AWSoM

Ambient Weather Sound Machine by Stuart Bowditch & Damien Robinson

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A project involving Stuart Bowditch, Damien Robinson, MediaShed & SoSLUG


I have always had an interest in every day ambient sounds and the fact that they usually go unnoticed by everyone. Maybe its because we are bombarded with thousands of sound all at once that we tend to block them out, especially more mundane sounds like traffic noise. It seems that when we are in a quiet environment that we become more aware of the surrounding ambience, even though there maybe less noises. We have chosen a quiet, remote location and will take sounds from the place itself. To do this we have devised a system where Damien Robinson, a deaf media artist who works with sounds and vibration, can capture sounds that she can feel through vibration alone.

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Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 2883
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Leigh Arts

AWSoM @ Leigh Arts Trail 9-16 June

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Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 2885
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AWSoM v0.0.2

AWSoM v0.0.2 > Essex Wildlife Trust “Discovery Day” 20th May 2007

With 7 Mediashed / SoSLUG members, 187 people, 12 dogs and numerous passers by experienced the first ever AWSoM event, on Two Tree Island. The weather conditions, fair but changeable, made it the perfect compliment for picnicking and listening to the everchanging AWSoM machine. All in all it was a success and we’d like to thank everyone who turned up, especially those whose hard work made it all possible.

See these pics for what you missed:

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Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 2881
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AWSoM Equipment

Ancillary Equipment & AWSoM

Ancillary actually means secondary importance, and whilst I wouldn’t call this “One Wire Weather vane” second rate it is in this case a peripheral device attached to a computer that it is intended to run on, in this case the Compaq Evo Mini Tower.

The Weather Vane can be utilised in one of many differnt ways, it could operate as a Stand alone Weather Machine, a Server or connected to a vast network of other similar Weather stations and server’s to help with the National and indeed global Weather Prediction.

We at Mediashed and indeed Stuart himself has no interest what so ever in producing an output that purely consist of nothing but data even if that data is use full. Instead we would rather have the data provide an output for something more dynamic and useful than that, and this is where the generation Ambient Sound comes in.

The equipment itself is, as has already been explained is a Weather Vane that produces a series of collectable data streams form Wind velocity to Wind direction for the basic unit. The unit can at any time be expanded to accomodate Temperature, Precipitation and a host of other gadgets. The Weather Vane itself arrives in kit form and requires few in the way of skill for its assembly. On its own it is nothing more than a glorified Weather Cock or a Windmill, but armed with sensor’s and a D to A converter the equipment becomes more useful.

We have made a few mistakes in our assumptions, we rather thought that the “One Wire Weather Vane” would come complete with everything we would need to get started. It came with a Weather Vane and a cable nothing else. It quickly became apparent that we needed to connect this equipment to a USB or Serial port, so we needed an adapter to use with it. We requested a 9 Pin Serial converter to use with the One Wire Weather Vane, which is exactly what we got but not what we needed. The Serial converter supplied was indeed a Serial converter however it was eventually spotted that the converter supplied was that of a RJ45 to Serial converter. This unit although seemed to fit in fact didn’t the cable from the One Wire Weather Vane is that of type RJ11 this is slightly smaller than the RJ45.

This then lead us to examine other adaptors and we quickly came to the conclusion that we had recieved the wrong unit. The unit we needed has a built in processor to multiplex the signals it receives and sends them to the serial port in the correct format. Our project is now on hold until we receive the correct unit.

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Recording

Recording set up for Damien

We have already done some work on the field recording aspect of the project. I have for quite a few years gone out with a mic and minidisc recorder and walked about town to record sounds and townscapes. I have used some of them in ambient songs that I have made, mainly as layers underneath the main body of the tracks.

But for AWSoM I wanted Damien to record the sounds. Previously she has either used interpreters to “describe” the sounds to her and the effects that she has put on them (a very ambiguous process), or relied on a description of a source sample alone and not even heard the original sample at all, let alone the finished result.

So we kitted her up with a way of actually knowing what sounds she can capture. Using my MD recorder, a mic and a portable NXT speaker strapped to her person, she can now feel the sounds that the mic is picking up instead of just pointing the mic and guessing what the end result may be.

For the project itself we will go to the site a few times to make recordings, probably on days with different types of weather. Just for now, we can have fun recording many other things.

Stuart

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AWSom Construction

One Wire Weather

Introduction

One Wire Weather is peripheral hardware that when attached to a client computer will automate the process of the collection of environmental data, such as temperature, humidity, wind velocity and direction. With the addition of modules it is possible to increase the scope for the collection of environmental data.

In its basic form and without the addition of modules the unit will sample the following data “Wind Velocity”, “Direction” and “Temperature”. This unit is perfect for an enthusiast and hobbyist. Under Ubuntu it is simple to install, provided some preliminary libraries are added via the Synaptic Package Manager.

Preliminary Installation

You will need the following pre-installed before installing via compilation the One Wire Software. As we are compiling our software from code we need to be able to configure the Installation software for the machine we are compiling for, perform a “make” which builds the object code and binaries necessary, and finally install to the directories the software compiled.

To achieve this you need the following installed along with any dependent software required. You need not worry about this if this is the first time you have tried to compile you own software, all will be explained in due course.

Synaptic Package Manager


build-essential
libgtk2.0-dev
libcurl3-dev
libssl0.9.7
libgdk-pixbuf-dev

Compiling

Download the Source Code available from the following location.

oww-0.81.9.tar.gz
oww-0.82.0.tar.gz

If this link is broken please advise us & visit the following location oww.sourceforge.net it can only mean their is a newer version available.

Using a program called “tar” unpack the downloaded file, use the following command to achieve this, you should run this command within the same directory that you have save the file to, provided this is downloaded within your own home directory you will not need to use “sudo“.

#> tar xvf oww-0.82.0.tar.gz

Now change directory to oww-0.81.9, only when you have all the above dependent files will you be able to compile this program.

Execute the following command it should not be necessary to change your user login to root at this stage but you will need to later.

#> ./configure –without-usb (for version 0.81.9) or
#> ./configure (for versions 0.82 and above)

As of version 0.82 the –without-usb option is not required only 0.81.9 needs to be compiled this way for the One Wire Weather System using a Serial connection rather than a USB connection.

Now you need to build the code to do this use “make” on it own with no other directives.

#> make

Then change user to root or use “sudo” and the following command

#> sudo make install

You will be asked for a password and this will be your login password not a “root” password, use “sudo” instead of “root” where possible.

Hardware

This hardware can be purchased for as little as £60 +VAT & P&P you are advised to shop around for the best deal just type “One Wire Weather” in any good search engine.

Applications

What can this equipment be used for?

It can be used for many varying applications it is a series of sensors after all, that on it’s own can measure Temperature, Wind Velocity and Direction, with the addition of other modules these measurements can be expanded. So be it for a school or personal project this is a great way to make your computer do more, for little cost.

Please Note

This document is now quite old it is not necessarily upto date as far as its content or work ethics are concerned. Please locate an upto date installation document.

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 2880
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