This is something I made at the Pixelache summerschool August 2008 in Kemiö. Tuomo Tammenpää gave lovely solar power themed workshop at his place. This piece consists of two solar powered synths and one duck.

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Here are couple mugshots of our heros:

First one is made following Tuomo’s instructions titled NandSynth goes Solar. It is built around Quad NAND Gate 4093 using three NAND gates on the chip. I tried to build it as small as possible. I am quite happy of the result. I tried to use one photoresistor on this one but it failed to make that much difference. I later replaced the resistor with one simple switch, which worked quite nicely. No pics for that version though as I allready gave both of these modules to my cousins.

Once I had built the first module I decided to built another one. That became my implementation of Ralf Scheiber’s solarsoundmodule. The design is using 74HC14 chip. This one also has one photo resistor that does something.

Couple of facts for those of you who wonder whether you should do this by yourselves: Parts for one cost around 3 euros. No experience in electronics required. Making the module to sound nice is a bit trial and error (you need to test different resistors and capacitors) but once you hit that spot, the outcome is quite nice. If you need more volume, just plug the module to your mixing table instead of that tiny piezo. Building one takes 1-4 hours depending on your soldering skills.