h a l f b a k e r y
The embarrassing drunkard uncle of invention.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Contact microphones attached to all the noise producing
parts of the car have their signal routed to the 30
1,000 watt stereo system. Engine, water pump, oil
power steering fluid pump, alternator etc.
Each mic feed has a switch and after you start the car,
switches on the panel one by one piping in the
glorious sounds from around the car, building the
excitement as you do so, until there's a glorious
din throbbing through the passenger compartment.
RMMMMMM! Gas pump, "Womwowmwomwom!
Not all these mechanisms will sound pleasant in their
natural state so they will be heavily equalized to sound
awesome instead of painful. This is a critical part of
this. Notch filters and parametric equalizers, would be
make these systems sound "musical".
The effect would be like a conductor taking the podium
while the orchestra tunes up. All a sort of aural foreplay
before you get down to the business of driving this
magnificent vehicle to its limits.
Once your date was suitably impressed you could push
single "MUTE" button so you can hear her tell you how
awesome your car is. (Or ask you to drop her off at the
Of course the best way to implement this is to just have
audio information feed into the onboard diagnostic
computer that could "hear" and detect problems beyond
range of human hearing
||I like the idea of having individual things come on
one at a time so you can hear all of the pumps and
fans, but I don't like fake sound. It's just... fake.
||Well, it wouldn't' be fake, just modified.
||But I see what you're saying, it would have to have
some kind of legitimacy or it would just be a bunch
of dumb noise makers.
||Yea, I agree. I'll take out everything but equalization.
||(+)This might be good if the sounds were real. The ear of a
mechanic is tuned by experience to detect trouble and
being able to isolate the problem when a customer
complains of hearing a noise would be good.
||I was thinking too that this might actually be a
diagnostic tool to some extent as well as a frivolous
||One thing this could do that current systems couldn't
do is locate that squeaking sound coming from a
slipping belt for instance. "Water pump? No. (click)
Power steering? No. (click) "Oil pump? (click)
"SQUEEKSQUEEKSQUEEK!" "OK, oil pump belt's
||Of course the best way to implement this is to just
have the audio information feed into the onboard
diagnostic computer that could "hear" and detect
problems beyond the range of human hearing.
||30 speaker, 100 watt...? I like this idea but that's a pitiful amount of power in less its 100 watts for each speaker.
||Also, I think I would drive with a system like this if it were attached to my turbo
||Ohhh! The turbo, forgot about that!
||I know it's probably adding more special effects than
actual sounds, but having the turbo activate some
kind of sub-sonic drivers that shake the car while it
torqued up would be pretty awesome.
||"I'm turning on the turbocharger now, might wanna
hold onto something."
||//30 speaker, 100 watt...? I like this idea but that's a
pitiful amount of power in less its 100 watts for each
||NOTE: Correction has been applied.
||I think it would be nice if cars came with pre-flight
checklists, which drivers and co-pilots were
encouraged to go through each time, out loud.
||In the case of there being no co-pilot, the car
could (via a suitable Guy Gibson voice synthesiser)
call out the checklist items, and listen for the
appropriate feedback from the driver.
||It would also be nice if the starter motor was only
about 1/4 Watt, but worked by gradually spinning
up a heavy flywheel, which would make that nice
spooling-up flywheely sound.
||Even nicer, of course, would be a Coffman engine
||This reminds me... I visited someone's cabinetry shop the
other day. He had just purchased a new automatic
planer/sander. It had multiple 30+ HP motors, and when
it is turned on, they automatically spin up one at a time
to avoid overloading the circuit it's running on (200A or
400A, I don't remember). The sounds was impressive.
Almost as good as this idea...
||I like the diagnostic element of this. And you wouldn't
need to be a trained mechanic t benefit. The owner of
this car would get used to the sounds, so when something
changed, they would know. Storing recordings once a
month could allow going back to hear if something is
||This started out as kind of a joke with a possible side
benefit, (not that I wouldn't
want one) but the idea of storing and comparing
sound levels of various parts of the car for diagnostic
purposes is sort of new approach to keeping tabs on
things. Moving parts make noise and a change in
sound is very common to malfunctioning moving
||Bearings, belts, cogwheels, camshafts, wheels,
pumps, even hoses often change their sound profile
||I've got pretty extensive experience with contact
microphones, they're neat little devices. You can
isolate each and every little piece you want to
monitor by putting these little electronic
"stethoscopes" wherever you want with two simple
little wires coming from each going to a central
||Thing is, I'm not sure there's any other practical way
to get imminent failure information BESIDES sound
generation profile from some of these systems. This
is cheap and doable.
||Oh yea, I know that most of the stuff starts up at
once. I think the water pump waits till the water gets
up to temperature, a/c drive wheel doesn't clutch in
until you turn it on, etc. but for the most part
everything starts turning at the same time.
Alternator, oil pump, gas pump, radiator fan among
others. The individual turning on of each system
monitor would be for effect.
||[+] The hole in my exhaust is finally loud enough to completely drown out the radiator fan. I think I'm going to get one of those looks when I go into the shop and tell the guy to "mostly, but not completely, fix it", to retain the growl without the concomitant hearing loss.
||Knock sensors have been around for several years and allow
the engine to survive low quality fuel by retarding the
ignition timing to prevent detonation. This idea seems to
expand on the idea.