Tag Archives: Circuit Bent

4th Annual Experimental Garage Sale – 6/4/2011

Hello Friends! It is time again to set your alarms and calendars on June 4th, 2011 for the 4th Annual Experimental Garage Sale! This unique craft fair primarily focuses on circuit bending and DIY musical instruments. This time we have maxed out the Experimental Sound Studio space with 12 sellers who will have plenty circuit bent devices, un-bent toys, electronic parts, kits, experimental instruments, contact microphones, guitar pedals, art, and more. The sale will begin rain or shine at 12:00 PM and last until 6:00 PM.

There will also be an opportunity to walk away with one of the door prizes donated by the sellers if you purchase a ticket for the raffle held at 3:00PM. All proceeds from that will be donated to the Experimental Sound Studio a nonprofit organization hosting our event.

Please join the conversation on our Facebook Event page and we hope to see you at the Sale!

This year’s sellers are:

Coordinated ( Chicago, IL ) – Yarn covered cords and goodies.

Cosmic Blooper ( Evansville, IN ) – Laser CNC cut circuit bending panels for SK-1 + others.

Low-Gain Electronics ( Minneapolis, MN ) – SK keyboards, circuit bent devices, synths, parts.

Unatronics ( Chicago, IL ) – Beep-its, Oscillators, circuit bent toys.

GetLoFi.com ( Minneapolis, MN ) – LoFi Delay Pedals, Quad Oscillators, telephone headset mics, Trucker mics, kits, and more.

Steven Buck ( Chicago, IL ) – Handcrafted Lamps, circuit bent toys.

Tim Kaiser ( Duluth, MN ) – New experimental instruments and The Number Stations vinyl!

CMKT4 ( DeKalb, IL ) – Contact microphones, circuit bent toys.

thejunkyard catalist ( Cincinnati, OH ) – Circuit Bent toys, thrift store finds, parts

Roth Mobot ( Chicago, IL ) – Circuit bent and unbent toys, audio gear.

Mike Kana ( Chicago, IL ) – Electronic parts, surplus.

Welcome Tomerica ( Chicago, IL ) – Circuit bent toys and unbent devices.

More information at our Facebook Event page, GetLoFi page, and or Facebook Group. Thank you!

Nintendo Gameboy Pitch Mod with a Switch

The Gameboy Pitch and the Pro Sound modification has been covered previously. However several readers asked about a relatively simple feature to select between the LTC Module Pitch control and the Normal Gameboy Speed.

To do this correctly you need the LTC Module or the GameBoy Kit ( now including the switch) from the Shop. The Switch must be high quality with smooth movement switch, otherwise any resistance or noise in the switch will crash the Gameboy during the selection. The rest of the hook up could not be easier, simply cut the output wire in half and insert the switch in series as seen in the above photo on the yellow wire. Black and red wires are standard Power connections to the LTC. Mounting of the switch will be the hardest part of the procedure. Make sure that everything lines up and the Gameboy will close in the end. Good Luck.

Circuit Bending the Bliptronic 5000

I finally got a chance to bend my Bliptronic 5000, and while I was sad that there was no active synthesis, I’m pretty satisfied with the results.

First, I replaced the internal crystal with a Getlofi Precision Oscillator kit.  That was easy, and it’s very responsive.  I ended up adding a 25k resistor to limit the upper range of the precision oscillator, because the Bliptronic was prone to crashing during any attempt to “speed up” the sample rate.  Sampling down was fine though, and the downward range is quite huge.

I also found a spot on the audio IC that creates a rich harmonic drone.  I should note here that this bend should be done through resistance- I used a 500k pot and found that the audio would distort and cut out when resistance approaches zero.

Additionally, I used a HighlyLiquid MD24 kit to send 5v pulses to the Bliptronic’s Sync In jack, which let me send a MIDI note from Ableton Live to start the Bliptronic’s sequence at the start of each measure.  This allows the Bliptronic to sync with my other devices with relatively good timing. 

By Michael Una

Circuit Bending the Kaossilator

Sometimes newer devices get overlooked for purposes of circuit bending.  Two main reasons are price and abundant use of SMT components almost too  small to work on. The Kaosillator is one such device. However once the novelty of the factory sounds wears off it is necessary to explore other possibilities and Kaosillator is no exception.

