Andrew Morris decided the usual wireless volume controls don’t offer enough functionality, so he created the ultimate volume control that connects between a computer or MP3 player and an amplified speaker system.
Volume can be controlled up to 50 feet away and through walls. It doesn’t require line-of-sight, and you can set a default setting for your favorite level. You can also adjust multiple volume controls in the sound system. Morris is now setting the gadget loose on the world, hoping readers will try it out and give him feedback for improvements.
The editors of Design News have handpicked your favorite Gadget Freak cases from over the years, and brought them together in a dynamic digital edition. Click here to download and check out, not only the best gadgets, but their videos, too!
Contact me for a minor bug fix to the remote decoder PIC ASM code in Gadget Freak Case # 192, the remote volume control. The BITST subroutine was rewritten for better noise immunity. Alternatively, you can get the updated BITST subroutine from the remote fan control in Gadget Freak Case #198. Don't use the whole program, as it will slow down the volume control response.
Alternate sources for the remote control to be hacked up:
Home Depot Westek Model # RFK306LC Store SKU # 567861
Home Depot (Christmas season only) Home Accents Holiday Model # RC-009A-1 Store SKU # 202620 (Same as above units, but has two outlets).
Lowe's SKU # 0357410 (Christmas season only) It is the same as the Home Depot Christmas version, but has a smaller remote, that is electrically identical to the remote used in this gadget.
Both seasonal remote control systems will work in this project, and both cost $10.
You're right, Jack. We're all so used to line-of-sight -- and nobody walking through that line. Seems like the whole world of remotes could be revampped on this principle. Our remotes -- which are in everyone's home by the armful -- still operate on 70s technology.
On of the interesting things about this device is that it doesnt' require line of sight and it goes through walls. With all of the changes we've seen in consumer electronics, the one device that hasn't changed substantially since the 70s is the remote.
I think the most interesting function of this gadget is that it remembers your favorite volume level. I am always fussing with my iPod and speakers trying to get the right volume so this would be great.
Sounds like he might have a captive audience for this for parents who want to control the volume of their teens' music or Xbox games from behind the scenes. Might help avoid some of the daily conflict. Sign me up!
The 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year goes to the DDV-IP -- or, a Drink Deliver Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum. The gadget is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on a hot summer day. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the users.
If you have a Gadget Freak project, we have a reader who wants to make it. And not only will you get your 15 minutes of fame on our website and social media channels, you will also receive $500 and be automatically entered into the 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year contest.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.