Posts Tagged ‘Kleebtronics’

Kleebtronics August: Programmable Synthesizer

August 16, 2011

Alright, getting things done early! For August, I took an Arduino shield Steph got me for Christmas from Critter and Guitari, programmed it, and built it into a case so I could use it on the Fundustrial Revolution Tour, which departs tomorrow. Anyone reading this from Boston, Providence, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, or NYC should come and check out the mayhem.

Anyway, here is what the synth looked like after I put the kit together:

You can see that the pots just sort of hang out at the top and the buttons are those really tiny momentary switches. Sure, it sounded cool, but not very practical for a touring setup.

So I decided to build an enclosure:

Nice, easy plywood enclosure. I didn’t have any scrap metal lying around for the top, but I did have some plexiglass. Let me tell you, drilling through plexiglass is NOT a fun time:

This probably took longer than anything else related to this project. We actually had to spray water on the plexiglass as we drilled to prevent cracking.

Next were the buttons. Now, the surface-mounted buttons were not going to cut it, so I needed something that would press down on them from the faceplate. I ordered a 1/8″ wooden dowel from mcmastercarr, along with some rubber washers to keep them in place. Steph glued the washers on the bottom side of the dowel pieces and we dropped them into the plexiglass holes:


After adding a 1/4″ jack in the side, the synth was almost finished:

I decided to finish the wooden case with a layer of Tolex. After a fun night with glue, the finished Arduino Synth was ready for the road. Here’s the video demo, as promised:

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Kleebtronics July: Bass Drum Wine Rack

August 10, 2011

July and August have been quite busy, as I’ve been multi-tasking getting ready for the Fuck Ton tour in two weeks. While my July project may be a tad late, my August project will be done by tomorrow, complete with videos. For July, I re-purposed an old bass drum and turned it into a wine rack. I figured it was time to stop stowing wine under my bed and make something to hold not only the bottles, but the glasses as well. This may have been partly sparked by a half dozen broken wine glasses last year.

First, here is the drum sans head when I started. This was taken from an old Pearl Export that has been sitting abandoned at DBA for a few years (if anyone needs a floor tom or rack tom, get at me).

In the end, we ended up with twelve slots for bottles. I would hope that will be enough, but hey you never know.

I ended up lining the top shelf with some black fabric and used an old rim and batter head as a door:

Yes, those are blue LEDs lining the inside. I wired them to a 9V battery and switch built into the top:

To keep the drum closed, I had to install a latch on the opposite side:

And that was it! The circular shape definitely presented a challenge, but this was a pretty easy and straightforward project. I also have to say, after a weekend at the Fly Creek Cider Mill and the Ommegang Brewery, we managed to fill the entire drum and have a few bottles to spare!

At least now that this blog is finished, we can finally start drinking it again.

Coming soon – Project August!

May/June Projects: DBA Renovations

July 3, 2011

I know, I know, I’m combining months for this post. In all honesty, it’s been a busy summer and we’ve had a few people moving in and out, so I grouped my May/June project into one big Death By Audio house renovation. Mostly, two rooms in our house were completely renovated in the past two months. We’ll start with the new movie room. Before May, this room was an art studio for the past year. Here is the last photo we have of the unfinished space:

Thanks to Materials for the Arts, we were able to bring in a new couch, a rug, and a new projector to turn this room back into a home theater, like it was in 2009.

Of course, that was the easy room. We simultaneously decided to tackle the Death By Audio bathroom, which had been plagued by yellowing brick, mildew, and a floor made up of broken shards of tile and cement rubble. Unfortunately (probably for the better), I don’t have any “before” pictures for the bathroom before we started.

The first thing we did was reroute the lighting. We ran extension cords through the ceiling and dropped lights through the drop ceiling. This way, all of the lights were controlled by a master switch, rather than being permanently turned on. Then, we broke up what remained of the tile, swept the floor and the shower, and poured 5 bags of concrete. Sure, there was a mishap in the shower and we had to call in a plumber to change out a pipe or two, but after sealing everything, it looks pretty good.

