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So, obviously the OpenChord project is pretty much over. However, I'm starting up a new project/video game! More details on the blog.

- 27 September 2010 -


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  • The V1 currently comes in the form of an electronics kit, allowing you to add controller functionality to your existing guitar without damaging the playability of your instrument.

    In the next couple of pages, we’re going to show you how to build  your own OpenChord V1 out of the components that come in the kit.  There are links to the steps on the left, as well as links at the bottom of each page to step through the instructions.

    Basic Steps

    To build a V1, there are basically 5 steps you need to do. Each step is covered in detail in the following pages, but the steps are briefly:

    1: Electrically insulate the strings
    2: Attach wires to the frets
    3: Attach wires to the strings
    4: Install the button
    5: Connect and install the circuit board

    There are a range of ways to do these, and our instructions map out two possible installations.  The steps that end with an “A” walk through a completely non-destructive installation of the kit, using copper tape to connect the frets and attaching the circuitry to the neck of the guitar.  The steps that end with “B” explain how to install the kit inside the body of the guitar such that the guitar looks completely normal, but the “B” process requires cutting into the neck and potentially the body of the guitar.


    The V1 operates by sending a very small electric charge through the strings and frets to determine where the strings are being held against frets. These connections act like switches, and the the microcontroller is able to read these connections, interpret them, and output the appropriate button information to the console.

    Continue -> Required Materials