Yesterday was definitely a day of exploration. After testing the slit scan rig during the day (more of that in tomorrow’s post), I drove down to Birmingham, through torrential rain, to the circuit-bending session that I mentioned recently.

It was a long way to go but I enjoyed it, and learned a few useful techniques. Antonio persevered with his toy classroom, with its jaunty little tune and farewell phrase “A B C you later!” and another guy worked away at a Furby, inserting long wires that he could combine from a distance to get some scrambled noises.

And the result of my efforts? I dismantled the percussion beats toy, but despite trying to connect various parts at random to stumble over unusual effects, I didn’t discover any. I turned my attention to the digger and eventually managed to dismantle it to reveal the electronics inside. I wired up an alternative power source to avoid the corroded contacts in the battery bay so that it finally worked, but, like the percussion beats toy, I wasn’t able to do anything interesting with it.

Still, I enjoyed the session. Shame it’s a long way to go. Apparently there may be a similar group starting in the Stoke-on-Trent area, so I may pursue other options closer to home, but I’ll keep in touch with these guys in Birmingham because they run regular sessions as well as hold Processing and Arduino evenings.



Thursday, June 10th, 2010 hardware No Comments

‘hack-hack-hack-hack-hack it apart’ – the v. femmes

For the first time in my life I went to a car boot sale yesterday. But that’s not the significant part. I went with the specific purpose of buying electronic toys to take to my first circuit-bending session. With hindsight, I should perhaps have concentrated on toys that make noise, but in a fairly aimless wander, I bought a digger truck, a steering wheel controller for driving games, and, almost as an afterthought, a percussion-themed touch pad.

I have no idea what, if anything, I could achieve with them, but then I don’t suppose anyone does when they start.


Monday, June 7th, 2010 hardware 1 Comment