I've been (non-COVID) sick for about 5 or 6 days now. I think it's just the standard flu, been incredibly tired and out of it. Possibly returning to work tomorrow.
I've been staying busy by fiddling with electronics some more. I got my 3D printer up and running again, and have been making some odd devices. Here's a prototype of an idea I've had knocking around for a few weeks - a solar powered synth, with a build-in piezo disc speaker, to use as a tool for measuring/interacting with sunlight. Right now, I'm really missing my old job teaching in the woods, and am really bummed out by my current school's very small concrete and astro-turf playground. There's no sense of change to it, it's exactly the same every time we visit. So I want to make some devices that kids can use to explore the changes in natural forces in some fun and unique ways, and this is the first idea I came up with. After I fine-tune this, I want to make some sort of wind harps. Still trying to think of a good rain-instrument (maybe a drum of some kind?).
I have a ton of these little squares of wood left over from my wedding (I made coasters as party favors), and they happen to fit the solar panels I have beautifully, so I'm using them as my basic unit of measurement in designs. I think this box's design is a bit too deep, especially for little hands. There's two oscillator voices in this device - one is wired up to the output jack on the back, and is controlled by the knob (the sound is SUPER gnarly). The other one, wired to the built-in speaker, has a fixed frequency, but is only activated if you complete the circuit by touching both copper plates. It sounds like an angry bird to me, which I like. I might have the pitch mapped to an LDR in my next iteration.
These are <$5 in materials, and take maybe 45 minutes to wire up. I'm going to send some to musical friends to play around with.
I also made an Electromagnetic Mic out of an old solenoid I had lying around - here's me playing my hair clippers like a didgeridoo:
EDIT: Just made another sunbox. 4 voices, always playing, pitch controlled by LDRs. I call it the "very angry box" for reasons which I think will be clear upon listening. Might re-make this with different capacitors, wonder if I can make it actually melodic in some way.