Monday 26 December 2016

Parking Bay

I drilled out this block of wood to make a little parking bay for stray cables. When you're messing around with a complicated patch it's a good way of making sure those cables aren't touching anything they shouldn't (like power supplies, sandwiches, cats, etc...)

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Agent Orange

So the time had come to harvest some horseradish, and for a while I've had the idea that horseradish, tumeric, garlic & ginger might make an interesting little sauce...

It turns out that there must be something in the horseradish, garlic or ginger (and I'm blaming the horseradish at the moment) that activates the pigment in tumeric in a most horrific and permanent way

It also turns out that nail polish remover is pretty good at fixing most of the damage

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Fennel Sticks

Freshly cut straight into a nice glass of gin, maybe with an olive on the end...


Saturday 5 November 2016

Mayan Ritual

I've spent the last week updating my iMac as the screen died about a year ago and it was getting embarrassingly out of date. As always, the hard drive needs to come out for secure disposal. It's a bit NASA in there...

Saturday 29 October 2016

Thursday 27 October 2016

Monday 24 October 2016

Big Beats...

...Well, bigger than the last ones anyway...

Friday 21 October 2016

It Lives...

...The E&MM Harmonic Generator reproduced by circuitbenders. The circuit was originally published in Electronics & Music Maker magazine back in 1981 and I have a vague recollection of lusting after one of these back in the day. Rather than using it for its intended purpose, this is a great module for mangling drums and other complex signals.

White noise can be quite eerie too...

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Loomey Tumes

I finally got my Calrec dynamics rack wired back in today. Not at all helped by the misleading labelling on the looms I made six or seven years ago and neglected to correct

Sunday 2 October 2016

VLF Antenna

Got a little article published in the latest Inspire Journal on the subject of DIY antenna. The Inspire Project is a NASA educational program focussing on VLF radio emissions. They also sell this nifty little VLF-3 Receiver

Wednesday 28 September 2016

It Lives...

...The Stroh DXOR/Unopole, a diode XOR and linear integrator in one module. This one was a little tricky in that a couple of components needed to be adjusted to get it to work. The build thread is here

Sunday 25 September 2016


...some of them even edible. I identified these as (probably) Lord Lambourne a few years ago using the excellent FruitID database. Maybe, just maybe I can manage a Tarte Tatin with this lot...

Saturday 10 September 2016

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Friday 2 September 2016

It Lives...

...The Oakley Overdrive II. A classic overdrive effect with added harmonic multiplier. I've been meaning to build one of these for a while...

Friday 26 August 2016

Friday 19 August 2016

Blackberries Ahoy !

It's blackberry picking time...

...I've attempted to tame several bramble patches for my own private supply of wild blackberries with a good degree of success. The odd escapee will generally be dug up and replanted on the edge of the woods. Blackberries freeze really easily. Don't wash them first, just lay them out on a tray and pop them in the freezer - when they're ready, store them in a freezer bag.

Sunday 14 August 2016

Saturday 6 August 2016

Bring The Noise

I've been casting around for a simple white noise circuit to sit with my drum modules and came across this very simple design by David Eather. I used a couple of BC547 transistors and powered it from my 15V supply. It's got a nice bright output, perfect for the boom tiss...

The schematic can be found on the Silicon Chip website here

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Up In Smoke

I bought a smoker last autumn but didn't really get chance to try it out. I fired it up this week, and after several attempts I think I figured out the dark art of cold smoking. The first batch is a little bitter (more brown paper than apple chippings), but the mushrooms & shallots worked just fine on a pizza.

Now what else can I smoke..?

Monday 1 August 2016

Sunday 31 July 2016

Oh Shit...

...I've nearly run out of the number two, and I think they stopped selling this stuff a decade ago...

Friday 29 July 2016


...The Gay Milano 5000. Possibly the coolest multimeter on the planet. With only five nixie tubes, what this unit lacks in accuracy it makes up for in sheer elan...

Monday 25 July 2016

Peas To Meet You...

...WOO WOO !!!

Peas are in season. These are Blauwschokker, soon we should also have Maro and some indeterminate variety that I saved from a packet of Leo's Dried Peas

Sunday 24 July 2016

It Lives...

...The Serge Resonant Equaliser. This is the CatGirlSynth version which has been sat on my bench for a couple of months while I figured out the best panel layout, and summed up the courage to start wiring up the pots. This could have fitted in a 2U panel, but 3U is more elegant don't you agree..?

Saturday 23 July 2016

Coming Soon...

...Tomatoes, fousands of 'em

Friday 22 July 2016

Hot Tub Freddie

This is Hot Tub Freddie
He lives in an old vase at the bottom of the garden
I sometimes feed him slugs...

...although he could be she...

...Hot Tub Freda

Thursday 21 July 2016

It Begins... (Part Trois)

Here's the finished box of passive video modules. Let the glitching commence..!

Monday 18 July 2016

My Curry Spoon

A nickel silver blank reshaped, drilled and finished by me nearly one hundred years later. The design is loosely based around a Swedish Army snow shovel, and it's perfect for curry.

Well I am from Sheffield, so making cutlery was inevitable...

