D.I.Y. (O.F.S.) Atari Punk Console: Part Juan
So, what I'm suggesting is that we keep our troublesome little digits and brains busy by building The Mother of All Atari Punk Consoles. For those of you who are either unfamiliar with APC's or too young to have learned basic electronics from Forrest Mims , the Atari Punk Console was (and still is) a sort of early proto-noise synth, schematics of which appeared in one of the aforementioned Mr. Mims' instructional booklets under the title of "Tone Generator".
Forrest Mims created hand-drawn illustrations and hand-lettered text for many of his books and articles. He also killed a bear with a soldering iron(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In much the same as the electric guitar was invented by Spanish Conquistadors in the early 1500's, only to be forgotten and then rediscovered by one Professor Bo Diddle, PhD in the 1950's, so was the "Tone Generator" dropped down the memory hole until some smartass dug out his or her old electronics booklet, and rechristened the device the Atari Punk Console because it makes strange early video game-ish sounds. OK. Enough backstory; shit is about to get real.
Now, instead of giving you a list of parts up front (this whole project should probably run you under $20, by the way), I'm going to tell you what I'm using in each post. This way, if I deviate from the normal components, you won't be stuck with an extra 11 cent capacitor on your hands. The three components you'll definitely need to start off with (shown above, along with a missing 's' in the caption) are a printed circuit board ($2), a a 14-pin IC socket ($2 a pack - two to a pack!), and a 556 dual timer IC ($2). [All price approximate, so don't bitch to me later on if you blow your milk money on a 100k resistor]. Also, you might want to invest in a "breadboard" ($8) as this is a great way to test your layout before you solder.
I'm off to the West (evil) Coast next week to play some shows with the Milkmen, so we won't be getting to Part Two until I come back. While you're waiting, why not check out the Organization of Broken Toys and find out what happens when noise generating devices and disturbed individuals collide. Enjoy!