The Bit-52's The World's Greatest Robot Parts Band playing The B-52's - Rock Lobster





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Published on Sep 7, 2010

What do you get when you combine retro computer parts with an up and coming robot band?

The Bit-52's

This idea has been simmering in my mind for the last couple of years and after many months of procrastinating it is finally complete. I was also motivated to finish my robot band after seeing a YouTube Video "The Trons" from pieplateindustries in New Zealand.

The Bit-52's consist of:

Male vocals - TI99/4a computer, speech synthesizer and terminal emulator ii module
Back-up female vocals - Two HP Scanjet 3C scanners (Not Printers), UBunto and sjetplay written by NuGanjaTron
The Guitar, Keyboard, Cow Bell, Cymbal and Tambourine are all controlled by various types of push/pull solenoinds for a total of 23. The Solenoids are powered by four ULN2803 darlington drivers and everything is controlled by two PIC16F84A microcontrollers.

Some viewers have mentioned issues with respect to timing. What they do not realize solenoids are mechanical devices and their performance are affected by many factors. Tempurature is a big factor, the solenoids heat up very quickly and the magnetic field strength decreases which slows the response time and piston strength. If you do not press down on the fret board hard enough the string will tend to waver causing it to sound out of tune. All the solenoids were taken out of surplus junk equipment and each are being used for applications for which they weren't designed for. Sure if you want to spend a $1000 you can get stronger and faster actuators. So quit complaining and enjoy the video for which it was intended for.....to put a smile on your face.



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