The Floppotron Plays Nirvana In a Digital Music Cacophony

Broken Ipod? Busted Walkman? Never fear the The Floppotron is here!

The-Floppotron-Plays-Nirvana-In-a-Digital-Music-CacophonyYou’re sitting around with nothing to do, like most people you reach for your iPod or iPhone to play some tunes. Maybe rock out to a classic Nirvana jam? Heck you could get really wild and spin a throwback surf tune? But dang, your iPod is busted and the battery on your iPhone is drained. You even searched for your old Walkman and came up short, and what was that gadget that played the round shiny disks? Oh whatever.

Some see this story as the end of the road for their musical listening aspirations. Paweł Zadrożniak saw an opportunity. He’s a man with a large pile of obsolete computer gear, an audrino computer and $#!*load of time on his hands!


Paweł created what some call “a floppy drive organ,” he calls it “The Floppotron”.  The Floppotron is a music player composed of a huge array of floppy drives, hard drives, and a couple of flatbed scanners. The scanners are controlled by off-the-shelf Arduino boards and the hard drives have ATMega16s with H-bridge drivers.



From Paweł:  “How does it work? The principle is simple. Every device with an electric motor is able to generate a sound. Scanners and floppy drives use stepper motors to move the head with sensors which scans the image or performs read/write operations on a magnetic disk. The sound generated by a motor depends on driving speed. The higher the frequency, the greater the pitch. Hard disks use a magnet and a coil to tilt the head. When voltage is supplied for long enough, the head speeds up and hits the bound making the “drum hit” sound. The disk head coil can also be used as a speaker to play tones or even music, but… that would be too easy and too obvious.”

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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.