The Magic Button

Finally, I did it! After some messing around with my toy yamaha keyboard, it finally seems to be working again. Have a look at my previous post back in November by clicking here for more detail. And, not only is it working, it’s once again making some great sounds. I hard wired in a couple of cables at the spot where I was previously pressing with my fingers to make a connection. This time I added a switch and a resistor, instead, to make it a bit more user friendly. I wasn’t sure whether the value of the resistor would make a difference to the sound made, but apparently not! The first one I tried, I got the same bizarre, random response from the keyboard that I remember from several months ago.

Take a look at the video and see for yourself:

at 2:13 is where it gets really interesting – you’ll notice because I stop to take a drink!

I can honestly say that I have no idea why this is happening. The connection I make affects what appears to be the chip that does the main processing for the keyboard. It seems that messing with the internals of the CPU is a little like giving a person hallucinogenic drugs, which would explain the erratic behaviour.

If you want to hear more, here is another 17 minutes if me playing with this.

If the media player doesn’t work, click here for a direct link

SNES Keyboard

SNES Keyboard (Incomplete)

I have been working on a while on trying to fix a broken SNES console. Unfortunately it seems that the motherboard is knackered beyond repair, however that didn’t dissuade me from trying to make some cool noises with it. I did a bit of research and discovered where on the motherboard the audio is processed. Using a bit of trial and error more so than technical knowledge, I soldered some connections to the motherboard. I then attached these connections to a toy keyboard, so that I could play the console like an instrument. What’s interesting abut the keyboard is that it is actually touch sensitive: the harder I press the keys, the stronger the connection is. The original toy didn’t use this functionality, and simply used the keys as switches, but it makes for a much more dynamic and fun instrument.

Watch this video to see it in action:

You will notice that half way through I hit the reset button. I have found that this sometimes makes the sounds change a little, especially if you are holding down a note while you do it.