Dead Tech Application – Floppy Drives

Here’s some dead tech and other mechanical bits being used to make music.

The first one is a pair of old floppy drives playing the Imperial March from Star Wars.


Another from the same guy uses an old keyboard as an digital piano.


This one is less dead tech but it shows that you can still get cool sounds out of parts you might not think of.


This one has nothing to do with dead tech but I found it while I was looking at the last video and had to share it.

Bose wave radio

I found an older model bose radio on the upper west side,  the display doesnt work, but it does have voltage. I tested several transistors getting different popping noises.

My idea is to attach buttons and switches to several transistors. and make some kind of noise machine.

locations for buttons and switches

Rube project in Progress

After finally being able to test the voltage and whatnot, we decided to utilize the conveyor belt on the printer, while using the inkjet cartridge holder to slide down a pole attached to the top of the blender…I think we used some of the padding from the drum machine as well for the base. And of course, tons of aluminum foil, electrical tape, and glue. We have a small strip of material from the printer that will hook up to the conveyer belt and trigger the next machine. Finally, it works. can’t wait to see them all attached!







Midi Scrapyard Challenge

These are a couple photos and videos from last Sunday. My group created a four person accordion where we each had to give input in order to  get a sound to come from the circuit which ran through all four accordions. This was really interesting because despite the fact that we have collectively brought a computer, lights, cords, and other electronics, we really just ended up using the paper lanterns to create a fun group instrument.

And here’s a VIDEO of our instrument playing! talk

Madeline from will be talking in class today. Here is the link to her presentation.

Pictures from Project One!

Here are some pictures of our processes along with some of my sketches! Stay tuned for an awesome video!

The first assignment- rotating balls!!

Parinot and WenChing

At the beginning of the class, I totally had no idea how to tell the grand and power and how to trigger these physical stuff. It seems that I still stand outside and didn’t know how to give help to another team member. Thanks for Katherine again that she agreed with my new decision of grouping a new team with Parinot. Although we only had one week left before presentation, I DID learn a lot from Parinot. When I got confused about what  he wanted to do, and he usually answered, “I don’t know, but we have to try!” And we did try many ways to connect those steel channels and how to put those steel in right place and angel for balls. Finally, the balls can be put down because of AC power of fan with wire on it, and then those conductive balls can trigger samller DC fan again. Because we were the last one to present, we prepare one tissue paper with words on it. When the smaller fan was turned on, the paper tissue could be blowed up.

Also the experience I learned from Parinot was that he definitely is a hard-working student. When we decided to finished the assignment that night, it was already night o’clock already. And I saw he could keep working with any rest until we left around 2 am. He was keep asking me, “Are you ok? ” I consider he probably would be a great member of thesis in the second year.

Here are our working pictures.And we created channels for balls, and those conductive balls will trigger the fan finally!


rotating ball



Weekend Trash Picking

Over the weekend I went to check out Occupy Wall Street, and while wandering the streets down there I came upon a dumpster that looked as though a company (perhaps a health insurance co.) had recently cleaned office or shut down. There were tons of old files and paperwork along with furniture, several dell desktop computers, and various other electronics. While I would have preferred to take everything, I could only fit this thing (pics below) in my backpack. I can’t figure out what it was used for though. Anyone know?



Popping them Poppers

Here’s a progress report of our Rube Goldberg machine

First of all we warmly welcomed with our whole hearts, our addition to the group, Joe.

It was good having you Joe.

We then managed to set up, with the damage to one of our printers under control,  a small chain of events, similar to our initial concept with a couple of new additions of the popper, iron rod and the cooling fan.

So the events are as the following:

1) Some sort of non-electronic mechanism that triggers the cartridge slider to slide towards the center, whilst pulling the tail of a party popper on the opposite end. The needle attached to the cartridge holder which also then pops a ballon producing an explosion of confetti/snow flakes;
2) The slider smashes into two switches attached at the center then,
3) Sets off the paper feeders;
4) Feeder on the left starts rolling and shoots out paper bills;
5) Feeder on the right starts rolling, pushing the iron rod forward, which then conducts electricity to power the cooling fan, as well as the motor that triggers another party popper.
6) BOOM and we’re done.

We apologize for any sudden explosions back in the P-Comp lab and hope that no one got hurt/scared. Here is a documentation of one of our popper moments.

Here’s Terese with our machine.

Working with out findings

My group had multiple scavenged devices to take apart and consider: A printer, a blender, a light, an old hot oven plate, a drum table for an x box game–that we spent much of the first week just unscrewing things and seeing what we could find. I think we were all still very generally confused on what pieces worked, and what the actual functions were that could be appropriated. After almost starting a few small fires playing with wires,I did a couple of sketches of possibilities, just for some ideas.