here is a little test of an idea that i had a while back that finally got around to trying out. there is a wonderful place in my neighborhood called the rebuilding center that sells all sorts of salvaged building materials from reclaimed buildings and homes. off and on i’ve seen door bells in the electrical department and wondered how easy it would be to use the solenoids in the doorbell to make a battery operated mallet that could do things like play drums or xylophone (very similar to a door bell). the answer is… very easy!
i put this little guy together today in about 15min. the part that took the longest was looking for my drill bits to drill the holes in the little plastic case. ( i always forget where i put them last.) when matt and i met up to play music tonight i tried it out on an old fire bell and on the lowest string on my baritone guitar. it was kind of fun to press the little buttons and have it hit a string while messing around with pedals and all that good stuff.
the next step is to split the two solenoids into two different enclosures and then figure out a way to control them via computer (midi). i know that people have done that kind of thing using the adruino but that is still a bit out of my league. maybe one of these kits is a bit more my speed.