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Author Topic: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.  (Read 25597 times)

Circuitbenders

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HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« on: November 26, 2007, 08:42:13 PM »

One of the most common questions i get asked is 'what do i need to get started doing circuitbending' so this thread is so people can give general advice to beginners. If you want advice on specific machines start another thread but any general tips can go here.

First look at the tips page of the circuitbenders site http://www.circuitbenders.co.uk/tips.html

For a first bending attempt you really can't go far wrong with a speak&spell, theres loads of information out there, you can't fail to get some good results and they are difficult to kill, unless you mess with the power supply so don't. Theres nothing for you there.  ;)

What you're going to need to get started:

Soldering Iron
Solder
A selcetion of Poteniometers - around 1K, 47K, 100K, 470K to get started
Some kind of output jacks, 1/4 inch mono for preference
wire - i seem to use 10/0.1mm or 7/0.1mm
Switches - SPST usually but having others handy is a good idea
Push to break buttons
Push to make buttons
As many screwdrivers & socket sets and you can find
A drill

What you may need in the future
A multimeter
Solder sucker
Solder mop / wick
Patchbay sockets - whatever type you like best
LED's
A guitar practise amp
Epoxy resin glue
Even more screwdrivers & socket sets
Trimmer Pots
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 10:32:17 PM by Circuitbenders »
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Circuitbenders

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 08:43:16 PM »

judging from that post the ability to be able to spell is clearly not a priority  ;D
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nochtanseenspecht

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 10:09:38 PM »

hmm, i don't know the english word for it, but these little wires with a crocodile mouth on both sides
are handy too, when trying out the right value pot, try a new connection etc...

btw, i always start with some wet fingers... works great ! :)
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kick52

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 01:50:02 PM »

I think this article makes it sounds too complicated..

All you really need (without wiring anything up) is a screwdriver to open it up. Then just use your wet fingers or the screwdriver to mess with the circuitry. Then to wire stuff up you need a soldering iron (one with a _SMALL TIP_), solder, wire, and a switch or whatever.. If you don't have a drill you need a well ventilated area, and something metal the size of the hole you want to make.. You can heat the metal up with the soldering iron to burn through the plastic and make a very crude hole. That's how I do it anyway.. Make sure you DON'T breathe in the fumes. The hotter the metal is the more plastic you will burn, so keep it at a minimal temp.
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Circuitbenders

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 02:51:15 PM »

Doing that will end up destroying soldering iron tips and / or your soldering iron fairly rapidly though and as you say, it will be a very crude hole.

hmm, i don't know the english word for it, but these little wires with a crocodile mouth on both sides

Crocodile clips  ;)
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octatone

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2007, 05:00:18 PM »

I would add 555 ICs for clock bending as the simplest "advanced" bending necessity.

And if you're going to suggest LEDs you need to mention having some 1k resistors handy.  Also when I do initial probing with wires I always put a 1k or lower resistor on an alligator clip to try and prevent accidental frying.

Also replace drill with dremel/rotary tool and you'll be set.  I just put drill bits on my rotary tool when i need to make holes.  Plus, the rotary tool makes cutting proto boards mad easy.

/tips out
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kick52

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2007, 06:17:30 PM »

Doing that will end up destroying soldering iron tips and / or your soldering iron fairly rapidly though and as you say, it will be a very crude hole.

hmm, i don't know the english word for it, but these little wires with a crocodile mouth on both sides

Crocodile clips  ;)

Hmm.. how does it destroy the soldering iron if the iron doesn't even touch the plastic? Or is it the fumes..

Also, what should I use as a cleaning cloth? i was using a normal washing up one, though then my iron started to have bubbling brown liquid on it..
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Circuitbenders

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 07:01:45 PM »

I suspect anything that coats your soldering iron tip with crap is going to destroy the tip and cause cold spots etc. I'd imagine on cheaper irons that puts the heating element under some pressure which isn't going to do it much good.

Soldering with a damaged tip isn't really advisable anyway. Its a lot more difficult and you could be looking at all kinds of problems with the resulting  joints.

If you have a soldering iron stand, which i'd recommend, there will probably be a solder cleaning sponge in it which you just dampen with a bit of water and wipw the soldering iron on it. You can buy the sponges from most places you can buy irons.

Theres some good iron tips and information here http://www.inlandcraft.com/Uguides/tipcare.htm
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Signal:Noise

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 09:18:02 PM »

flux/tinner is quite handy for prolonging teh life of a soldering iron tip.
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computer at sea

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2007, 09:27:17 PM »

Quote
Or is it the fumes

Speaking of fumes, what are people using to cut plastic?  I've got a dremel, and it melts the plastic while cutting, which makes a hideous cloud. 
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nochtanseenspecht

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2007, 10:45:04 PM »

i use dremel too, yeah it's smelly but nice for square holes etc.
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computer at sea

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2007, 11:09:52 PM »

Undoubtedly it's a great tool.  I wonder if one with a faster rotational speed would produce less fumes?
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kick52

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2007, 12:16:59 AM »

I use a soldering iron + metal currently but hopefully I'll get my dads hand drill.
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fuzzhead

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2007, 12:32:36 AM »

surely a slower rotation speed would result in less smoke?

anyway, what this board needs is a few pictures. pictures are always handy.
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mq4

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Re: HOW TO GET STARTED - WHAT YOU NEED & TIPS.
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2008, 05:33:58 PM »

wire - i seem to use 10/0.1mm or 7/0.1mm

Does that mean 10 wires inside isolation, which are 0.1 mm thick?
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