2020-05-15 (F) Weekly Summary

I needed a functional Atari Punk Console to keep this project moving, so I started to build a new one on a solderless breadboard. By mistake, I thought I didn't have any more nine-volt battery connectors, so I cobbled together a USB plug breakout, buck-boost module, and a voltage display to ensure I would get the right power.
Materials for a prototype punk console

I played around with the APC and some potentiometers that I attached test leads, which sounded promising. Next, I wanted to try controlling the sound with pressure-sensitive pads. Instead of flat surfaces, I bought a couple of foam balls and stainless steel pet food dishes. From Velostat sheets, I made some sensors and taped them along the bottoms. I electrified the bowls, and the combination worked well.
(0:24) Controlling an APC with pressure

A pressure-sensitive APC wasn't novel enough, and the pet bowls were kind of tacky. I could have dressed them up, but it still wasn't impressive. I decided to push further, and I soldered an APC onto a slab of protoboard. For testing, I used the same potentiometers as before.
Protoboard APC

I had never seen an Atari Punk Console controlled with a joystick, despite how Atari and joystick go together so well. Even though there was a dead spot in the movement where I didn't get any sound, the joystick was a blast and intuitive to control.
Joystick as an interface

I finally figured out what I wanted to do for the interface. For a few years, I had been tinkering with how to make a long touch-sensitive potentiometer from Velostat, a semi-conductive plastic. A few months ago, I found a cache of Velostat shipping bags at a surplus store and bought some. I experimented with them, but now I had a purpose, so I dedicated some brain-time to making it work.
Aluminum bar as an interface

I designed some printable standoffs that would slide onto metal bar stock and suspend the plastic over it without touching. There would have to be a little tension, like a guitar string,

Attaching Velostat to the aluminum stock

The rest of the summary posts have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6
Completed projects from year 7

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