Posts Tagged ‘Plastic Work’

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Remoc R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn, or, Everybody Loves Remoc

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

At the end of January I drove back to the city of heavenly taquerias and got jiggy with installing new brains in Remoc, just the cutesy wootsiest Elder God you could ever hope to meet!

Our boy assumed this position for many hours. Quoth the security ladies at the front desk, “Your Monster is all Drunked over!”

Here’s what the sensors look like in vivo. The little wire goes to a sheet of copper tape which is adhered to the inside of one of Remoc’s surfaces where he’ll be sensing touch (for instance, his finger — you’ll never guess what happens if you pull it). These plates are all of different sizes and shapes, and of accordingly make for different signal strengths on the output. They are also pretty close to one another sometimes and it certainly seems from looking at the ADC readings like there are some irritiating interactions between some sensors. If I did this again, they would each have an enable line and be polled sequentially. But.

The little boards get stuck down somewhere convenient and close to the tape, and then the more-or-less DC sensor signal is shuttled back through a cable.

Finally, the guy who sculpted Remoc managed to set his entire body cavity on fire shortly after all the copper tape and wiring was installed. This adds a real “wild card” element to the sensor system which keeps it fun!

Anyhoo, after a long install, he was back up and gibbering, and there was much rejoicing!

[Ed note: since this time, word has again arisen from the West that the cultists are stirring. It is likely this is not the last time we will sojourn to the Comer, dear reader, or as I like to call it, “Baby Boo Miskatonic”]

Teutonic WTPA ist ein Berliner!

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Not content to rest on his laurels, Nick decided to build ANOTHER WTPA for his old friend Jonny who plays minimal techno on a fancy euro label as a present for bringing him over to Berlin to write some tracks. Again I had a chance to warm up the CAD deck and make this guy. He still has threaded holes, but everything is a little tighter than before. And he’s blue.

These cases were cut by my man Joe at Prototope who do a kickass job of laser cutting really fast, and are based in Manhattan.

By this time I got pretty convinced that churning out lasered cases was like falling off a log and figured the next WTPA ought to come with one as an option, albeit without the annoying thread cutting step.


WTPA — For the Ladies

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Right around this time in the summer of ’09 my buddy Nick (who stuffs the WTPA kits, and who plays in a kickass band called Lazercrystal built a WTPA for his girl Lulu, Chicago bartender par exellence and all around lovely lady. I had been on an enclosure kick and decided that this was the time to get jiggy with QCAD for linux and actually make a reproducible laser cut enclosure. I still had to tap threaded holes in the edge panels, but everything fit the first time, believe it or not.

These are the results of that experiment and Lulu’s is still about the prettiest WTPA there is out there.
The buttons are a plunger extension made of acorn nuts, flathead screws, and spacers. They look good and work well but personally I find they feel a little hinkey.


Ice Cream Paint Job Embedded Systems Shiz

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The following pics were a special sampler I made by hand for my buddy Dan Friel’s wedding. It was a one off gift for he and his wife Sarah.

It took a lot of screwing around, scoring, breaking, special acrylic bits, taps, and a lot of McMaster orders. No laser cutter got anywhere near this. I did manage to give myself a real nice rash from all the acrylic dust from the sander, but in the end this is the first REAL enclosure I made for WTPA and is the way of the future.

Named after Sir Gawain’s buddy, natch.

WTPA Shipping, Video Synth Prototype Shown Off.

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

So WTPA is no Wii Fit Circa Christmas 2008 or anything, but it’s been nice to see the orders come in. I have been admittedly slow and horrible about moving them out the door, but am getting better.

Above you can see part of the reason at least — a WTPA based video synthesizer I made for a sloppy rocker dude video art party in Brooklyn last weekend. The party was fun, the synth was cool, and most importantly I’m excited to get started on the next one.

In line with my new-found forefather vs cherry tree honesty style I will say a couple things: I have decided I must do this sort of thing mostly to prove stuff to myself about electronics nerdery. Like, I get a kick out of challenging myself to build some esoteric fruitcakery like this in all of four days, or must because lord knows I don’t make money on it, and not very many people see it, and those people that do mostly don’t get it.

So that leaves ego and da love of da game as motivations. And learning, but I think that is tied up pretty tightly with the first two.

Something else I will say: I set myself on fire making that thing –>

For reals. It was a first. It sucked. Word to the wise: acrylic takes a lot more heat to bend than ABS. And apparently a lot more heat in general than a hoodie.

Also, for those of you who do like to mess with plastics, if you haven’t gotten a set of the fancypants acrylic drillbits with the special rake and pointy ends, they will change your life. You might cry. I almost did, but stopped when I realized I was in need of extiguishing.

Finally, for those of you who wrote me looking for videos of WTPA, they’re in the “Lejendary Adventures-esque jaunt through time and space in no particularly succinct fashion” section above along with all the other longwinded esoterica about this project. [Ed Note: Nope, they’re here in this blog now.]

Oh, and in case you’re in the hood and curious I’m talking about sampling theory and how to design cool stuff in general in LA this Sunday at the fine and noble Machine Project. It should be fun (and free) and I’ll have kits for sale.