Vibrati Punk Console in a Can

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Vibrati Punk Console in a Can

Postby vimes79 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:36 pm

I have just spent my evening putting together my new Lushprojects - Vibrati Punk Console and getting it mounted into a suitable unit.

I must say, I have never been big on audio based projects and have allways avoided them in favour of LED projects and other stuff that 'Looks' cool. I have allways considered audio to be rather dull...
I now take it all back! This has been a great little evening project and the results are fantastic!

The kit itself is nice and simple to put together and will only take you 1/2 hour to an hour if you are competent with a soldering iron and know where the bits need to sit and how to keep them in place while soldering etc.. and if your new to this and not that great with the iron, then just follow the instructions online carefully and 2 hours later you should have it put together to a point where you can turn it on and make some sounds. It was at this point when my opinion of audio electronic projects was changed... I had just connected the speaker and turned it on to get a loud buzzing static sounding noise, I twiddled the knobs back and forth and apart from the pitch going up and down, it really didnt do much for me... THEN I discovered the secret to this kit... Be Gentle with the controls, just tweek them a tiny bit at a time to find the "Bitting Point's" and then once you have got used to it and set the furthest right hand knob to anywhere over about 1/3 and you can generate the most fantastic retro computer game like sounds and create some pretty cool effects by moving the other dials to different points (that you soon pick up where the main points are to get certain effects) and then your away, within 1/2 hour I had gone through a ton of different sounds that were all reminisant of my 80's gaming days as a youngster and was amazed by the shear amount of different effects you can create.
After a little while longer I was getting it playing tunes (quite badly on my behalf) which actully sounded pretty good and in tune with the British National Anthem, Eastenders and other little tunes in my head that I found myself re-creating through this fantastic piece of kit.

Anyway the next step was to find a suitable container to mount it into. I hadnt really planned on this as I never expected to enjoy the thing so much, but now the hunt was on, I dug out my Altoids tins (which would of just fitted but I dont think it would of been a very neat job and there was no room for the speaker), a couple of project boxes I ordered a while back but never found anything to really put in them, I pulled out plastic take away containers and plastic storage pots, and then remembered seeing one of these kits mounted in a coffee tin.
I have several tins in my kitchen from these new Instant Coffee mixed with super fine ground coffee which looked like they would do. I was at first a little worried as the tin I had seen before was a bigger size, so I didn't know how well it would fit, particully the speaker.
WHAT LUCK! I lowered the included speaker into the top and it sat absolutly perfectly in the hole! I couldnt of been a better fit even if it had been made for the job!
So I measured all the bits up, drilled the holes for the Pot's and power switch and then lowered the switch first as it was the lowest and most fidily part, and pushed that into its hole and quickly tightened it up with the washers and nut.
The main board with the pots on lowered in pretty easily, I have big hands and sometimes find this kind of build difficult, but again the size of the tin seemed just right and it only took a couple of mins to get the board in place, push the 4 shafts through the four holes and added the washers and nuts and carefully tightened it up. As I had predicted it did create a bit of a dent in the middle between 2 and 3 but tighting the nuts on 1 and 4 and leaving the ones on 2 and 3 a little less tight (not loose though) allowed me to push the bulk of the dent out, leaving just a slight little dent there but nothing too major at all and it looked pretty good. I then lowered the speaker on to the main hole and let it sit with just its wieght holding it down.

