Moog Circuit Bending Blog 2014

UNOFFICIAL list of entries is HERE.

Blog posts


Welcome to my circuit bending blog.

I am documenting my entry for the

4th Annual Moog Circuit Bending Challenge 2014


Summary of Contest Rules

For the full rules go HERE.

Contestants will circuit bend an existing device to create a unique musical instrument that can be easily recreated by others while following these guidelines:

  • The device you bend must be battery operated with a power no greater than 9 volts.
  • Project must be completed for a total cost of $70 or less. This includes the device you bend, and all parts you use to bend it.
  • You'll need to create a Bill of Materials, Build Instructions, and Photos sequencing the build step by step.

Since the 3rd Annual Moog Circuit Bending Challenge (2012) I have been having alot of fun making devices using PS/2 compatible optical mice and an Arduino type microcontroller.

The mouse should either have a green round plug or a USB plug that works with an adaptor.

The mouse has four wires, 0 and +5 volt are connected to the gnd and +5v pins and the other two wires are connected to pins D2 and D4 or D3 and D5. In PS/2 mode, one of the data wires is the clock signal and the other is the data signal. On serveral mice that I have used the wire colors are :-

  • USB PS/2 Compatible mice
  • Red - +5V
  • Black - Gnd
  • Green - Clock (D2)
  • White - Data (D4)
  • PS/2 mice (made by V7)
  • Blue - +5V
  • Green - Gnd
  • Orange - Clock (D2)
  • Brown - Data (D4)

  • Staples wired mouse - PS/2 Compatible
  • Orange - +5V
  • White - Gnd
  • Blue - Clock (D2)
  • Green - Data (D4)
  • This bend has three stages. The first stage is for beginners. The clock radio is normally powered from a wall outlet. But the contest rules say it needs to be povered by a battery of not more than 9 volts. The power supply is removed and an oscillator made with a 555 timer and a couple of transistors to drive the clock display is used to simulate the AC signal. Another 555 is used to provide a oscillator used to provide a tremolo effect.

    The second stage adds an Arduino UNO controller that can generate sounds and play them through the radio's amplifier. A PS/2 optical mouse is connected to the Arduino and controls the pitch and tone of the sound.

    The thrird stage is for those who have enough experience to make their own circuit boards. By making your own controller you can replace the $25 Arduino with two controllers. One of the controllers can be fitted inside the radio. The other controller can be fitted inside a Mr Potato Head.

    These are the typical pieces of pipe and dowel that I have used. Your design is up to you. In the picture I have a 3/4 inch square dowel that I am not using for the bend. I have added a 3ft Cat 5 patch lead which I cut up and use for hookup wire.

    pvc pipe 1" x 2ft 1 Home Depot Model # 2201
    Store SKU # 254977
    $1.80 $ 1.80
    DURA 1 in. Schedule 40
    PVC Coupling
    2 Home Depot Model # C429-010
    Store SKU # 188085
    $0.41 $ 0.82
    Mueller Streamline 1 in.
    PVC Slip x Slip x Slip Tee
    2 Home Depot Model # 401-010HC
    Store SKU # 187925
    $0.86 $ 1.72
    Round dowel 1x48 in 1 Home Depot Model # 1-4EDC
    Internet # 100032765
    Store SKU # 148318
    $3.75 $ 3.75
    3ft Cat5 patch lead1 Home Depot Model # R31-AG500-03Y
    Store SKU # 575684
    $2.97 $ 2.97
    Total $ 11.06
    Build your own controllers

    The software for the microcontroller made up of a number of files. The current version should be saved in a folder called radio3.

    Radio3.inoThis is the main source file. It has the loop() and setup() functions.
    mouse1.inoThis is code to handle a PS/2 mouse. It reads the data from the mouse and updates four variables. mx, my, mswitches and mstate. The mouse is ready when mstate >= 10
    percussion.inoThis is code that handles the percussion sounds.
    tunes.hThis file has definitions for a number of 'tunes'. A tune is actually a program written in a virtual language. The playtune() in radio.ino runs the program.
    radioshack logo
    Arduino logo