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25 January 2015

How to build the CRAZY Music Generator Kit

This weekend I had a go at building my "Crazy Music Generator" kit that I bought from Maplins a short while ago. It's meant to be a sort of Theremin, and I guess it is. Can you sense that I'm not buzzing? Let me explain why.

This is how I was hoping to feel. This short video is from Cirque Berserk which I caught yesterday. If you get a chance to see the show then I highly recommend it.

24 January 2015

How to build a Dying Battery Simulator MARK 2

Hot on the heels of my last post where I knocked together a prototype dying battery simulator, I have more to share with you in the form of a Mark II.

Before I get any further I want to reveal that electronics snobbery is alive and well and it lives at See the above snippet...

"The non-professional nature of the 'free-form' construction method merits no further comment." ~ AllAboutCircuits 2015

Where would Rock and Roll be if Jimi Hendrix had had this attitude? Do you think we'd have made it to space if Leonardo Da Vinci had stuck with the "professional" conventions of his time? NOOOO! :-D

I expected to find a lot more of this type of comment as I've been researching my projects and to be honest this sort of thing really does seem to be in the minority. Of course, visit any forum and you get what you rightly deserve, but I've found that most of the learning articles are well written and capture that sense of adventure that Electronics seems to engender.

And yes, I am doing all sorts of things that will raise eyebrows and might even be dangerous. You know what? I don't care. Stop reading now if you are easily offended.

23 January 2015

How to build a Dying Battery Simulator

If you've been following my antics on Google+ recently, you'll have realised that I've been getting ready to try my hand at a little electronics wizardry. It's not something that I've done before and not something that I know a great deal about... but I'm not going to let those minor details get in the way of a great adventure... and possible death!

As is often the way, I'm going to share my ordeals on this blog with you to scoff at. I will try and be as honest as I can. Please remember that I am a novice, so there are likely to be many mistakes and omissions, and I can almost guarantee to not follow convention. Let's begin...

Where to start? I have a number of projects up my sleeve, including trying to figure out how to get the pictured circuit working again. This is a picture of the innards of my Tascam Portastudio. It hasn't powered up in 20 years. I would love to get it working again, but right now, I haven't got a clue as to how to start this project.

Knee-deep in resistors, I realised that I needed to start with something a little less ambitious? Read on... 

17 January 2015

"The Wrangler" Concept Ukulele

There's lots going on at Chez Uke at the moment. Time for an update!

I had a flash of inspiration for a custom ukulele last night. It started with  a new idea for a headstock. See above a sort of hanging "T" shape. I don't recall seeing one like it before. Is it unique? I hope so. If you know of a ukulele with something like this then please drop me a comment. As soon as I'd shared this mock-up I began wondering what the body might look like.