Steam-powered Rickrolling

This is a steam-powered record player; awesome. But wait, that’s not all. Watch the video after the break for about two and a half minutes and you’ll realize that it’s also a Rickroll. No, you’re not getting baited into clicking through to Rick Astley’s music video, the LP that’s playing on the turntable is a copy of “Never Gonna Give You Up”; all kinds of awesome.

This all started with a steam engine machined from a stainless steel bolt and a brass cylinder. It was tested using compressed air before building the boiler. But what’s a steam engine without a purpose? The problem with using a steam engine as a turntable motor is speed control. This is where we move to modern technology, using an Arduino to measure the RPM and adjust the steam engine using a servo motor.

The builder makes a comment that this sounds terrible, but considering it’s steam-powered we think it sounds just fine.

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Audio cabinet refit with modern equipment

Hard at work on making this 1960’s Fleetwood audio console usable again, [Travis] packed a lot of power into the retro case. Both the radio and turn table had stopped working but the cabinet looks great and the speakers still work. In the lower center cavity you’ll now find a full computer motherboard and replacement amplifier. A new turntable has been added with an interesting vibration-dampening shelf to support it. [Travis] built the shelf with a void in between two layers of wood which he filled with sand to help with isolation. The remote control for the amp also needed some work as the receiver is pointed to the back of the unit. To fix that a second IR receiver found a home behind the fabric for one of the speaker grates. That receiver is monitored by an ATmega168 microcontroller and signals are repeated back to an IR LED mounted near the amplifier.

Turntable light sequencer

[Benjamin] built a sequencer that uses a turntable and light sensors to lay down a funky beat. If you like creepy videos with repeated gratuitous corderoy-clad rear-ends we’ve got you covered after the break. Art film aside, he’s got an interesting project. Four light sensors are mounted below the turning record with LEDs hovering above. His hatred for old LP records is apparent because holes must be drilled in a disc for the light to shine through. The four notes in the sequence can be altered in voice and color, along with controls for motor speed and direction. The project also has four manual inputs to add some variety to the repetitive beat sequence. It’s a bit less practical than the penny sequencer but fun none-the-less.

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Hey man, you seen my turntable around here?

It’s all fine and dandy to have a turntable that sounds great, but [Mike] wanted one that looks great too. He build the transparent record player above and loved it for a little while. When his interest in it waned he built another, then several more. They all have some element of transparency to them, and each is a work of art. Makes us wonder how often he needs to dust his house to keep them looking so good.

Is turntable technology too advanced for your tastes? You can stick with your Edison cylinder, we won’t make fun.

[Thanks John]

HDDJ: hard drive as rotary input

dj_hdd

[nvillar] wanted a relatively cheap way to make a rotary input device for audio mixing. After looking at several options including turn tables and professional audio scrubbers, they decided on the hard drive due to its size, price, and the feel of the disk. The geek factor of using a hard drive as an input device probably didn’t hurt either. They provide schematics and details on how to make it all work. There’s a video after the break of the unit sending signals to a computer. No performances though, sorry.

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Physical value of sound


The Royal College of Art in London recently hosted its annual graduate summer show, where postgrad students exhibit some of their artistic and musical projects. Among those featured this year were several vinyl record and turntable mods by [Yuri Suzuki].

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Touchscreen turntables, scratching without vinyl


While we were researching the AudioCubes, we ran into this amazing DJ system by designer [Scott Hobbs]. He calls it the ATTIGO TT, and it uses two touchscreens to simulate the turntables on a conventional system. More technical details after the break.

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