Picture of Circuit-Bent Big Mouth Billy Bass
Remember those fake fish mounted on a plaque that flopped about and sang "Take Me To The River" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy"? Well, here's your chance for revenge.

The idea for this project I owe to Tom Koch of His Billy BASStard inspired me to crack on of these bad boys open and find my own bends. View the original here: Enjoy!
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Step 1: Collect Your Materials

1. 1 Big Mouth Billy Bass in working order
2. 4 C-cell batteries
3. 2 SPST toggle switches
4. 1 Normally Open momentary pushbutton switch
5. 1 output jack of your choice: 1/8", 1/4", RCA, etc.
6. Solder, soldering iron, wire, clippers, something to drill holes with

Step 2: Exploration

Picture of Exploration
Unscrew the 6 (or so) screws on the back of the plaque. The back half should come off fairly easily, but BEWARE: there are several very important wires running from the back to the front half, and to disconnect them would surely cause some grief.

Take a look at the circuit board. Many of the solder points connect to the motor mechanisms that make the bugger flop around. The specific area you are looking for is where the IC (really just another PCB soldered in at a right angle to the main PCB) connects to the board. There is a row of rectangular solder points: this is your goal.

Locate points A, B, and C on the board. These are the points you will be soldering to to make the main bends.

Also, there is a photocell already in the the front half; it's that thing that makes the fish go off every time you walk by it, hidden in a little pit under the red button on the front. Locate this on the inside, as this will be instrumental in the coolness of the completed project.
bumhooler6 months ago

SO GOOD! I modified the fish too... now it's just a plastic robot and fish head.

This works really well. My board was a bit different but it's easy to figure out where A, B, and C are if you have a basic understanding of boards (good to look it up before soldering anything). Beware! The photocell is pretty sensitive and I ruined mine (dont try to pull it out of the case with pliers haha).

hncaldwell8 years ago
Did he say "pink macaroni"?
yes he did i slowed down the play speed and he said pink macoroni
lmao i think he did!
You mean this part of the file? Enjoy!
harry884 years ago
poor fish i think he swaloed a dog whistle
lindu885 years ago
This is AWSOME......
you know me7 years ago
he said pink micro banana?
i heard it too *very scared*
Lance8 years ago
Hey Dosher, this project looks awesome, and I'm actually interested in doing something similar. What connection in the Billy Bass's circuitry lets you bend the pitch with just a variable resistance? I'd love to add a couple photoresistors to that loop machine you made so i could de-tune the loop as it's being played back. I would have emailed you but yours isn't listed :) Mine should be, though, so if you want to drop me a line i'd really appreciate it. Keep up the good work!
dosher (author)  Lance8 years ago
Hey Lance, glad you liked the project. For variable resistance, you can put a potentiometer in parallel with the photocell, or have a SPDT switch that selects one of the two for use. I believe that the resistor that the photocell currently bridges is 300k, but I may be wrong, so make sure to check out the value on it to get an idea of what size pot to use. Good luck!
I cant watch the video it says "this page cannot be found"
starphire8 years ago
Although melting holes in plastic housings is smelly and so should only be done in a well-ventilated area, it should not do any damage to your soldering iron tip. Just be sure to clean it off thoroughly after you're done, while it's still hot. I've used abrasive pads in the past, but you have to be careful not to remove the thin plating that's on some of them. I've since found that a dry paper towel works just as well, followed by a wipe on a damp sponge.
pfred18 years ago
Save some bandwidth download this MP3 of the wavfile
HA HA Love IT, I detest those things (drive me nuts) have you got a curcit mod for "Tickle Me Elmo"? I'd love to see the expression on my daughters face if Elmo sounded like Rob Zombe
I am thinking that this would be a sweet project to incorporate one of the those old yak bak voice recorders or a cheap-o tape recorder. Then you could customize song and/or what he says. You could also make some mini mix taps for him. Use the output jack to plug him into an amplifier with speakers and make him into a jutebox! The possibilities are endless with this guy! It will be fun to try some of this out!
Grant Fair8 years ago
Extensive information on modifying your Billy Bass, including the song sung, is available online at Circuit Cellar Ink. There's a completely viewable copy of article originally published in the magazine:

areafour8 years ago
Is it possible to change the audio to a different song, or someone elses voice? I'm thinking, if there is a way to secretly record someone (ahead of time) then have it come through your added speakers.
nospleen8 years ago
I can only imagine doing this to one of those new talking deer heads...:-)
dosher (author)  nospleen8 years ago
Oh god. I think I have a new project.