Saturday, 24 September 2011

On course. Three more cops.

Electronics college is great - though I'm only in the third week. I know about a third of it - which is good going for this point in the two-year course. Sometime we have to pick a project to make for 'microprocessors' - one student asked whether a robot would be possible, and the lecturer replied 'I don't see why not...'          Amazing!!!

I'm wondering whether I could do a 'random generator', with a variable amount of randomness, to switch between upwards and downwards-going envelope wah wah. That's as in depth as I can currently go.

Meanwhile my life drawing class has also started, and I'm not doing that good in it - though I'm enjoying it a lot (which is what it's all about).

 And night-time drawing of 'Homicide' is very sporadic. Here are Detectives Crossetti, Howard and Lieutenant Giardello....

Friday, 5 August 2011

Hey - at least I made a Big Muff!

So I tried making something to do with a distortion, and put together an op amp Big Muff. Sounded really good. In fact, great. Then thinking, so I tweak about with this till I come up with my own thing...

But hang on - that's what every pedal maker out there does! It'd just get rid of the Rainger FX USP! Everyone has their own version, or adds some useful tone knobs and switches, and puts it in a box with a very nice paint job. Got to reach further than that.

So I look out the window a bit, tell myself off for just looking out the window. Put myself in 'new sounds' situations (visit musician friends, listen to stuff, go to events not connected with this, maybe have a life for a moment...), and I've got some things to try - which I'll start today.

Been doing alot of drawing late at night. Here's a few more of the cast of 'Homicide'...

M.E. Juliana Cox (Michelle Forbes), Det. Lewis again (Clark Johnson) and Det. Briscoe (Jerry Orbach, also from 'Law & Order', only guested in 'Homicide').
Weird how 'manga' Juliana has turned out - but when I think about it, that is kinda how she looks...

Monday, 13 June 2011

new post, whole new blog

Just so I can spare you all the chip-by-chip technical details, I've started a new blog at to go into all that gruesome stuff. (Also done to be easily incorporated - soon - into the main Rainger FX website itself ).

Meanwhile this one you're looking at right now will continue, going on about everything else in the world that interests me - including electronics, but from a more 'user' perspective.

And here's Detective Meldrick Lewis (actor Clark Johnson, from 'Homicide'), just to show that this blog still gets all the good stuff... Or at least the sort-of-alright stuff.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Theory Of Everything - sorted

So there's quantum physics, where scientists are delving into the inner workings of the tiniest particles. And there's relativity, where scientists deal with the exact opposite; how objects and waves behave when moving at speeds close to - or at - the speed of light, over colossal distances. Like stars, interstellar space, and light itself.
And one of the main things they're trying to find now, is how to link these two fields...

So I like to do electronics, dealing with the movements of some of the tiniest particles - electrons, moving as one to appear as an electric current. And I also like to draw and paint, basically dealing with how light behaves. Along with music, these two things are big bits of me; not saying I'm any good at them or anything, but is this not linking the two fields?

Anyway, here's my drawing of Detective John Munch from 'Homicide' and 'Law & Order'. He's the first character in TV history to crop up in two totally different shows.
Turned out way better than the drawing I did of Detective Frank Pembleton ('Homicide' only).

Monday, 23 May 2011

ant vs. impedance problem

Spent today correcting new problems in pedals I thought were finished. Actually, not 'correcting', more just 'detecting'. Weird feedback appears - at low volume - and when I adjust the guitar's volume pot it changes in pitch. Plus disappears when I turn the pedal's volume down... But it's NOT a volume thing. I think it's to do with impedance - but the circuit is all buffered up (input and output), and shouldn't be affected by these things.
I'll consult the guru...

My Catalinbread Teaser Stallion pedal makes a feature of this syndrome, the guitar's volume control acting like a strange kind of tiny rotational theremin, but I'm not quite at that point yet.

Meanwhile, here's a photo I took on holiday of an ant struggling to pull a cheerio - which I can seriously relate to at this moment.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

waveforms/college forms

Bought an oscilloscope! A neat little thing that I have no idea how to use, but hopefully soon I'll have a clear picture of what's going on signal-wise in circuits.

Fixed the blown up Dr Freakenstein (just replaced the ICs), sent it back, got some more orders... ('orders' plural, so that means two).

AND I had an interview at a college to do a two-year electronics course. I took along a Dr FF, and Compactotron, plus the inside circuits to show them... They offered me a place on whichever course I fancied! They do project-based ones, and apparently I could say things like 'so my project will be the world's first distortion pedal with portamento'.
Analogue and digital they do, plus microcontrollers and a load of other stuff... including a health and safety module.
I have managed to get by without 'health and safety' so far, but probably only just.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Charcoal and fried board

Just got back from holiday, and raring to go.
When hanging around in airports on the way home, I'm always aware of how much I love getting back to my regular life - and that's a truly fantastic thing; I know some people who get quite depressed over the last few days of their escape...

Spain was good - lots of guitar playing out in the sun on the veranda, some reading and lots of drawing. Here are some trees on a hot hill nearby - done with my lovely charcoal pencil.
Several pictures I did took hours, but this took about 30 seconds - and I think I like it more.

A couple of packages waiting for me - one, boring parts I'd been waiting for, and one a broken Dr Freakenstein Fuzz someone had sent back. I'd got an email about it - which I'd opened very worriedly (did I fuck up in the making??). But they'd plugged in an 18V power supply by mistake and fried it - so I'm quite relieved, and interested to see what it's like inside.
Fixing it's fine (I hope), but if they do it again I'll ask them to record the sound it makes as they do it.

Actually that's pretty much the sound it makes anyway.