Posts Tagged ‘Making’
I wile away many an evening jamming out loops on my Arduinome with mlrv, so I thought I’d capture a little on tape.
Each track in mlrv holds a sample, and relates to a horizontal button row on the Arduinome. The sample is sliced up in to sections, and my Arduinome controls the triggering of the first 8 sections (since it’s only 8 buttons wide). mlrv has a basic loop recorder that I use at the beginning of the video to capture the baseline.
This was recorded by piping the output of mlrv to Soundflower, routing Soundflower in to Logic, capturing mlrv with iShowU, and editing in Final Cut Express.
I just finished my latest electronics project, which is a synthesizer that uses the chips from a Commodore64 for the sound engine. It’s totally awesome, makes lots of blinky flashing lights, and sounds like a bunch of retro game consoles having a drunken orgy.
I’ll post some more pics and videos soon, but here’s a little teaser.
After I started getting in to electronics and realized that I was only going to get so far on my Make: Electronics book alone, I looked around for maker groups in the Orlando area.
As it turns out, there’s one right in my back yard in Altamonte Springs: the Greater Orlando Hackerspace. My first attempts to contact them a few months back were in vain, but I hit them up again today after seeing some activity on their blog, and learned that they are still going strong just with a little restructuring taking place. They still have “Microcontroller Mondays” every Monday at 7 PM so I hope to go out there in a week or two to show my Arduinome, and maybe help some other people build one while learning some stuff myself.
If you are interested in getting engaged, check out their membership page and drop them an email. If you don’t want to join but want to do a little good for the community, please send them a donation for their laser cutter. Any amount is welcomed, but only $10 gets you a keychain!
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
In this part of the series, we take a look at the diodes and LEDs, and I solder them on to the SparkFun PCBs.
I’m working my way through the Arduinome making-of videos, and this is the first one I’ve been able to upload.
Unless I decide to spend $60 a year on a Vimeo pro account, it might be slow-going with the uploads, but please bear with me! The whole entire process will be documented, and you’ll be able to see the whole collection of videos on my Arduinome page once they are all done.
Loads more to come in the way of a detailed video build log, but here’s me messing with the Arduinome running the mlrv patch in MaxMSP. It basically turns the Arduinome in to a sample player, which was the primary reason I built it.
This is my first time messing with mlrv, so please excuse the fact that I suck. Your ears should bleed slightly less during the second half as I start to get the hang of it.
I’ll be documenting my journey in to Arduinome construction as the parts come in, so stay tuned! I’m also going to be maintaining a page on my site with all my Arduinome reference materials for others to follow in the future.
In the interim, here’s the guy from Pretty Lights jamming out on his monome (the thing that inspired the Arduinome). He’s using a sample manipulation app for the *nome devices called mlr, which is a Max/MSP patch. You can run pre-compiled patches in the runtime without having to buy Max/MSP.
I built my Meggy Jr. about a month or so back, and since I was having a pretty lazy weekend I figured I would mess around with programming it.
The device comes with an “advanced” API that can manipulate the finer details of the device, and a simple wrapper API. The simple API is the one that 99% of people will use to program games and other applications, since it lets you do things like play sounds, turn the LEDs on and off while specifying their color, check for button presses, etc. Code is C/C++ written in whatever editor you want, and compiled and shipped to the device over a USB cable using the Java-based Arduino IDE. It’s a really neat little package and very easy to get started with.
Here’s a picture of my Meggy hooked up via the USB adapter cable. The cable plugs in to the headers on the top right, and can be easily unplugged for taking the device with you.
I wrote a basic program to test things out, and then decided to start on a library for a game (since I have been thinking about some kind of multi-colored Othello/Reversi that might be fun to figure out). However, as soon as I tried going from a monolithic one-file procedural application to something using classes, I started to get compiler errors about duplicate method implementations. Cracking open the code, I found out that the guys who wrote the Meggy API put all the simple API calls inline in a header file. As a result, whenever you want to include the header more than once, you end up with compiler errors for the duplicated object code.
I posted a question to the forums about whether there were any specific reasons why this design approach had been chosen over a classic header/class file, but after taking a quick look at the code I couldn’t see any reason and decided to port the library to a header/class setup. If anybody is interested, the final code for the solution is posted on the Meggy forums. Also, if you want to download the library files you can get them here.
I originally wanted to be a computer engineer in college, but chose software engineering instead since the market was so full of jobs at the time and I seemed to have some natural ability with it. My recent foray in to learning electronics has resulted in a keen interest in building devices and writing software for them, so apparently this passion for hardware has been laying dormant for over ten years. My original goal when I bought Make: Electronics was to get enough expertise to build an Arduinome, which looked really daunting at the time. Having assembled the Meggy last month, and having looked at the plans again in detail this weekend, building an Arduinome now looks like a walk in the park. To that end, I ordered an unsped Arduinome shield PCB from BatchPCB.com on Saturday, and will order the rest of the parts when the board goes off to China for fabrication.
After that’s done, I’m going to get really ambitious and try to build an MB-6582. The project itself looks somewhat tougher from every angle (construction, case assembly, etc.), although by far the hardest part will be tracking down 8 SID chips. I’ve got one in my SIDStation, but that’s not going anywhere. There are plenty of C64s to be had on eBay, but when you only want the SID chip it’s a little hard to justify dropping $30+ 8 times. Luckily, the main board for the MB-6582 is set up to have as many or few SID chips as you have on hand, so I can start off with 2 and work my way up as my budget allows.
I recently attended 360|Flex San Jose, and took part in a “Flex and Hardware” session where we built basic electronics projects with an Arduino and a breadboard, and then talked to them over a USB serial interface from Flex. This was tons of fun.
I almost went for an electronics degree in college, but got in to programming instead. I don’t regret that decision, but I’m still very interested in electronics. I had been contemplating buying a basic electronics kit and messing around with hardware for a while, but going to the session at 360|Flex really threw me in the deep end and showed me just how easy it is to work with these open source hardware platforms. This has rekindled my interest in building myself an Arduinome.
The Arduinome project is a bit daunting for a newbie, so I figured I’d start with something a bit smaller and with lots more in the way of instructions. I found the project I was looking for on EvilMadScientist.com: the Meggy Jr kit. It’s very similar to the Arduinome in both form and function and requires total assembly by the user based on a PCB, but comes with a lot more in the way of how-tos and programming help. Plus, it’s only $95 for the top-notch kit and comes with everything you need in one box, unlike the Arduinome which requires group buys for custom PCBs and sourcing of parts from multiple manufacturers. I figure once I get this thing tackled, I’ll kick the tires on an Arduinome using the famous unsped shield.
I ordered the Meggy Jr. today and will be posting my progress as I go.
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