Monday, February 6, 2017


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Even through our planning troubles, we managed to get this project done with relative ease before actual application.  After many ideas on what to do, Thomas introduced a very quick witted idea... we found ourselves bending circuits without realizing its potential.  It was allowing outside people to immerse themselves in this subcultural phenomena through our project, on top of replicating what we've gone through via lecture.

We received positive feed back, not only to the idea, but the interface as well.  Granted with the hindsight 20/20 goggles on, it was easy to see after field testing that we missed some crucial instructional ideas to the additional cables, volume nob, and hype button.  Regardless of that, we were able to guide the end-user through it  and have a variance of outcomes based on their own -ideas-



Shits Tite Yo! 

To check out the technical set up, click Circuits and head to Olivia's blog. To see the public's reaction, click Video and roll on over to Eugene's. 

We were having trouble trying to figure out how to create an interface that would interact with people. We ordered a siren offline that came with a switch button and were trying to find ways to use it to interact with the public. We were thinking of a box that just has the button poking out saying 'Dont press the button' and leaving it in a public area to see what happens, because this thing literally sounds like a pissy hell-demon screeching in the night, but we were afraid of a possible bomb squad being called to address the lone box.

Next, we were going to put a picture of a GoodBoy on the box, and  have the button under the picture under his nose with a sign saying 'Boop the Snoot', then when the unsuspecting public interacts with the doggo, they will be really shocked and annoyed with the siren. Kind of a lame idea, but we were running out of time. 

said doggo pic for reference 

Then, Thomas came to the rescue and showed us the magical world of CIRCUIT BENDING!


It looked like we finally had an idea!

So we added a potentiometer to control the volume which was super helpful, because that thing was ridiculously loud and annoying. Almost like too annoying to work on. Then we were trying to figure out how to make touch points that sounded like different notes. It was really hard to get specific sounds and only touch one point without bumping other ones...
Our super cool circuit bending project was less cool when we actually tried bending things.  

Depiction of our bending skills.

After trying really hard to make it really complicated, we realized that just touching the back of the board was the easiest solution, and probably the coolest. Instead of forcing connections through touch-points, we just decided to let the unsuspecting participant take control of their own sound destiny. 

Hence, the Circuit Bending DJ Booth was born.

We put the back of the board face up with instructions to touch it all over the place, and added the clamps for extra bending capabilities. 
Actual depiction of said clamps. 

Securing the internal speaker and battery with the finest quality electric tape, no expense was spared when crafting this feat of electronic engineering. 

Actual depictions of said exquisite craftsmanship.

Actual depiction of us documenting the process. 

If you want to get technical on the set up, check out the Circuits link below. You can also see our public reactions by going to the Video link! 


For our group project into the world of simple circuits and their interaction with the public, we decided to get a little adventurous. After perusing the interwebs for inspiration, we ended up ordering a kit online for a 9V Siren. Not quite knowing how we would eventually have this interact with the public, we carried on. Our kit arrived quickly, and once we took it out and began to look at it, I think we realized we may have been a little ambitious. 

Following proper procedure, we attempted to identify all the pieces, and then planned to breadboard our circuit initially. But, this was going to be a complex and time-consuming task, and Thomas gave us the go-ahead to skip breadboarding. We had misidentified some pieces previously, resolved this error and replaced a missing piece with one from the FABLAB. After that our only difficulty was making sure everything was placed in the board with the proper polarity. Allie was most skilled with the soldering iron, and we quickly got the circuit together.

Instructions for our kit

The image we would have used to breadboard our circuit.

Our touch point (and back of the circuit--nice Hersey's kiss soldering)
Our kit's speaker

More soldering to connect the speaker to the board
We immediately needed to see this bad boy in action. It was definitely working and was much louder than we expected!

So, skip a few days later, and we're getting our circuit together and putting it in its packaging. During our interlude we had been working diligently on our noise project, which inspired us to use circuit bending in this project as well! With Thomas' assistance we modified our circuit to include a potentiometer, which allows us to adjust the volume of the speaker. We also played around with touch and how the sound would change depending on if someone's hand was touching the board and/or attaching to jumper cables to the board.

The potentiometer we added

This new idea of including circuit bending finally allowed us to see the full potential of our project--why not introduce circuit bending to the world! We used a shoe box, electrical tape, duct tape, an exacto knife, and handy-dandy Illustrator to create a DJ Booth.

Circuit Bending DJ Booth

Inside the box!

The on button (red) and poteniometer (black)

Our next step was to get our DJ Booth out in the real world! We took it outside and had multiple passersby come over and want to see what all the fuss was about. The reactions were pretty humorous; one girl thought that Eugene was controlling the noises with his phone. We also took our project home, and I had one of my roommates react to it. She just thought it was making funny fart-like noises. Allie also took the device to her work.

Overall, I was surprised by how much people liked what we had come up with. I think its success with the common public was likely from the personalization that came from each person. Everyone tried different methods of controlling the sound; it was literally in their hands how the simple circuit would react. It was fun to just see this person-to-person change. .

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