Finally got around to something I’ve always wanted to try: I designed my own circuit boards for the first time ever (not counting acid etching in high school) and got them made! I designed the boards in Fritzing, which is an intuitive schematic capture and PCB layout tool, and had the boards printed at OSH Park (as some of you can probably tell by the distinctive purple PCBs). Fritzing isn’t perfect, but it’s free and was just right for a beginner like myself.
There are two boards shown here: The first is a “Joystick Emulator” that lets you interface an Arduino Nano to a Commodore 64 joystick port through a 74LS05 buffer. The second is a little interface board that makes is easy to interface an audio source (oh, like the Sparkfun BOB-09964 microphone) to the MicroView (which I’ve posted about before).
I’ve already done a second version of the MicroView boards, which puts the BOB-09964 right underneath the MicroView. This is intended to be the basis for some cool wearable sound-reactive jewellery. It’s great to have learned a new skill, and having your ideas turned into physical reality is super cool!
This summer was the 30th Anniversary of Ghostbusters, and the movie was re-released in theatres for a limited 1-week run. I took my son Andreas (age 8) to it, and he loved it! Mind you, he had heard of Ghostbusters plenty of times before from me, and had even played the games (PC and Commodore 64 versions) a little bit. But seeing the movie clinched it: He wanted to be a Ghostbuster for Halloween this year! That’s music to a geek dad’s ears, so we spent a weekend putting together the ultimate Ghostbusters costume – on a limited budget. Half the fun was scrounging through the amazing surplus and electronics stores around Toronto like Active Surplus, Creatron, and Sayal Electronics, looking for doodads and gizmos to incorporate into the costume. Continue Reading
I’ve been working with the SoMo by SonicWear, a cool little device that generates sound through movement, and I had some input into its design. SonicWear is a Toronto-based startup, and the project itself originated with Loretta Faveri at OCAD University’s Social Body Lab.
Photo Credit: Asma Khanani Caporaletti
The main target platform for SoMo is Max/MSP on a Mac, but I was interested in using SoMo in other platforms, notably FL Studio in Windows. So I set out to adapt SoMo into a more general-purpose MIDI controller that could be used with any music software, using some freely available tools.
The main ingredients are:
- My custom code for the SoMo (Arduino compatible) – this is for V4.0 of the device, and the accompanying XBee profile.
- The amusingly named “Hairless MIDI Bridge“.
- (For Windows) The “loopMIDI” virtual MIDI loopback cable application.
Read on for details.