Monday, September 26, 2011

The "Zippy Stardust" Radar-Laserbeam Goggles

As I finished mixing the Easystreet album earlier this year, I decided to show off to Michael Blitzen and Velvet Chang my light up epihone guitar. It seemed to fit with their style of outerspace disco rave nonstop sparkle sequin party. Michael was very excited and, having always wanted an angry mad bitchin' guitar solo at the end of their song Robotobahn, invited me to join them as a special guest (for about :30 seconds) during their live shows. Well, the guitar is pretty amazing but I would need more of a costume than that to join THIS act. You can check out Easystreet's music video for Robotobahn featuring Zippy Stardust rocking all the lights and more, at around 3:30...

The knight-rider LED circuit is easy to find online, and easy enough to add a few extra LEDs to the "carry-out" output of the 4017 IC at the heart of the matter. I run the circuit from a very convenient 12 V "N-size" camera battery, and a tiny wheel to control the speed of the effect hangs out from under the ear-piece. The hardest part about this build was finding a pair of "old-person glasses" big enough to house the circuit! We looked all over town, and eventually just had to buy a pair online.