I Love My Punk Console

By Marc Jacques

I love the sounds of old video games. When I saw the Atari Punk Console on Jameco's website I was curious, never heard of it before, so I bought one. After putting it all together I fell in love with the sound. I then went on a search for other things I could do with the circuit and related circuits. I found a bunch of 555 and 556 schematics that could be used to make different sounds and ended up building a bunch of different consoles with different features, shapes, and sizes.

Punk Console When I first started building them I didn't even own a drill. I was using cardboard boxes as the enclosures, in fact I used the shipping box that my Jameco order came in to build my first Atari Punk Console (APC).

I knew I'd need a drill eventually. I ordered my first drill bit along with the APC in plastic enclosure from Jameco. Still no drill, just the bit, but I patiently drilled the holes by hand by taping a flattened toilet paper roll onto the part that the drill holds and spinning it by hand.

I figured that there were others just as excited by APCs as I was, so I went online and typed AtariPunkConsole.com into my browser expecting to find something. Nothing. So in an effort to help popularize my new infatuation, I registered the domain and started writing HTML for my new site.

One of my coolest ones is the laser punk console. It's based on a laser ray sound circuit that used a 555 timer. For one of the resistors I replaced it with an LDR and added an RCA out for audio mixing. It also has a built in speaker for portable play. Every one of my consoles is unique from one another. Future consoles are going to be painted in more colors than just gold.

Despite owning a soldering iron, I really had never used it before. Frankly I didn't know what to do with it. But after experimenting with a DIY electronics kit I caught the electronics bug. From that very first kit I put together I loved the feeling of great accomplishment. I went on to build more kits like: 3D LED Christmas Tree, LED Flasher, Remote Checker, IR Barrier, Electronic Cricket, Capacitance Meter, TinyCylon, Ardweeny, BareBone Arduino, Super Ears, Metal Detector and many more.

All of the kits included schematics, but I really didn't understand them. I would use the labeling on the PCB and figure things out as I went along. Then I read Forrest Mims book on beginning electronics, learned more about using schematics and looked for more that I could build.

Keep up with Marc's Atari Punk Console creations.
We're always interested in what you are working on. If you have a project that you're proud of, or an epic failure send it to us and we'll share it with the Jameco community. Send your contributions to [email protected].