The first modification is an addition of the LTC precision module in order to control the pitch. Wiring is very simple with only Ground, Positive, and the Output connection. Nothing needs to be cut or removed. The Output from the LTC module can be patched directly to the Crystal leg that controls the Kaossilator CPU.

Here is a closeup of the crystal connection. It is second of the two non SMT  solder spots right next to the IC. It could help to undo the circuit board and take a look at where the crystal is exactly, however, should be simple to tell from this image.

The power connections are pretty easy, Ground goes strait to the spring coil on the left. The positive wire is slightly more difficult. After probing around I found a spot that can be leeched from without the worry of draining of batteries when not in use. An empty pad in the capacitor block is just what we need.

The modification works well at pitching down the Kaossilator and stretching out all sounds. The pitch up is rather limited before the CPU crashes. To prevent the crashing during the LTC modification it helps to add a 5-10K resistor between the board and the potentiometer. This ensures that the resistance never drops below a certain level when the knob is dialed all the way down. So the operating frequency will not raise above the threshold crashing level.

The only  remaining problem is embedding a 250K potentiometer inside of the Kaossilator. The potentioner would however fit perfectly if we remove the unused side of the output RCA circuit board by carefuly cutting it with a dremel, however I don’t advice that just yet. If you are interested in trying out this modification it would probably be easiest to use the Gameboy Pitch control kit or the LTC Modules from the GetLoFi.com/shop. This mod is not the only thing that can be circuit bent in the Kaossilator.  It turns out that there is a Waveform ROM IC on the underside of the circuit board yielding interesting results. To get at it requires some very precise soldering skills. More on that very soon. Enjoy.

MORE DETAILED CLOSEUP IMAGE:

Gameboy DMG-01 Pitch Modification

gameboy_dmg_pitch_mod_1.JPG

As promised, here is a GetLoFi take on modifying GameBoy DMG-01 with pitch control via the LTC1799 Precision Module from the GetLoFi Shop. The process to replace a fixed 4.19 MHz crystal with a variable digital clock is pretty strait forward, however we will not be responsible for any damage to your hardware, so please do this at your own risk!

ltc_1799_boards_smaller.JPG

First you will need some assembled LTC1799 modules from the shop. You will also require an original Nintendo Gameboy, note that it is possible to modify Gameboy Color and probably Pocket however Gameboy Advance and SP currently do not work.

Open up the Gameboy by removing 6 screws and gently remove the top half by unplugging the ribbon cable. To make room for the potentiometer take out the speaker by clipping yellow wires. Carefully drill an appropriate size hold in the speaker grill from the inside. The legs of the potentiometer may need to be bent upwards, DO NOT use a hard surface to do that, the entire assembly may snap off! Use pliers to gently bend them. Attach one wire to the center and one to an outer leg for connecting to the pads on the LTC board. The value of the potentiometer may vary depending on your application. For drone-like sounds a 500k or larger may be good, but if you just want ~50% BPM adjustment try a 50k.

gameboy_top_half_potentiometer_hole.JPG

To wire up the bottom half start by cutting the lower trace of the crystal, no sense in desoldering it, this also leaves the option to restore the connection. Take a closer look at the diagram before doing this. DO NOT cut any other traces around and check to make sure its completely cut with a continuity tester. Connect the output of the LTC Module to the upper leg of the crystal as indicated in the diagram. This is where the clock signal will be injected into the CPU. Use thin wires cut to length, if they are too long or too thick closing the case will be a problem.

gameboy_wired_up.JPG

Next connect to the Ground point to the LTC Ground pad, then Positive point on the DC Jack to the +5 volt pad on the module. Refer to the above diagram once again. The final step is to install a Trim resistor on the LTC board. Cut the trace between two unoccupied square pads and solder in a 10K resistor. This will prevent the Gameboy from crashing when the CPU frequency is too high. Reattach the top half of the case via the ribbon cable and turn the system ON, because the speaker was removed you will not hear the tone unless its plugged into an amp. Adjust the potentiometer to make sure the clock modification is working.

gameboy1.JPG

Once everything checks out, neatly arrange wires and slide the module into the groove on the right side of the battery case. Make sure there are no wires right under the potentiometer or the system will not close. Reinstall the screws and test the system, at this point you are done!

More modifications will be posted very soon including: Pro Sound and Backlight. Please Stay Tuned!