Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mechanical Design

There were a few interesting components of the system's mechanical design. Specifically, the slide potentiometers and the overall casing bear particular discussion.

The potentiometers were designed to have inset LEDs. This way a user could look at the equalizer from a fair distance away, and graphically see the approximate shape that the frequency-gain graph should have. However, more interesting than that is the middle of the pots: there is a small "hiccup" in the middle of each slider, so that they will try to "click" into place at exactly 1/1 gain. Of course, it is possible to fine tune each slider near the center, but most users will likely want to reset some frequency bands to neutral, making this click a necessity.

The casing was at first a confusing design to look at. Upon opening the large casing for the equializer, we discovered that there were a few small circuit boards, and a lot of empty space sitting around. In fact, the vast majority of the insides were unfilled. We wondered what purpose this could possibly serve, until we realized the general use of one of these equalizers: it would probably live in a stack of audio equipment, tape decks, speakers, and so on. In order to stack nicely, the equalizer would have to be fairly large and sturdy in order to support several more pieces of equipment above it.

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