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Inventors Kit 8: Solar Music Maker

Posted by Matthew Little on

Let's make some noise! We are making a solar powered chime, which will give us an audiable indication of how sunny it is.

I added a stick to the motor to hit some bottles with different levels of water to create some chimes. What else could you play with your solar motor? What instruments could you adapt to play with the sun?

We will need our solar powered motor circuit again!

To make the music machine I added a 'beater' to the motor. I made the beater from a small section of bamboo skewer. You could use other things - maybe a lollypop stick? What different sounds could you get from using different beaters?

I taped the skewer to the folded long motor connector. (This was folded when we made the solar flower).

I needed to use amore tape to hold the skewer, as it was drooping down due to the skewer weight.

I blue-tac'd the motor on to a jam jar lid to give it stability.

Putting this in the sun then the beater spins around.

I then got four empty bottles and filled them with different levels of water. What difference does that make to the sound? Try putting the bottle on a surface an tapping with the skewer. What different sounds do you get? Try changing the water level - what happens?

I set up the four bottles around the spinning skwer. You will need to adjust where the bottles are so that the skewer just hits the bottle, but is not stopped by the bottle.

Once you get it just right then you can listen to your solar powered music machine. Wait for clouds to pass and see what happens to the beat.

Note: If it's not sunny enough then you can use a battery, rather than the solar panel. If you use the motor with a switch circuit from the first activity then you can control the sound machine (but I prefer the solar powered one!)

Some more inspiration and learning links:

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