Kits, kits, kits: Atari Punk Edition


With Megapolis right around the corner (next week!), we’re gearing up for a new and totally sweet–and by totally sweet I mean awesome–workshop. Justin is going to be leading two workshops during the Megapolis festival at the Node’s space (you can RSVP here) building the quite hackable Atari Punk Console (schematics by Jameco, videos by everyone).

I have 40 kits worth of parts sitting in my living room, so now I’m going to show you what 40 kits worth of parts looks like:

40 kits worth of parts.

With some minor deviations, this reflects the bill of materials from the Jameco page. Instead of the weak little breadboard-style potentiometers they recommend, we’ve got much nicer (heavier) ones, about the size of a 2-liter soda bottle cap. Also, a lot of plans call for a volume knob but inside voices are for the weak, so we’re replacing that with an on-off switch and a power-indicating LED. Inside voices may be for the weak, but a cutoff switch is for the wise. It wouldn’t be hard to patch a 5K logarithmic potentiometer into the speaker connection, though, if you wanted it.

Everything else is by the book, two kinds of tantalum caps and one ceramic disc, resistors, 9v batteries and connectors, some pretty classy looking little speakers, perf board, and enough wire to connect everything together.

I’ve built a few 555-based noise circuits with inaccurate ceramic discs and electrolytic caps before, but I’m excited to see how strictly following the instructions will effect the outcome. I imagine I’ll be content with the finished circuit for day or two before it’s split open and modified. That’s the beauty of this approach, simple parts, simple circuit -> build it yourself, learn about it, understand it -> tinker, experiment, explore, extend. Fun!

Visitors to Megapolis can get the kit and workshop for $15. Node members can get the kit at cost, which is about $7.50, give or take a couple of quarters. I’ve posted the details of the order, if you’re interested in the whats and wheres: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dfrqn7rt_96hm69qwn8 (or if we need to re-buy everything for Betascape). MPJA and Jameco were both a pleasure to work with, by the way. Each order had a minor out-of-stock issue, but both companies contacted me within 24 hours of placing the order to warn me and figure out how to proceed. In one case, I swapped items over the phone, and in the other their in-stock qty was enough to cover the requirements for the workshop (72 pots instead of 80, some lucky Nodesters will have to supply their own, perhaps). Shipping was UPS and Fed Ex, respectively, and I had all the parts within seven days of placing the order.

And the bonus, we had enough budget left over to pick up ten 840 connection point breadboards for members and friends of the Node to use when they’re in the shop.


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