Digital Day at Weymouth Library 25/10/16

On 25th October we took part in a Digital Day at Weymouth library. We ran four workshops throughout the day, all were fully subscribed. The workshops were all intended to be an introduction to and exploration of digital technology and particularly computer coding. We are always focused on the creative side of coding so try to include musical elements wherever possible.

The four workshops were building an air piano, using the Raspberry Pi’s gpio in Scratch, making music with Sonic Pi and 3D printing. For the first two workshops the attendees had to build a simple electronic  circuit that was then connected to the Raspberry Pi and programmed. The air piano used an ultrasonic distance sensor so that the computer sounded a different note of the major scale depending on an object’s distance from the sensor.


The second workshop used a simple circuit with an led on it and we created a program that made the led flash on  and off when an icon on the computer screen was clicked.


The third workshop used the program Sonic Pi to create music, we created a piece that had a melody, drums, bass and improvised solo. The final workshop was designing a 3D object that could be printed out using our 3D printer; the attendees designed a star shape with their initial on it using 3D design software and we showed the printer in action printing out examples of this type of work.


A really enjoyable day with lots of interest all put together by the Friends of Weymouth Library who also provided us with lunch and cups of tea through  out the day.

We had some great feedback on the day and via social media :

and an email from one of the participants:

Dear 2timesdo
Thank you for your digital day yesterday at Weymouth, it was really enjoyable. My brother and I mostly enjoyed the 3D printing and the air piano. We enjoyed using the raspberry pi and programming things. Overall the day was great

Ian and I rounded off the day by having a cup of tea (actually a very large pot) and cake at the excellent Good Life Cafe.

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Sidmouth Science Festival 16/10/16

On Sunday 16th October we were at the Norman Lockyer Observatory giving people the chance to get hands on experience of the Raspberry Pi, BBC Micro:bits and a 3D printer.

The event was really well attended and we saw over 120 people during the day who tried out the Raspberry Pis using Scratch and Python. We also took along our Maplin robotic arm for the first time and this proved really popular too.


All in all a very busy day, we’re looking forward to next year’s event already.


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Music Machine 40 at Exeter Library 8/10/16

Music Machine 40


On October 8th we held a workshop and then a performance / installation of Music Machine 40 in the Rougemont Room of  Exeter Library. In the morning we built eight separate music generating devices that used a Raspberry Pi and an ultrasonic distance sensor. The devices generated a note that varied depending on how close someone was to the sensor.



 In the afternoon the eight devices were sited around the room to produce a quadrophonic sound system that played as people moved around and close to the sensors.



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Robot Day at Horrabridge Primary School 5/10/16

On Wednesday 5th October we visited Horrabridge primary school where we delivered a couple of sessions to year 5 and 6 about robots and building robots.

We set a challenge for the children who worked in groups of two or three to build a robot that could push a ball in a straight line across their hall floor.

We had part built the robot kits but there was still some work to be done on them and they had to design a device that sat on the front of the robot to keep the ball in place.



It was great fun and really good to see how engaged all the children were. We look forward to doing much more of this.

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Music Machine 1 Saturday 1st October


Music Machine 1

The weekend of 1st and 2nd October was the Fun Palaces weekend, it involved free events for people to come and take part in. As part of that, following on from the Raspberry Jam we gave a performance of Music Machine 1 . There were about 25 people who took part with a real mixture of ages. Only one person came with a musical instrument (a violin), I took along some percussion instruments, a recorder, a couple of casio digital horns and a circuit bent keyboard. We talked a bit about the piece, had a brief run through, discussed it some more and then performed it.

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Exeter Raspberry Jam Saturday 1st October

Last weekend we had a busy Saturday at the Fun Palaces weekend at Exeter Library. The morning Raspberry Pi jam was well attended, with both new and familiar faces. Ivan Roulson had his pi-topCEED with Raspberry pi playing Pachelbel’s canon using seq24 music sequencing software. We had some robots as well as some experiments with the sense hat and picamera. Meanwhile we had some first timers trying out scratch and flashing an led using Python programming language.

We have just received our BBC micro:bits and gave people an opportunity to try those out too.





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Exeter Phoenix Creative Hub Social 28/9/16

On 28th September we attended the Exeter Phoenix Creative Hub Social evening and took along some of the projects that we have been working on to show people and to give them an idea of some of the things they may be able to do with their own creative work.

Here are some of the items we had on display:


We showed mainly music based work and featured Music Machines 2, 35 and 39; Music Machine 2 uses an arduino and an ultrasonic distance sensor to generate a melody by measuring distance, Music Machine 35 uses a rfid card reader to play a simple melody based on the card itself and Music Machine 39 uses a Wii nunchuck as a musical instrument controller.

We also had our 3d printer and tweeting dinosaur / Obi Wan Kenobi with us.


A very busy evening, really good to meet and talk to lots of new people and hopefully encourage some of them to use digital technology in their work.


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Exeter Raspberry Jam 3rd September 2016

Another well attended jam at Exeter Library, we saw some new faces and had a good turn out considering it was the summer holidays and some of our regulars were on holiday.

Ivan Roulson was there with his pi-top ceed which looked very good and worked well. He had also 3D printed a case and tripod attachment for a pi zero – which you can see to the left of this picture:



The next jam is on 1st October and will be part of the Exeter Library Fun Palace event.

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Digital Day at Dorchester Library 25th August 2016

On Thursday 25th August we took part in a Digital Day at Dorchester Library.

We ran four different workshops throughout the day all of which were well attended and were really enjoyable. We ran workshops in building an air piano, using leds with scratch, playing the oompah loompa song with sonic pi and 3D printing.



This was the first time we had taken our 3D printer out on the road and it worked very well and drew a lot of attention.

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Coding with Minecraft 24th August 2016

On Wednesday 24th August we ran a series of coding with minecraft sessions at Bath Library.

We started the sessions by introducing the Raspberry Pi and minecraft pi to the participants,  all had played minecraft before but none had used it on the pi. After running through the basics we then demonstrated how to use python to interact, we produced a number of worksheets and examples including interfacing with the gpio by flashing leds and exploding bombs.

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