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Here’s a tool that’s super easy to build and super useful. I call it the Bend Finder because I use it to help me find interesting glitched and bends in circuits, but really it’s just a resistor sub box and it’s got tons of uses other than in circuit bending. Most pro sub boxes use rotary switches to switch between set values of resistance and most pro sub boxes are expensive! For the kind of work I’m doing, I prefer using pots rather than rotary switches which works for me since using pots is a quicker, easier and cheaper option.

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You want at least 3 or 4 values of potentiometer. I use 1k, 10k, 100k and 1M. You can do smaller increments if you want and include some 5′s in there. A switch is pretty useful and then I have it all connect using two binding posts. These are good cause you can attach just about anything to them. You can use any connection terminal you want. I’ve used bolts before and those work fine. There are lots of ways you can trick out your sub box.

  • One thing I’m going to add to mine is a set of tip jacks that are wired to the connection terminals. Tip jacks are the size of standard multi meter probes. This will allow me to easily plug my meter into my box to get an accurate reading of the pots.
  • I suggest adding a 1k or 100ohm 10 turn pot. This is great for making subtle adjustments.
  • You can add a pushbutton in parallel with the on/off switch. This will allow you to make momentary connections.
  • Make some banana plugs with alligator clips on the end. You can plug these into the binding posts for easy connection of test leads.
  • Add more pots and switches.
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