Atari Punk Junk Console

This circuit is a fork of a great project that I found online while looking for information on Linear Feedback Shift Registers (LFSR).

Here’s a video that inspired the fork:

The circuit sounds much more like an Atari 2600 than the ever-popular Atari Punk Console, or Stepped Tone Generator for you Forrest Mims fans.

While I was not looking to clone the circuit , it did lead me to use it as a base for building one that was little bit more fleshed out.

Here’s the schematic I came up with:


A complete circuit that sounds a lot more like the vintage Atari 2600 than the famous Atari Junk Console!

Nothing too complicated, right?  Well, if you’re new to building your own circuits and maybe learning a little design, keep reading for an in-depth analysis of what’s going on in the picture above!

The Breakdown


I’ve nicknamed this circuit the Atari Junk Console .

Clock Generator


To get this circuit going, you’re going to need a 555 astable multivibrator. It’s just an oscillator that generates a metronome-like beat.

Gated Oscillators CV Source


Using two of the most basic oscillators you can DIY, this particular circuit works great to modulate our main LFSR circuit. It also sounds pretty cool on its own.

Linear Feedback Shift Register & Output


The main noise generator for our circuit. The basic circuit at play here is a Linear Feedback Shift Register (LFSR), a test circuit widely used in electrical engineering.

Power Supply


The power supply is a standard way of offering two different power sources (battery and AC Adapter) and then regulating them to a nice, steady, low-noise 5V. The switch is the master on/off for the circuit.

Power Supply Filtering


If you’re dealing with oscillators and AC Adapters, it behooves you to filter the power supply. You don’t want excess noise to interfere with your sounds, especially when sampling/recording!

Unused Gates


Always ground your unused CMOS gate inputs!

Future Ideas


One thought on “Atari Punk Junk Console

  1. Pingback: New Circuit Design Tutorial – Atari Punk Junk Console | DIY Audio Circuits

Comments are closed.