Build A Wacky Electronic Noise Maker
Find Your Signature SoundBy Ari Dubinsky
Assembly Time: 6 to 8 hours
Skill Level: Intermediate
Musicians have their own signature sounds; why not make your own? Take a step up from your beginner kits and dive into the deep end of your musical fantasies. The wacky noise maker is sure to make you ears wiggle when you hear what lies in the sleeping belly of this dormant monster. From unmistakable synth sweeps to wild vocal popping, you won't be able to put down this novel instrument.
FYI: This version of the noise maker was built without the addition of a second switch and is not the only way the noise maker can be constructed. Follow the schematic to fit your taste.
Step 1: (Fig. 1) Working with a pad-per-hole perforated board for the first time can be a bit confusing, especially if your organizational skills aren't up to par. So, in order to plan your layout I would begin by soldering a couple of the socket leads (8-pin, 16-pin) to the board, so you can change your plan in case your first layout doesn't seem to work.
Step 2: (Fig. 2) When you feel that your sockets are in a comfortable spot, begin to add the resistors. Do not cut the leads of the resistors yet; instead fold the leads over. We will use them as jumpers later on. Once you have added the resistors, you should have a pretty good feel about how your layout will be, so go ahead and solder the rest of the socket's leads.
Step 3: (Fig. 3) Capacitors are next. Place them strategically and don't neglect the polarity. Don't cut the leads yet.
Step 4: (Fig. 4) Add the transistor and make sure it is oriented correctly.
Step 5: (Fig. 5) When you flip the board you should be able to see a big hairy mess. Now you will begin to solder the leads to each other. Use the solder to bridge gaps between short distances and the extended leads of components for further distances. You may clip the leads once you have the parts connected.
Step 6: (Fig. 6) A zoom in can help you see what I mean.
Step 7: (Fig. 7) There are instances where not everything can be attached from the bottom. We will use solid core wire on the topside to solve this problem. Continue to make your connections and begin to add your external hardware, e.g., potentiometers, jack, battery snap , LED and switch.
Step 8: (Fig. 8) Insert your ICs and battery, and flip the switch. If your LED lights up, it's usually a good sign. You can test it by running your noise maker through an amplifier via a 1/4" instrument cable.
Step 9: (Fig. 9) Use masking tape to cover the surface of your enclosure. With a pen, mark the spots where you will drill holes for the switch, LED, potentiometers and input jack. I chose to place my jack on the side of the enclosure.
Step 10: (Fig. 10) Use the screws and nuts to secure the board from the rear of the enclosure. The washers may act as risers.
Step 11: (Fig. 11) Fit the hardware through the holes and lock the pieces into place using the washers and nuts they came with. Use hot glue for the LED.
Step 12: (Fig. 12) Attach the knobs (19.8MM, 14.6MM) and rubber feet. It's up to you to decide which ones you would like to use.
LED will not light, sound isn't produced, turning the knobs doesn't affect the pulse-rate, etc.
1. Check the soldering job. Make sure the solder from leads don't touch each other.
2. Replace the battery.
3. Match components with the schematic's specifications.
3. Check for damaged components.
4. Make sure polarized components are oriented correctly on the board (e.g., IC, capacitors and LEDs).
This project is based on a MusicFromOuterSpace.com project.
Ari Dubinsky currently attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in pursuit of a degree in Electrical Engineering and has teamed up with Jameco to accelerate his learning, as well as to lend a helping hand to a major electronics distributor. His interests include shredding on the guitar, electronics and music production.