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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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The Squirrels, They Taunt Me

Posted 2014.05.22 14.31 in Photography, Pointless Blather

This is Dortmund. He is a squirrel.

Dortmund

 

Until recently Dortmund and his family were living in my attic. He and his friends were chewing up the shingles and gnawing at the boards. They’d made quite a hole, and quite a mess.

Finally I had to hire a guy to come and install one-way trap doors over Dortmund’s squirrel holes. That way, Dortmund and the gang could get out, but then they couldn’t get back in again.

Sly Bugger

Now Dortmund and his family are stuck outside. They have to deal with Nature again, and they have no central heating, and no cosy fibreglass insulation to sleep in.

Sometimes Dortmund climbs up a tree outside my bedroom window, and makes Squirrel Alarm Noises while my cats sit and watch in frustration.

Alert! Alert!

 

I think Dortmund is a bit of a jerk really.

Road to Redscale

Posted 2012.08.21 10.29 in Photography

Last week I was off for a day, on a little road trip to visit my friends Athena and Jason at a cottage somewhere in the vicinity of West Guildford. Naturally I brought a camera.

It was the Lomo LC-A+ which I’d loaded with their Redscale XR film. I’ve had mixed results with Redscale in the past… and this time was no different. It varies wildly between underexposed and sort-of-acceptable. If you intentionally over-expose, you can get some more-lifelike colours. If you let it underexpose, you get deeper reds and oranges.

Unfortunately, although I brought the camera, I didn’t actually get much chance to use it. The (three-hour) drive home had some opportunities for playing around with it. Then this past weekend I finished off the roll at a local park along the Credit River.

There’s nothing particularily memorable about any of the shots, but I enjoy the experimentation now and then. Playing with film, playing with light, and playing with chemistry.

Loafer’s Lake Park

Posted 2012.08.20 8.33 in Photography

A couple weeks ago I took a walk around Loafer’s Lake, a small manmade lake in the north end of town. I was looking for some subject matter for photography, and water is one of my favorites. The Etobicoke Creek flows around the lake too, so it was twice as fun.

I’d taken two cameras, loaded with different kinds of film. I developed the first one right after the little excursion but was unhappy with the results. The camera was a Leica AF-C1 – a plastic autofocus, probably made by Minolta, but with the Leica branding. It was disappointing.

The other camera was the Lomography LC-A+ and it performed rather better, loaded with generic ISO-800 colour print film.

The Kodak Jiffy V. P.

Posted 2012.07.24 12.26 in Hobbies, Photography

The Kodak Jiffy V. P. is a camera I acquired some time ago – last summer I think. It is the second oldest camera in my collection, dating from the mid 1930’s.

The V. P. stands for Vest Pocket, as the camera folds up and fits neatly in a pocket. It was a cheaper model even back in the day – bakelite construction, folding metal frame-style finder, and simple doublet lens. Groovy art deco stylings though.

The Jiffy V. P. uses format 127 rollfilm. This is a halfway size, bigger than 35mm but smaller than 120 rollfilm. The Jiffy shoots eight 4×6.5cm frames on a roll. You can still get 127 film from a couple sources. I used a roll of Efke R100 (ISO 100) black and white for the following shots.

The subject matter is an old abandoned driving range north of town. I noticed it a few weeks back while en route to visit my folks, so on the way back home I stopped and explored around and took some pictures. It was a blazingly hot and sunny day, which was good for the ISO100 film and the old camera.

Processed at home with some very old T-Max 1:4, 8 1/2 minutes at 76°F, and scanned with my Epson flatbed.

Camera Hack

Posted 2012.07.22 12.46 in Hobbies, Photography

Some long while ago I picked up a Lomography Action Sampler camera – a little multi-lens plastic ‘toy’ camera that takes four pictures in sequence when you press the shutter release. The four images all fit on a single frame of 35mm film, and are taken about 1/4 second apart.

It’s supposed to capture ‘action’ but the shutter speed isn’t very fast so if the subject is moving fast enough to capture the action, they’re probably going to come out blurry. And if they are moving slow enough not to be blurry, then there isn’t enough ‘action’ to capture.

Anyhow, I got the idea to modify it. I’d black out two of the lenses and remove the internal frame mask so that a) there was only two images instead of four, and b) they would bleed into each other.

It was a super simple modification, the frame mask was a plastic insert that just popped out when I tugged on it with pliers. To block out two lenses I just used some black electrical tape – so neither change is permanent.

I was hoping that the two lenses would have enough coverage to expose the whole negative, but it turns out they do not. I think there might be some more plastic inside that I could try and remove, to see if that does it. Or not. It’s not bad as-is.

The film was an OEM Fuji colour negative (store brand), ISO 400. Processed myself with my stale old C41 chemistry, 20 minutes at 76°F then scanned on my flatbed Epson.

A Day At Marineland

Posted 2011.07.28 22.16 in Family/Friends, Photography

Recently, my sister had decided to take her kids to Marineland in Niagara Falls, Canada. Our parents were going to, and it sounded like a fun trip so I tagged along.

As a break from my ongoing compact camera thing, I decided to take an old classic with me – the Fujica 35-SE. Although not my original camera from 1983, this is the same exact make and model as that very first camera.

The 35-SE was introduced in 1959. A heavy, solid camera, it is fully and completely manual. To aid in setting the manual exposure parameters, it does have a selenium light meter, which still works after 50+ years! What I had forgotten was that my 35-SE suffers a light leak. This resulted in some colourful yellow-orange flaring on many (but not all) of the images.

Light leak aside, I’m pleased with many of the images, and even the ones with the flaring aren’t too bad.

Film was Kodak Portra 400VC, the first four exposures above were based on the “sunny-16” rule and the last two were trusted to the light meter. (The last two were also shot inside a moving car, so you know… just wasting film to get to the end of the roll!) Finally, it was processed at home with my tired & expired C-41 kit.

Cheers!