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Build Your Own Banana Synth [Gadget Gangster How-To]

How do you interface with a banana? Let’s see if you know what we mean. Here, take this banana and do what you would normally do with a banana. Ah, see, you’re doing it all wrong. Simply peeling a banana and eating its contents is so primate.

If you really want to get the most out of your banana, you’re going to need some wiring, some programming knowhow, and a little guidance. Lucky for you, we’re here to guide you. Just don’t share any of this info with these monkeys or we might have a little banana frenzy on our hands.

For this project you’ll need eight bananas, a bunch of alligator jumper wires, a Quickstart board, a 220 ohm resistor, and the spin source archive.


Got everything together? Just replace any bananas you may have eaten during the gathering process so you’re back to eight. Alright, let’s go!

First off, connect the alligator clips to the Quickstart board’s P0 through P7 pins. Connect the other end of each to the stem of a banana. If you want, you could arrange them by size so that lower notes have larger keys and higher ones have smaller ones, just like on a xylophone, except that size doesn’t actually come into play when you’re working with electrified bananas. So you really don’t have to, unless you want to spend some time and mental effort scrutinizing each of your bananas.

Connect the resistor to P11. This will be your audio out.


Here’s a little tidbit of theory from the original post on Gadget Gangster:

The Propeller measures the R/C time constant determined by the resistor (internal on the Quickstart) and the capacitance on the connection point. When you bring your finger close to the connection point (the banana), the capacitance increases and therefore the R/C time constant increases.

In essence, you hit the banana and it makes a sound. Thanks, science! Here’s a graph that means something to people more interested in the wires than the bananas.


Now it’s time to load all the appropriate code to the board. You may need to noodle with line #36 depending on the mushiness of your bananas, although if you know how to choose bananas, you should be fine. If you don’t know how to choose bananas, then you are, quite literally, dumber than a monkey and should seek one immediately to bring you up to speed. Here’s a blurry image of the code that we hope will confuse and bewilder you.


Now go ahead an play those bananas. You’ve earned it!

[via Gadget Gangster]

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