20200428

Build a set of walky-talky eurorack modules which accept modular level signals trough their electret microphone inputs. To accomplish this I assembled a line level signal to microphone input adapter (following this guide: 20 dB PAD for line to electret microphone input) and included a 47k resistor before the 10uf capacitor. The walky-talky speaker output is routed to a tl071 based line level to eurorack level amplifier (I followed the TrAniModule line1-lineout design). The push-to-talk button is routed to a switch which is mounted on the panel. At first I powered the walky-talkies using 7805 chips (build heat sinks from salvaged aluminum) but they run quite hot so I replaced them with LM2596 buck converters. This also dropped the consumption from 200mA to around 80mA (~2mA on the negative rail) but this is dependent on the amount of signal amplification the units uses (which seems to be a automated process, based on some kind of feedback between the devices). The power supplies have reverse-polarity protection. I got the idea for building them from a youtube video.

The sound is interesting, like in megaphones but they are still unstable. One feature of the unstable behavior is that in some tests, some frequencies of sine waves would cause the unit to glitch and go silent. Once a different frequency is transmitted the connection is re-established. Very high frequencies cause a morphing glitchy interference space. The units distort sounds in interesting ways, almost like wave folders and I can also pass clock signals trough. Bass drum tones get removed but low frequency clicks pass. I think the glitches are a power-supply issue (my bench power-supply is very noisy), also there are a lot of loose wires and dodgy connections. I’ll rework the connections and set the rattling wires with hot glue, after I receive on-off-(on) switches (I’ll use them for the push-to-talk button). Also had the idea of adding voltage to control the push-to-talk button but it wouldn’t work as the devices make a loud beeb every time they establish a connection. When nothing is inserted to the input the microphone can be used.

The walky-talkies are Exibel FX-27’s, which we got from Kiasma and used with the xxx_group back in 2009. They have been collecting dust for 11 years! They have 8 channels and I’m currently using 446.00625MHz (the same as baby monitors, which I can now use as inputs for my modular!). I’ll have to wait until the libraries open to laser cut pretty faceplates for them and I also want to mount their antennas properly. Currently the PCBs are attached on a dodgy plywood sheets and the antennas are located in the back. They look like bombs. Sending wireless signals has been a longtime fascination. The last time I’ve worked with wireless audio of this type was in 2006 when we established Storijapan with Kristian (a layout of the our wireless setup is still on our server homepage). Transmitting signals from and in a eurorack system feels like a dream I had a long time ago.

20200424

Paul Wilson: Pure humour without jokes in 1970s Prague (2014) David Vaughan. The radio show deals mostly with the writing of Václav Havel. Crusaders’ School of Pure Humour Without Joke is mentioned briefly. There are some notes on The Plastic People of the Universe (rock band established in the fall of 68). “They didn’t want to have anything to do with politic, so at the time this became a strong political statement.” Says Wilson, who became a singer of the band, because they wanted to perform their répertoire in English.

20200421

The UNIX Operating System (1982) Bell Labs. A clear explanation on now unix computers are structured and organized. Really interesting to see how particular languages and hierarchies are enforced by their design.

Traded my Kastl 1.5 to a A-137-1. My first Doepfer module!

20200416

A brilliant initiative for easing the pandemic-art-grant writing pressure: UK Artist Grant Writing Support (2020).

UK Artist Grant Writing Support is a network of artists, curators and producers working in contemporary art organisations, who are coming together to provide in-kind support to artists requiring help with emergency grant applications.

Care in times of Care (2020) Staci Bu Shea. I read this as a critique of liturgical inclusiveness performances. By default all inclusive gestures are good, we are all learning and experimenting how to deal with our privileges. I think the article does a good job in presenting care as dynamic and conflictive process. Caring can and perhaps should lead to change in both parties, which can be really hard.

Do we need another event or text on care without the necessary institutional and organizational change that could really respond to such uncaring times?

For care to be preventive is not to say that conflict would be avoided. Rather it anticipates the experiences and needs of the other as opposed to reactionary care which is a response to uncaring conditions.

20200413

Build a TrAniModule amplifier/speaker using a PCB from the designer. I mounted it to a wooden panel, fitted it with a 1.5W speaker and added it to my Water Lab rack on modular grid. Sounds great, has a nice distortion and the module design is very versatile. My build is featured on the Animodule Facebook page and nicely titled a “gorgeous customer build DIY”.

Next I plan to build three piezo amplifiers in 1u size PCBs which I can mount to a 3u panel if needed. They will be used to amplify the sounds of sparkling water in upcoming mineral performances. Also sourced components for a 1u wavefolder and a MMI USBpower build.