If you’ve ever played with motors, you’ve probably noticed their musical hum as they turn at different speeds, but have you ever thought of putting your motors to use as a musical instrument? While this project probably won’t be something that’ll make you go out and buy motors and controllers, it’s a great project to take on if you have some extra material lying around.
- Windows PC with Visual Basic
- Some bipolar stepper motors, with 1067 PhidgetStepper Bipolar HC (the discontinued 1063 PhidgetStepper Bipolar will work as well, if you have one lying around)
- If you haven’t already done so, follow the instructions to install the Phidgets drivers and libraries (direct download link) on your computer. You can get a quick tutorial on using Phidgets in Visual Basic on the Phidgets wiki, but it’s not necessary to cover this beforehand.
- Connect stepper motors to the computer with the stepper controllers. Connect each controller to a12VDC 5.0A power supply, like the one that comes with the controller.
- Download the StepperMidi program files. Open the project with Visual Basic and run it.
- Open a midi file by going to File in the Stepper Midi Player and clicking on Load. You can download a selection of midi tracks here, or use your own. Press Start and the motors will begin playing your song!