Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ataritar - Part II

So! I finished a thing! And there wasn't even a looming event for which I had to complete it.
Video up on YouTube!

When we left off last time, the Atari Punk Console tone generator was mounted to my newly-customized electric guitar body. After that, I removed most of the guitar's original circuitry from the pickguard, leaving the switches and 1/4" mono jack. One of the switches became a simple on/off for the APC, while the other awaits some future adventure. (I may simply wire up another jack there, so that another instrument can be run into the amp simultaneously.)

Aww, baby pictures are the best.

Having removed the guitar's Tone and Volume knobs, I replaced them with the APC's two potentiometers - serendipitously spaced the perfect distance apart, still mounted to the console. (I used a Dremel and a hand rasp - quite possibly the least efficient tools possible - to grind away some wood so that the PCB would fit.)

The extra pot (which I still haven't entirely figured out) and button (to be removed, eventually) just got sort of shoved off to the side... but the 9V fits nicely into the top slot, tucked behind the pickguard.

I put magnets on the pickguard and body, so that the guts are easily accessible. One wire wraps around to the back...

...where it connects to the conductive tape. Here is the excellent secret of this instrument! It uses YOUR BODY as a replacement for one of the potentiometers, an idea I stole from the Drawdio. The APC has "touch" solder pads, which, when connected to some sort of variable resistor, replace one of the pots. I connected one pad to the conductive tape, and one to a loose wire that comes out of the guitar front. (This has since been prettied/practical'd up, with a washer and another magnet.) In order to vary the resistance, you hold the loose wire with your right hand and tighten/loosen your grip on a) the wire and b) the metal tape. The more surface contact with the metal, the better the conductance, and the higher the sound.

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