Joe Groele wanted to create some unique electric guitar sounds. His inspiration was William Duddell’s “singing arc” from the early 1900s. Duddell created sound by varying air pressure through an electric arc. Unlike the plasma loudspeakers that evolved from Duddell’s design -- known for their clarity and purity of tone -- Joe wanted a sound with extreme distortion.
First, he built a prototype circuit using a 555-timer chip to test a driver circuit to create an arc -- using an automotive ignition coil. Next, he added an audio amplifier using a LM386 chip, which amplifies the signal from a guitar into a square wave. The sound frequency generated by the electric arc corresponds to the note being played on the guitar. Joe named his amplifier the FaceMelter3000.
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I hope you are kidding. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks UV. However, Ozone is poisonous, corrodes metal (very bad for electronics!) and degrades plastics. An ozone generator in the home is not exactly an ecological triumph.
Now this is cool. You have to watch the video to get the full flavor of what Joe has accomplished here. This is quite different from Hendrix smashing at guitar into the amp (which was great in its way). Joe's got something way more techy going here. Nice going, Joe.
Ever wanted to see light beyond what's detectable by the human eye? You can with DOLPi - a homemade Raspberry Pi-based polarization camera. You can even use it to detect unseen objects like landmines, IEDs, pollutants, and maybe even UFOs.
A Design News contributor takes on the challenge of building an old-fashioned metric clock that uses French Revolutionary time, which divides the day into decimal units, and shows you how to build your own.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.