UNOFFICIAL list of entries is HERE.
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
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.
Build your own controllers
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|
|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 lead||1 ||Home Depot ||Model # R31-AG500-03Y |
Store SKU # 575684
|$2.97 ||$ 2.97|
Total ||$ 11.06|
The software for the microcontroller made up of a number of files. The current version should be saved in a folder called radio3.
|Radio3.ino||This is the main source file. It has the loop() and setup()
|mouse1.ino||This 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.ino||This is code that handles the percussion sounds.|
|tunes.h||This 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.|