Introduction: NOISE FROM TOYS (Part I)

About: broken robot

Greetings, friends!

Today I would like to share with you the results of experiments in Circuit bending and talk about how to make a noise collage* from old children's toys.

*Enthusiasts create many different instruments in this way, but only a small part of them use this direction to search for and reproduce NOISE as a complex within the framework of musical culture.

Step 1: To Make the Noise We Need:

A few old musical toys .. I found one them on a flea market that works on weekends. I try to buy only those toys that have already been broken before me by children's. Microcircuit inside them is usually a whole and that toy is no longer a pity to break completely.


Instruments and some parts:

  • Soldering iron;
  • Drill of various diameters (0.6-1.2mm ~ 8-20mm);
  • Screwdrivers;
  • It is desirable to have a power supply for 3-9 volts, but you can use the batteries that come with the toy;
  • Wires for connection and soldering;
  • Connectors;
  • Switches;
  • Potentiometers for different value (1 Ohm ~ 1 M Ohm or biggest);

And .. importantly, your imagination! (:

Step 2: Microchip From a Toy With a Musical Sample

When you find several musical toys, you can start extracting and preparing a microchip.

We are now talking about the most simple and cheap toys, because as for a full-fledged Circuit bending, those that are more complex and expensive are used.

First you need to disassemble the toy and find a microchip inside it. It should be noted that all microchips in these toys look pretty same, but it's impossible to determine what commands is sewn in the microchip itself. The microchip can be connected to diode lamps, buttons and other interactive controls. Occasionally come across toys with electro-mechanical parts..

We need both the microchip and the other parts too.

Step 3: Search for Noise and Microchip Preparation

When the toy is opened and the microchip is found, we can start preparing. It is necessary to find a small resistor on the board, which changes the parameters of the frequency reproduction of the musical sample recorded on it. It can be like a SMD resistor which is not so convenient because it is very small, and a more convenient, large, THT resistor. In this toy was just this, not the most convenient resistor. But, this will allow us to see how we can cope with a more difficult task.

Forgive me.. I have no good camera on my old phone and i try draw image for some steps..

In order to check whether we found the resistor correctly, you can just touch it with your finger and turn on the sound on the toy - the sound when touching should change and if it happens - it's great! I myself used to check the small crocodiles attached to the wires and connected to the connectors from the Arduino (2.54mm Dupont Jumper and Pin headers) to touch the SMD resistor and check it ..

To change the playback frequency of the sound sample, we need to replace this resistor with a potentiometer. My practice shows that you need to use a 500K Ohm ~ 1M Ohm potentiometer (if you can find a potentiometer of greater resistance, it's even better). Later, we will be able to apply other potentiometers of less resistance, for changing the power settings and not just them .. But .. Later ..

With the help of a soldering iron, we remove this resistor and then use a drill to make several holes in the board, at the points of attachment of the resistor or next to it, but so that it can be soldered wires and connectors to the seats on the board.


Step 4: Audio Output, Special Buttons, Switches and Connection

In order to create something new, we have to destroy the old one.

We completely remove all old wires from the board and replace them and.. solder the small pin-connectors to the connection points. Once I found them as part of the Arduino components and now I use them everywhere. This is convenient, especially when you often need to reconnect different wires again - do not solder them, just create one such connection once and in the future it helps a lot.

Remember, did I mention the imagination that we need?

We need to find a suitable structure for the location of future controls that will be added by us - buttons, switches and audio output.

I found my eyes from another toy and want to use them in this design - they fit well and the light from the diode lamps is visible through their clear glasses.

In addition, I found cogs and soldered wires to them to create special noise buttons. Do you remember how we touched the resistor and the sound changed? These buttons can enable us to touch the connections between the potentiometer and other contacts on the circuit. To find noise, you just need to use different combinations of touches.

In order to later connect toy to the audio equipment, we need to solder a special ways for outputting the audio signal. It is necessary to find the jack of the audio connector. Here I use the TS connector (input jack1/4 Inch mono) and a switch so that you can choose between sound from the toy or output to audio equipment.

Step 5: Something Is Lost and Something Was Found

Look, friends! I'm so sorry .. But .. I lost the audio signal output to the toy when the connectors and switches were connected, and all the wires were connected to it. Perhaps this is because I should try using a two-channel switch, which I did not have now.

But .. This is the whole experiment in the first place and .. I found an amazing sound, which is obtained if a resistor is placed between the wires of the audio output. When I use a potentiometer 330 ohm under and the sound turned out to change. But .. After that I found a potentiometer (rheostat) of even less resistance (50 ohms) and when I installed it, the sound changed and it got even better!

And.. Forgive me.. I can not make a video right now, but .. I made an audio recording and that's how our toy sounds!

Step 6: What Did We Get As a Result?

As a result, we have distorted a musical sample recorded in a toy on a microchip and turned it into noise. Moreover, we can in some way manage the parameters of this noise with the help of special buttons, a resistor and our imagination including.

I think that this is all for the first part of our instructions. In the next part, we'll get connect several such small toys into big one and thereby create even more amazing noise sounds.

For example, such that you can listen to if you visit my page on the Internet Arhive.

Great noise and see you soon!


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