In the week long Materials of Electronics course at CIID we gain an understanding of the fundamentals of controlling electricity, and the foundation of how various electronic devices work. Through short experiments we explored different non-traditional materials like conductive thread, paint, and fabric that can manipulate electricity.
As the disk rotates on the turntable, an inner conductive band makes constant contact with one of the synthesizer’s probes, while the second probe completes the circuit as it touches distinct resistive spokes at points around the disk. By varying the length and concentration of the graphite along with the spacing of the spokes, we were able to create different melodic loops.
To construct the instrument we made use of a 555 timer and an op-amp based synthesizer. It creates varying sound frequencies based on the resistance between its two probes. By exploiting the resistive properties of graphite in combination with conductive paint, we were able to place distinct points of electrical resistance around the disk.