Monday, August 9, 2010

Circuit Bent Elmo's World Talking Cell Phone

So my latest weekend project was circuit bending a Fisher-Price Elmo's World Talking Cell Phone that I picked up for 49 cents at our local Goodwill last Friday. After taking it apart and locating the up/down pitch bends I decided to re-house the components in a new box - there just wasn't room for the various switches & potentiometers in the original toy cell phone body. I found an old translucent plastic VHS tape box that was just the right size to hold all the guts, and got out the Dremel and soldering iron and went to work. I added two 1M pots for the pitch bends, and added 2 toggle switches - one for the distortion bend, and another to trigger the audio clips that would've played when you opened the original toy phone. I mounted the keypad directly to the inside front of the box and drilled 1/4" holes for each touch point on the keypad. I also added a 1/4" audio output jack so I can play it through an exterior amp, f/x pedals, etc.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how this one turned out. Although it's pretty basic, the distortion bend makes it into something obnoxiously special (see video clip at bottom).

front view w/ pitch bends identified

back view

finished box, front view

finished box, back view

finished box, open view


4 comments:

marc roder said...

Awesome bender Robin! Keep this project going, so many possibilities.....

Kevin said...

You're gonna turn into a electrical engineer yet.

Unknown said...
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PaulFitzZaland said...

Hey, this is great! The E.W. Cell Phone was one of my first projects at Fisher-Price. I'd love to have a bent one for my collection. Do you take commissions? I could supply the phone.

Nice work. Cheers!
Paul

Paul @ PaulFitzZaland . com