Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hot Bike Ride

Today I took a long, hot (112º F) bike ride to Michael's to get some sticker letters to label my lsdj-mc2, which is on e-bay right now.

I painted my LSDJ cart grey yesterday, but after I took the casing off the SRAM was cleared, thank goodness I had a backup, but ever since it's been pretty finicky, working then it will glitch up. I'm afraid to compose on it because I dont know if it will save or not. I wrote a really tight melody last night but lost it :(

Got another gret DMG in the mail today, also bought a couple broken ones (black and green), maybe I can fix them.

I bought a weller soldering iron on ebay today, the price was $.99 + 15 bucks shipping lol, yeahhh rigght :-P... must be hand delivered or something, pony express, but they usually go for $35 retail online, so I can't complain.

I've also been practicing throat/overtone singing. I might post a video on youtube, I'll link it tomorrow if I decide.

Speaking of youtube, I was watching this:

I really like the last thing and the vibrating dead bird. I thought it was so great when she said "If they were alive... I know that can't happen but..." haha! Great stuff.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blah Blah

I uploaded a new song today, been sitting on it for a while... not too happy with it, probably work on it some more. Check it out here!

So I ordered parts for a 10 led chaser with 100 feet of wire and some parts to do the pro-sound mod on my gameboys.

I also decided to pickup one of those Saw III recorders, I'll probably start working on my super bend sound box soon, it will have the echo killer in it along with this Buddhist song player and the saw III recorder + some more random circuitry. It will be amazing :)

Days just sort of melt by without me doing much besides sitting around listening to music and making weird noises on my equipment... I think tomorrow should be a no computer day, or low computer usage, limit time.

I'm going to sign out for now, adios.

Planning things

Last night I checked out Zach's sister's place and hung out with Zach and Tim and the dogs, pretty cool, got to watch some Tim and Eric.

The August 19th show @ The trunk space, seems to be off, we'll hang in there :)

This morning I made a list of additional components needed for my burning man art project, but then I imagined how bulky this is going to get, I really need to figure out a good thing to do. The wiring will be the most expensive part of the project, I was thinking 10 feet of wire per LED, and there will be 20 LEDs, 200 feet of 2 conductor wire... then I was thinking of daisy chaining the ground between the units to use single conductor wire, 200 feet + ??? for ground. Sigh, I don't even know if this would be cool at BM, I have NO IDEA!

I also need to borrow/buy a p-touch machine to make labels for that LSDJ-MC2. It would be cool to get one of those old school ones.

Maybe I should drop the current project idea, and start from scratch, maybe do just 10 LEDs... so 100 feet of wire would be around 11 bucks. Originally I would have 2 sets of 10 LEDs chasing at different speeds in different directions and you could control the speed with a couple pots.

Well, I'll keep figuring things, and keep this blog updated.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Icosahedron Stencil

Yep, That's about it!


So I guess I need to make some labels for what the buttons/LEDs mean, but other than that, it's done!

I have 1 question about it performance which I asked on the LSDJ-MC2 mailing list, I'll see what they have to say, its just about the MIDI clock stop signal.

I need to get a new soldering iron, my radioshack POS is getting a little annoying, I'm thinking weller.

Anyway might post some more updates later, peace!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wiring LSDJ-MC2

Today I drilled a few more holes in the box, soldered the circuit board to all the switches and connectors (minus the green LEDs, waiting for them in the mail... I'm going to have 36 green LEDs lol)

I think the next one I'm going to make will use a header for all the button/LED/connector connections and just use a wire wrapping tool to connect everything up that way.

I need to look into the "pro-sound" mod for gameboys.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Test spray of my dodecahedron stencil. I woke up and took a shower outside today, it was sorta cold at first, sorta breezy, a few clouds happily being in the sky.

My mom is outside weed whacking, I think I'll go bring her a cup of ice water.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

First Show in a Venue

WOOHOO Aweseome! It looks like it's going to be on August 19th at The Trunk Space. Yatagarasu, The Coitus and Melted Cassettes are going to be playing as well it looks like (got the invite from Yatagarasu, all the way from TEXAS).

I also went to radioshack and got some stuff (I mentioned the kind of stuff in my last post), a 12 dollar rape! I guess it will come out to about the same price with shipping if I ordered online.

I also started work on the diagram on the left there. I got a piezo element out of a cheap toy my friend bought me from KB Toys (where he works) but instead of making sounds it will be acting as a MICROPHONE, for the little legs/bodies of the MEAL WORMS... oh god yesssss...In my first song ever made in fruity loops 3.something "Roach Call" (CLICK IT FOR A LISTEN) I sampled some science guy's website where he was listening to meal worms with a piezo element, its the squishy sorta noise, very organic and sexy. My mom was like omg, no meal worms in the house, you can't have meal worm pets.

