View Full Version : Pylon from the Past

08-19-2005, 12:39 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm new to electronics and I'm new to this forum. I have a project I'm working on and I think I know just enough to get myself into trouble. I thought I'd run it quickly by the community and see if anyone can point me in the correct direction.

Project Summary:

I have constructed a pylon not unlike that from Land of the Lost for a Burningman art installation. The idea is that inside there is a pedestal, and on the pedestal is a small custom interface. The interface has six sockets. Each socket is shaped like an upside down, four-sided pyramid. Nearbly are 'crystals' (which I've cast in polyurethane) of three different colors. The 'crystals' are in the shap of octahedra so one half will fit into the socket.

The premise is that the pylon isa device to listen back through time. The user places the colored crystals into each of the colored sockets and presses a button. He or she then hears a recorded sound. The sounds range from lectures on philosophy to physics, nature sounds, historic moments, etc. Because there are three colors of crystal and six sockets there should be 732 possible sounds.

I plan to build a STAMP project that reads input from six separate color sensors. Based on the result, it should play a specific MP3 from a memory card or do nothing (if a crystal is missing).

Where I am so far:

I bought the USB Basic Stamp Discovery kit and I've gone through the book with all of the sample experiments.
I bought a TCS230 color sensor module, I've hooked it up, and it's working fine.
I bought the Rougue Robotics uMP3 player; it arrives today. I've read the schematics and it makes sense to me and I think I'll be fine interfacing with it.

Where I am having difficulties/concerns:

The documentation for the Board of Education that I have says that the AppMod is 'stackable'. I can't find any documentation that explains how that works. It seems to interface with all the same I/O pins.
Each TCS230 comes with an AppMod board that allows the sensor to interface with the BoE AppMod socket. Each of their AppMod boards allows for two sensors to be connected.
Can I simply stack three of those Appmod boards with two TCS230 color sensors per board?

If so, how do I refer to them separately in PBASIC?

Can I also still use the breadboard for my uMP3 module?

Am I going to get into trouble with the overall power draw?

If I'm crazy and I can only use each I/O pin once, will a development board suit my needs or do you think I'd need a few different networked STAMPs?

Are all of these questions to obvious and/or well-covered to answer? If so, could someone please point me to the proper book/site to move on to from here?

Thanks in advance,


08-19-2005, 04:52 AM
Hmm, well I have a solution. It's probably more expensive that it needs to be, but the sensors are the bulk of the expense anyway.

I bought three more stamps and boards, along with the five sensors.

So far I'm able to interface with two sensors on one STAMP. I'm going to have a Master control the three and get their readings. The master will have the uMP3.

Thanks anyway. I'll post any questions I have if problems come up from here.