DIY Weekend: Sonic sculpture for arcade lovers

Homemade soundboard by artist/nerd Steve D'Angelo rocks a vintage look and sounds like Space Invaders and Pac-Man.

Artist/nerd Steve D'Angelo calls this a sculpture, but we think it's more than that. It's an awesome sculpture.

It's called Action Buttons, and that's exactly what it is. Steve, a Crave reader in Pennsylvania, has put a collection of arcade game buttons on the surface of a small plywood box and wired them up to old-school audio samples downloaded from the Web that play when the arcade-like buttons are pressed.

DIY Weekend graphic

The sounds aren't from specific games but sound like they could be, with titles like "energize," "fire laser," "super zapper," and "shields." The contraption is rather like an iPhone soundboard app, only real-world.

It's decorated with acrylic paint for a vintage look; the sounds and graphics can be updated via USB; and the electronics are of the off-the-shelf variety. Steve used an open-source software package called DIY Layout Creator.

One can power on Active Buttons by inserting a quarter (naturally). Then it's just a matter of having fun pressing the buttons and sharing the sounds.

What's really neat is that D'Angelo--whose Web site has more info about him and his art (warning: Comic Sans ahead)--also posted another YouTube video going into more detail on how he put the thing together and showing the sculpture's internal circuitry. And it's as cool as the thing itself.

Next up in DIY Weekend: A "Manhandle" for iPad

To share your DIY project, simply e-mail a description of 350 words or less, including all the geeky ins and outs of your invention, plus relevant links and photos, to crave at cnet dot com. Please put DIY Weekend in the subject line.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.

     

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