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.

Atari Punk Console - VCS Tribute

Atari Punk Console - VCS Tribute(Click photo for Flickr album)

From Forrest M. Mimm's 1980 publication "Engineer's Notebook: Integrated Circuit Applications" came the stepped tone generator - two 555 timer ICs are configured to create a single square (pulse) wave. Kaustic Machines coined the term Atari Punk Console to describe the circuit as it's output is similar to the sounds of the Atari VCS games console of the 1980s.

The work featured here is a DIY build of an Atari Punk Console inspired analogue synthesiser known as the Dub-Step-Arcade designed by Matt The Modulator (aka Matthew Newlove). As a tribute to it's origins in the dusty circuits of the 1980s the build is housed in a heavily modified Atari VCS enclosure.

Materials used include hand machined matte black acrylic control panel and Atari VCS enclosure, laser engraved gloss black acrylic fascia (RazorLAB), salvaged mains power supply, reconditioned stock Atari VCS DPDT switches, stock arcade machine parts and miscellaneous fixtures, fittings and electronic components.