The Voltage Slammer V1The Voltage Slammer is not only a mechanism for controlling circuit bent electronics but is additionally a platform for assisting in the activity of circuit bending. This project is part of an ongoing exploration in controlling circuit bent toys, video game consoles, and instruments with Arduino powered interfaces. The Voltage Slammer is conceived to provide centralized control over a variety of circuit bent battery powered toys. The project originated from frustrations when circuit bending ensembles of toys with the goal of musical performance. As the number of bent devices increases, it became cumbersome to control dozens of circuit bent toys which each have their own set of local knobs, switches, and dials to conduct their behavior. Additionally, many of the bend devices featured different bends with conflicting controls and it was difficult to keep track of how to operate each individual device. The Voltage Slammer provides a solution to that dilemma by providing a uniformed interface in which to interface with all the varied devices. Unfortunately, not every circuit bent device can be plugged into The Voltage Slammer and work its way into the system, devices have to be initially bent with the device. The first eight out its thirteen output channels produce Pulse Wave Modulation (PWM): a type of digital signal which allows the user to adjust the duty cycle of the underlying digital signal. Each of these channels have a corresponding potentiometer and switch. The potentiometer is used to modulate the pulse width of the outgoing signal, affectively producing higher current and voltage to the client device. The switch cuts off the connection to the client device entirely. Small LEDs are positioned above the switches which light up along with the output signal to provide immediate feedback to the user. These outputs are affected by the master delay pot stationed in the upper left corner of the interface. The master delay inserts a period of dead time into the signal temporarily turning the signal off. This can be effective for simulating button presses on some devices and can even be necessary for getting many instruments to reach a state of incantation. The remaining five outputs are kindred to the first eight but have no feedback LEDs, no on/off switches and are physically arranged on the interface in a separate group. These secondary outputs are used to control motors drivers or any other bend requiring constant voltage or current. The rear of the Voltage Slammer provides the output for both the primary and secondary output channels through thirteen RCA connectors. The rings of the RCA cables are connected to the system ground, which is shared by The Voltage Slammer and all battery powered devices, while the pins carry the control signal which originates from the Arduino. A RCA connection with both the ring and pin connected to ground is included in the outputs to allow for easier probing and bending but serves no function when the interface is used as a sequencer. Lastly, the Voltage Slammer has an ultrasonic rangefinder which allows the interface to be aware of the presence of gallery viewers in the case of installation. This proves especially beneficial when the interface is used in an installation setting, making it easier for the installation to exhibit traits of intelligence with a crude sense of spacial awareness.
The Voltage Slammer V2