Atari Punk Sequencer: Breadboarding and Planning

January 8th, 2011 Posted in Atari Punk Sequencer

Since I’ve wrapped up a bunch of other projects, I had a lonely breadboard sitting around just waiting to be used. For a while, I had planned on making an Atari Punk Console, based off of Jimmie Rodgers‘ design, however, shortly before starting, I found a simple 10-step sequencer (called the Baby10).  I figured in this vast series of tubes, someone else must have paired the two, and sure enough, I found several examples, but no schematics.

Luckily, a Youtuber named robfrosty (aka Christophe Richard) had a link to a four step version of the schematics, and I used that to throw something together on my breadboard.

Unfortunately, even Christophe’s schematic was missing some parts, particularly how to setup the astable 555 timer. Luckily, between projects I thought it would be fun to go through some LED example projects on-line, and one of the ones I put together was a 10-LED chaser.  It used a 555 as an astable timer and a 4017 to drive the LEDs, just like the Baby10!  So with the four schematics in hand, I went to work putting pieces onto the breadboard, hoping that the mixture of differing notations (and sometimes even values) would work out for me.

It was a miracle!  I had added the LEDs to Christophe’s design, as well as a switch on step 3, with accompanying diode, to allow me to run the signal back to the reset pin on the 4017, essentially allowing me to switch it from a four step sequencer to a two step sequencer.  With this in mind, I began to work on a schematic for the project, one that would include eight steps and a switch on steps 2 through 8, to allow for sequences between 1 and 8 steps in length.

Initially, I had planned to include a kill switch on each step to allow me to mute any given step, but after wiring up the four step version, I realized that if you turned up the 100k pot high enough on any of the given steps, it would mute the output, essentially doing what a switch would have done anyway, so I decided to skip the switches.

Since Jimmie Rodgers already had a schematic for the APC done up in EAGLE, and since I had been doing all of my layouts in the less than desirable Visio (a great tool, don’t get me wrong, just ill fitting for schematics), I figured I’d give EAGLE a try.

Word of caution: EAGLE is not really user friendly and has a bit of a learning curve.  I was able to get the schematic looking like I wanted it to look, but it probably took me the better part of a day to get really comfortable with it and I have only just begun to understand it’s nuances (and I haven’t even begun to figure out the board layout section so I can roll my own circuit boards). That being said, I’m happy with how the final schematic turned out.

(Click Image for Larger View)

My next steps are going to be getting this thing soldered up and into an enclosure.  This might turn into a pretty quick project in terms of time put into it.  Perhaps it’s because it’s all so well documented by other, or maybe I’m just getting better at this electronics building thing!

  1. 3 Responses to “Atari Punk Sequencer: Breadboarding and Planning”

  2. By Malicious Code on Jun 27, 2011

    i been working on the same thing and built a working unit from the same sources a few years ago and it worked pretty well.
    Am currently rebuilding and researching the project and is under way.
    How is your progress going??
    i been thinking about sync and midi in options for syncing with other midi daw and analog gear.
    midi in clock pulses are handled by and opto isolator and then am wondering if that signal could then be sent to the in-put on the 4017 and 555 bypassed or switched

  3. By Malicious Code on Jun 27, 2011

    p.s what is the 556 for and the cds ?

  4. By Aaron on Aug 5, 2011

    556 is what drives the Atari Punk Console (the tone generator(s)).

    CDS are touch points (contact pads, etc.) so you can modulate the tone by touching the two points and basically adding a poor mans resistor to the mix.

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