end, watching others for our next steps, sharing the soldering iron and snipz. We were lucky to have Drawdio experts surrounding us!
There were some confusing moments for us and I would have to agree with everyone else in their feeling about the too-hard-to-push-pin and layout of the instructions. I love MIT Media Lab (& hope to go there in the FUTURE) and so I had actually seen this circuit when checking our their various research groups. It is a fun novelty product and great introduction to circuits but Drawdio has too annoying of a sound to actually make it into anything I would want in my life for any length of time. When we were in class making them I was reminded of the time in grade school music class when everyone got recorders…
I turned mine into a Guitardio which just made the beautiful sounds a guitar not-so-beautiful. The guitar is actually one that I made in a woodshop class during my undergraduate studies. I’m still very proud of it, it was so much work!
I wrapped conductive thread around one of the knobs at the top of the guitar and tied that to one end of the Drawdio. This made every metal part of the guitar conductive as the metal knobs touch the metal strings and so on. The other end was attached to a guitar pick covered in aluminum tape to hold the conductive thread in place. As I played the notes and held the pick, the Drawdio noises started up.
Here is a video of me gettin down with my Guitardio! Yeah!
Turn your speakers down – WARNING: HORRIBLE NOISES.
Ok so by now, we all know what a Drawdio looks like but here’s mine:
Like everyone else, I used the adafruit directions to make my Drawdio. I felt like the instructions and pictures were up to par with how my expectations of DIY tech instructions: pictures occasionally and without other views of the circuitry, a bit of getting tied up in the geekry terms, in a bare-bones website. I’m managed to build mine but like most things, an attention to how the design communicates the content could definitely be used here. I’m not partial to instructables but I will give the site credit for the navigation on a given instructable: thumbnails with teach step AND the separation of steps so it’s not just one big long page. I think this instruction set could use a bit of this navigation.
I also made a mod of my Drawdio. I was talking with Garrett after we all made these and he was describing it to some other DT-ers as the most obnoxious whistle noise sound. It started me thinking about whistling…while you work. Hahaha! So I made a Broomdio for the Mary Poppins fans out there. I didn’t get much variance out of my Broomdio but it was kinda fun to go around and sweep with the noise it makes. You can watch the video of it here on my a.parsons since I def did not want to put my pj-wearin dork self on blast on Vimeo or YouTube.
Although, I have soldered before, I have never messed around with resistors and circuit boards. I have mostly just messed around with switches to make lights go on and off, used it as a quick weld for sculptural wire-frames, and repaired glasses. Building the Drawdio was rather fun. The only thing I would do differently if I was to design the product, is to create a better housing and way of attaching the battery to the circuit board. I would also consider building the kit in a room with better lighting as my eyes kind of suck, and it made picking the proper color coded resister, more of a challenge than it needed to be. The end result was also kind of ugly, and slightly unmarketable as a result. So as a modification, I designed a handy dandy clowntastic clown skin, to brighten up this rather dull item.
Darwdio is actually greater than I expected. I am happy with playing Drawdio as a music instrument. All of my friends really were surprised to see this Drawdio.
I made a video introduction for playing Drawdio on my youtube channel.
P.S. There was one thing I was little confused about the step of installing a speaker. In the instruction link, the picture shows a different model of circuit board that doesn’t hold speaker without wire.
After I built Drawdio by following instructions through a link Drawdio!, I noticed some instructions are confusing.
1. The instruction of installing resistors was confused. I noticed that one of 3 resistors has different color from what I saw the picture of instructions. Some student who know physical computing told me that it really doesn’t matter since it has only 10 different megaohm. The instruction should say 10 and 20 megaohm will be fine. It would reduce customers’ confusion.
2. The instruction of installing a speaker was confusing. I noticed that pictures show different model of circuit board that doesn’t hold speaker without wire.
Building the Drawdio was pretty straightforward. The images and corresponding text really helped me to build the kit easily.
I have two comments on how the process could have been made better:
1. The design of the Assemble It page would be more user friendly if it used clear formatting. For example, if at the page there were some sort of a numbering system (Step One… Step Two…) and if those steps linked to an image/text below, I think the directions would have been more clear. It was easy to get lost in the non-formatted page.
2. The tack that needed to be placed in the top of the pencil was quite difficult to push in. I’m not sure how I would improve this but it was an observation I had.
The two projects I think I’d like to do…
E-Puppets – Emoting Electronic Finger Puppets and theGlam the Glo Bug