10. Mar 11th-17th: Storytelling review / building final modules#

This week we had a storytelling review! Here is my first draft at slides for my final presentation at the end of March:

During the presentations, Anastasia and Cecilia gave us feedback and advice, including reminding us to refer to the project in the third person, and present it as a finished work instead of going through everything we had done (which I’m documenting here partially to remind myself to remember these things!).

Final module designs#

This week I also adjusted the designs of my synth modules, deciding on the size of the grids, and laser cutting them:

From here I made new versions of the amplifier and 40106 oscillator circuits. I also decided to make a second type of oscillator module, based on the 4046 IC. This is a ‘phase locked loop’ which allows you to make more predictable ‘musical’ pitches than the 40106 does. I again used Nicolas Collins’ Handmade Electronic Music, and Hackaday’s Logic Noise for circuit designs, and built this first in hard format, and then on a soft grid.

Unfortunately the first prototypes I made of my two oscillator modules did not work properly at all. I learned that when the circuit is fully assembled, it’s really really hard to figure out what small thing has gone wrong. I stitched them both again from scratch, and this time:

oscillator no bueno


Other modules#

This week I also got started on what became the Ada and Anni modules - they’re properly documented in the MAKE page of my final documentation.


I can now make a sequencer using the 40106, a 4017 decade counter chip, and the 4046! But I didn’t take any pictures of this unfortunately…but here is a gif of it working as an LED sequencer. Circuit, as usual, from Handmade Electronic Music by Nicolas Collins, but just search for ‘Baby 8 sequencer’ and you’ll find what you need to make it.