I've got to start making money again somehow. I want a spot welder, freaking homemade welder fail'd. I want to make some custom jaw harps, and do some experiments with piezo transducers and jawharps as well as make small ones to gift at burning man.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Painted and Drilled

So I painted and drilled a few holes for the LSDJ-MC2 today, installed the MIDI jack and the switches. I ordered a few green LEDs for the indicator lights (I was using the red ones I had laying around) I might get a panel mount power jack and/or a 9v battery clip for power, I also want to add a toggle switch for power.
I also did some vector art of a dodecahedron, I haven't tried cutting it out... probably do that now. I want to do the other 4 platonic solids as well, tetrahedron, cube, octahedron and icosahedron. COOL!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stroke of Insight

I read the last ~150 pages of My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. Pretty great book, if you liked the video then you will probably like the book. Even being a fairly scientific mind interested in brain science, it was difficult getting through the 2nd - 3rd chapter because of all the new scientific words and I was trying to get them memorized, I think I remembered gyres or gyrus or something... I forget what it means hehe.

I would recommend chapter 18 if you've ever had a bought with manic psychosis, or have issues with 'day dreaming' or as I always described it, 'playing random scenarios through your mind', she describes the left brain chatter and how to hush it up, by literally talking to your brain, even waving your finger saying "No no! I can't have this right now!" but always acknowledge the power for your brain to make stuff up, say "Thank you, that's very nice how you can make up stories like that, but not right now". Before I read that chapter I would find myself falling really deep in my mind and I would realize how far away from reality I was and throw my hands up and say "WOAH! Not that again!"... so it's good to see I'm not the only one :-)

Besides reading the book, I called my dad a couple times talked for a bit. Also went to radioshack and got another PCB and a couple project enclosures for LSDJ-MC2s, maybe I'll put another one together tomorrow (or even start tonight) to sell on e-bay. No one bought that USB capslocker! Oh well, maybe in march 2009 before april!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Check it out, I finished painting and gluing this dodeca together today. It started floating around, pretty crazy (jk I don't wanna get charged with scientific misconduct)

It makes a weird orbing noise (WoOWOwooooo WEeooOOowoooo)

I think it went to where we go when we die, goodbye dodeca!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grapefruit Trees

Today I went up into my dad's grapefruit trees and cut some branches off and pulled a bunch of old grapefruits down. Then I took a nap, then we went to tokyo express, then I got home and drew/traced this: Sex with robots cover

Then some other dude was like I got a friend thats a pro, so its like oh ok cool, I'm going to stop!

Now my brain hurts.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another day

I made and uploaded 3 videos to youtube today. 2 about LSDJ-MC2, demonstrating the sync and keyboard mode. The other was about a card I received today from Michael in California... I know 2 Michael's in Cali, both are Asian but this one is younger, that video was a little over 9 minutes long.

LSDJ-MC2 Vids!:

And Full Midi mode:

The V-LOG about the card:

I think that's it for this post.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And, today...


I went to the stores with my mum, got some things, I remember 2 bottles of wine, some sour dough bread, some ice, buns and other food items. Then I got home salvaged the slow AC motor from the microwave before throwing it in the trash. Then Charlie picked me up and took me to Jon's house, I watched some people play pandemic 2 I also played for a little bit. Then we saw 'The Dark Knight', it was a good movie, I really liked what the joker had to say, smart fellow. When he was in the hospital with 2face guy I was like "oh my, I can see forever". Pretty awesome. The joker was pretty violent sometimes, but I guess that can sorta grow on you, like drinking alcohol or smoking... its like EWW at first, but then it sorta draws you back in each time a little further until you are making pencils disappear.

After the movie I had some grilled cheese and tomato soup from Jon's mom, it was good. Then I went home for 3 minutes and then Fernando called me, so I went and helped him with his homework. Then I went home again and made some blog post and watched some internet videos, woooooooooooooooo

LSDJ-Midi Converter

Did you know that I automatically spell converter converTOR, just sounds cooler, but it's wrong. Well, these are some catch up posts, after the microwave transformer welder died, I went inside and started soldering up a LSDJ to MIDI converter. I ordered half the parts from mouser, then realized I ordered the wrong 7414 IC and so I ordered the right IC and the resistors and MIDI female from digikey.

I got it all together in an afternoon, but I couldn't figure out why it wasn't working, so I tried again the next day, all day until 8 at night, my link cable between the gameboy and the circuit was farts (or I had the female connector soldered up wrong, which I doubt)! I took half a link cable from a DMG-07 and soldered the corresponding pins directly to the points on the circuit and it worked! yay!

I got both sync and keyboard mode working, I should make a video, but for now have this crappy picture!You can see the link cable plugged into the LSDJ-MC2 and gameboy, this picture was during troubleshooting.

