Friday, June 26, 2009
"Digital Scratch Pad" was made using a 555 timer IC . The sound is controlled through a photo-cell which is sensitive to light. As you cover the photo-cell, the the sound gets deeper, and as the cell is exposed to more light, the pitch gets higher. Underneath the felt is a flex sensor. The more pressure you place on the felt, the more it distorts the sound. There is a 1/4 inch jack, so you can plug it into an external speaker to make it louder. I've used this plugged into a Marshall stack, and it sounds awesome.
Monday, June 22, 2009
"Coins Across" is a classic of magic. The trick dates back to way before I was born. It's when someone makes a couple of coins travel from one hand to the other, using sleight of hand and charm. There are many magicians that have become well known because of this one effect. I think every full-time magician has a coins across effect that they regularly perform. This is my version using scrap wood, a mint tin, copper, felt, and some sneaky stuff you can't see. I really like this magic trick because it speaks for itself; you don't need to talk while you're performing it.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The "Recycled Etcha-Sketcha" is mostly made from found or broken electronics. The motors, potentiometers, knobs, and switches came from a broken vintage radio. The wire is from wire hangers, and the light bulb also comes from the radio. The circuits were built using a 555 timer. My favorite part of this project is the last switch on the board. I call it the "crazy switch". When it's turned on, all the electricity flows into the light and the motor, which controls the paper, causing the paper to retract really fast and the light to flash. There is a solenoid motor that also pushes the pen which came from a thrown out printer.