Sometime last year, at the request of a client, I made this curious little box. The connectors on the top row can be connected to their corresponding lower sockets by putting something conductive in the slot in the middle and then setting the corresponding switches to either permanently on/off or pushing down for a momentary connection. It was built for my good friend Phil Julian/cheapmachines as a performance device.

Johnny 5!

Johnny 5!

Because it essentially 'short circuits' the top and bottom rows of connectors I nicknamed it "Johnny 5". And of course, who doesn't love that 80s robot-based buddy film / love story with it's charming racial stereotypes and it's feel-good theme song courtesy of El Debarge (that bassline!)

Anyway, Phil contacted me last week to ask if it would be possible to change Johnny 5 from mini-jack connectors to banana sockets!

But wait! No disassemble Johnny 5!



Ignoring pleas for clemency I set to work hacking out those mini-jacks (which due to the common ground bus I'd painstakingly built....Phil), drilling out the holes and installing the banana sockets, Jonny Five is reassembled and winging his way back to the big city.

Reassemble, Ste-pha-nee!

I'm sure he looks a little happier with his red eye makeup!

And just because, here's that famous scene....

diy performance modular short circuit disassemble johnny five

Published on by Neil Baldwin.