Notacon 2008: Circuit Bending Will Get You Laid

[Pete Edwards] and [Fred Owsley] openly admitted that the title was the most thinly veiled audience-bait ever constructed. Nevertheless, they poured through a great talk covering the basics of circuit bending and some of the pieces they had built over the years. Fred said that what attracts him to circuit bending is the hands on approach to something very scientific i.e. he can figure out how to construct an interesting circuit by rubbing his finger along the back of the board. As far as where to start: always a battery powered device and use the toy store as a last resort. You’re going to tear the thing apart so why pay for it? Dumpster diving, garage sales, swap meets, and flea markets are all places to look. Parts don’t need to be anything better than grab bag either. They suggested an easy first step is dropping the operating voltage of your device and seeing how it reacts. Pete and Fred had several examples of devices they’ve modified: Speak & Spells, Casio SA keyboards, Barbi karaoke machines, and the voice changing gas mask pictured above.

The Bent Festival for circuit bending is coming up soon if you’d like to see more. You can also check out these links for more information on circuit bending.

9 thoughts on “Notacon 2008: Circuit Bending Will Get You Laid

  1. cmon lets admit it, Circuit bending is degradation it is not a hack because it dont require any knowledge it just breaking stuff. Maybe it is time for people to realize how silly it is looking. Just get a book and start try to learn some electronics and create useful things.

  2. I agree as well…

    So some cases of bending are a little more art than hack, who cares? It’s fun and I have always believed that scavenging and re-purposing were cornerstones of hacking anyway.

  3. Modifying things is still more fun than not modifying things.

    “With “hacking” one has some sort of idea what one is doing, with “circuit bending” one has absolutely no clue.” – Handmade Electronic Music

    While not ‘exactly’ true, it does a lot to capture the ‘no fear, fuzzy science’ spirit circuit benders have, knowing their project is more likely to break through continued efforts than eventually work.

  4. therian-
    part of the excitement and I think merit of circuit bending is the possibility of coming up with results you never would have expected.It’s an openness to chance and I think a useful spirit to approach other projects with.

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