After the concrete set, we started painting. The shower and walls were painted a battleship grey, and the floor was painted green. We also threw a sheet of plywood over the exposed pipes so everything looked a bit cleaner. A few bathmats here and there, and it’s almost like we’re living in a condo:


Now that everyone is settling in, it’s time for me to get back to some audio and visual stuff. Tomorrow, Fuck Ton plays at Shea Stadium for the Fourth of July, and I’ll have my live video display to show off. Come check it out!

Kleebtronics 2011: 12 Months 12 Projects

May 5, 2011

After applying to the Interactive Technology Program at NYU this past winter, I decided to step up my game a bit and produce a solid portfolio of projects for the year. I know, I know it’s May and I’ve been slacking a bit on the blogosphere end of things, but there are 4 projects down and 8 more to go, so I’m going to recap a little bit and try to catch up. From here on out, we’ll have one blog per project, I promise.

January: Death By Arcade

I started researching MAME cabinets in December and around the new year, ordered all of the parts I would need to build a homemade MAME cabinet for the showspace at Death By Audio. With some woodworking help from my roommate Alex, we built the Death By Arcade video game emulator. I documented this one pretty well in January’s blog. Since it’s finalization at the end of January, we’ve now raked in almost $200 in quarters. Street Fighter is a big hit, but there are over 40 games installed on the emulator, and they change depending on Gavin’s mood. If you ever come to a show at DBA, check it out.

February: Digital Video Mixer

Attributed to an online class on Processing and Arduino with Joseph Gray, February’s project was an intensive programming code that took a video input and affected it in real time using an Arduino – something the class referred to as a “ProjBox.”

At the end of February, I split the output signal to a series of televisions in the Monster Island Fuck Ton show. While still a bit glitchy, I think this project is going to keep improving as I learn more about Processing and Arduino. However, I don’t think I’ll be lugging a bunch of televisions to any shows anytime soon. The current 4-television setup is sitting in the back of Death By Audio.

March: Urban Gardener’s Window Box

I took a break from electronics in March and built a pretty heavy-duty window box that hangs from my sill in my bedroom. Since I cut the pipe out of my wall last summer, the awning window has been separating me from the frigid Brooklyn winter air. In March, I opened it for the first time in months and took the measurements for my hanging garden. A two foot square box cut from weather-treated pine would do the trick. I drilled into the brick using a pretty hefty hammer drill, then hung the edge from the top of the sill using braided steel cable. All-in-all, the box can hold probably 150 lbs and currently houses a few heads of romaine. If we ever get some consistent weather going on here, I’ll plant some more stuff in the coming months.

April: Homebrew Kegerator

I’ve been homebrewing for almost a year now, and have just finished my seventh beer, the Tricerahops (thanks Edan). For anyone out there that partakes in homebrewing, you know the bottling process takes FOREVER. First sanitize all the bottles, siphon out the beer, fill up each bottle individually, cap them, store them, etc, etc. It’s a good 4 hours. This time, I wanted to just pour my beer into a keg and have it on tap.

I found some old Cornelius (Corny) soda kegs on eBay as well as the double tower tap and a CO2 tank. The first mini fridge I found in Queens had some problems with leaking freon, so I found another at Hofstra University that did the trick. A few hose clamps later and everything is rigged up. The pressure is low, so I’m still messing with it a bit, but soon I won’t have to worry about bottling my beer anymore. Thank God.

Which brings us to May. I’ve now been accepted to ITP and am planning on dedicating my time to grad school starting in September. That doesn’t mean I can’t stick to a project schedule, especially if they coincide with school. Some plans for the future?

Well I’d love to affix a series of Piezo transducers to this old piano and hook them all up to different effects. If I can’t tune it, might as well make it sound crazy. Since it’s an easy and relatively affordable project, this is probably going to be May.

Also I’d love to make my bicycle-music-amplifier-solar-Lithium-battery-charger-smart-phone-GPS-all-in-one-system feasible. I found a company after the 5 Boro called Goal Zero that is pretty much doing exactly what I had planned. Perhaps running it off of a front hub dynamo is a good idea?

Kleebtronics Inc. is also up and running as a custom electronics fabrication company. This blog will eventually be dedicated solely to my first business venture, and the developments that come from that. I’m also looking to build my dot com, so if you’ve got some web development skills, come on over.

It’s an exciting time, and with grad school on the horizon, things are looking up.