Audio Bombing is an alternative form of graffiti which uses magnetic audio tape as its medium. Drawing from hip hop and graffiti culture Audio Bombing starts with a basic cassette tape. Using a tape recorder you can record any information you want on to the cassette (music, poems, philosophy, subversive literature, etc.). After recording you remove the tape and cut out the segments that you want to use. Then take your tape segments and go tag whatever you want (buildings, benches, posters, buses, etc.). Using the augmented playhead spray can you can listen to the tags by running the playhead over the tape.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Tape Player Modification

We start with an ordinary tape player. This specific one happens to be an RCA Battery Operated Cassette Recorder, model number RP3503A.

Next, move on to taking out the exterior case screws holding it together.

Now it's time to crack the case open. Remember to watch out for the plugs on the side.

Next, pull back the tape and wires and remove the screws holding the circuit board onto the case.

Now carefully move the wires away, and remove the rubber band from the drive motor.
You will have to carefully cut and pry to remove the speaker, as it is glued into place.

The electronics are almost completely free at this point.
Next you need to pull away the circuitry and remove the screws from the mechanical parts.

We now have a good look at what we're after: the play head.

The obvious next step is to remove the two screws holding the play head onto the rest of the mechanics.

You'll notice that when you press the play button only one electrical thing happens:
Two contacts are pressed together to make a connection.

You'll want to remove this and then feel free to get rid of the rest of the mechanics, they're of no use anymore. (You may need to pry out the microphone to allow you to completely free the electronics.)

Now that everything you need is free, there are only a few steps left.

The last definite step is to clip the contacts that the play button used to depress.

Once this is done, everything is up to you.
Feel free to route the play head wherever you'd like, use any method you choose to connect the play wires (button, switch, or simply touching them together,) and pick any casing you want to place the required parts in.
There are only a few things which you may want to fabricate:
  • A contact for the battery ends not connected to the circuit board
  • A hooked standoff for the play head, similar to what is on the backside of the tape inside a cassette
  • An easily held casing containing the play head
Congratulations, you now have your very own audio graffiti reader.

1 comment:

Gunmoontree said...

I've been researching how to procure my own playhead that I can drag across magnetic tape, and you all seem to have answered my prayers... but I'm not totally sure what a "hooked standoff" is. Could someone explain it?