Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
The phrase 'crumpled heap' comes to mind.

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Force Feedback Tuner

A tuning wheel with force feedback on signal strength
  [vote for,

As radios went digital, many of them acquired annoying little pushbuttons to go up or down one station on the band. This works fine in rural areas, but in congested urban markets it gets to be a chore to go from, say, 98MHz to 106MHz.

With the old analog tuners it was easy to whip through the spectrum, but PLL digital tuning is so much of an improvement that it is well worth the annoying pushbuttons.

Some radios have a little rotary encoder (like a mouse wheel), but this makes seeking out the next strong station difficult.

So the idea is to add a little electric motor to the rotary encoder that provides just a bit of tactile "notch" for the strong stations.

This control could also double as a balance/fader or bass/treble control by provding the little notch when the variable in question is in a neutral position.

frankus, May 15 2002

Similiar idea http://www.halfbake...t_20flywheel_20dial
Shameless plug. [neelandan, May 16 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Baked http://www.mech.nor...apticKnob/index.htm
Haptic Radio Tuner by some students at Northwestern University. [frankus, Jun 28 2006]


       I like the idea of a radio dial that wants to avoid weak signals, as long as it doesn't *force* me to listen only to stations above a certain signal strength.   

       As for the balance/fade and bass/treble, most of the radios I've seen in the last few years already have a tactile 'bump' at the neutral position.
phoenix, May 15 2002

       This is a sweet idea. At least I think it is--for whatever that's worth (a croissant, I guess).
bristolz, May 15 2002

       It is an implememtation of neelandan's 'Soft flywheel dial' (see neelandan's link) but a good implementation. A worthy one. Croissant.
st3f, May 16 2002


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