Electronics

…messing with forces I don’t understand.

March 1, 2011
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If you’re anything like me, you like to etch PCBs at home. Quite often you’ll get the urge, but find that you’ve just run out of Ferret Chloride*, or Bureaucratic Acid* So what can you do? I know little about chemistry, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to cook up a substitute etching solution […]

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MIDI Camera – gesture control for Ableton (and just about anything else!)

February 26, 2011
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Way back in 2008 I did quite a bit of work with the Pixart camera taken from a Wiimote. There are no official specifications or data sheet available, so everything has been gleaned by reverse-engineering the chip itself. Over the last couple of years I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the sensor […]

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…quite possibly the best birthday present. Ever.

February 22, 2011
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I realise that I’m very late to the party on this one – but my wife just bought me Lego Mindstorms for my 41st birthday. I’m seriously impressed with this kit – it uses a graphical programming language (something old-schooler’s like me used to call ‘LOGO’) to create the instruction sets, these are then uploaded […]

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Laser bounce mirrors on the cheap…

February 20, 2011

I was looking around for a way to quickly put together some adjustable bounce mirrors and came up with the following. I already had some 1″ square front surface mirrors, so I went out and bought some brass hinges and magnets from a local supermarket. Using pliers I pinched the hinges so that they no […]

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…introducing the Arduino FlipShield

February 16, 2011
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Even if I do say it myself, I’m getting pretty good at making printed circuit boards at home. Even down to adding a silk screen layer on top. Nearly everything I do is single sided though – and this can present a problem when it comes to docking with an Arduino. Since the solder side […]

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Controlling an LCD with just 3 pins…

February 7, 2011
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How do you know when you’ve had a really good idea? It’s when you go online and realize that a bunch of other people have all done the same thing. I use often use LCD panels in my projects – they’re cool to look at, and can really help with tracking down bugs. Trouble is, […]

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Can *you* top the laser harp…?

February 1, 2011
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This pitch tracking interface was originally created to add MIDI capability to a Vacuum Tube Theremin. It was only after it was finished that I realised it could be used as the basis for a whole range of different electronic instruments. The idea is that this processor can be used to interface to a wide […]

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Official! Laser Harp #2 most badass musical instrument ever built…

January 29, 2011
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Bill Fredette – a fellow laser harp user – alerted me to this write-up on cracked.com… http://www.cracked.com/article_18980_the-5-most-badass-musical-instruments-ever-built.html “If you could kill Bond with your Nanoguitar pick, you’d use the Laser Harp you’d to wipe out the rest of MI6 in one hellish afternoon of fire, blood, and inappropriately mellow tunes.” Just getting in, in front […]

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Pitch and Volume Tracking MIDI interface for the Theremin

January 24, 2011
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Can you top a laser harp…? After I published some of my earlier videos I get asked on a regular basis if I can create a MIDI interface that would work with any Theremin. So after completing the vacuum tube Theremin, I thought it was about time I put something together. The hardware tracks threshold […]

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R.I.P. CASIO VZ-1 Synth

January 21, 2011
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I think I was 17 when I finally saved up the £300 I needed to buy my first synthesizer. I opted for the Casio VZ-1 – not a particularly powerful synth, but at the time it was a very good controller keyboard. Casio where well known for “novelty” keyboards, and so the VZ-1 was quite […]

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