sir cut bent in strum ants hacked elect ran ick die vices pro jacks ex pair ah mints i daes etc

11.28.2007

forgot...

...to mention that i posted this video clip of my thesis show. this is the first short clip of several i will be posting in the coming weeks. this one is of evan demarow.

11.19.2007

Stop Motion

I found this stop motion video bye Colin and Renae on my computer. They havent put it on youtube yet so I figured I would. Here it is, and sorry Colin and Renae if you wanted to post this!

11.15.2007

some things i did today


Fixed Jacki's drum machine. This thing is acid house music in a box. I could literally sit with it for hours using samples and drums to make minimalist house techno. Tons of fun, but unfortunately designed poorly, the power adapter plug port thing easily brakes, and turns a perfectly functional techno machine into junk.




Also finished Jacki's keyboard. Didnt do anything too out of the ordinary with this one. Standard pitch-bend and body contact with a 1/8inch output. I also added two LEDs which ended up being totally useless. I tried to wire them to the audio output so they would flash in time with the music but using one two of them would make the audio too low to hear. My next thought was to use it for some photocell action, but then realized that if they dont change with the music or modulate in some way its sorta useless. Although I did figure out a neat little trick to make them turn on and off with the keyboard without having to deal with those really annoying PCB slidey switches all circuit benders hate. All you gotta do is add a new wire from the LED to the + of the battery and attached the LED ground to the speakers ground and it works perfect. I tried to think of cool things to do with the lights, but nothing work so Im leaving them as is. I also tried to etch/scratch it with a dremel but the plastic was really brittle and proved way more difficult than I anticipated.



Started building a really simple volume pedal I got for free from Build Your Own Clone. Its the simplest possible pedal, but it is apparently pretty nice, so Im adding among other things a photocell to control the volume. I dont know if this is a terrible idea or not (Im guessing it probably is) but I think it might let me make really ghetto tremolo effects in a dark room with a flashlight with some delay. Put some reverb on that, and I could probably get some nice volume swell effects going on as well.

Tomorrow I am going to Hand Made Music (scroll down a few entries on the cmd blog to find info) with Jen. Its a very cool looking/sounding event in Brooklyn dedicated to homemade instruments and audio devices so expect some photos and words on that later.

11.13.2007

Most amazing bike/scooter/robot ever

A few months back while walking home from Mason Gross, Jen and I saw this AMAZING bike contraption. It was sitting in the sidewalk in front of Tumultys with no owner around so I took some quick photos to remember the total beauty of the thing. I definitely have some innate attraction to anything that looks hand made with wires, switches, knobs, and random electronic components hanging out all over the place, so it naturally caught my eye. When I got closer though it transcended and destroyed any notions I had about it, bikes, or electrical design by the sheer attention to detail, resourcefulness, and the oddly organic way it was built. ***YOU HAVE TO DOWNLOAD THESE PHOTOS OR AT LEAST CLICK ON THEM AND ZOOM IN TO REALLY SEE THE AMAZING ATTENTION TO DETAIL PUT INTO THIS BIKE. BLOGGERS PHOTOS ARE JUST NOT BIG ENOUGH TO CATCH IT ALL***


This is the bike from the side. From this you can notice many upgrades and interesting customizations. Starting more generally, the bike itself seems like it used to be a motor scooter that was retro-fitted with bicycle pedals. I dont actually know if the motor works or if its 100% pedal power, but from the looks it seems like the pedals are there for a reason. Next most obvious thing is the front wheel. Obviously a totally sweet addition done by the owner. Mountain bike wheels and shocks are perfect for the crappy sidewalks and potholed streets of New Brunswick. As I stated before I love anything with an excessive amount of knobs, switches, wires, and buttons. This bike has them all with the steering wheel/front (I really dont know what to call it) of the bike has two or three joysticks (one is wood!) a whole lot of wires, and a bunch of switches. Most of them look like they were installed by hand and werent originally there. Also note the totally sweet fan for those hot NB summer days.

This bike is a total mystery though, when I saw it, it completely defied all normal, professional, or rational electronic/design thought and theory. Which is exactly why I am utterly in love with it. It completely defies any notion of logic when it comes to building and modifying with electronics, and in a discipline based on the laws and reason of math and science, this sort of illogic is pure brilliance. Here are two photos of the front of the bike:


First of all, note the amazing World Heavy Weight Champion plastic belt piece I remember friends having when I was in Elementry school! Also, many smaller details such as the "bend and peel here sticker" and the definitely hand mounted switches (I wish I knew what they did!). Also visible, maybe a bit better in the first photo, is a totally sweet rear view mirror.


This photo really shows the brilliance of whoever made this bike. Ever have trouble seeing at night while biking? Why not use a light bulb?!


