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Berlin Wall Distortion

Ore.e Refineries advocating sustainable design.

Berlin Wall Distortion Demo

                        Wall Distortion

Berlin Wall Distortion

The Berlin Wall Distortion is based on the Electra distortion circuit. The unit in the picture is centred around a piece of the Berlin Wall which was collected in 1990. The Lenin pin is connected to the transistor base and can be used to distort the sound. The rotary switch is used to guide the incoming signal towards three different capacitors. The first setting goes to Berlin Tegel Airport and emphasizes treble, setting two passes RAF Gatow airport emphasizing bass moderately and setting three passes trough Tempelhof Airport and it emphasises bass tones heavily.

From the three entry points the signal travels towards Checkpoint Charlie which is the transistor collector. Checkpoint Charlie is also the entry point for the current originating from the 68k resistor, which represents the Berlin Telecommunications Tower, built in 1961. At Checkpoint Charlie both the electric current and the signal from the airports travel underground and continue underneath the circuit. Underneath the board there are also lakes and waterways and various other conjunctions between components. The circuit ground is represented by the Berlin Wall. All components in the circuit which go to ground meet there.

The electric current returns on the face of the board at the Television Tower build in 1965, represented by the 2.2m resistor closed to Alexanderplatz. The signal continues to the transistor base located at the DDR Museum where it meets with the signal. The transistor emitter is at the Friedrichstraße station, which is connected to a 10k potentiometer which controls the amount of the distortion.

The returning signal travels underground and surfaces at the Reichstag Building capacitor from where in travels towards various border crossings sites, some of which are represented with diodes. In the unit in the picture diodes are found at St. Bornholmer border crossing, Stolpe, Spanday (border crossing for trains), Heerstrasse, Checkpoint Bravo and Sonnenallee. The audio signal passes over the Oberbaumbrücke crossing towards the Schönefeld airport from where it travels east towards the audio out. Volume can be effected using a 100k potentiometer.

The diodes at the border crossings can be activated on using switches. When the switches are in off position the signal travels through the exposed copper wires, which hold the piece of Berlin Wall in place. Touching the wires causes interference. Also the buttons can be used to connect the diodes to the ground. The leds get their power directly from the power supply. Interference is removed using an electrolytic capacitor which represents the Tiergarten Flak Tower (demolished in 1947). Before hitting the leds the current passes 4.7k resistor representing the old Radio Tower (Funkturm Berlin).

The circuit connections are roads, connecting the different components using the fastest routes. The view can be overlayed with a map and the board layout is available on OpenStreet map. The unit in the picture is protected with shellac lacquer and can be powered using a single 9 volt battery or a power adaptor. The 3PDT switch bypassed the circuit.

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Photos of the build on flickr.com


An unverified raw v0.2 circuit board toner transfer document (10x12cm) and unverified schematic are available for download. The PCB transfer document is a work in progress. Please, refer to description for a BOM and component placement.


2020-08-08 PCB toner transfer and unverified schematic linked.
2018-01-23 Publishing video on youtube and making this page. Exited about the response but scared about critique the clumsy build might have. This is the second pedal I've build.

Ore.e Refineries advocating sustainable design.

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