Showing posts from April, 2023

Notes On A Collectivist Manifesto - Part 2

What if corporations were founded like music groups or artists' colonies? You have an idea that would benefit the community and produce economic value. It came about because, a little while ago, you needed a left-handed widget. All the hardware stores had was right-handed widgets, googling turned up nothing but RHWs, not even Thingiverse had any LHW files, so you couldn't even 3D print one. "Blind freddy can see that this is an essential thing, FFS!" you rail at the gods. But not even the Chinese make them, they can't even be found at huge espense on Etsy. So you figure out what makes an RHW, reverse engineer it (literally?) and look into getting a few made. After many business meetings with light industrial manufacturers who simply can't see a market because there isn't one yet, you decide you're going to have to setup your own manufacturing plant. From here, the story we know goes, mortgage the house, venture capitalists, private company, go pu

Everything a Car Can Do, So Can a Bicycle (Just in smaller doses and sometimes an extra trip)

I'm one of those "Clives" (old men) who, as well as a touring bike, has a cargo bike. I usually put it to work doing this kind of thing... I call it "Thunderbird 2" because It's my plan to have some standard pods. There's a big black load deck on the front, where most, middle-class people have a kiddie carrier, but why would I bother with that? My kids are old enough to have kids, if they want to. Mine's the bicycle equivalent of a Toyota Hilux, it has a box pod that normally mounts on the load deck, the original plan was to put a counter and coffee machine on it (but food truck laws! Jesus, was going to cost as much as doing the same with a large van! Tens of thousands of bucks, just to get compliant!) and I've even built a disability seat, but that's yet to be pressed into service, or even tested. However, today I started building a campervan pod for it. A 1.8m x 0.5m camp bed with a bivi, that folds up into 0.6m wide,0.52m tall pod. Th

Notes on a Collectivist Manifesto Part 1

I have personal experience in collectivism. I have played in music groups. When I call myself an "anarchist collectivist" as my political affilliation, I'm being exceedingly pragmatic, drawing from lived experience that proves it might be more effective and more democratising than classist capitalism has ever been, even in experiments of workplace democracy. Groups of musicians come together with a common purpose. Even if capitalistic ideals of fame and fortune is their common goal, the togetherness and artistic commons of the collective is the primary purpose. No person is an island and, in a sea of capitalism, fame and fortune seems like the lifeboat. Still the music drives the musical collective forward, sometimes to the brink, even beyond. Any riches are a bonus, it's the collective good of the chosen goal that is a musical group's motivation, be they The Beatles or the London Philhamonic, or be they my old bunch of unkown chancer band mates, The Breed or T

Look Over Here! A Distra... Um Distortion Pedal (rev3)

The BFA (Big F***ing Amplifier) Overdrive Pedal A BYO (build your own) distortion pedal with an audio isolation transformer to simulate the output stage of a Marshall or a Vox tube amp. It drives a clipping circuit, the primary cause of distortion in any amp, but smoothes that clipping with the transformer, what a valve amp does, particularly something like a Marshall. I call this circuit the BFA, short for "Big Fucking Amplifier." *Note: The TM022 transformer now substituted for a Bourne LM-NP-1001-B1L PCB mount . (Link = data sheet) The higher inductance makes for a more rectilinear distortion shape, still with the nice rounded corners on the signal and the bandwidth is closer to 10kHz. The design uses a low voltage, rail-to-rail dual op-amp, the LM358. Op-amp "a" is wired as an inverting gain stage, to push guitar signal way above the clipping voltage of a pair of shchottky diodes, wired opposite hand, to create the necessary saturation point. The pre-gain

Top Secret Guitar Pedal Project

For 5 years, my mate and, for many years, a bandmate, Wayne and I have been working on a top secret pedal idea. Partly we're keeping it top secret because we think it's very cool, partly we're not entirely sure it doesn't breach a patent. When Wayne first suggested the idea, referencing a pedal from the 80s that's not only discontinued, it'a made utterly of unobtainium. It's like some bitter patent troll who hates guitarists, has locked up every single one of those pedals. None even exist on the second hand market. From what Wayne tells me, I'm not sure it could be a patent issue because, from my audio production experience, our idea is a sidechain triggered noise gate, and I'm pretty sure THAT has so much prior art, in so many variations, it'd probably be impossible to patent. I'm not saying much more about the pedal, or how it works, but we're not far off prototyping a pair of test units. I'm pretty excited. I've built a fe