Introduction: Meowsic Keyboard Output Jack

When Wilgubeast told me about the supremely annoying Meowsic Keyboard that played cat meows instead of tones, I knew I had to have one. Two days before Christmas I obsessively tracked it down to Target. I then obsessively visited five stores overrun with tumultuous hordes of holiday shoppers until I finally found a store that still had 3 in stock. I snatched one and headed immediately for the register. The checkout clerk, assuming this was surely a gift for a small child, asked if I wanted a bag in which to hide it. I told him it was not necessary. I knew the truth. I was a grown man buying a meowing cat keyboard with the intent of modifying it to play loudly through a distortion pedal during an underground rock show at Frenzy's house in Oakland.

The show went about as well as one might expect it would when someone is playing a meowing cat keyboard through a distortion pedal and a megaphone. We tried people's patience. I think our band may only have 8 lives left.

Nonetheless, I would be remiss if I didn't show you how to add an output jack and volume knob such that you too can use it to make a terrible racket at underground rock shows in Oakland.

Step 1: You Will Need

Go get stuff:

- Meowsic Keyboard
- 100K potentiometer
- 100K resistor
- 10uF capacitor
- SPDT toggle switch
- 1/4" mono jack
- A knob
- shrink tube (or electrical tape)

Step 2: Open

Open up the Meowsic Keyboard and make sure not to lose any of the (many many) screws.

Step 3: Drill

Drill a 3/8" hole in the top of the cat's head for the 1/4" jack.

Drill another 9/32" hole about an inch to the side of the first hole for the potentiometer. To keep the potentiometer from spinning in place, it helpful to drill another 1/8" hold just to the side to catch the little mounting tab.

Finally, drill a 1/4" hole about an inch to the side of the potentiometer for the SPDT switch.

Step 4: Wire It Up

To make the circuit, you will have to cut in half the wire that is connected to the + terminal on the speaker. The half connected to the circuit board will be extended and connect to the center terminal on the switch. The half connected to the speaker will be connected to one of the outer terminals.

The 100K resistor will bridge the outer terminal of the switch to one of the outer terminals of the potentiometer. The other outer terminal of the potentiometer will be connected to ground from the keyboard's power supply.

The positive side of the 10 uF capacitor connects to the center terminal of the potentiometer and bridges to the signal tab on the audio jack (where the negative terminal connects).

The barrel of the jack also connects to ground.

For more info, check out the schematic in the final picture of the series. To learn how to read schematics, check out the Basic Electronics instructable.

Step 5: Clean Up

Glue any loose components in place with hot glue and cover up any exposed electrical connections that may shift about with electrical tape.

Step 6: Case Closed

Refasten all of the screws that you loosened earlier.

Step 7: Knob

Finish it up by affixing a knob to your potentiometer.

Step 8: Rock

Take your keyboard, gather your bandmates, go forth, and make a terrible racket at underground rock shows.

Pictured is the band AIDS Walk (trying to look serious) moments before making a terrible racket.

Comments

author
Queenager made it! (author)2017-07-23

what can I say? It worked! Thanks so much! At first I thought I was starting this account to say thanks for this project only, but this site has proven a great rabbit hole for a new hobby of circuit bending!

Sweet easy starter mod!

IMG_2136.jpg
author
randofo (author)Queenager2017-07-24

Glad it worked out for you!

author
Eduardo73 (author)2015-03-15

My son & I completed this Mod this weekend. Amazing project, thank you so much for sharing your instructions!
http://youtu.be/K3MXyQQN1Jo

author
skinniwini (author)Eduardo732017-05-08

nice!!!

author
skinniwini (author)2017-05-08

I saw it on sale in the target for 24.95 locally, I know I will pick one up. want to ask is this hack the output can external record on the computer? Thanks in advance. Thank you for awesome instruction! This will be my first electronic hack.

author
NoynonMayta (author)2015-05-26

nice

author
bpope5 (author)2014-04-12

Yet another grown man buying one for himself here. A very useful mod that I plan to do as well. I wish there was a simple way to add midi in and out. That would be pretty crazy, huh?

author
powerman666 (author)2013-05-04

I bought one these toys just to do this. Thanks for the excellent instructable.

author
SHIFT! (author)2012-02-02

Ooh, I literally just got my cousin one of those for christmas! Except instead of a cat it's a zombie that screams bloody hell every time you play the notes.

Any chance I might see a video demonstration of this build? Would love one.

author
foobear (author)2012-01-29

wantz one of those so bad, fur real

author
JuCo (author)2012-01-27

AGH! i have that keyboard! mine's green and purple, though. got it for 25 cents at a salvation army. i've been meaning to do something to it/with it.... an output being one of the things, so thanks for the walkthrough.


p.s.- is your mic all shorted out and crackly, too?

author
randofo (author)JuCo2012-01-27

Nope. mic is working as it should.

author
JuCo (author)randofo2012-01-27

alright. it was probably just used and abused by the youngster that had it before me.

author
The Rambler (author)2012-01-27

Bahaha! This is hilarious. My son got this keyboard for Christmas and now I really want to hear it with distortion! Of course I'm pretty sure my wife loves it more than he does, so she might have a problem with that. You should post a video so we can all hear the wonderful racket it makes.

author
Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-01-26

Best keyboard every!

author
BTrey (author)2012-01-26

The Instructable is cool but
Best. Intro. Ever.

author
omnibot (author)2012-01-26

Sweet, how does it sound?

author
jessyratfink (author)2012-01-26

This is great. I absolutely love these keyboards. :D

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Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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