Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Adjustable stand for Elektron Octatrack


Adjustable stand for Elektron Octatrack, 0° - 30° viewing angle. 3mm transparent red acrylic. Cut by Razorlab. Laser ready Illustrator file on Thingiverse

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The March of The Hares


"We cowered in our fox holes and wrote letters to our loved ones as the hares marched upon our positions …"

Short composition using a Korg MS20 driven by a Doepfer Dark Time step sequencer and recorded to an Electro Harmonix 45000 looper originally intended to demo an Epiphone Valve Junior head that I converted into a spring reverb using a BitMo kit (all reverberation on the track is from the converted head). The finished piece sounded like a procession or a march. Somehow ‘march’ and ‘spring’ lead to hares and as we all know hares are of evil intent ...


Monday, 21 January 2013

Big Muff PI clone

Big Muff PI clone
(Click photo for Flickr album)

Boutique style clone of classic vintage fuzz pedal, the Big Muff PI by Electro Harmonix. This pedal is specified to match the most popular of versions, the so called 'triangle version'.

My intention for this project was to aim for the highest quality build possible including the design of a breakout board for the 3PDT stompswitch, true bypass, LED and power supply wiring eliminating many of the weaker areas of DIY builds.

3PDT PCB

Many DIY projects lack clear and durable panel labelling. Here I experimented with blue Press'n'Peel heat transfer film with success.

Heat transfer decals

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lambda - a short film about a circuit board


Nathan Scribe is a regular contributor to the online forums of the UK's leading recording technology magazine Sound on Sound. During the repair of a Korg Lambda Nathan discovered a handful of badly damaged KLM-182a printed circuit boards. Aware of my experience etching PCBs, he asked if I could help out. Using a single damaged board I was able to fabricate the replacements he needed.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer Overdrive Replica




The Ibanez Tube Screamer is a guitar overdrive pedal dating from the late 1970s. The pedal has a characteristic mid-boosted tone popular with blues players. The legendary Tube Screamer has been used by guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan to create their signature sound. It is one of the most popular and most copied overdrive pedals.

JD Sleep runs General Guitar Gadgets a family owned operation located near Good Hope, Missouri, USA. His goal is to provide the absolute best DIY guitar effect information on the internet and to provide resources to the world for building your own guitar effect pedals.

Using a circuit layout from General Guitar Gadgets I built a replica of this classic overdrive for local musician Tom Hannay. It features everything you'd expect from a boutique effect pedal; battery or mains power, rugged die-cast aluminium enclosure with heavy duty stompswitch, gorgeous vintage aesthetics, true bypass and effect-on LED indicator.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Looking for short-term accommodation in Brooklyn or Manhattan

I'm a visual artist and outsider engineer from Brighton, England. My work is inspired by vintage technology. You might have seen my Atari Punk Console VCS Tribute Edition or my aluminium and copper space invaders on the Internet.

I'm taking a three month sabbatical in the Fall to study electronics at The Analog Lab in NYC. I'm looking for accommodation with good access to lower Manhattan from early September until the end of November hardcoded@me.com.

Monday, 2 July 2012

MXR Blue Box clone

MXR Blue Box clone(Click photo for Flickr album)

Custom build of a MXR Blue Box clone. This early 1970s octave fuzz pedal is based on some pretty basic engineering causing it's pitch tracking circuitry to glitch at higher frequencies and jump wildly between octaves. Lots of unpredictable fun. Octave pedals repeat the incoming guitar signal an octave above or below. Hendrix loved them and Jack White wouldn't leave home without one.

The motif on the copper-etched fascia is from some graffiti found on the side of a truck in San Diego, California.

MXR Blue Box clone Check back soon for audio demos!

Sola Sound Tone Bender clone

Sola Sound Tone Bender clone(Click photo for Flickr album)

Custom build of a Sola Sound Tone Bender clone using original germanium transistors for authentic vintage filth. This early British fuzz pedal was taken up by many mid-sixties players including that world-changing triumvirate of Englishmen, Clapton, Beck and Page. Check back soon for audio demos!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

This Is Obsolete with The Brighton Five Pound Fringe presents two collections of original artwork by Jim Harris at The Rock Inn, Kemptown.







From 5th May to 28th May 2012 This Is Obsolete with The Brighton Five Pound Fringe presents two collections of original artwork by Jim Harris at The Rock Inn, Kemptown.

Take a look at all the work featured in the exhibition here on Flickr

Dirty Circuits (2011) is a series of etched copper-plates, back-lit etched copper-clad sheets and limited edition prints. The collection is inspired by the printed circuit boards of classic vintage synthesisers.

In the dark and dusty interiors of the music machines of an abandoned era we discover a compelling world etched in copper. Hidden beneath ageing components, the paths and patterns of these forgotten circuits evoke systems that extend beyond the merely electronic towards the mechanical, the architectural and even the organic.

Sprites (2012) previews a forthcoming collection of etched copper-plates with aluminium and brass inserts depicting classic video game characters.

A sprite is a reserved area of computer memory storing a transient representation of an animation or image. By casting this data in physical materials this flux of chaos is fixed (Head and Paraskos, 2008). Planned work in the collection will explore a wider palette of colours and textures through the colouring, patination and bronzing of metals allowing for the creation of more detailed characters from Mario and Luigi to Frak!

