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More Synth Electronics Pron

Posted 2016.02.12 14.58 in Hobbies

Today’s pics are from a Korg Volca Sample.

The Volca series has a reputation of being hacker / modder friendly, but the first three in the series were basically analog, the Sample is all digital. It has 4MB memory to hold 100 samples.

The obvious mod is Midi Out, which is labeled on the bottom of the main pcb.

I wonder about a memory expansion. The 4MB is an 8-pin SMD chip, 25Q032, and there are drop-in replacements like an 8MB 25Q064. Whether or not the Sample’s firmware would recognize more memory is unknown. The memory uses SPI and could be read out by a SPI probe.

There’s also a couple test points whose function is not provided, they might be interesting. And a connector CN4 which appears to be connected directly to the ARM processor. Maybe for JTAG, or for ICSP?

Top of main circuit board:

Volca Sample Main Board

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ISEB Mark III – Electronics Done!

Posted 2012.10.27 11.30 in Computers/Internet/Technology

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that as of this morning, I’ve finished the electronics on the Integrated Sensors Electronic Bracer Mark III. (Wait haven’t I said that before?)

I’ve mounted the last electronic component. It seems to be working fine. All that remains to be done from this point, is finishing the software and the new leather bracer. And an enclosure.

The last part was the micro TV-B-Gone that I assembled a while back.

I’m pretty happy with how things have turned out, even if it has taken a few months to get to this point. It’s all self-contained and even though there are a couple wires, nothing is going to be flexing around – it’s one solid unit.

One minor challenge is the name – ISEB-6 is not entirely applicable as the Mark III has more than 6 sensors… and ISEB-8 just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well. #madscienceproblems

Mark III Rev D – It’s Alive!

Posted 2012.10.21 10.40 in Computers/Internet/Technology

The ISEB-6 Mark III revision D is alive! I put the finishing touches on the soldering this morning. All that’s left now is finalizing the software. And making the actual leather bracer. And mounting the electronics. And building a slick enclosure. And…

Ok there’s a lot more to go yet. But still – look!

Isn’t it kewl?

The only real bother I ran into was the display’s only got 3 bolts instead of 4. It’s still sturdy, the data connections are all soldered solid. The problem was when I routed all the traces, I forgot to leave room on both sides of the board for the hardware. So the top-left corner under the screen has two SMD resistors that would short against the nut, and the bottom of the board has two traces that would be cut if I counter-sunk the hole to accomodate the flat-head bolt. Bummer.

Apart from the problem with that one bolt, everything else went together fairly smoothly. Mostly.

The image below shows it almost ready for the screen – the BMP085 is in place for sensing temperature and air pressure; the ADXL345 is in place for measuring accelleration. I’ve also added a white LED to serve as a flashlight, and with some creative snipping and soldering, I fit the Lillypad Vibration motor in underneath the screen too!

When the whole thing’s done and finished, I’ll be posting everything (code, board layout, BOM, assembly) so anyone can make their own ISEB-6.

Also noteworthy: there are still two available analog inputs (A0 and A1) and three available digital IO ports – B2, C2, and C3. Expansion possibilities!

I positioned C3 near the ICSP port so one could add a SPI peripheral by using C3 as a slave select (the display is already using the default SS pin). C2 is on the sub-board with the buttons, to allow expansion there. The other three available I/O pins, along with the I2C bus and power are available at the top edge of the board for easy expansion.

My Eagle Library

Posted 2012.08.19 9.06 in Computers/Internet/Technology

In my recent electronics adventures, I’ve had to learn to use Eagle, and in using Eagle, I’ve had to create some parts layouts.

I’ve a handful of parts (packages and symbols) set up. A few are mostly for reference, eg. items I created in order to make the schematics of my Thermostat V3, or the current prototype of my ISEB-6. The symbols are ok, but the packages (board footprints) are not tested and probably not accurate.

Other parts, that I have set up while working on the ISEB-6 Mark-II are more certain, eg. the TQFP-44 footprint for the ATMega1284P, surface mount TMP-36, et cetera. These parts’ footprints are tested and known good.

I’ve left comments in the library to indicate which ones are known to be good and which ones aren’t.

You can download the library by clicking right here: Stephanie’s Eagle Library.

Got Some Soldering Done

Posted 2012.08.14 8.20 in Computers/Internet/Technology

This past weekend I got the new version of the ISEB-6 mostly soldered out.

It all went together fairly easily, with two unfortunate exceptions. The BMP085 barometric pressure sensor, and the HMC6352 magnetometer/compass. Both components are surface mount ‘leadless chip carriers’ – and both proved harder to hand-solder than I expected.

The thing is, unlike the ATMega1284P which is a TQFP-44 or the few SOT23 parts — all of which have ‘pins’ sticking out (albeit tiny pins), the two aforementioned sensors are in LCC packages where the connections are all underneath the part. There’s nothing visible from ‘above’.

I had some tricks in mind to solder them, and the tricks failed. In the end, I unfortunately destroyed both parts. Boooooo. Fortunately I did have a spare BMP085 laying around, but the HMC6352 is kinda-expensive and I didn’t have a spare.

Also-fortunately, I had a backup plan for soldering these tricky parts – hot air. I have a Sparkfun Heaterizer XL-3000 which I hadn’t actually used before. It did the trick though, allowed me to remove the dead parts without destroying the rest of the ISEB6 board, and I was able to solder the new BMP085 with it.

When I get a replacement HMC6352, I’ll use the Heaterizer once again to get that in place.

After that, the next steps will be to assemble a new leather bracer, and then build it out, with all the peripherals.

Board Renders

Posted 2012.07.16 9.30 in Computers/Internet/Technology

This morning I put in the order for Rev. 2 of the ISEB-6 Mark II circuit boards.

Many thanks to Laen of OSHPark who helped me sort out a problem I was having with the top silkscreen layer!

Now it’s back to the waiting game again… will have to try and find something to keep me occupied till the boards come in.

Beautiful

Posted 2012.07.15 14.18 in Computers/Internet/Technology

I’ve been working on this on-and-off for the past couple days – a second revision of the custom circuit board for my ISEB-6. After learning from all my mistakes on the first revision, this one is a thing of beauty, if I do say so myself.

It’s got a great big gorgeous ground plane, on-board USB port and FTDI chip, all the same sensors and expansions as before, but I think it’s much more neat and tidy than the first attempt.

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