Victrola music player for the 21st century

Quite a stretch from the old hand crank windup version! A bit of mechanics and tech to play music

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This music player uses an arduino controller and some fancy (but simple)mechanics to produce old world sound and gives the listener something to watch while it works. This is a first prototype and will get better and a bit more enclosed soon. The Victrola was a record player and this machine just has a cd mounted to just add a tic of nostalgia, although it really serves no purpose. The music will be stored in files on SD card. The x axis mechanism guides the horn speaker across the cd as the song plays replicating a tone arm as the record(CD) rotates..

The problem with high tech music players is they don't have any flash! They non conspicuously just produce music from a drab dull lifeless box. In the times of early music the mechanisms to reproduce sound were fantastic. They gave you something to watch and admire while you listened to your favorite music.

While the olden days may be past, this player will satisfy the need of both sight and sound and restore the vintage feel of music.

My goal was make a music player with a mechanism that simulated a phonograph design but actually was just for aesthetics, and use modern digital media for the actual music. The combination of nostalgia with the modern components like an LCD screen, microcontroller and SD song storage would round this out as a unique build.

The main features of the build are a large cone type speaker supported on a moving axis that scans it across the cd simulating a tonearm pickup, an LCD module that gives instructions such as "press to play" and "select song" with pushbuttons that match, an led analog level indicator and volume control, a rotating table to turn the cd as if it were being played, and of course the electronics to make it all work. At the end of the song the axis returns home so everything is reset for the next song to be played.

The prototype has all the major components that will be used except it has the song stored on a chip recorder instead of SD card, I wanted to get this up and working somewhat to see if the thing could look and sound viable before really committing to the final version. 

I am still tossing the name of this beast around a bit-Mecho-sound or Mechano sound....or something else just not sure yet.

I make very few things to produce or play music-so this is a rare build for me.

All of the electronics for this prototype and the final one will be off the shelf-no custom boards , parts etc.

The axis is 3D printed and very simple to make and does not even have to be accurate or precise.

Here is a quick video of it operating:

There are no licenses associated with this project.For now Hackaday is the sole repository for all files and data.

  • The electronics for the project

    castvee803/22/2018 at 19:05 0 comments

    I used all simple off the shelf components in the construction of the machine. At the heart of the project is an Arduino UNO.

    The motors for turntable and axis are all driven by this motor shield.

    The SD card for holding the music is the usual card holder.

    The Lcd screen is the typical used in many projects.

    The audio level indicator for monitoring volume level.

    These are main components-other than these just a pushbutton and wiring is needed,and perhaps a battery holder if the unit is to be so powered.

  • The rotating Table

    castvee803/22/2018 at 03:12 0 comments

    The turntable which normally would hold a record but in this case just a cd is made from a few 3D printed parts and a small electric DC motor.

    First is the turntable itself-Its about 3 1/2 inches around and has a skirt around the perimeter to stiffen it. The center hole will be used to screw the turntable to the motor shaft which is internally threaded for a 3mm X 6.35mm screw.

    This is the motor used for this project. These are inexpensive dc gear motors I found on Ebay.

    This hub mounts inside the turntable underneath to keep the motor shaft from slipping against the turntable.

    A motor mount will also be included in the files to print that mounts the motor to the axis. A small printed cylinder mounts on top of the turntable that allows a cd to snap fit onto the turntable to securely hold it in place.

  • Building the axis

    castvee803/21/2018 at 17:40 0 comments

    If there is in fact a "tricky" part to building this music machine it is here. I will however make it much simpler and hopefully pain free.

    The axis moves the speaker horn over the cd turntable during operation. It is really just a simple slide actuator and doesn't have to be all that precision made.

    Here is the first and simplest way to print the parts and make it:

    This involves buying a convention leadscrew with brass not but make life really easy. The coupling attaches the leadscrew to the small DC motor and the leadscrew nut is pressed into the carriage block (the moving pat) of the axis. The end caps just cement on the rods and you are done. The above example shows mounting feet...ignore those, you will not need them, nor will you have to print them.

    The parts are all laid out here for clarity.

    The axis shown in the prototype is here:

    Its a bit more difficult to assemble but still very easy. It uses the typical yellow motor and a piece of threaded rod as the leadscrew.

    Here is that axis broken down.

    It uses a small piece of aquarium tubing for coupling motor to leadscrew and is cheaper to make. I will provide the files for both so the builder can choose.

    Both axis us 2 short pieces of 10mm(or 3/8 ")rod as rails for the carriage to travel on. Hardware stores carry this commonly.

  • Horn speaker notes on construction

    castvee803/19/2018 at 12:12 0 comments

    The unique speaker shape was made by 3d Printing an end ring and a speaker mount end then rolling a piece of card stock into a tubelike shape.

    The end parts greatly enhance the cone stability. I simply rolled the shape to match the ring sizes marked the paper on where to cut and trim everything to then glued the cone edges. then the tube had the printed parts cemented on.

    The whole thing was then spray painted with several very heavy coats of paint. I allowed it to dry for several days and found the entire structure to be very rigid and sturdy. After mounting the actual speaker to the end I tested it. I was amazed at the amplification that was achieved through the design.

    Several more printed small brackets secure the speaker assembly to axis which allows it to move smoothly over the cd.

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Dr. Cockroach wrote 04/08/2018 at 08:29 point

I always had a soft spot in my heart for Victrola machines :-)

  Are you sure? yes | no

castvee8 wrote 03/18/2018 at 23:45 point

No,sorry the tracks are none exsistant.The turntable,record(cd) have no purpose whatsoever except aesthetic .The songs are stored and played from an SD card.

  Are you sure? yes | no wrote 7 days ago point

False advertising! :) Tho it would be impressive if you could press or engrave record-like grooves into a cd surface! 

  Are you sure? yes | no

aquaticedge wrote 03/18/2018 at 23:41 point

Will you be able to change the speed of the tracks?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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