PZ-1 Pizza Box DJ Controller

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I built this conductive ink DJ controller made from a pizza box. You can build one too! Here’s the guide in the Adafruit Learning System. It’s a real DJ that you control by touch. It even blinks its colorful lights in time to the music!

Build your own DJ controller using a cardboard pizza box, conductive paint, and a Circuit Playground! The PZ-1 pizza box DJ controller uses a Circuit Playground, which senses your capacitive touch and speaks MIDI directly to your software, such as Traktor, Mixxx, and others. With a stencil and conductive paint you’ll create a delicious, functional controller layout. Inspired by a limited edition pizza box turntable from a famous pizza brand, now you can make your own!

I’ll be at World Maker Faire 2016 in NYC this weekend

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Yay! I love World Maker Faire, it’s such a great site — the Corona Park / Hall of Science site in Queens is amazing. And the creative energy and enthusiasm there are palpable. Palpable, I say!

Besides walking around the Faire soaking up all the great exhibits and meeting makers, I’ll be giving a couple of talks — the first one is about building the Adafruit Happy Chewbacca Mask project on Saturday, 10/1 at 12:30pm on the Maker to Market Stage:

Join maker John Park as he demonstrates how you can hack the famous Happy Chewbacca Mask to make any sounds you like. John will perform a live mask teardown, demonstrate how to trigger audio files with switches, and talk about the joys of toy hacking.

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My other talk will be on three of my Adafruit Circuit Playground projects, including the recently released PZ-1 Pizza Box DJ video, on Sunday, 10/2 at 12:15 on the Show-and-Tell Stage:

Maker John Park will show how he made his popular Adafruit Circuit Playground projects: the Class Scheduler, Password Vault, and Pizza Box DJ Controller. You’ll learn about Circuit Playground, a microcontroller platform with built-in LEDs and sensor designed to teach physical computing and coding.

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I may even attempt, against my better judgment, some live DJ-ing with the pizza box controller. Please dance.

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If you’re headed to Maker Faire please stop by and say hello.

Building a 3D Printer Turntable

 

I built this turntable for my Ultimaker 2 3D printer. Why? Because each time I changed the material on it I needed to go from using the interface on the front to dealing with the spool and filament on the back of the machine three times. Minor annoyance, I know, but I had had enough!

You can’t wing this too much or things won’t line up, so I did some careful measurements and aligned things well enough that when I blind screwed in the bottom it worked. There are strategies for doing this with large holes predrilled at a 45 degree offset from square so you can screw them in and see what you’re actually doing, but where’s the sport in that?

Now I’m already regretting not making the top piece a circle or gear pattern so I can motorize this for stylish stop motion photography of timelapse printing, but I think I can add that feature later.

John Park, Full-Time Maker for Adafruit

 

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I’m thrilled to announce that after a decade of moonlighting in the maker movement, I’m now officially a full-time maker and content creator! Starting this week, I’ll be working from my Southern California workshop, designing and building projects and videos for Adafruit Industries.

Adafruit is an open source hardware and electronics company founded by the awe-inspiring engineer Limor “Lady Ada” Fried, and co-run by the highest energy element on the the periodic table, Phil Torrone. I’ve know these wonderful people since the beginning of the maker movement, working together on Make: magazine, Maker Faires, and the Emmy-nominated Make: Television show on American Public Television. I’m proud to be joining them and the rest of the incredible team in our shared goal to encourage and enable anybody to build anything.

There are so many projects I’m excited to start building and sharing in videos and online tutorials. I’ll be making things to appeal to people with wide ranging passions, including cosplayers, home brewers, gamers, magicians, rock climbers, hot rodders, modernist chefs, lock pickers, kids, musicians, mixologists, Burners, escape room designers, aerialists, cyclists, teachers, animators, and coffee fiends, to name a few.

If you’ve got an idea for something you’d like to see me make, please drop me a note in the comments or on my Twitter @johnedgarpark.

You’ll be able to watch my Adafruit videos here, my Learning System tutorials here, my posts on the Adafruit blog. I look forward to meeting you in the Adafruit online hangouts. I’ll also be doing collaborations, speaking, teaching, and other maker activities, please follow my blog for updates — you can subscribe in the sidebar over there on the right.

Build a Behemoth Cold Brew Drip Tower

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[This is republished from an article I wrote for Make: magazine]

I love cold brew coffee. Its rich and delicious flavor, and low acidity, means it tastes great over ice. Traditional hot-brewed coffee methods simply can’t compare; when chilled and served on ice they tend to taste diluted and acidic. I have a small commercial drip tower that works very well, however, given the fact that cold brew takes up to 18 hours to brew, it’s disappointing to finish it off in just a few drinks. You can buy large cold-brew towers, but they’re very expensive, aimed at coffee shops. I decided to build a much larger brewing tower from scratch, and to make it considerably higher precision while I was at it — drip rate is everything when it comes to cold brew — using a microcontroller-driven solenoid valve for exact drip rate.

A cold-brew coffee tower consists of three main parts: a water receptacle at the top with a drip control valve, a chamber for grounds in the middle where the brewing takes place, and a carafe to receive the brewed coffee at the bottom.

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Sourcing parts was a bit of an adventure. I had planned to use chemistry lab glass for all three systems, but eventually realized that this would be either too expensive, in the case of using a separatory funnel for the tapped water receptacle, or impractical — a Buchner funnel large enough to hold 150 grams of ground coffee would be much too squat and wide to saturate evenly. After much hunting I found the ideal components: a water serving pitcher for the top receptacle, a siphon brewing upper beaker as the grounds chamber, and a flat-bottomed boiling flask as the receiving vessel. For a bit of spiraling glass laboratory aesthetic I added a Graham condenser to the mix, purely for looks.

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Flat Pack Guitar Stand

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My son has been learning to play the guitar. I’m very happy and proud — he’s really into it, practices hard, and he sounds great. I recently borrowed an electric guitar from a friend so my son can practice for an upcoming Led Zeppelin show put on by his guitar school. We needed a stand for the guitar, so I built this one based on plans I saw on Instructables.
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I re-drafted plans in Rhino, then laser cut some cardboard as a template. I transferred that to a piece of scrap 1/4″ plywood.
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I cut it on a mitre saw and bandsaw, and then sanded it.

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It works pretty well, but I’d like to remake it with tighter tolerances so the guitar back sits flush against the stand.