Hack Guitar Hero DS into a guitar controller


[Eric Ruckman] sent us this awesome Guitar Hero hack. He wanted to get a more “true to the series” game play out of his DS when playing Guitar Hero: On Tour. If you’ve seen the adapter that comes with it, you’ll understand his desires. He found a wireless PS2 Guitar Hero controller on EBay to hack.

He’s cut a hole in the controller and removed all the guts. In the picture above the DS fits in the hole to allow strumming in the correct position. The controller buttons are connected to the DS by wiring into the adapter. He’s added an FM transmitter to the controller so he can play the sound through his home sound system.

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DeepNote Guitar Hero bot


A team of five high school seniors have released some videos of their new Guitar Hero bot named DeepNote. This bot uses a group of custom photodiode modules with an 8 nanosecond latency placed on the screen to sense the notes. The Parallax Propeller system takes this input and controls solid state relays hooked into the guitar’s circuitry. After we looked at a few videos of the early prototype system, we could really see how it has evolved. They have custom PCBs and a really nice frame for the photodiode sensors. You can find more info on their How It Works page and view a demo video embedded below.

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Guitar Hero actuator


Another day, another EE that refuses to play Guitar Hero properly. [Julian Bleecker] went into the design of this Guitar Hero actuator not really knowing how to size solenoids properly. Luckily, trial and error can get you a long way. The first solenoids he purchased couldn’t apply enough force. The second was overkill. It was certainly strong enough but too heavy and too large to mount to the neck. The final set ended up being both the right size and working well even at 12V, half the design voltage. The elegant mounting system is what really makes this project shine. [Julian] provides the schematic for the ATmega168 driver board, which is an Arduino stripped of the extraneous bits.

Related: Slashbot and AutoGuitarHero

[via Make]

Notacon 2008: Circuit bending intro


The first talk we went to at Notacon was [Sam Harmon]‘s great introduction to circuit bending, the process of modifying sound generating electronics to create new musical instruments. Reed Ghazala is considered the father of circuit bending for his pioneering work starting in 1966. Sam pointed out that a “prepared piano” could be considered the non-electric precursor to circuit bending. It involves the musician placing different types of material on the piano’s components. Sam presented many different examples of where to start with circuit bending: the Casio PT-10, PAiA Theremax, Atari Punk Console. He also mentioned a couple AVR projects: AVRSYN and todbot’s Arduino work.

The session ended with [Thom Robertson] showing off the Weird Sound Generator he built and his GHX software for playing real music with a Guitar Hero controller.

Guitar Hero guitar controller


[Chuck] sent me this How-To on building your own custom Guitar Hero controller. I love the idea – the stock controller is a bit small for me. This one was built for a Child’s Play fund-raiser, so maybe you can score it and help get some games to some kids in need.

Remember, there are just 20 more days to get your entry in for the Design Challenge!

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