Sunday 17 July 2016


Here's a little curry paste I've been concocting over the past few weeks. It's not traditional in anyway, just a shopping list of herbs with a flavour that sits somewhere east of Tuscany:

Black Pepper
Oregano & Marjoram
Cayenne Pepper
Fennel Seeds
Fennel Leaf
Olive Oil

Cook up some chicken & onions, throw in some tomatoes and harissa. Make a big pot of rice...

(or it tastes great on crumpets)

Saturday 16 July 2016

Great Escapes

The puns just keep on coming...

...a cornycopia if you will...

Friday 15 July 2016

Old Skool...

...Panel graphics using Letraset. I then use three coats of automotive lacquer for a really durable finish. I should hopefully have this Serge Resonant EQ wired up in the next couple of days

Thursday 14 July 2016

Number Fourteen

Here's cabinet number fourteen. Given my weakened state it didn't cause me much grief, although I dropped my favourite chisel onto concrete several times (fortunately landing on the weighted handle each time - now that's good design). As always I'm using ISEP extrusion for a 2x11U chassis. This should house the last of my original MOTM modules. Did I say last..?

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Saturday 9 July 2016

Raspberry Ripple

Not quite there, but just a couple of days to go...

Thursday 7 July 2016

Onion Rings...

...Hello, is that the Savoy..?

I blame the steroids...

Tuesday 5 July 2016

It Lives...

The Worng Electronics LRMSMSLR or mid/side encoder/decoder. It's a fantastic little module for creating spacial depth or other stereo effects by modulating the mid & side channels with VCAs, filters, distortion, etc etc...

Boards can be purchased from Thonk or direct from Worng here

Monday 4 July 2016

Superfood Alert

Lovage Toobs...

...You heard it here first

Sunday 3 July 2016


This is a Disa D80 Low Velocity Anemometer that I picked up on eBay recently. It converts air movement to control voltage.

Here's a quick test using the D80 via sample & hold and a quantizer to drive an Oakley VCO/SVF combo while I waft various things on the other side of the studio

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Bok Choy Bonus

My Bok Choy bolted yet again and I left it to flower and seed. Once I got around to clearing it away I decided to put the seeds pods to one side as they looked quite tempting. Last time I tried them they were disgusting (raw). This time I top & tailed them and fried them in a little butter...   ...much much better with quite a nutty taste...

Monday 27 June 2016

Public Service Announcement

Thonk have begun stocking enclosed 1/4" jacks so I thought I'd order a few to compare...

On the left is the PJ612A from Thonk, the middle is TruConnect (from Rapid and/or possibly Musikding) and on the right is the good old genuine Switchcraft 112A.

I'm not really a fan of Switchcraft clones, but the PJ612A has a couple of interesting features. Firstly they don't skimp on the washer - it's pretty much the same size as on the 112A, however the nut is eversoslightly thinner than the Switchcraft and TruConnect. Second, there's a really useful panel grip built into the chassis.

The clones are generally around a third of the price of Switchcraft 112A, that said, the Switchcraft ARE much better quality...

Sunday 26 June 2016

VLF Receiver

I was messing around with a VLF Receiver today. It was my first outdoor test using the support wires for my raspberries as the antenna. Here's an extract from that recording

Saturday 25 June 2016

Voight Kampff

What were the skies like when you were young..?

Oh hang on that's something else...

Friday 24 June 2016

Punji Sticks

In my own little gonzo world of gardening, I realised quite early on that punji sticks were a really useful way of keeping pests out of my vegetable beds. You just need a really good source of sticks, and a lot of patience...

The trick is to get the spacing right to protect against pigeons, badgers and cats but allow small birds and hedgehogs to poke around. Use a combination of shorter 18-24" sticks (I find that last years strawberry canes are perfect for this job) with longer stout canes placed to protect against errant footballs and persistent beasties.

Thursday 23 June 2016

It Lives... (150th Module Special..!)

Here's the 150th module in my current system. Module 150 was supposed to be a DIY set of Gain Cells, but for some reason one op amp and two resistors is too much for me, so back to the drawing board. This module is yet another wonderful design from Michael Barton, the BMC003 CV Arpeggiator

You can find this PCB and more here

Wednesday 22 June 2016

It Begins... (Part Deux)

Here is the first batch of video modules. On the left, an experimental Diode Clamp, next the old Glitch Mux, finally a little Feedback Loop. While I've worked out a 3U version of the MOTM grid, I've decided to go a little off piste in terms of panel graphics and knobs

Tuesday 21 June 2016




Monday 20 June 2016

Squirrel Nuts !

The squirrels get quite grumpy when we run out of peanuts. Here's a young squirrel who today figured out how to reel in the coconut fat ball hanging from a high branch, unhook it and scoff the lot. He then dropped the empty shell nearly braining a pigeon on the way down and for good measure tied the string into a fiendish squirrel knot that took a set of ladders and quite some time to unpick. Half an hour later the replacement fatball was also on the lawn. So long as they leave my tomatoes alone...

Sunday 19 June 2016


It's been a week of rain, soldering and paperwork (and curry). Today I took the opportunity to pot up some fresh Tumeric root. It may or may not grow...