At the workshop last week a ten year old came up with a DAC design I’d never thought of before, which we turned into a really cool and simple melody generator. In the schematic you can see the first three clocks blink the LED’s on and off at different rates (try 4.7u caps and 1M pots). As the amount of light falling on the LDR changes in uniform steps, you can hear the pitch go up and down in a musical way. You could actually tune this to a musical scale if you tweaked the spacing of the LEDs, and put the whole thing in a black box away from ambient light.
I ran my first workshop series over three days at Camp A Low Hum this year, teaching about 100 people how to make bleepy noises and blinky lights. I got to meet a lot of great people and infect a couple of them with the DIY electronics bug. I’m now in the process of refining my teaching materials and parts kits (supplied by the very rad Mind Kits) and then I will be running more workshops at my place in Wellington, and selling the kits online. For now you can download the tutorial booklets in their current state: booklet #1, #2. If you want to be notified when the next workshops will be running or when the kits will be for sale send me an email or leave a comment.