I’ve been really hung up on circuit bending and toy hacking for a few weeks now, and thought I would give it a try.
This is my first bend. I added one button to a broken radio controlled “beetle” that adds an interesting looping sound to it.
In the video I first play a few of the normal sounds this toy create, the bend first comes in when I push the little button. If I keep two buttons pressed it loops and plays a nice, weird sound, and it is also possible to make some other interesting rhythms.
I also desoldered an audio jack from an old cd-rom drive, and connected it to the tiny speaker, so now I can connect it to an amplifier or a stereo headset.
I’ve always thought circuit bending was really hard to get into, but all you need to find interesting sounds/effects is you thumb and some spit. Just poke around on the circuit board, randomly “short circuiting” stuff until something says “beeeerrrrppppiiiiiii”. Then you solder something to those spots on the circuit-board, like a button or a potentiometer.
I tried adding a “pot” to this bend, and it does actually change the pitch of the sound slightly, but not enough to make it interesting enough, so I didn’t solder it in.
This is the second time I have ever touched a soldering iron, so this is definitely not a hard “hobby” to get into. Lots of fun for grown up (and) kids, and lots of cool people creating cool stuff on the web to be inspired by.