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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Ken Stone designs - CGS
Junkbox challenge
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Would you participate in a Junkbox Synth challenge?
Yes
87%
 87%  [ 7 ]
No
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
Depends on if something good was on TV or not...
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 8

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otherunicorn



Joined: May 11, 2008
Posts: 136
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:31 am    Post subject: Junkbox challenge
Subject description: A construction idea
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I've been watching re-runs of Scrapheap Challenge (Junkyard Wars) and was thinking that would make for a fun idea of synth DIYers.
The Challenge - to build a module or synth out of salvage, scrap and surplus.
Suggested rules:

Parts should be salvaged from scrapped equipment (preferrable NOT synthesizers!!!), or could be surplus parts picked up at a surplus dealer, or even crap that's been sitting in your junkbox for ever and a day.
The idea is you don't go out to buy parts, you use what is to hand. if it means odd sized pots and knobs that don't match, so be it.

If you don't have something to hand, ADAPT. Modify the circuit. substitute something similar.

Commercial PCBs are okay, to give less experienced builders a chance of getting a working module, though disguising it would be good.

If you absolutely have to buy a new part, declare it in your build description, and take a penalty if any judging occurs.

"Judging" if it occurs, would be based on submitted audio and photographs.
Before, during and after photos would be part of what needs to be submitted.

Thoughts?

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fluxmonkey



Joined: Jun 24, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

great idea, i'm in! might help to focus the target goal a little more than just synth/module... like "automated foley machine to produce widest possible variety of alien footstep sounds" or "steampunk jukebox"...

b

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otherunicorn



Joined: May 11, 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Synthesizer: The ultimate goal of several challenges.
Module: The subject of each individual challenge, module type specified for each challenge.

I do think staying with more standard designs might be better than asking for things that would be better done as a patch than a module.

It would be fun to see a tube based VCO facing off against a DSP one though who would be finding DSPs in their junkbox? I guess some guys have them.

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andrewF



Joined: Dec 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

How about components?
I went through a stage of trying to use recycled everything and used to extract all the components, even resistors, from old TV circuit boards. Now I draw the line with resistors, 1/4W ones anyway, still recycle the larger ones.

Trying to find and extract the right sized resistors for a project will be a stumbling block.

Otherwise chips, pots, knobs, tubes, panels, cabinets, wire, power supplies, switches are all easily obtainable from junk.....in which case I could nominate everything I have built in the last 4 years.

Actually, now i think about it, all my resistors and caps come from a shop in Akihabara called 'Superjunk!' The pink labelled racks on the left are the caps, all the resistors are in the plastic boxes on the floor. After about 2 minutes of searching for a bag of 56k your fingers are stained with a charming cocktail of grease and dust.


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neandrewthal



Joined: May 11, 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jeez, you're crazy Andrew. In a good way of course. I have a hard enough time ordering all the right parts, let alone salvaging them. (why doesn't the :salute: emoticon work anymore?)
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otherunicorn



Joined: May 11, 2008
Posts: 136
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

andrewF wrote:
How about components?
I went through a stage of trying to use recycled everything and used to extract all the components, even resistors, from old TV circuit boards. Now I draw the line with resistors, 1/4W ones anyway, still recycle the larger ones.


It sounds like a lot of your resistors come under the "surplus" category anyway. Mine are the same. They are "new" and unused, but are past their use-by date. When they get too old, the tape on the feeder bands goes off, and they can no longer be used in automated machinery. That's when they show up as surplus!
Of course, if you have perfectly good resistors to hand, I guess that could qualify as "junkbox" as you don't have to go out and buy them.

Seriously though, at this point it is a discussion, and yes, I agree that resistors are a pain to salvage, so would be candidates for exclusion.

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Pehr



Joined: Aug 14, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm also in! This is exactly what I've been thinking of doing for my 3rd cabinet. A sort of lunetta modular using only parts I have at home, most of them I've got from surplus, from my father or from the garbage room. But It's going to take some time to fill an entire cab so I guess I'll try to put together a nice module for it Smile

When do we start?

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otherunicorn



Joined: May 11, 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

As it is a challenge, and not a competition at this point, I gues we can start whenever we want and start sharing out progress. That is likely to create more interest from others. It's a self rewarding challenge anyway. Anyone who participates has fun, and ends up with some sort of module Smile
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Luka



Joined: Jun 29, 2007
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Location: Melb.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ive got some ideas

first, does anyone know good places to salvage 18/18v torroids?

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Pehr



Joined: Aug 14, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

How about if one build an advanced control module? It will not make sounds, but control my other gear. I suppose that's 0k. Smile
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otherunicorn



Joined: May 11, 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Many modules in a synth don't make sound. It isn't like a mixer would be excluded fom the challenge because it didn't make sound, is it? The same applies to other things.
The primary point at the moment is to have fun. If the idea takes off, then we think about a competition and whatever "rules" would need to be enforced.
Some of us are already miles ahead of others in this field. Like Andrew said, just about everything he's built in the last 4 years qualifies. I'm the same. I use a degree of recycled and surplus parts for most of what I do.

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Pehr



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, you're right. Smile
I'll start to design a module soon Very Happy

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scriptstyle



Joined: Jan 22, 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

im into it. i wish there was a mom and pop surplus by me.... i guess i will just stick to the dumpster outside my job for now.
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otherunicorn



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

scriptstyle wrote:
im into it. i wish there was a mom and pop surplus by me.... i guess i will just stick to the dumpster outside my job for now.

I wish I had a decent surplus or junk shop near me too. I'm probably better stocked myself than anywhere around here.

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scriptstyle



Joined: Jan 22, 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

so yard sale and flea market stuff count right? I built a baby 10 and threw it into a broken atari 2600 I got at a flea market. I asked the guy how much he said"5$" I said the cord is ripped he say"ah fuck" I payed him one dollar in change the whole transaction was really funny.
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otherunicorn



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

scriptstyle wrote:
so yard sale and flea market stuff count right? I built a baby 10 and threw it into a broken atari 2600 I got at a flea market. I asked the guy how much he said"5$" I said the cord is ripped he say"ah fuck" I payed him one dollar in change the whole transaction was really funny.

Yes, yard sale stuff certainly counts. Basically, stuff that isn't bought new. Buying surplus is okay. Buying junk to pull apart is okay.

Heading over to Mouser to get the latest parts is NOT okay Smile

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synthmonger



Joined: Nov 16, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great idea!

<---anxious to start Very Happy
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otherunicorn



Joined: May 11, 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Don't wait for an official decree to start!

At the moment I'm building a PSU for my tube synth that does qualify. 100% recycled junk!

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andrewF



Joined: Dec 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

back on the tubes!! Very Happy

i just scored some shelving brackets to uses as racks for my tube synth (from the dumpster - naturally) Also found two transformers that spit out 630V, 130V and 6.3V - very useful

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Do you think it looks junkbox enough?? Laughing
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synthmonger



Joined: Nov 16, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sweet setup!


Oh so post details when the junkyard module is in progress/finished? That works great for me since I'm in the process of moving this month ;D
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Coriolis



Joined: Apr 11, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uh..Andrew: Are those bnc jacks? They look like it... Cool

C

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andrewF



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yep bnc, some of the outputs are a bit hot!

One panel (with the cosmonaut) has 3.5mm jack -> DC amp -> bnc and
bnc-> 3.5mm jack
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scriptstyle



Joined: Jan 22, 2008
Posts: 250
Location: nj

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

today is a great day!! i found surplus store that has been there for years but just under my radar.
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