circuit bent by fastmatt – blog

Random thoughts on circuit bent/bending, schematics, diagrams, techniques, speak & spell, speak & read, speak & math, ebay selling

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

A removable, reusable, user-facing keypad for Circuit Bent experimentation with Speak & Read

Here’s my first gee-whiz post. Last week I decided to hunt around for some new modifications I might be able to incorporate into my circuit bent modifications. Finding it cumbersome and difficult to keep triggering the device by reaching under to press the keys, I had that a-ha moment. Funny, everytime I have a moment like this, the cats hide under the bed and the dogs pace nervously. Maybe it’s the smell of burnt plastic, idunno.

Anyway – I decided that it would be great to have a stand-alone keypad that FACES UP so that I can leave the original device mostly intact on its original faceplate, but trigger the circuitry using the new, temporary keypad. I grabbed one of my spare shells (where I’d already scavenged the guts), and proceeded to dremel out the keypad. There’s no harm in doing this, as long as you follow the natural outline of the keypad. As you can see, I was going for speed and not for pretty. I think a scroll saw might be under the christmas tree for me this year.

With the keypad disembodied, it was now a simple matter of hogging out some notches in the plastic structure underneath, so that the keypad could rest comfortably on the handle of the target device (see pics). Then I simply pull the ribbon cable off the board which will be tested, leaving its speaker and battery connections in place. Finally, I gently connect the ribbon cable of my new keypad into the board and have at it.

With the keypad conveniently facing upwards and up close, I can trigger the sounds with one finger, while testing new circuits with my screwdrivers and test lead clips.

The keypads are pretty much device-specific, so I will probably end up making one for Speak & Math and also for Speak & Spell as well.

Using my new tool, I was finally able to find the body contact ‘pitch up’ circuit (which will work its way into my design within the next few weeks) and also a few cool new glitches I’d never heard before.

posted by fastmatt at 6:30 pm  

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

First post

Here’s my first step into the blogosphere.

Matt Burriola. Just your average nice guy/tech worker by day, DIY geek by night. Those who know me would describe me as quiet, steady, stoic, passionate (in a very controlled sort of way), perfectionistic, generous, stubborn, slightly funny. I work in the IT industry and love what I do.  When I am not at work, I can be found at home spending time with my family or working on various home projects. When time permits, I’ll be tinkering with my ’66 Volkswagen Beetle, circuit bending, or buying/selling on eBay.

My interests are varied, and tend to come and go in 6-year cycles.
- Computers – well this habit always stays around.
- Tinkering – with just about anything. These days, it’s Volkswagens, air tools, and speak & spells.
- Volkswagens – used to have a 1967 VW Bug but sold it in 2006.  Now I drive a 1966 Bug.
- eBay – this is where my play money comes from.
- Carputers (car-based computers). I once installed a Mac Mini in the glove box of my Mazda 3.  I eventually grew tired of dealing with it so I ripped it out and put the stock head unit back in.  I now just use an iPhone interface to play my tunes in the car.
- Music – I play saxophone – every Sunday at church.  I also am slowly trying to learn guitar.
- RC Sailplanes (gliders). Haven’t done this in a few years.

I’m probably one of the last 300 internet citizens to create a blog, but better late then never.

My purpose here is to share what I’m up to, what I’m thinking/looking at, random cool things I’ve found, new things I’ve created/for sale, stuff like that.
I might also be sharing a few schematics or diagrams of circuit bending, tips, tricks, etc.
If you’ve read all this then I’m honored – thanks for your time.

posted by fastmatt at 10:31 am  

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