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Comment count is 26
RedRust - 2015-11-13
Cool Robot toy.
Bort - 2015-11-14
Unless I miss my guess, that's a Radio Shack / Tandy knockoff of Shockwave, marketed as Galactic Man. The fact that he has an erect and sensitive crank is why they couldn't call him "Galactic Dude" or "Galactic Guy", but "Galactic Man".

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
Yeah, he was less cool when I got him as a kid since he was the result of my family not having the money for a real transformer back then, but since I found out about him being a clone of the original, uncompromised Shockwave that was recalled from US stores after every single gradeschool kid in the world noticed he got a lot cooler and I dug him out of the box in my parents' basement that he was fortunately still in.

Even as a kid he was pretty cool, to be honest.

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
I kind of wish I'd lit it so you could see his package better.

Sputum - 2015-11-13
what drum machine is that
Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
Soundmaster SR-88, it's a Boss DR-55 clone with a couple differences (one sound is different - I think the Boss has an open hi-hat instead of the cymbal this has, but the big difference is the Boss only has preprogrammed patterns for the hi hats but these have a fully programmable hi-hat with a separate output you can use for triggering other analog gear).

I got it a long time ago for but they seem overpriced nowadays. On the other hand there are simple mods for trigger inputs (so you can sequence it from another device with trigger out) and direct outs for the sounds (I think, I haven't looked at that one in a while) and a couple others I never bothered reading up on.

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14

The older, blue model has a cooler look.

Cena_mark - 2015-11-14
That looks like a cool little drum machine. The latest addition to my collection is the Roland TR-8, which is pretty damn awesome. It's my first analog style drum machine, and its really great for getting me to create stuff on the fly.

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
IT's pretty fun, I'm glad it's not broken. For the past couple years it wouldn't save patterns and some of the sounds didn't work but it's tiny so I held on to it. Last night I popped it open and noticed a wire had come off the battery clip (it needs the batteries in even when you've got it plugged in to the wall), I guess it had been loose enough to cause trouble but not loose enough to actually come off for a while. Replaced it and now it's back. In the mean time I've built a couple of things that can send and receive analog sync, too, so it's way more useful now.

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
I've read about a followup model they did with a bit more programability and more sounds with level controls ad possibly some other stuff, but I haven't ever seen evidence of one turning up.

That latin percussion one in the VintageSynth comments looks amazing. I bet it would be really easy to add trigger inputs to it.

Bort - 2015-11-15
Thought you might appreciate this, a fake crappy Theremin I figured out how to build out of a 555 chip:


It's totally a fake Theremin because it uses just a photoresistor to control the pitch, and has none of the complexity of a real Theremin. Still, for legally retarded folks such as myself, it's kind of fun, and it annoys the cats. Sounds way too much like Keith Emerson at the start of "The Old Castle":


Ah, Keith. I understand you were experimenting with advanced technology, but was it MUSIC?

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-15
I've heard of those, I should really get in to building more stuff completely from scratch like that. Usually, except for simple stuff like distortion pedals and things, I've bought PCBs online and then sourced all of the parts and assembled them, and it's great for getting better at soldering and being able to make things that I'd have no chance of making from scratch, but as far as actually learning about electronics it doesn't do much for me.

Bort - 2015-11-15
It's only this year, after like a 35-year hiatus, that my head lit up again with an interest in electronics. My recommendation is to start by learning about transistors: that's sort of the point at which switches and amplifiers start entering the realm of electronics and you can do useful projects. Here are some good pointless circuits to mess around with or at least just look at:

http://www.talkingelectronics.com/projects/200TrCcts/200TrCcts .html

It'd be worth knowing how to build a Class A amplifier with a transistor too; at some point you'll need the following PDF because it's surprisingly difficult to find a datasheet with this graph:


Once you've got a handle on that much -- transistors, resistors, and capacitors -- I say you can start feeling more comfortable about just putting a chip in and saying to yourself, "this saves me a ton of work, I just need to follow the directions on how to wire up the chip".

For just learning about electronics in general, Elenco's got a 130 project kit that comes with a pretty good manual. If you need to bone up on your soldering skills, Elenco has a teach-yourself-to-solder kit, though I find it's pretty easy if you just remember a few simple tips (heat up the junction for 3-5 seconds, push a few millimeters of solder at the junction, try not to push the solder directly at the iron).

And for god's sake, get a desoldering iron from Radio Shack.

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-15
Yeah. It's weird for me right now because the most studying I've done was actually about tube amps (I've built one years ago that I still use and almost finished another), so the extend of my understanding of transistors is basically to think of them as little, solid state triodes. Probably the most sophisticated thing I've done as far as actual analysis was testing some diodes and voltage regulators in circuit in a limiter I was trying to repair last week (after which I hadn't found any problems so I reflowed solder joints on the board until it worked again). Oh, and I built and used a gain and leakage tester for PNP diodes years ago but I don't remember how it works.

kingarthur - 2015-11-13
EvilHomer - 2015-11-14
You should do a real video on the subject; I think you'd be great!
Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
Thanks! I'd have to shoot it on a portable news camera from 1981 is the thing, that's the only proper video camera I have right now.

jangbones - 2015-11-14
that camera would somehow improve the video

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
Yeah but I need a new video card before I can capture from VHS again, my old capture card's drivers require an NVidia graphics card and there are only a few older models that will actually fit into the old rack server I use for music and video stuff. The one I had in there died a couple weeks ago.

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
Maybe later this winter.

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-14
I already have the cheapest possible green screen.

boner - 2015-11-15
Cheaper than Steve Sutton's green blanket?

Old_Zircon - 2015-11-15
Maybe, I think it was abut including carrying sack.

chumbucket - 2015-11-14
You had me at "beeeyeeew".
infinite zest - 2015-11-14
Remix Pleez
Oktay - 2015-11-15
One star? No.
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