This is a modified Nintendo video game console. It is a very simple bend and is a lot of fun to play with. To bend this unit I simply added a patch bay to a handful of points on the video processing chips. The Display can be tweaked by either connecting points together or by feeding in external signals, like audio or voltages from my modular synthesizer. the video shown above is an example of how the visuals can be controlled using clock signals from my modular synth.
I connected the patch bay to the circuit using a connection terminal and ribbon cable. This allowed me to wire up the lid and board separately and plug them together when I was done. It made the whole job a lot easier. It also allows me to remove the lid completely from the unit if it needs to be serviced.
Above is a picture of the control panel.
– On the left is a 21 point patch bay. Each point is simply wired to a pin on one of the ICs on the nintendo circuit board.
– To the right of the patch bay are 3 green points. These are connected to ground. Most of the points on the patchbay respond well when attached to ground.
– In the center of the control panel are a few patchable potentiometers with activation switches and buttons. This allows you to patch points together through adjustments which will vary the amount of video glitching as they are adjusted. I used two 500ohm pots and two 10 turn 100ohm pots.
– On the right are three external signal input jacks. Audio signals or voltages from analog synths or micro controllers can be used. Really cool effects can be achieved by feeding high frequency wave forms (like the output of a 555 timer) into some patch points. It gets interesting when the frequency of the incoming wave matches up with the scan frequency of the display. You can get some cool scrolling patterns by doing this.
I imagine there is some danger involved in plugging random voltages into the nintendo circuit board….. but so far there haven’t been any problems. I suspect that running each input through some sort of op amp buffer would be a good idea.
Each input goes through a potentiometer for limiting the signal as well as a switch and pushbutton for turning the signal on and off.
The row of pins boxed in RED above are where most of the interesting effects are. There is one point below the others also boxed in RED. When this point is connected to ground, the graphics are dramatically simplified and become colorful block patterns. This is my favorite effect so far.
There are many more points that can be patched together, but I’ve found that the general range of effects can be achieved using the points shown above.