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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:20 pm
by Andreas Fabis
Hi there...

For a while now I have been thinking about building a machine and finally I came up with plans to build a mechanical "Words of Wisdom" generator. I knew I wanted to have a coin slot, so I could give it a little carnival feel to it and also to make the "wisdom" more valuable. And I knew I wanted to build it within a suitcase and then hang it somewhere.

After a lot of research and several technological setbacks (servo motors don't spin all the way, stepper motors are a nightmare to control if there is more than one involved) I finally had all the parts together.

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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #2

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:21 pm
by Andreas Fabis
The different sentences that would form the final Words of Wisdom are printed on rolls of stiff paper:
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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #3

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:30 pm
by Andreas Fabis
I ordered the coin slot from the internet. It takes quarters and closes the circuit when the coin drops successfully.
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The sides of the suitcase are made from four layers of thick cardboard and were tricky to cut. A carpet knife with a fresh blade did the trick.
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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #4

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:32 pm
by Andreas Fabis
The motors with the paper rolls will be bolted to a wooden frame:
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I had to try several different configurations before I came up with the one that would allow for all the components to fit and move freely.
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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #5

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:38 pm
by Andreas Fabis
Attaching anything to the motor shaft of a little 5 Volt DC motor is tricky. I used the wedge method and drilled a little hole in the plastic cap that will be one end of the tube. Then wedged the motor shaft through and hot glued the whole thing together. The paper rolls are very light, so the torque won't be a problem.
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The other side of the tube just needs a shaft. I attached felt coasters on both side of the plastic cap, stuck a nail through and hot glued everything together again.
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The I assembled the pieces and tested the motors. Everything works. The paper rolls are wedged onto the plastic cups. I didn't use glue so I can exchange the rolls in the future.
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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #6

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:42 pm
by Andreas Fabis
Now it was time to cut the slots into the front of the suitcase. These are the windows through which you can see the sentences on the paper rolls. I did a LOT of measurements, because there was really one opportunity to do this right...
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I printed a template to make sure everything would fit and marked the windows on the front with Sharpie.
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Then it was time to cut...
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And it came out alright:
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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #7

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:45 pm
by Andreas Fabis
I tested the position of the paper tubes and motors and made a lot of little adjustments to find the right spot for each.
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Finally I bolted the motors to one of the wooden beams. If the paper tubes look smaller now, it's because they are. I had to shorten them considerably to make it all fit. Luckily I didn't have to get rid of any of the texts.
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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #8

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:49 pm
by Andreas Fabis
I assembled everything screwed the wooden frame together and closed suitcase. Phew.
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I wanted metal frames around the holes in the front, but I couldn't find any in the right size. So I got balsa wood, could them out and painted them with acrylic bronze paint.
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I think it will work fine. I am thinking about adding some little bronze screws just for effect.
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Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #8

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 7:55 pm
by Andreas Fabis
The painted frames have dried. They are a little bit too golden for my taste. I will dust them with black spray paint.
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Re: Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 8:26 pm
by JenP
Dude, this is awesome. You are a handy, handy man!

Re: Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 8:54 pm
by Ruby W.
Incredible!!!!!!! We do Words of Wisdom all the time at the Hideout! Can this be at the Hideout????????

Re: Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator

PostPosted: September 14th, 2013, 10:15 pm
by valetoile
Wow!

Re: Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator

PostPosted: September 15th, 2013, 11:56 am
by Jennifer3001
I can't wait to try it out! Saving quarters now.

Re: Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator

PostPosted: September 15th, 2013, 1:26 pm
by Spots
One of the coolest DIY project thingies I've seen in a while. This is the type of thing Reddit goes crazy about too.





You just took me back to all the random word string generators I made for the GTA server I ran. Too much fun.

Low Tech: A Words of Wisdom Generator #9

PostPosted: September 15th, 2013, 7:00 pm
by Andreas Fabis
I got a programmable sound chip and a little speaker and recorded the "Ahhhhhh, yesyesyesyesyesyes!". I hope it will be loud enough when it plays after the wisdom is dispensed.
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