Wednesday, January 21, 2009

atari punk console

last night was my first time at the vancouver hackspace. for those unfamiliar with hack(er)spaces, here's wikipedia's definition:

"a hackerspace or hackspace is a real (as opposed to virtual) place where people with common interests, usually in science, technology, or digital or electronic art can meet, socialise and collaborate."

the colloquial definition of "hacking" generally involves subversive and often illegal activities. while this is an element of hacking, it is more accurately defined as creating or re-purposing electronics, software, or any other digital media outside the mainstream. hacking and hackerspaces are very connected to the diy ethos.

anyway, last night they organized an atari punk console workshop. an atari punk console is a simple soldering kit that uses two 555 timer chips (or in this case a 556 chip, which is two 555s in one) and a couple of potentiometers that usually control the volume of a speaker. the frequency and pulse width of the output are controlled by the potentiometers... basically the noise changes when you turn the knobs. capiche?

here is my board complete with jumper wire rats nest. surprisingly it worked!

here is an apc in action:

useful? no. cool? yes.

here's some links if you're interested in hackerspaces:
vancouver hackspace

next project in my new arduino micro-controller: