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November 05, 2018

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Posted in kitronik, klef, piano


:Klef Micro:Bit Piano From Kitronik

Unboxing  / Testing video HERE ! 

MakeCode Setup Tutorial

You'll need

 

We've premade two example setups files for you. 

MakeCode Example ONE : Play notes right away.

Plug in Micro:Bit to computer. 

Basic Automatic Piano Setup HEX File  

click EDIT

Download  and Drag onto your MicroBit. 

Wait for it to stop flashing. It will dismount & then remount.

Then EJECT the Micro:Bit (varies depending on Win or Mac ). 

Unplug USB.

Insert Micro:Bit into Piano

Switch the USB cable to the top of the piano. 

Play Piano !

 

MakeCode Example TWO : Learn individual key assignment

This example will open MakeCode & you can see how I assigned the capacitive touch based on these port numbers on the bottom.

 

Manual Key Assignment HEX File

click EDIT

Download  and Drag onto your MicroBit. 

Wait for it to stop flashing. It will dismount & then remount.

Then EJECT the Micro:Bit (varies depending on Win or Mac ). 

 

Unplug USB.

Insert Micro:Bit into Piano

Switch the USB cable to the top of the piano. 

 

Play Piano !

For this demo code, instead of octave shifting, the piano Arrow buttons, as well as Buttons  A & B will display some fun LED Icons.  

 

MakeCode Tutorial THREE : How Examples 1 & 2 were made.

Open MakeCode. 

Expand ADVANCED > EXTENSIONS

 

 

Enter KLEF into the Search Bar. Select it. 

You should now see the :Klef library in your Blocks

 

 

To recreate Example One

 

To recreate Example Two Replace the FOREVER Loop with a nested If Else Loop. Assign Each Key & note. Refer to the back of the piano. 

These will probably be easier to read by opening the MakeCode Example file linked earlier. 

End of Make Code Blocks Tutorials

Go make something fun!

 

Once you've mastered those tutorials & you love MicroPython & if you want to get more into direct c-like arrays & address assignment...

Alternate (Experimental) MicroPython instructions. 

You'll need :   

  • a python editor (this tutorial uses Mu)
  • this Kitroink sample code from github
  • Micro:Bit
  • micro USB cable
  • one :Klef Piano
  •  

    Open MU

    LOAD the file Klef-piano.py off the Github repository. 

     

    Once you have the Code loaded, FLASH it to your Micro:BIt

     

     

    Unplug Micro:Bit, insert into the :Klef and then insert the micro USB into the KLEF PIANO not the microbit. It will give you an error otherwise. 

     

    You can also think about using the onboard breakouts to control things via jumper wires. 

     

    You will notice the default volume is quite LOUD.

    Now go make beautiful music all night long so your neighbors can hear. 

     

     

    October 26, 2018

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    Posted in


    Canada Post Strike Update October 25

    Canada Post is again operating in Toronto, so we have enabled Canada Post as a shipping option.

    Warning:  if you are in any sort of time crunch, please select FedEx.  The Canadian Union of Postal Workers can target any location until the strike is over, so there is no telling when you will receive your package.

    The CUPW twitter feed seems to be the best source for keeping track of where they are striking.

    October 18, 2018

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    Posted in


    Arduino Spectrum Analyzer

    Adding an FFT Spectrum Analyzer to Arduino

    Part three of a multi-part blog post on building a MIDI synth instrument. 

    The basic idea is to use 3 Arduino's to make a visual / sound instrument. 

    Arduino 1) Send control data.

    Arduino 2) Generate wav audio from MIDI input. 

    Arduino 3) FFT EQ visualization. 

    This shield will take WAV input & break it into 7 EQ ( FFT ) spectrum values which you can use to drive basically anything Arduino.

    Sparkfun made a music controlled flame cannon, and so did this guy (but achieved the result differently. Some of the same principles though). 

    I'm going to stick to LED's.

    LET'S BEGIN !

    Solder on breakable headers.

    And you might say, "This REALLY seems like a time for stackable headers!".

    And I'd say : "You're right, but I didn't!".

    Moving on.

    I measure out how many pins are needed off the Arduino, then gently snap off that many with a pair of pliers. 

    *double check that the shield has the same number, as sometimes they have fewer. 

     

     

    To make soldering easier, placed the pins in a breadboard to hold them steady. 

    And Done. 

     

    Gang's all here. Now to start on the software & cross device wiring harness. 

    Aiming to wrap this all up for a spooky Halloween build. 

    October 11, 2018

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    Posted in hydra, midi, sparkfun


    SparkFun Music Instrument Shield Build

    Adding a multitimbral MIDI SoundChip to Arduino

    Part two of a multi-part blog post on building a MIDI synth instrument. 

    The basic idea is to use 3 Arduino's to make a visual / sound instrument. 

    Arduino 1) Send control data.

    Arduino 2) Generate wav audio from MIDI input. 

    Arduino 3) FFT EQ visualization. 

    LET'S BEGIN !

    Solder on Stackable headers. 

    Careful to try get the headers aligned. ProTip is to put your stacking headers to the table & set an old shield underneath with pins facing up (into the receptacle end of the headers) to line them up for easy soldering. So a shield underneath this one in the photo below. 

    I just went for it & tried to hold it still, so stacking headers came out a tiny bit wonky, but the pins still lined up perfectly with Arduino, so yay!

     

    The chip driving this board is the VS1053, essentially the brain / heart / guts of a MIDI Synthesizer. I will admit one of my main reasons for building this is playing DOOM and other DOS games which can send MIDI to the shield. Modern update for an old SoundBlaster16 or  Roland Sound Canvas

    And we're done. 

     

    Stayed tuned for the next episode. 

    October 04, 2018

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    Posted in midi, sparkfun


    SparkFun MIDI Shield Build

    Control MIDI the old fashioned way. With knobs. 

    Part one of a multi-part blog post on building a MIDI synth instrument. 

    The basic idea is to use 3 Arduino's to make a visual / sound instrument. 

    Arduino 1) Send control data.

    Arduino 2) Generate wav audio from MIDI input. 

    Arduino 3) FFT EQ visualization. 

    Yes, it would be simper to do this with an Arduino Micro (or RPi3) + a teensy for similar functionality. But not as much fun. 

    LET'S BEGIN !

    Soldered the MIDI jacks first. Make sure to solder them flush to the board.

    Since they need to withstand plugging cables in & out, good to get them perfect. OR make a case which takes some of the brunt of the insertion force. 

    Soldered the rest of the surface components. This kit is relatively quick to assemble. 

    The variable resistor traces are quite close to the push buttons so watch out for that. I may look at these solder joints again under a microscope. 

     

    So theoretically you should use stackable headers, but the SparkFun Instrument board which I'll be sending signal to (from this) is pin incompatible, so using breakaway headers. Measure the length of the MIDI shield's headers & gently snap off what you need with a set of needle-nose pliers. 

    Ideally you have an old unused shield around to act as a brace for soldering the header pins, but in a pinch can use a breadboard to keep pins in line.

    Snap Male headers attached.

     

    All done !

    Really useful additional tutorials

    MIDI Tutorial

    MIDI Shield Hookup Guide

    MIDI Wikipedia

    Stay tuned (pun!) for the rest of the build of the Hydra instrument !

    Things We Sell ! Wearable Electronics : Adafruit Flora, Gemma & CPX

    A new regular Blog series.
    Featuring quick overviews of the various platforms Elmwood offers.

    Intro to Wearable/Sewable Electronics aka 'e-textiles' : Adafruit.


    Common Elements:

    • Conductive thread instead of copper wire or circuit board traces.
    • Sewing
    • Fun !


    Different Product lines:

    • [Adafruit's evolving wearable ecosystem explained with Starbucks Sizes.]
    CircuitPythonExpress aka 'CPX' ( Venti )
    Flora ( Grande )
    Gemma m0 ( short )
    Trinket m0 ( tiny ! )  m0 uses Circuit Python Language. 

       

      Older models, aka 'counting all the chickens' :

      There were non-CircuitPython ArduinoIDE 'C' based versions of most boards in the past.