Once I first turned it on I was amazed once again, the can was acting really well to enhance the sound and make it sound more bassey and a little less static (unless you want the static noise in which case you just need to adjust 2 and 3 a little further then you would with the speaker free standing). It really did sound really good and I played around for another half hour trying out some new things that the enhanced sound allowed me to do.
Then I started thinking about transport, storage and how to fix the speaker in place with it still able to be removed to change the battery (which I have kept internally as I decided to keep all the wires inside the can. My first thought went of course to Sugru (Have gone through 14 5g packs of this in under 3 months! Its great stuff, every modder, builder or hacker should have at least a couple of 5g packs in their compoants case or tool box) which would of been perfect for a perminant fix or a fix that only needs undoing and replacing once every 6 months or so but allthough that would of been great and stop any extra vibration it would mean having to cut the speaker free every time I needed to change a battery.
I then remembered that the can still had a plastic lid that sits over the opening and keeps the coffee inside fresh, I headed back to the kitchen and fished it out of the bin, I put it on over the speaker and it clicked beautifully into place and was such a good fit with the speaker that I could turn the whole thing upside down and the speaker stayed in place!
I then tried the Vibrati again with the plastic lid on and it created yet another fanstastic set of sounds, not muffled but just quieter and it acts like a low pass filter removing alot of the higher pitched tinney noise but left the clear sounds both high pitch and low sounding great, very different then with the lid off but again a great range which again was complealy different to the open air sound of a free speaker and the sound of the speaker in place with the lid off.
It really is remarkable, such a simple circuit and easy parts to create the most interesting sound project/build I have seen.

I allready have plans to add some mods to the "Atari Punk Can-Console", next will be adding the 2 switches to create the pulse output mod for some jittering pulsing sounds and then maybe look at making some changes to the modulation and expanding the frequencys and ranges.
I also plan to make the bottom of the can accessable with an opening so that I can fix the speaker fully in place with a layer of Sugru to stop any rattle at lower slower frequencys and still be able to change the battery etc.. with the speaker fixed in place.

Anyway over all it has been a great build and a lovely kit thats a decent project for a weekend or a long evening. The trickiest bit by far was the mounting, but I highly recomend the cans I have used in the photo's below, there are at least 3 brands seilling coffee in these cans for between £3 and £5 a can.
Its well worth the £20 quid and if you have kids (or are a big kid like me) then hours and hours of fun await you...

Anyway here are some pics, I recieved a cool looking Acrylic Phenoptix Keyring thingy with my latest order so rested that on top just for the photos... I have a seperate plan for that little item in one of my next planned builds! I threw some labels with my label printer on to the can to cover the branding and just number the pots but these are just temp, im going to print up some nice looking stickers to identify the different controls and maybe paint up the can into a steampunk type design and have some half cogs and componants fixed to it which I think would look pretty sweet!


THE 4 MAIN CONTROLS (1=Freq 2=Depth 3=Base Freq 4=Divider):



Finally I really like the qualitly of this kit and the way its all been thought out and even though these Atari Sound Gens have been around a while, people are still finding ways to improve and change them. Im actully thinking of designing a bigger cuircuit with more effects and a bigger speaker and mounting it inside an old vintage computer like an Atari or A Specie etc.. that would be pretty cool.

Anyway thanks again Phenoptix for supplying me with some awesome kit! And also to Iain over at Lushprojects for designing and creating this kit.
Iain has supplied me with a board and ATmega168 to build my own P.E.R.T. Personal Electronic Retro Telegram (www. as I managed to track a single super rare super expensive Hewlett Packard 5082-7415 Red 7 Segment 5 Digit LED Display from a 1976 calculator. Its a pretty unique display and collectors will pay £40-£50 each for them! Anyway mines going into my P.E.R.T. for some retro looking custom side scroll messages and im going to fit it into a nice mounting as an xmas gift for a family member who collects vintage computers and similar.
Im a little scared as its 100% Surface mounting including the 32 legged Atmel MCU, so the next few evenings are going to be spent practicing my SMD soldering skills. I have done a fair few Resistors, Caps, Trannies and LED's in SM but never an IC over 8 pins, it really cant go wrong either as the board is one of the very last and wanst cheap!
Anyway im not going to even attempt it until im confident that I can get everythign on there without issues.

Here is the kit (Board, MCU and Switch from Iain @ Lush) and the rest are the numourous Resistors, caps and trannies...

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Re: Vibrati Punk Console in a Can

Postby phenoptix » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:50 pm

8D Wow what a write up! You don't do things by half Vimesy!

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Re: Vibrati Punk Console in a Can

Postby Giobaldi » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:02 am

Great write up - thanks for all the details

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