The Countdown to Maker Faire Bay Area is On!


Noise Toy-in-a-box

Noise Toy-in-a-box

Every good instrument deserves an appropriately cool enclosure. After building the Loud Objects Noise Toy kit, I decided to case it up with some added flare.

Read on for more pics & info.



A friend brought me back a small Takachi case from his trip to Japan. It seemed the perfect size for housing a Noise Toy board, so I began planning the panel layout. I arranged the buttons in a way that felt most comfortable in my hand, resulting in a pleasingly asymmetrical design.

Noisetoy Colororgan Perf

It’s always fun to add some bells & whistles so I decided to enhance my new toy with a 2-channel version of Ken Stone’s LED driver circuit and wired it up to an RGB LED like so – red LED indicates power, left channel switches the blue LED, and the right drives the green. These LEDs will draw a lot more current from the battery than the chip alone – to accomodate that need, I used two “AA” batteries in place of the kit’s coin cell.

Noisetoy Noisebox Int

After driIling the enclosure I went about installing the panel components. I used a couple large momentary pushbuttons (found here) as replacements for the original tactile switches. The power switch was swapped out for a subtler miniature toggle, and the 1/8″ jack with a panel mount version.

Noisetoy Noisebox

Overall, I’m pleased with the results – the box is fun to play with and feels pretty solid. It was quite easy to case up and I’d definitely consider making a few more.

If you stick with the supplied coin cell, much smaller cases could definitely be used – And of course that would include the ever-popular Altoids tin.

Check back on Monday for details on Noise Toy hacking & programming.



HOW TO – build the Noise Toy

In the Maker store:


Loud Objects Noise Toy kit

18 thoughts on “Noise Toy-in-a-box

  1. JP says:

    That’s a great case, nice job. Where’d you source the buttons?

  2. JP says:

    Oh, now I read the article, and see the link for your buttons.

  3. Collin Cunningham says:

    yups – I dug the bold look (and low low price) of those pushbuttons, but I have to say – they’re pretty cheapo. You may notice in some of the pics how the green juts out much farther than the blue – and they feel a little weird.

  4. Anonymous says:

    … but I think I’ll stick with the altoids tin for now!

    As I know very little about electronics, a question: The push buttons seem to have two leads, however the original tactile buttons have the four posts – how do I know which connections to make? it’s hard to see on the posted picture.

  5. Collin Cunningham says:

    Actually, that’s a very good question – although they have 4 legs, the tactile switches really only connect 2 different parts of the circuit. (2 conductors) I believe they have 4 legs in order to ensure they stay securely attached to the circuit board.

    Here’s a simple diagram describing how a tactile switch works a bit more:

    Kinda looks like a little bug – the front legs are always connected inside, as are the back pair. Push down on the button and all four connect together . . . momentarily (and tactilely of course)

  6. Boris says:

    (that anonymous question was me by the way)

    So I got my toy from Loud Object yesterday… and stupid me didn’t read correctly that they ship it assmebled, versus the kit from MAKE. Duh!

    No matter. Looking at the thing I think I still should be able to put it in an altoids thing or similar enclosure. Only issue yet again: the switches. I don’t want to try to remove the tactile switches since I’m afraid I may break the toy in the process. What if instead I soldered the contact wires of the switches to the bottom of the board (since there’s room there)? That should work right?

  7. Collin Cunningham says:

    @Boris – soldering, to the switch contacts on the bottom of the board will work fine. The resulting connection may not be very sturdy – but that’s probably not a big worry.

    If you use a desoldering pump, you probably won’t have much problem removing the switches, but again this is not necessary.

    be sure to post pics to the flickr pool when done.

  8. Paul says:

    I know this is a bit off topic of the Noise-Toy but how would one go on attaching a 1/8 inch jack?

    Here’s the kit:

  9. Collin Cunningham says:

    looks like a fun kit –
    to add in an 1/8″ jack, you could simply remove the speaker and then connect the 2 exposed wires to the jacks conductors.
    You’re most likely dealing with a stereo jack so you shoud see 3 conductors – one for left channel, one for right, and another for ground (connects to the base of the plug).

    solder the positive wire (yellow) to the left and right, and the black to ground and you should be all set

    curious – what 14-pin chip is that kit using?

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 30% off early bird ticket sales ends August 31st, 2023!

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Prices Increase in....