Circuit Bending a PC
November 8, 2006 12:05 AM   Subscribe

Circuit bending a personal computer. (Server slow? Mirror 1 Mirror 2) (more inside)
posted by loquacious (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For the uninitiated, circuit bending is the practice of experimentally short-circuiting or cross wiring analog or digital electronics to produce (typically) distorted or otherwise unusual audio or video signals and other unintended results.

I love this stuff. One of my first hands-on experiences with a computer as well as one of my first electronic music/noise experiences was listening to the circuits of a Heathkit microprocessor trainer with a pair of headphones with stripped wires as probes. Nice to see the practice alive and well.

Do your best to ignore the author's appalling writing skills. It's still good stuff.
posted by loquacious at 12:06 AM on November 8, 2006

Very fascinating!
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:24 AM on November 8, 2006

There's a name for that? When I used to mess up old radios and record players to see how they'd sound, I thought I was just fucking around.
posted by pracowity at 12:32 AM on November 8, 2006

Yeah, that's the other name for it.
posted by recurve at 12:41 AM on November 8, 2006

I want audio. I want video.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:43 AM on November 8, 2006

yeah, until I looked up circuit bending on wikipedia, I wasn't sure what the big deal was here. but now i'd be quite interested in seeing some video of this.
posted by jimmy at 1:02 AM on November 8, 2006

I exploded a broadband modem that wasn't doing the right thing by messing around like this - there was a pop, and something whizzed passed my ear. No idea what it was, or where it went - but I'm glad it missed me eyes!
posted by Chunder at 2:28 AM on November 8, 2006

Heh. I think my video card has that "feature" built into it. Damn thing. I had my LCD-TV hooked up via a VGA cable from my computer, and that worked fine as far as I could tell. I went and ordered a DVI, because the output ports on the video card are both DVIs and I had to use a DVI->VGA converter to make it work.

So now it's hooked up with a DVI cable, but I'm getting green sparkles on the TV. I'm guessing it's because the card sees that it has an HD monitor hooked up to it, is trying to send a higher frequency signal, and something is messing up along the way.
posted by Talanvor at 3:28 AM on November 8, 2006

Audio killed the video star.
posted by spazzm at 3:55 AM on November 8, 2006

For wire-free computer system noise making, see also: Catting weird things to /dev/audio.
posted by loquacious at 4:19 AM on November 8, 2006

I would usually just blow in the cartridge, and get back to playing Bionic Commando.
posted by Hicksu at 4:36 AM on November 8, 2006

That would be catting weird things to /dev/audio.
posted by loquacious at 5:00 AM on November 8, 2006

This is pretty impressive. I don't circuit bend, but I play / record music using circuits in opened electronics, and I can tell you this person is pretty in-depth.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:27 AM on November 8, 2006

Well, my infraread headphone (It´s a $100 Philips, no $5 chinese trash) plays AM Radio when I cover the receptors...
posted by cardoso at 5:27 AM on November 8, 2006

Universal Audio circuit bends old PCI video cards into audio processors and sells them.
posted by mkb at 5:53 AM on November 8, 2006

Its more fun to circuit bend old Casios. There's nothing like "When the Saints Go Marching In" sounding like it came from the depths of hell.
posted by elkelk at 6:18 AM on November 8, 2006

Looks like what my Apple //e used to display during crashes.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:40 AM on November 8, 2006

I have a laptop that does this on its own.
posted by zsazsa at 9:00 AM on November 8, 2006

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