Jim Harris is an artist and outsider engineer living in Brighton on the south coast of England. His original artwork and unique devices are inspired by vintage technology and aim to celebrate the abandoned, the derelict and the obsolete. More of Jim's work can be seen at thisisobsolete.com. Items from both collections can be purchased from Folksy.com.

The artwork is printed on metal in etch-resistant ink using a transfer process requiring heat and pressure. The copper-plates, copper-clad epoxy laminate sheets and brass parts are etched in sodium persulphate whilst the aluminium parts are etched in ferric chloride. The prints are pulled from the copper-plates using a hand press. Black ink on dyed grabado printing paper is used.

An electroluminescent panel contains a thin layer of copper coated in phosphor which glows when an alternating current is applied to it. Powder phosphor-based electroluminescent panels are frequently used for backlighting. They provide a gentle, even illumination while consuming relatively little electric power. The panels in this exhibition were generously supplied by Elwirecraft.co.uk and can be battery or mains powered.

The Brighton Five Pound Fringe is an exciting, new kind of arts festival that is affordable to audiences and free to participants. Britain's first "brochure-less" fringe, it is run entirely through social media. Ticketed events cost no more than a fiver. The Brighton Five Pound Fringe runs from 5th May to 28th May alongside the world famous Brighton Fringe and Brighton Arts festivals.

Sprites (2012) - Preview





Sprites (2012) previews a forthcoming collection of etched copper-plates with aluminium and brass inserts depicting classic video game characters.

A sprite is a reserved area of computer memory storing a transient representation of an animation or image. By casting this data in physical materials this flux of chaos is fixed (Head and Paraskos, 2008).

Planned work in the collection will explore a wider palette of colours and textures through the colouring, patination and bronzing of metals allowing for the creation of more detailed characters from Mario and Luigi to Frak!

The collection is currently being exhibited at The Rock Inn, Kemptown as part of The Brighton Five Pound Fringe. More details here.

Take a look at the collection here on Flickr

Atari Punk Console - VCS Tribute Edition featured on RetroThing.com


James Grahame has kindly featured my Atari Punk Console - VCS Tribute Edition on his awesome blog RetroThing.com. If you don't know the blog and you love vintage gadgets and technology then I highly recommend a visit. There's more dirty circuits, obsolete gizmos and wilful retrospection than you can shake a light pen at!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Manual Shift Register

Manual Shift Register(Click photo for Flickr album)

A shift register is a type of integrated circuit used in digital electronics to manipulate information within an electronic system. Shift registers can be found in a diverse range of equipment from washing machines to smartphones.

The Texas Instruments 74HC595 is one such device. It is an 8-bit serial-in, parallel-out shift register – a single input controls eight simultaneous outputs.

The speed at which a 74HC595 operates is controlled by a timer or clock. In a typical application it will execute millions of instructions per second.

The work presented here is a 74HC595 with it's clock and other functions replaced by manual controls. Without intervention the 74HC595 will not operate. Manual Shift Register challenges the orthodoxy of automation in electronic systems. It represents the antithesis of autocorrect - the momentum of the circuit is subjugated to the will of the operator.

A video demonstrating the work follows. Various manual controls determine the input and operation of the device and it's internal state and output are shown using LEDs and a 7-segment display.



Manual Shift Register represents a study towards a larger piece of work applying similar themes and techniques to the construction of an electronic musical instrument. The 29 registers of a MOS Technology 6581 SID chip will be exposed to direct operation using an analogous array of physical controls.

The 6581 is a hybrid digital/analog 3-voice electronic music synthesiser manufactured on a single semiconductor die. It was designed by Bob Yannes for Commodore and used in several of their home computers during the 1980s including the Commodore 64. It's unique sound – so called chiptune or chip music – has become popular with both mainstream and independent artists.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Dirty Circuits

Dirty Circuits(Click photo for Flickr album)

Dirty Circuits is a collection of framed limited edition prints and etched copperclad laminates inspired by the printed circuit boards of classic vintage synthesisers.

In the dark and dusty interiors of the music machines of an abandoned era we discover a compelling world etched in copper. Hidden beneath ageing components the paths and patterns of these forgotten circuits evoke systems that extend beyond the merely electronic towards the mechanical, the architectural and even the organic.

For the prints I used Daler-Rowney water soluble block printing ink on 300g/m2, 100% rag, acid-free and ageing resistant grabado printing paper. A hand operated screw press was used to print from a 1 mm thick copper plate which was etched in a tank of sodium persulfate. The press was built in my workshop from an original design.

For the etched laminates I used 0.8 mm and 1.6 mm thick glass epoxy FR-4 boards clad with a 0.035 mm thick layer of copper. The boards were etched in a tank of sodium persulfate. Following the etching process the reddish-brown tarnish of the exposed copper is polished to a warm textured lustre giving a brighter more reddish-gold appearance. The work is then sealed using Servisol Plastic Seal 60. This durable plastic insulator protects the copper from further oxidisation and surfaces the work with a semigloss finish.

Ease of Misuse

Ease of Misuse(Click photo for Flickr album)

Hardware sequencer prototype intended as a research and development platform for unconventional approaches to music sequencing and composition. Current firmware version supports basic input and output only. Software and hardware are adapted from the Arduinome architecture and are compatible with Arduino - the physical computing platform.

Materials used are 3mm laser cut white acrylic, double sided copper clad FR4 laminate etched in sodium persulphate, silicon rubber button pad, stock arcade machine parts and miscellaneous electronic components.