If you look closely at the first photo you will notice on the "head" or thing with all the joysticks on it there is a bunch (8) of speaker wire inputs. It took me a while to put this together but who ever built this has an entire stereo system set up within the bike! It is shown much better in this photo:



If you look closely there is tape deck! And I didnt get a good shot of it, but I swear on the other side there is cd player!!! The black rectangular box that is directly below the chair (which I realize now is also totally added on their and not originally part of the bike) is a cd deck. I counted at least 3 maybe 4 speakers all around the bike. In this photo there is one sorta under the seat, and if you look by the pedals there is a speaker facing up, and sorta under the seat another potential speaker.

After looking at all these photos and seeing all the amazing hacks and additions to this bike, there has to be a battery somewhere inside the back of the thing. Theres no other way to power a cd player, tape deck, light bulb, and those really cool orange and red car lights that he attached to the bike.

Another thing that boggles my mind is the drill mounted upside down and inside the chassis of the bike! Not only is it mounted perfectly but I have no idea what it does, why its there, and how its being held into place (upon further inspection I see there is a spring that is holding it in place). There is no battery on it so at first I thought it was just sort of there, BUT, I just looked closely at the photographs and there are two small white and red wires coming out of it meaning that the drill is ALSO powered by some sort of internal battery. Now this is a total stretch, but why would someone have a drill pointed inward like that? Maybe its to turn the gears/chain! Which is fucking genius, such a simple thought, it turns, probably with enough torque (although this thing looks pretty heavy) to move it, but it must be so much more complicated to implement like that. You can buy tiny motors for your bike that cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, but this guy did it with a frickin drill!!! The utter resourcefulness of this bike is completely inspiring.


This photo shows a few more nice details. The tupper ware top patching up a hole, a nice leatherish pouch for holding stuff, and my favorite, a tape holder mounted directly on the bike next to the 2nd drink holder. Or it could really be the tape is also patching up some sort of structural flaw, either way both are cool with me. Also note sweet green hubcap attachments, and a knob to the right of the drill. I wish I knew what this knob did!!



This is a photo of the back side. More cool orange and red car lights, a ton of stray wires, a random 2 chord power chord from somewhere, and my favorite part, a power outlet!!! I dream of being able to talk to the guy who made this and ask a million questions only to be answered in yoda esque cryptic messages and riddles. And for the icing on the cake, a z100 sticker, fanny back (if the bike had a "fanny" the pack is placed in the appropriate area) and antenna for receiving radio transmissions from space and beyond. Or maybe....BROADCASTING transmissions to space. Probably not, but this thing took off with a hidden jet pack or something I would not be surprised.

To this day I wish I sat next to this beautiful bike and waited for its owner/mad genius builder to show up and had a long conversation with him (I know its a guy btw because I saw him later that day when I was driving by George and Albany). But I was in hurry probably to something unimportant and missed my chance. If ANYONE knows ANYTHING about this bike, who built, anything at all PLEASE EMAIL ME!!! reidbingham [[at]] gmail [[dot]] com. I would be forever grateful, especially with winter coming up and my chances of seeing thing outdoors diminishing.

11.08.2007

El Colin is el victorious!

El Colin (aka Colin) won the circuit bending challenge!!!!

Go to creatdigitalmusic.com to see the deets about the challenge, all the other submissions, and the other 2 winners.

CONGRATULATIONS COLIN!!!!
With MacGyver like skills across the world, making the rockinest bent guitar ever.

coleco bending

I started bending the Coleco Vision plug n play video toy I got an amazing yard sale a few weeks ago (3 of them for 2 bucks each!!!).



These are the things I learned.
-It only has sports games--> Base/Basket/Foot/Raquet Ball, Soccer, and Hockey
-The graphics are definitely Coleco Vision quality pixels and colors
-If I apply a jewelers screw driver to a certain components I can pick up a pretty clear radio signal
-Short circuiting and crossing connections on the main chip create all sorts of glitches
-You can still play the games while glitching out the game
-Some glitches will freeze the game but still allow more glitches
-Sometimes the freezes become covered in a single color, usually green, causing the whole screen/image to break down
-Connecting the component that causes radio transmission with the main microchip create feedback of different tones depending on where on the chip the connection is made
-Batt tree deprivation bends work but only freezes the game first then deteriorates the images on screen till its all black. Use a 1k pot, turn slowly.
-If batt tree power is lessened during the opening game animation of the exploding football helmets, it will freeze on that scene of the explosion and repeat the exploding sound. The batt tree bend will then degrade the quality of the exploding sound.

This is a video of some glitching, which shows that you can still play the game while bent, the buzzing tones are the feedback, and the random speaking and singing is the radio signals the toy is picking up.

video

This is a video of bat tree deprivation bend that causes the beginning explody sound to loop.

video

Please forgive the quality of the videos and photos, they are all done rather hastily. I will post a better quality comprehensive demo of the possible glitches in the near future.

NearFuture plans:
-Wire out to 4x4 patch bay with intensity controls for each row
-Audio Responsive????????
-Wire out to keyboard so playing a keyboard will create glitches and activate a corresponding tone of feedback
-Interface with one of the sports the game has to create glitch (use a soccer ball to create glitches, or a racquet ball racket {or is it a paddle?}, etc)