I’m calling this, “Modular Modules” – after the modular synthesizer. The objective? A simple VCO with swappable resistors and capacitors. The whole thing will be housed in Legos.
VCOs made from NAND Gates
In my limited experience, I’ve tended to make oscillators out of Schmitt Trigger ICs. For these circuits, the character of the sound you make is generally a matter of choosing the perfect combination of resistors and capacitors. What if testing combinations were as easy as playing with Legos?
The Conductive Interconnect
I am experimenting with a few ways to pass electricity between Lego items. In some cases, there are existing ports through which wires can be fed. In other cases, physical modifications make sense.
For example, this hollowed-out minifig contains a small capacitor; the idea is that synth users will place her on the as-yet unbuilt noisemaking device for a specific sound. The wire leads of the capacitor are fed through her legs and soldered to wads of foil. Thus, any voltage that goes in one foot and out the other will come out uniquely (i.e., .01uF, in this case) modified.
Updates will follow, but the best way to keep up with my experiments is to follow my Instagram account, @diysynthjunk.