Tindie Blog | Discrete Atari Punk Console!

We love seeing integrated circuits broken down into discrete forms, but this is the first time we’ve seen it done with an entire circuit design! The Atari Punk Console, for those unfamiliar, is made with two 555 timers, one triggering the other, and it creates some very crazy bleeps, bloops and shrieks reminiscent of old Atari consoles, hence the name. But this fully discrete D-Punk Atari Punk Console is super cool, with the clear solder mask and very cool layout!

The D-Punk essentially replicates the dual 555 (or, in some designs, a 556 dual timer) in the original design by using the famous schematic in the 555 datasheet. This is a kit that you have to assemble, but it’s all through-hole and comes with all the components — a whopping 49 transistors, plus resistors, capacitors, and the important potentiometers, which is how you control the device.

Essentially, one 555 is in an astable multivibrator mode, constantly running at whatever frequency the knobs set. It then feeds its output into the trigger input of the second 555, which is running in a monostable (single-shot) mode. So essentially, you have a monostable timer being triggered over and over again by the astable one, leading to all sorts of crazy sounds.

The cool part is being able to probe the design as it runs, which can be a great way to learn about transistor circuits. The behaviour of the 555 is explained in great detail on many different websites, so if you follow along as you probe, you’ll suddenly have this “Aha!” moment where it all clicks. This would make a great gift for your hacker friends, no matter their experience level!

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