DIY MIDI Controlled Henry Hoover Pipe Organ

By on April 20, 2019
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James Bruton built a pipe organ using a Henry vacuum cleaner, a canister vacuum with a silk screened face. He adapted cheap children’s plastic recorders to a Henry vacuum cleaner with a few 3D printed parts, some servo-controlled valves, and a bit of plastic tubing, allowing it to play a full octave and the melody and lead from “Africa” by Toto.

The project is powered by an Arduino Mega and a Sparkfun MIDI shield to read MIDI data from a sequencer and control servo-driven air valves. Each of the recorders is set to play one of 12 notes in an octave.

In reality, power for his instrument comes from a separate Henry Hoover in another room, blowing air through the normally-suction tube of the broken device on the screen. An Arduino Mega, along with a MIDI shield, enables it to open and close air lines to each of the 12 recorders as needed.

About Luca Ruggeri

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