ZUMIX Update and Presentation Reflection

Most of the feedback we received about our presentation was positive, so we feel like we are on the right track. Most of the work that remains to be done is actually building the physical radio and evaluating/testing our work.

This week, Carrie made a small cardboard model of the design that can be used as a precise basis for laser cutting the acrylic casing. Below are images of her design. However, before we can actually build the physical product, we need to decide on a final design or designs.


We have also purchased a smart internet radio from Amazon and we are working on having it stream ZUMIX radio. We are currently have some technological issues regarding this aspect, but it should work in theory and we will hopefully solve this problem.


It has been hard getting everyone together during the week, so we plan on meeting after class tomorrow to plan out the next step and finalize decisions for going forward. Stay tuned.

1 thought on “ZUMIX Update and Presentation Reflection

  1. We have a few updates since the blog post above was written!

    The ZUMIX Radio team met after class on Tuesday to discuss some lingering ideas and make some decisions. We talked extensively about what materials to use and which design we should finally select. There was some apprehension around using the custom acrylic casing, since we don’t yet have a prototype and some of our team members have never handled the material before. Do we have time to experiment with custom casing? Should we just find an already-built old-time radio that immediately conveys “radio” and can be modified to incorporate the youth DJ’s designs? After some good discussion, we landed on the side of trust, compromise, and collaboration.

    We’ll be moving forward on two models, the acrylic casing being our primary design and a modifiable old-time radio being our back-up plan. Carrie and Qian, with their stellar tech skills will head the custom team, while the more, *ahem* seasoned Ashwin and Courtney will take on the task of finding a rad old radio that we can pick apart and make into something new, if need be.

    For the custom acrylic design, we decided on the guitar model that several of the ZUMIX Radio youth DJs came up with at the last design workshop. It will be able to house the Smart Radio, speaker(s), and a DJ schedule (held with the frets and strings, no less!). It will be approximately three feet high and no more than 2 feet wide. We’ll have weights in the bottom to help keep it sturdy and potentially some LED lights to make it a little flashy. There will be hinges on one side so that the radio can be removed as needed. The selection of the specific speaker model we use will be determined by ZUMIX’s sound engineer; we should have the final answer on this by tomorrow, November 21. We’re still looking into what kind of paint we can use with acrylics, but we’re hoping that the DJs will be able to paint the casing at the next DJ meeting on December 2.

    The teaching staff was also very helpful in reminding us to document our activities and reflections during this whole process. If we’re to create a useful case study and toolkit at the end of this project, we need to be continuously keeping track of what we’re doing and how we’re thinking about it, as we do it and reflect on it! They also urged us to think about getting some press for this, as a way of increasing awareness about ZUMIX Radio (one of our goals from the beginning!). We do, after all, have connections to the Globe and Cambridge Community Television  Thanks for the advice, teaching team!

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