The Stepped Tone Generator circuit by Forrest M Mims III has been around for ages. Recently the same circuit was rediscovered and reborn catching the attention of the Internet as the Atari Punk Console for its coarse and crunchy tones. When it became apparent that the demand for this sound was still great it was decided that offering a Kit is not such a bad idea. The original schematic and PCB transfer drawn up by Matthew Helm seemed like a good place to start, however it is riddled with needless complexity and was not something one could wrap their head around easily. Plus it was not taking the advantage of superior PCB mounting capabilities. Behold the Atari Punk Console (APC) 2.0! Redesigned entirely from scratch and based on the original schematic from the Radio Shack Book. The APC 2.0 is designed so that its components solder directly to the matching traces on the printed side of the board. It is quick and easy to put together even for a novice.
There are three major differences between the APC 2.0 and previous designs. First is that it is missing the volume knob. The volume knob seemed superfluous since the APC will typically be run through mixer. The second change was replacing the power switch with a trigger button to allow for short bursts of tone when it is pressed down. This change also saves the battery when not in use. The last improvement was the addition of a Capacitor Bank, which can be filled with various values of caps and switched on by connecting them to Ground through a second set of buttons. This allows for different tones based on how the buttons are pressed. Much time was spent documenting the assembly process so that anybody without prior experience can put this fun noise maker together. Everything you need is for sale in a Kit form at a low price of $22 ( Includes International Shipping ) and can be purchased through the GetLoFi.com/Shop Page.
Those who prefer to source their own parts feel free to order the PCBs À la carte, 5 Boards for $20 Shipped. The mask file for the board will not be published, however it is not rocket science to figure it out from the pictures if you choose to spend time doing that.
For me personally the best part about the APC 2.0 is not necessarily the sounds that it produces, but rather the variety of cases that could be used for housing the APC 2.0. Discarded objects destined for the landfill can be repurposed into musical instruments, from salad bowls to VHS tape cases, the sky is the limit.