      Flora is still ArduinoIDE based.  Adafruit has slowly moved it's product line to be programmable with CircuitPython (a smaller subset of the Python language targeted to small microcontrollers).
      Also slightly confusing, there are a handful of previously existing (& still amazing) Trinket Boards : 
      1501 - Standard Trinket 5V - ArdunioIDE / C
      2010 - Pro Trinket 3V - ArdunioIDE / C
      2000 - Pro Tinket 5V - ArdunioIDE / C
       
      The Circuit Playground Express  Board (CPX) is the most versatile learning tool, as you can start with Microsoft MakeCode block-based tool, then move to Javascript , or Circuit Python and for the low level coders,  ArduinoIDE. 
      CPX is quickly becoming a favorite in North American schools, giving the Micro:Bit a run for it's money. 


      Important People in wearables from Adafruit :

        Becky Stern & Lady Ada


      Adafruit's Wearable World :

      Adafruit originally went big with wearables with the FLORA arduino based product line. They have been slowly transitioning to CircuitPython based boards such as the Circuit PythonExpress, Gemma m0 and Trinket m0.

      However, if you WANT TO, you can still flash the firmware on those & use good old Arduino 'C'. 


      CircuitPythonExpress is flagship board which can hold all the CircuitPython Library Functions at once. Gemma m0 is a similar board with a smaller set of features & onboard memory for specific use smaller wearable projects. 


      Ideally, learn & prototype with the larger CircuitExpress first, then for build-specific-use projects switch to the smaller Gemma m0 which can hold one or two libraries of code.
      ( Libraries are pre-written code that utilize expanded features of the boards.)

      'Neopixel' is the most commonly promoted library which can drive LED strips to make things like the FIREwalker sneakers
      or the Flora RGB Neopixel button sized lights.

      One could as easily start with Gemma and work with that for quite a while before needing the expanded feature set of the Circuit Playground Express. 


      Adafruit Kits

      Circuit Playground Express Educators Pack

       

      Gemma
      Gemma v2 Starter Pack 


       

      Gemma sensor starter pack

       

      Gemma talking toy guts sound pack



      Flora v2 (ArduinoIDE  / not python based)

      Flora budget pack

      Flora sensor pack

      Getting started with adafruit flora book pack





      Suggested Companions Out of the box:
      • Many scraps of practice Fabric
      • Sewing skills
      • Clear Nail Polish for sealing ends of conductive circuit knots.

      Recommended Viewing:

      Powering Wearables

      Conductive thread basics


      Intended Use :
      Learning & creating wearable electronics.
      CPX start with Blocks visual language, then move on to Javascript or Python or even C. 

      If you want to make more out of the box ideas with many lights or UV sensors or larger projects, choose CircuitPythonExpress to prototype.
      Then miniaturize to Gemma m0.
      Or begin with any of the Gemma starter kits.
      Adafruit has a vast library of tutorials over many years with a huge selection of projects to learn from. No (reasonable) upper limit on what you can eventually build. 

       

      Performance :

      These devices seek to be as low powered as possible, so integer performance isn't really a valid measure here. CircuitPythonExpress and Gemma m0 have very snappy processors for the purpose.

      Hackery Tips :

      Good generic platforms for about anything soft & flexible you can imagine.
      Avoid water.

      Things We Sell ! Wearable Electronics : Lilypad

      A regular blog series featuring quick overviews of the various platforms Elmwood offers.

      plushie

      Intro to Wearable/Sewable Electronics aka 'e-textiles' with Lilypad.

      • Conductive thread instead of copper wire or circuit board traces.
      • Sewing
      • Fun !

      Lilypad Ecosystem { SparkFun promoted Wearable platform }


        Out of the Box :

        Featuring a novel 'protosnap' approach: you test your circuits on the board & then snap them off & sew into your project when ready.
        Lilypad has many kits & options.
        Full range found here

        All Lilypad products are Ardunio IDE based.

        Kits have a very quickstart approach & can get going immediately.
        Protosnap kits generally don't require any programming, the other boards are more versatile. 
        We recommend you try some of the kit projects & then move to individual component based projects.
        Individual Boards :

        USB Based.

         

        FTDI Based

        * FTDI cable versions came before USB ProtosnapPlus boards.



        Suggested Companions Out of the box:
        Inventor of the Lilypad : Dr. Leah Buechley

        Intended Use :

        Learning & creating wearable electronics.

        If you want to start with ready made, little-to-no programming kits,
        with lights and touch, go with lilypad protosnaps.

         

        Avoid water.