Tell me what you want [Thomas Edison], But it’s hard to deny the talent for his self-proclaimed personal favorite discovery: the phonograph. Capturing sound as a physical representation of a flexible medium was truly revolutionary, and the basic technology that served as the primary medium of recorded sound for over a century and created a number of great arts is still alive and kicking today.
With so much technological history behind it, what would an aspiring inventor do when the urge to rotate your own phonograph records strikes? Easy – Cut them out of wood with a CNC router. At least that’s it [alnwlsn] While cutting the PCB with his router, the “one percent inspiration” spins after hitting him. Arguing that the copper tracks were probably as fine as a record groove, he came up with some math to describe the data overlay from a fine-pitch spiral groove and a word file and turned the whole thing into G-code. .
For a suitable medium, he turned to the MDF spoil board used to send PCB stencils, which produced a rather hairy-looking 78-RPM record after about three hours of matching. Surprisingly, the record worked fairly well in a wind-up Victola. The spring-powered motor was a bit weak for heavy wood recording and required a manual assistance, but you can hear the 40-second recording more or less clearly. Even more amazing was how well the recording sounded when a steel needle was replaced with a piece of toothpick. You can check out the whole thing in the video below and you’ll find G-Code Generation scripts on GitHub.
Are you confused by all this talk about reproducing music using wiggly lines? Oh, there, Whippersnapper – check out [Jenny]Its primer for MP3 generation for your required background.