MOT Welder: 03

I finally got the welder working thanks to stasterisk of instructables telling me HOW to weld ;P... unfortunately the 10 gauge wire on the secondary decided to start melting... and smoking...

I got a few welds that looked like this:
From the machine that looks like this, you can see how the secondary is sorta gooey looking :-/
That's it for the MOT welder, I'm not sure what to do next, I do have another 50+ feet of 10 gauge wire, I don't know if rewinding would be a good idea.

Oh yeah, here's the first test (and failure!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MOT Welder: 02

Here we go again, I wound the 10 gauge wire around the transformers. With one of the transformers I was able to wind 20 turns, the other I could only fit around 17 turns. The odd thing is that the 20 turn transformer put out around 15 VAC versus the 18 VAC from the 17 turn one.

I wired both of the transformers together and got 33.8 VAC. The next step will be getting my dad's welding equipment, an electrode holder, a case, and some pieces of scrap metal to practice welding on.

Here is a video of the very first test, I believe the multimeter's leads weren't touching the copper wire and it arced and scared me. Notice how I automatically cover my crotch.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MOT Welder: 01

Captain's log:
Build a Microwave Transformer Homemade Stick/Arc Welder

Today I received my 10 gauge wire and I popped the secondary windings out of a couple microwave oven transformers (MOT).

Tomorrow I will wind the new secondary. Wish me luck.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Charlie's new apartment

Today helped Charlie move into his new apartment, it was pretty fun, Chris, Matt, Sam, John also came along and hung out/helped out. Had some brews, some pizza, it was good. I also got to check out his compound microscope for the first time, found some "nasty" water and brought it back for inspection, swimming with life!

Also went to savers with him to stock up on pots/pans/other kitchen stuffs ... and I got some great deals, a couple steel bowls for 99 cents each, a nice shirt for 99 cents and a Talking Whiz Kid Plus, for 99 cents... for a total of $3.22 after tax. I've circuit bent a whiz kid before:

It lost all original functioning though. :)

The steel bowls are to be turned into a waterphone:

Pretty cool huh?

Roof Top Exploration

Tim had a great plan to get up on top of a "cafetorium" roof. We executed it a couple nights ago. It was a success. :)

He took some cool time exposures with his digital camera. Hey! There's one up there!

Here's the crew, L to R: Me, Carl, Tim, Patrick

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Virgin Burners Meeting

So I got a ride to the virgin burners meeting, for burning man (thanks Lynne!). It was pretty cool, got me exposed to the burning man community (in more way than one :D ) and got to shake hands drink a few brews, get some heart burn from some spicy salsa. It was great to see so many confident people, just chilling out, pretty great.

Pretty good day today, not sure what else to say :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I rode my bike to the post office, I am really hating the compression on my youtube videos. They com out of the camera as AVI, I edit them, save as AVI, convert to FLV in SUPER and it turns out like this:

I think editing then rendering to a WMV then uploading had better results than my current method...
Now this morning I made a cool song: Happysad It's just a start, I had an idea, played it on the keyboard and transfered it to LSDJ, then ran the gameboy through the filter on my keyboard. It'll get even better, trust me!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Got capslocker working today + more

I set the fuses in avrdude finally thanks to keen101 from lady ada's tea party. What a help! Anyway the usb capslocker is finished and working! Wooo, also on ebay. Also I made a video of the echo killer my grandpa gave me, I guess he got it from hong kong or Malaysia or something. Also ordered a screwdriver to open up Nintendo stuff (small triwing) and the parts to make a MIDI -> Gameboy from mouser. That's going to be awesome, I also emailed the admin from 8 bit collective because he was supposed to making these in mass, and I was wondering about whether I could just order a PCB from him, if not then fuck it, I'll make my own. IM HARD EX CORE EX EX!! I also downloaded Henry Homesweet's album "Pocket Monster" it's pretty sick, I really like the song pocket monster, just has that darkish/happy mad scientist mechanical dance feel, which is hard to do in music imho. You can download the album here: THIRD ON THE LIST. and he actually talked to me on myspace after I added him - *swooon*

I made that pink black white thing up there in context free, inspired by the invader fractal set, except its not mirrored, I can't think of a way to mirror in context free.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July

The audio got messed up somehow, darn it!, anyway:

Friday, July 4, 2008

Away from computer

Today I spent most of the day away from the computer helping my dad paint his doors. It was good, got to make breakfast with him and dinner and have a few glasses of wine and talked about life and I got some more details on his stories.

Last night I cut up a bunch of mushrooms and sauteed them, then put them on a couple pieces of toasted sourdough bread with butter, it was pretty delish.

