uniPet 04: TradeMark (aka U4)

This uniPet was commissioned by Miss Frilly Pants for the birthday of her hubby and cohort of infamous prankster-sample genius,The Evolution Control Committee's TradeMark G, and is the 4th in my series of circuit bent Panasonic Panapet 70 AM ball radios from the 1970s.

I feel this uniPet is the pinnacle of my current circuit bending work. The final piece turned out really amazing, from the patina, to the presentation and the case.

The idea with this one was to make a galactic artifact/alien scientific instrument of some kind with a case and instructions to match the theme. The case is a 1960's Executair Portable Bar that belonged to my wife's grandfather. After stripping out the glass and bottle holders I peeled the vinyl from the inside of the case (the old dried adhesive turned to a thick gelatinous goo after many applications of goo-gone and was super hard to remove completely) revealing the nice red wood below.

I built a purple velvet-lined foam insert (see the grueling construction shots here) to fit the gadget snugly, including a stash area for blinky blinky LED sequencers (under the magnetic-closing wooden U4), and created an Intergalactic Operations and Warnings Guide firmly attached to the inside of the case lid, of which the refusal to read and comply with its instructions constitutes a heinous galactic crime.


I can't stress enough of how pleased I am with the way this uniPet turned out, especially the patina and surface treatment.

The original color of the AM ball radio was yellow. The patina was done with many layers of copper paint and Sophisticated Finishes Instant Rust solutions, using both the iron substrate and catalyst. The catalyst itself on the copper paint creates the beautiful verdigris patina and after many layers with rough sandings in-between, the final surface was created.

The knobs are drawer pulls from Ikea. The triangular base (tetrahedron?) was hard black plastic corner insert in a package. I used old threaded lamp hardware as the coupler between the ball and base and the flexible tubes are USB LED lights.

I cut and beveled a piece of wood to fit into the hollow of the base and cut and beveled 3 pieces of plexiglas to fill the oddly cut bottom corners. I sanded the plexi so they were translucent and mounted red LEDs behind them to act like "magic eyes" as in old radio sets, glowing brighter with stronger signal and pulsing with audio volume changes. They are now Photonic Oscillation Indicators.

I mounted an optical resistor above the U4 stencil. For the optical resistor cover I used some hard plastic blister packaging, cut to the proper size, and rust-patinated.

A 1960's Executair Portable Bar, found in my garage and formerly belonging to my wife's grandfather, made the perfect case for uniPet 04. I used a large piece of perforated metal for dot stenciling, masking off the shape I need.

For the gruesome details on building the velvet-lined foam insert, go to the construction page. It was interesting and harder than I expected.




Click to embiggen the very important instructional Intergalactic Operations and Warnings Guide.


A snug fit.





TradeMark G, univac and Miss Frilly Pants! At Big City Orchestra's Chakra Chimp Research Station in Alameda, CA. We gawped for the camera and played uBradio Salon #172, 4/27/11. Find audio of the uBradio here on Archive.org, Part 1, Part 2


And here's a shot of TradeMark playing uniPet 04 over Skype on one of the uBradio Salons. We try to have him and Miss Frilly Pants call in from Ohio to the Chakra Chimp Research Station to do long-distance uBradio fun.

The Univac Index, Live @ RobotSpeak, SF 4/1/11

index lies prone, dreaming of nice things in which to trigger his custom reverse-engineered USB biofeedback unit.

univac takes those nice waveforms and midi-fies them into noisewaves and scintillating tones.

The public debut of uniPet 04: TradeMark.
Note the gadget on the back left of table.|
Also includes circuit bent gadgets: Three Loud Objects, Henry's Tit, & Solid Gold MeatBox

univac shows Quartz Composer patch of mundane silhouettes and optical illusions.

Mr. TradeMark was in the house (note the shock of blond hair in the foreground of the linked video) along with Miss Frilly Pants

After the performance I presented uniPet 04 to TradeMark. He flipped out!





Dimensions: appx 7" high
Current Status:

Screeching its galactic guts out somewhere in an underground bunker in Ohio.

AudioVisual Bits:

uniPet 04: TradeMark, audioVisual journey, plus TradeMark making noises!

The Univac Index, Live @ RobotSpeak, SF 4/1/11, The debut of uniPet 04: TradeMark