WinChime (32)

Chime Fu

Spiderman 3, the final battle between Venom and Spidey.

[youtube=] link

Heavy chime action is at timecode 2:15, or 1:10 from the end.

WinChime RingTone: Uniden ELX500

We have a Uniden ELX500 cordless telephone handset in the office (used here primarily for its Bluetooth connectivity). How do we add a WinChime ringtone?

The Phone

This handset, compatible with other phones in Uniden’s 5.8 GHz digital (non-DECT, non Voip) multiple-extension product line, is unusual for cordless phones, having a flip-phone form factor, USB mini-port, connectivity to a computer, Bluetooth, programmable ringtones, and other assorted goodies.

Send MIDI to Cell

We were curious if the handset supported MIDI files, MP3 files, or other. As of this writing, the Uniden phone customization software would not work successfully on Vista, but did run on WinXP. Runnng the program, we were surprised to find that image file transfer was supported, but not audio or music files.

(Read rest of article.)

Bike Wind Chime

Sprockets of various sizes on a bicycle derailleur gear create different pitches, great for a wind chime.

(Link, via Make)

What other mechanical devices have components in a range of sizes, suitable for chimes?


WinChime RingTone

We have a TracFone v176 (GSM, Motorola) and wanted to add a WinChime ringtone to the handset, preferably at no charge.

Generate a MIDI File

We know that this phone is capable of playing MIDI files directly. This can be verified by navigating on the phone to Multimedia-> Sounds-> Clouds-> (Menu)-> Details-> Select, and noticing the file Type is “MIDI”.

WinChime allows us to generate a MIDI file, using the currently selected program settings for scale, wind, instrument, and so forth. Click WinChime menu File-> Save MIDI File As, enter a file name, and specify the number of notes in the file.

Using WinChime, we create a unique file with our chosen program settings: pitch, musical scale, and so forth. Since no copyrighted tune is used, we do not steal from creative artists.

(Read rest of article.)

One-Note Wind Chime

A favorite television series around this office is the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. One music theme keeps playing in my head, “Cylons Were Created”, available for download from, characterized by a single repeated syncopated piano note with short sustain, B above middle-C, 493.88Hz. Although we don’t claim perfect pitch, we do seem to hear that particular note in our head– perhaps this is actually a virus downloaded from the Cylons.

We decided to create a single-note wind chime recreating that note, trying to match the theme as closely as possible.

Scrap 1-inch diameter copper pipe, originally intended for water plumbing, formed the chime. We cut using a jigsaw with metal blade, intentionally cutting the initial length for a lower pitch than the target, and lopping off pieces, converging on the final note. This is fine for a single note, but we probably want a better cutting tool if making a lot of chimes. Our pipe ended up with a length of 34.5cm .

When tuning, remember that wavelenth goes as square root of pipe length, not proportional to length as with stringed instruments. Holes were drilled at 22% of length to support the chime element, as recommended in Wind Chimes– Design and Construction by Bart Hopkin.

Since a single element is used, we elected to use two wind vanes to increase the probability of sounding a note in a gentle breeze. Two stikers are attached to each wind vanes, intended to give two closely spaced hits, imitating the syncopation of the theme. For this first attempt we cut scrap wood free-hand with a jigsaw, to learn what changes we should make in a finished version.

For version 2.0, we will position the strikers further apart, try calculating the period of the striker pendulum to match the musical theme we used for inspiration, experiment with a different diameter pipe for a stronger fundamental frequency, try tuning using a computer graphing pitch instead of by ear, and possibly use better woodworking skills.

Hard Drive Wind Chime

Hard drive crash? Try building this disk drive wind chime, and regain inner peace.

(via Slashdot)

Big Chime

Contemplate this record-breaking chime:
(Next week we will go in the opposite direction. Stay “tuned”.)

Chime Patents

Trawling Google’s patent database, we searched wind chime patents for sound ideas (pun intended). Here are a few notable audio-related patents, omitting ornamental designs and most chime-electronic-electric hybrids:

Adjustable wind chime clapper support 1990. A clapper may be raised and lowered to change the tone, omit striking some tubes, or silence the chime.

Multiple tone wind chime 1994. Strikers may be of different materials, causing different tones.

Multi-Ring wind chime 1993. Chime elements in shape of rings.

Wind chime apparatus 2004. Bell and/or striker rotate, producing tremolo or Doppler effect.

Combined wind chime and bird feeder 1993. Won’t this scare the birds?

Combined bird feeder that chimes 1992. Ditto.

CHIME-WHISTLE 1909. Sounding elements can whistle or chime. Why?

Musical Chime 1993. For an indoor chime, beads fall randomly onto chime elements.

CHIME 1951. Resonant frequency of vibrating tube may be tuned to match resonant frequency of air column in tube, via apertures in side of tube.

Building Chimes

Although we enjoy virtual wind chimes, the real thing is good, too. We recently happened upon a book containing a wealth of information on the design and construction of wind chimes, which we can recommend without reservation. Wind Chimes: Design and Construction, 63 page paperback with audio CD, by Bart Hopkin. We have been a fan of an earlier Hopkin book, Musical Instrument Design, inspiration for several science fair projects in our family, and were pleased to find this latest offering.

book cover

The author discusses several materials for chimes, tuning methods, construction techniques, and related basic music theory and physics. A number of photos of chimes are included, accompanied by sound recordings on the CD.

We are now inspired to build our own chimes, and will report results in later blog entries.

Chime Alarm Clock

Here is an alarm clock that plays physical wind chimes– well, not wind, really, unless your bedroom is breezy, but chimes. Cute idea. Check out the video.

Link (kudos Gizmodo)