Anyway, not much creation besides memories today.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Game of Go

Game of Go
Game of Go,
originally uploaded by uberscientist.
The game of go draws many parallels with life, it rewards walking the fine line, a balance in everything. Many many pro games are won by just a point or 2, even half a point for making the 2nd move.

Yep, I created another picture with context free!

I also took a break from checking forums, posting, youtube and playing with context free to make a song in LSDJ. This is my first "full" LSDJ song, yay! I also watched the tail end of an anime called black cat or something, it had to do with nanobots and mutants and sweepers or something.

I also made a huge version of the go game and made a "song" and put it to the animation exported from context free:

I've been trying to think of a way to make a SOIC to 8-pin DIP adapter (ZIF type) But the leads are so close to eachother, I cant think of much , maybe some melty plastic that hardens with some really fine wires? I might be able to think of something... if they idea gods are appeased.

Also if you want the grammar file for the go, I've now uploaded to the CFA gallery, so check out my stuff here: nak's CFA gallery!


originally uploaded by uberscientist.
I went to apache reclamation with my friend Charles from blast wave labs. It's a really fun place to go, a ton of old dusty test equipment, labware, electronic components, tubing wire, high voltage stuffs, etc! I was looking for some 10 AWG wire to build a welder out of a couple old microwave oven transformers, but all I could find was 6 and 8 gauge. I did pick up a couple quarter inch plugs and a 5 pin DIN plug just so the trip wasn't for nothing. I was planning on using those to make a cable that went from the C64 to my mixer, but the A/V port is an 8 pin DIN and the 5 pin wont even fit :(

I've also been working on more context free art:

//Use ASM as the random seed to get the same image

startshape FINAL

background { b -1}

rule SPIRAL {
CIRCLE { y -1 s .05 }
SPIRAL { y .1 x .9 r 70 size .99 b .99 h 15 }

rule GALAXY {
GALAXY { x 1.5 y 1.5 size -.99 r 17 skew 5 10 }

rule NEB {
CIRCLE { s 5 sat .5 h 10 a .5 }
NEB { y 1 r 30 s -.90 b .01 h .5 }

rule NEB {
CIRCLE { s 5 sat .5 h 278 a .5 }
NEB { y 1 r 30 s -.90 b .03 h .5 }

CIRCLE { s .1 b 1 }
STARFIELD { s .90 x 8 y 4 r 70 }

CIRCLE { s .15 b 1 }
STARFIELD { s .90 x 4 y 8 r 34 }

NEB { z -1 x -2 y 4 s .5 }
ANOTHER { x 2 y 15 size -.75 r 17 }

ANOTHER { x -1 y 20 size .90 r 30 }

rule ALL {
ANOTHER { x 5 y -4 r 95 }
STARFIELD { z -2 x -2.5 }

rule FINAL {
ALL { r 90 }

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Context Free

So it's 8PM, I didn't sleep in my bed last night because it was hot, right now it's 91.4º F inside (not that I'm complaining...) and 97.9º F outside. I shipped off some packages for eBay. I must've just goofed away a bunch of time on the internet because I don't really recall doing anything much until I decided to open up "Context Free", I downloaded the program yesterday, but it looked too complex to learn at 12:00AM.

It takes very little time to pick up on if you are familiar with C syntax (you don't have to know C, I sure don't) it probably won't take much longer if you aren't familiar. Anyway, first thing I made was 2 circles a square and another circle in the configuration of mammalian male anatomy, how mature. Then I began to work on colors and making a tear drop shape, I learned how to do recursion, if you decide to download context free, I recommend going to the "Examples" menu and doing lesson one, I can't speak for lesson 2 yet!

Anyway, I made that image up there with this 'code' (I call it lollipop, remove the comment on square to make actual lollipops!) :

startshape FINAL

background { b -1}

CIRCLE { x 0 y 0 size 1 sat 1 }
//SQUARE { y -1 s .95 .05 z 1 r 90 b 1. }
rule OG {
OG { y .6 x .9 r 20 size .95 b .07 h 15 }

rule OTHER {
OG { }
OTHER { x .8 y .7 size -.95 r 17 }

ANOTHER { x 2 y 15 size -.75 r 17 b .01}

rule FINAL {
ANOTHER { r 90 }
ANOTHER {r 180 x -5 y 10} //take this out for just a horizontal shape

The language is really simple and logical, I can see this being loads of fun! I really need to eat something though, also when I go to sleep I have thoughts of picking up my calculus book and doing all the work in it. I really don't want to go back to school though, I'd rather just be an autodidact, but I need to make sure I'm not being a poopy head and just playing with context free or playing TF2 all day.

I also remembered that I made a song in the morning, when I turned on the computer to get the addresses for the ebayers, you can listen here. I used my microkorg and a little FM radio to phaser the audio coming from a spanish radio station. I also used a program called MEAP to chop up the beat and synth sounds at the end there.