APC (Atari Punk Console)

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Introduction: APC (Atari Punk Console)

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The Atari Punk Console (aka the Stepped Tone Generator) is basically a simple sound synth that is made using only two 555 timer ICs.

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Step 1: Ingredients

The parts you need are:
2x LM555 timer ICs
2x 500k potentiometers
1x 10 uf electrolyctic capacitor
1x .01 uf ceramic disk capacitor
1x .1 uf ceramic disk capacitor
1x 1k resistor (brown, black, red, gold)
1x 8 ohm speaker
1x 9 volt battery and clip
1x pad-per-hole perfboard
lots of wire
solder

The tools you need are:
soldering iron
wire snippers
desoldering pump (or bulb/wick)
optional but very recommend: helping hands tool

Step 2: Put It Together

I used a small piece of pad-per-hole perfboard and used solid core wire as jumper wire. I used stranded core wire for connecting the pots to the board.

Step 3: And You're Done!

Hook it up to a nine volt battery, and you're done! Have fun pretending you're playing an old videogame!
video download: video

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    29 Discussions

    0
    toutoune
    toutoune

    1 year ago

    Thanks for your instructables. I need to add however, that the potentiometer of the monsostable oscillator 555 has a range that is not optimal. To my mind, the last 300 K ohms are useless and give a sound that has no interest. I keep a 500 K for the astable oscillator, or a similar range, but change the monostable pot wit one of just 200 K, so I can be more accurate in this range.. To my mind the sounds are better this way. May be some more accurate settings could be reached to have an even better console.

    0
    mcstarcoin
    mcstarcoin

    3 years ago

    Does the voltage on the 10 uf capacitor matter? I have a 10 uf 25v capacitor and I'm not sure if it will work.

    0
    Abstractauditory
    Abstractauditory

    3 years ago

    How many APCs could I run on a single 9v? I'm making something using 4 basic APCs but do not want 4 batteries in 1 noise maker. I assume I could run at least 2 on 1 battery. Any input or ideas?

    0
    Bunker Secreto
    Bunker Secreto

    3 years ago

    Josh what is the voltage of the 10 uf electrolyctic capacitor? Thanks in advance!

    0
    josh1324
    josh1324

    Reply 3 years ago

    Anything over 9 volts would work if youre using a 9 volt battery, the voltage rating on a capacitor is just the maximum voltage it can withstand before blowing so any amount > 9 volts would be perfect.

    0
    elikumacore
    elikumacore

    5 years ago

    hey man, finally done making an APC. I mixed and matched info from other sources but youre the one who influenced me to make one.

    I added a 50k pot in series to the 500k pot in the astable 555 and changed the pot for the monostable to 50k. I also added in a slide switch and an LED. also changed the supply from being a battery to being powered by a wall wart.

    temp_-1168773577.jpg
    0
    pyromaniac123456789
    pyromaniac123456789

    6 years ago

    Can you replace the two 555 timers with one 556?

    0
    josh1324
    josh1324

    Reply 6 years ago

    Yes of course! I had to use two 555 timers because i could find a 556 anywhere. I was really young when I made this and didn't realise you can get literally any part on the internet for 1/10 the price!

    0
    maxxion
    maxxion

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Can the potentiometers be replaced with a form of static resistor? I'm working on a project that requires no potentiometers or actual wires, all the components will be soldered straight to a 556 IC

    0
    josh1324
    josh1324

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't see why not, but that kind of ruins the point of having a synth if you can not change the pitch, but yea I guess you can choose a resistor somewhere inbetween

    0
    maxxion
    maxxion

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I understand, I might leave one in for pitch control, but I'm trying to make a replica of Doctor Who's sonic screwdriver.

    0
    josh1324
    josh1324

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    If all you want is one tone or something that doesnt have a stepped tone effect, I'm sure there's simpler designs with just one 555

    0
    TobaTobias
    TobaTobias

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great project. The middle pin goes to positive, where does the other pin that isn't ground go?

    0
    aesquivel
    aesquivel

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It doesn't matter, you are not using it so you can leave it disconnected. You are using the potentiometer as a variable resistor, not as a voltage divider so you are only changing the resistance between the ground and the middle pin, the resistance between the middle pin and the unused pin is not used at all.

    0
    FjerrFjerrson

    Great stuff! This is one of the first main things i've put together without some form of microcontroller at the heart of it. I got started in electronics with an Arduino, followed by a Picaxe, followed by a TI Launchpad.

    Thank you for making my first venture into "real" electronics fun! =)

    0
    josh1324
    josh1324

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Your welcome, I'm glad you liked it!

    fantastic - can't even describe how much fun i have been having with this!

    I only had 1M log pots hanging around but they sound pretty great with a 10k resistor