Saturday, December 20, 2008

Circuit Bending...a new hobby and my first video blog post attempt =)

Hello everyone!! I leave for MN/WI in less than two days!!!!!!! I am excited =) So, I have discovered a new hobby to keep be busy these cold, long, Alaskan nights. That hobby is Circuit bending. Here is a video of my first attempt at it.

I accidentally call this "Pitch Bending" in the video. Technically that is what I am doing...but the hobby is called Circuit Bending. I hope you enjoy =)

Circuit Bending (click here for a great link) is a VERY cool hobby which involves finding old noise making toys/keyboards/games, ripping them apart, fiddling with the wires, and discovering the endless possibility of sounds you can create!! Basically, you just start poking around the inside of toys and find out what happens when you connect this to that. Sometimes you get nothing, sometimes you get awesomeness!! When you find an effect you like, you add a switch, maybe a potentiometer, and look for more awesomeness. This video is the product of about 15 hours of "playing around" with wires. After I made this video, I had some more ideas and updated my "bent" toy to make it even cooler. I will post another video of the new and improved noise maker after I get back to Alaska.

Total cost of this toy is about $15, ($2 for the toy from the thrift store and $10 -$12 in switches, wires, and other electronics...not including the cost of the soldering iron and Dremel) Radio Shack and the Thrift Store are my two new favorite locations!!!

Disclaimer...I highly recommend circuit bending to anyone and everyone. It is easy and fun; however, I must advise you to NOT attempt this on anything that plugs into the wall for power. Circuit bending is meant for low-voltage toys and games (anything that runs on 9 volt batteries or less.) Unless you are an experienced electrician (and even if you are), bending electronic devices that plug into the wall is to dangerous.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm still here =)

Hello everyone! Life is crazy this time of year. I have had two very successful concerts over the last two weeks. The jazz band, varsity band and concert band had a concert last Wednesday (12/3) and it was fantastic!!!! They did such a good job and the feedback from the parents was VERY positive. Choir and orchestra was last night (12/10) and that was also a blast. There were a few more things that could have gone better on the 10th, but over all it was great!!

I have a couple of pictures I would like to share with you that made me smile. First of all, you may remember that US senator Lisa Murkowski stopped by our "Rock-A-Thon" fund raiser...well, she send me this in the mail:
The senator also signed a few photos for some students. It was very nice!

The second picture was taken today. I am now officially a teacher because a student brought me an apple!!

Well...I have rehearsal tonight so I need to cut this post short. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in December. In less than two weeks I will be in Minnesota!!!

Rock on
~Mr. Lockwood