If you have diligently read 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer, you perhaps might already know the answer. As the project aptly titled 'Acoustic Rock Revolution' (book p. 184) demonstrates, you must amplify! Yes my friends, it is time to amplify your Gamer Guitar and rock out in your garage like a hurricane (or at least a tropical depression - exotic and angsty).
Using a handful of basic, easy-to-find, parts and tools, I'm going to show you how to perform this operation in a matter of minutes.
For those about to rock, I salute you.
(Note: In the video, I sent the guitar through a killer fuzz pedal. Normal amplification is cleaner sounding and with less feedback.)
Step 1: Go Get Stuff
- A 1/4" male mono plug
(These are available at Radioshack or most guitar shops.)
- A piezo element
(You can find these in many devices including broken touch tone phones or PDAs. They can also be purchased at Radioshack)
- A NES controller cable
(I used the cable left over from Laser Gag Zapper [book p. 138] because it tends to be longer than normal NES controller cables. This is good for playing the guitar.)
Step 2: Take Apart the Plug
Step 3: Prepare to Solder
Strip the jacketing off the white and brown wires.
Finally, slide the outer jacket of the mono plug onto the NES cable if it seems like you won't be able to reassemble the plug assembly after soldering. Basically, most plugs twist together and you won't be able to twist it shut if the piece isn't already passed onto the wire before you solder.
Step 4: Solder
Solder the brown wire to the shield on the side of the male plug.
Step 5: Reassemble
Step 6: Case Open
Step 7: More Soldering
Free the brown and white wires from the plastic connector.
Strip 1/4" of the jacket from each of these wires.
Twist the brown wire together white the black wire from the piezo and white wire together with the red wire from the piezo.
Solder both pairs together.
Finally insulate them using electrical tape. I didn't have any electrical tape on hand, so I glued the two pairs together with hot glue in such a way that the metal contacts could never meet (see last image below).