5 Extraordinary Electronics from The Great Create

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a batch of projects on The Great Create that were all about fun. Whether harkening back to the great electronic games of the ‘80s, initiating the next phase of electric rock ‘n’ roll experimentation or being just plain silly, these projects from The Great Create are clearly the work of some very creative minds. Here are 5 of our favorite recent projects from that are all for gamers, guitarists and goofballs:


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Arduino Simon Game


Flashback to the 1980s, when toy manufacturers made brain-busting puzzles and passed them off as fun. One of the best was Simon, an electronic game where lights and sounds were played in sequence and the player had to mimic the pattern by pressing the colored buttons. It was nice and easy at first, but as the sequence grew and the speed increased, it was only a matter of time before Simon stumped you. Now, with an Arduino and a few other parts, you can recreate that feeling of panic when you realize too late that it was “red-blue-blue-green-yellow-yellow-red” and not “red-blue-blue-green-yellow-yellow-blue.”


Why We Love It: We always wanted to rip out the original Simon’s circuits when it got too hard. Now you can. That’ll teach him.


DIY Quickstart Game Console


Speaking of fun and games, have you ever wanted to make your own video game? Now you can with a Parallax Propeller Quickstart Board. Design your own 8-bit characters and environments, then plug in your Nintendo Wii controller and stomp those baddies, dodge the barrels and jump over the treacherous pits.

Why We Love it: We’d make a game where you control four ghosts who are frantically trying to protect their dot harvest from the evil, ravenous Pac-Man.


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Arduino Guitar Pedal


Altering an electric guitar’s signal with electrical circuits housed in small metal effects pedals has been a mainstay in popular music since the early days of rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, the circuit that made Jimi Hendrix sound like Jimi Hendrix was just two transistors and a handful of caps and resistors that turned his guitar into a growling distorted rock machine. The artist and the device changed music forever. Imagine what a guitar pedal with an Arduino in its guts could do. The answer is you can program it to transform a guitar signal into just about anything.


Why We Love it: The next guitar mad scientist who changes music as we know it is building this in his garage as we speak.


Game Show Buttons


Set up your own home version of Jeopardy with a few inexpensive parts from RadioShack. When one of the buttons is pressed, it automatically locks the other one out until the quizmaster flips a reset switch. This project demonstrates that it’s possible to implement complex time-dependent circuitry without relying on a microcontroller or computer.


We’ll take Why We Love it for $200: Hmm, we have to phrase our answer in the form of a question, so: “What project makes quiz night/trivia night a whole lot better?”

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A Useless Machine

Most of the projects on The Great Create solve some sort of problem and have some kind of specific function, but only one man dared to make a machine that willfully does nothing. Turn this machine on and it springs into action instantly just so it can turn itself off again.


Why We Love it: Pretty sure this is the first slacker robot ever constructed. Could this be Bender’s (from “Futurama”) great-great-great-grandrobot?


What great creations are you working on? We love seeing new submissions, so head over to The Great Create page and upload your project. Got any suggestions for gadgets you’d like the DIY community to create? Leave us some comments about what electronic devices you want to see brought to life.


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