Friday, March 18, 2016

Week 7: Noise Project

For this project, we had to create 'Noise Circuits', inspired by Reed Ghazala's discovery of bending circuit wires and boards to create an alien sound from it. First thing, the materials:

In this project, I unwittingly grabbed the wrong circuit board, and grabbed a tactile noise circuit #3:

No worries! There isn't much variation in this circuit save for one less resistor. You'll need the same components found in the TNM circuit intro post, but you'll also need:
  • Tactile Noise Circuit #3 board
  • Dip Socket
  • Electrical Wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Bolts, Nuts, and Washers (Not pictured; the ones I used were 1/8)
Also, this is where we can introduce a Dip Socket:

Dip Sockets act how solderless breadboards, that center of the board that is empty, and that you can replace and change out IC units without worrying about burning the board itself if it were to short circuit when you add electricity to it.

What you see here is Thomas, my teacher, having to resolder one of the wires of the speakers because the wire breaks very easily if you don't have it secured somehow during travel or when creating your noise circuit. The wires are really thin when they're stripped from the wax casing, and can break easily off a soldered point so it would best to superglue the wires in the center portion between the negative and positive wires.

For this circuit, I chose Tactile Circuit #3 where you'll only have 1 resister, 3 capaciters, and five touch points. You can choose any capacitor between 100-200k in order for it to work, and each combination you do you get a different sound so my suggestion is to try out different capacitors and combinations until you get a sound that you like. I choose 2 100k capacitors that were the same, and grabbed a different one, 100k/64f,  to give it a different sound.

The first step is to solder on the dip socket, resistor, and capacitors. I unfortunately lost the picture to show how clean the back is to this circuit board especially since you don't want any bridges of solder, or any wires touching each other in the back. Clip those wires so that your board doesn't cause a short circuit and you can save an IC chip. If you soldered correctly, and attached a battery, your circuit should be making noise anytime you touch the gold squares on your circuit, and it varies in sounds, squeaks, and buzzes.

Your circuit should work every time you touch it, or it makes noise by itself dependent on what capacitor it uses or if senses electrical charges around it. 

Next, you're going to pretin your touch point with solder points to attach your wires to.

This will make it easier when you attach your stripped wires, which you should pretin as well.

I have 6 wires pictured, but for this you only need 5 for this project. I have one extra wire just in case I need it.

Take your soldering iron, and heat up the touch point tin, and attach your wires to the globs of tin until they harden. In the end, you should have a working circuit board that reacts to you touching the wires. Depending on your board, you'll need to hold two or three wires in order for your board to make noise so test different wire touch points at first before you resolder thinking it's not soldered correctly.

Here's what mine sounded like after adding the wires:

 Adding your Touch Points:

For my touch points I used small bolts, nuts, and washers. Also, I suggest you grab some small clamps to hold your washers, and so that you don't get burned in the process.
*Note that for this circuit board, you can use any kind of touch point as long as it's a conductive metal live nuts, bolts, screws, paperclips, etc. I chose nuts and bolts because it's cheap, you can get a lot of them for a small price, and works for this project.

Unlike your components that heat up quickly because they are so thin, these touch points need a while to heat up in order for the solder to be attracted to the heat, and they need a long time to cool down as well before you can go forward with your project. My suggestion, get a metal surface, i.e. a cooking pan, so that you can set your touch points on so that the heat disperses, and you don't burn your work space by mistake.

First, heat up your washer so that you can ad a glob of lead to attach your wire to it.

Next, be patient in this part because it takes a bit longer for the lead to cool down and harden around the wire, and keep as steady of a hand as possible so it doesn't pop out of the tin.

Last, attach your bolts and nuts around the touch point so that you have a surface area to touch and your circuit to react. Also, add some lead between the nut and bolt to make sure you have a stable hold onto the washer.

Final Project:

For this project, with all of what's happened before, it has lead to what I used to create this strange little item for 'pet' purposes. What you'll need:

I used this umbrella as means of creating a bellow for my noise circuit to be loud and annoying, and perfect for people who are on a budget. this umbrella is a heavy duty umbrella that cost a little of $5 that you can get at Home Depot, and it very strong and durable. What you'll need to do it cut a small incision close to the top of the umbrella, weave your wire through, wrap around the stem, and the eletrical tape will help keep your touch points in place. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted what the taped part of the stem looked like, but really it's just wrapping the wire and tape as you go as long as a touch point is still visible and you can touch it.

The inside is where you really want to be secure in place. Attach your circuit board into the innermost part of the umbrella to protect it from being jostled around and wires start breaking.

What's great about the speaker is that it has a magnet surrounding the bottom and it can attach itself easily to the metal rods of the umbrella without moving around too much.

So this is what it sounded like when it was finally put together:

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