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About borfo

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    MIDIbox Tweaker

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  1. Yeah, I think many things are remote-controllable, but as far as I remember, the multifunction GP buttons aren't, and there's no easy LED feedback - you could script something, but it would be complex and would need a lot of sysex traffic. It would be ideal to just add a new mode to the core BLM implementation that would cause the top couple of rows of the BLM to behave like the standard control surface, with LED feedback - this would require no modifications on the BLM client side...
  2. MB6582 CS trouble [solved]

    How long are your cables between the control surface and the mainboard?
  3. Thanks - that's helpful.  The cable length thing does have weird effects though - I initially had 20cm cables, and shortening to 10cm fixed a bunch of misbehaving switches and glitchy LEDs.  The few that are still not cooperating are probably bad parts, or as you say, maybe not properly soldered.    I'll start working them over on the weekend.  Normally, I don't mind this kind of troubleshooting stuff with a new synth build, but I'm pretty impatient to get this one fully working so I can make crazy noises with it...  Even in the "almost-fully-working" state it's in now it's pretty amazing.
  4. I'm troubleshooting a few misbehaving switches and LEDs on my recent MB_6582 build - there are still a few switches and LEDs that aren't working.  Could just be bad switches/burnt out LEDs, but before I start desoldering and replacing stuff, I thought I'd ask about maximum cable length between the control surface and the mainboard.  My cables are about 10cm long at this point - is that within acceptable range, or could that cable length be causing issues?  The build guide says something around 4.5cm is "ideal", but is 10cm too long?
  5. MIDIbox SEQ new frontpanel idea

    Dude, I'm literally just saying (to nobody in particular) "These keyboard switches are neat.  Hey, look at this site with a variety of open-licensed keyboard designs with gerber files." Nobody is criticizing you or asking you to change anything.   Obviously, this thread isn't the place to post anything not directly related to your PCBs though, so my apologies for the intrusion.
  6. MIDIbox SEQ new frontpanel idea

    I can imagine lots of uses for button layouts that aren't identical to the SEQ's 16 columns - for NG controllers in particular.  But I'm not at all suggesting that those boards are a replacement for anything anyone's doing here, just thought I'd share a link to a site with a lot of open-licensed keyboard designs with gerber files.  In particular, I thought that the work he's done on making the key spacing as small as possible might be interesting to people here.  Re: addressable LEDs - some of his designs have per-key addressable leds.  Others have a few addressable LEDs somewhere on the keyboard, but not on each key, or backlighting LEDs on each key that can be addressed as a group, but not individually.
  7. MIDIbox SEQ new frontpanel idea

    I've been looking at these mechanical keyboard switches - there really are a lot of options with these things, and a lot of keyboard nerds working on various projects.  And knockoff keys and caps can be had pretty cheap for those of use who like to cheap out on components a bit where possible. You may want tio take a look at some of the matrix keyboard (straight grid-style layout) designs out there.  There are some PCBs available - often pinned to just add an Arduino pro micro as a controller - this guy has released schematics and gerbers for many of his designs. His designs may be of particular interest to us, since he uses cut down keycaps and makes extremely compact keyboards.  The "Gherkin" is a backlit 3x10 key matrix with 16mm key spacing - measuring about 5cm x 16cm.  PCBs can be had very cheap - he says an order of 5 sets of the 3 PCBs that make up this keyboard cost about $55 including shipping. This "Gnap" keyboard   is larger and has a more standard staggered keyboard layout, but it has individual LED control, and the gerbers are on github.  It's 12x4.  It's pinned out for two arduino Pro Micros, but the schematic looks like we might just be able to wire these pcbs directly up to DIN/DOUT modules. -   Here are 6x5 gamepad PCBs from another supplier  for $8 - not sure how they're wired though, and I don't think they have LEDs.  
  8. Take the Wilba MIDIbox SEQ CS for example.  Would it be possible to use the same control surface and LCDs for two STM32f4 cores, one running MB SEQ and the other MB NG, with a hardware data switch in the middle?  A switch like this: Is it possible to disconnect and reconnect (a) LCDs; (b) DINs/buttons/encoders; and (c) DOUTS/LEDs while MIOS is running without causing problems?
  9. Note for anyone it might help in the future: I had some control surface LED and button issues - glitchy buttons not activating what they are supposed to activate, LEDs not lighting, etc.  Turned out to be the length of the cables between the control surface and the base PCB (was about 20cm).  I made shorter cables, about 10cm, and the LED/button issues disappeared.
  10. "Hey you idiot, you forgot to flash the goddam firmware." Duh.  Solved.  I had assumed it was preflashed by smashtv, but I guess the PICs just had MIOS, not the SID app.  Seems to be working now!
  11. After leaving the boards sitting unfinished for a couple of years, I've finally finished my MB_6582 build, with a classy case made of popsicle sticks and a Cohiba cigar box.  Pairs of 6581 SIDs are installed in 1 and 3. Things seem to be relatively ok, but I'm at the "power on" stage, and all I'm getting on the LCD is the bootup sequence, showing the MIOS version installed, and then just "READY."  The control surface LEDs flash briefly when power is turned on, then nothing, and turning the encoders/pressing buttons doesn't do anything.  Now, a careful builder at this stage would go through the build instructions carefully and see if they've missed anything, but I am lazy, and would rather have someone else tell me "Hey, you idiot, you forgot the jumper at Jwhatever" or something.  (I'm actually going through the instructions now, but figured I'd also post here and see if someone points out some obvious thing I missed.) Is there a limit to the length of the cables joining the base to the CS pcb?  I'm temporarily using some breadboard cables I had lying around - once I get this debugged, I'll make custom cables, but thought I'd use these for now.  They're about 20cm. Photos attached.    
  12. Change MIDI pair numbering?

    You are not blind.  Instead, I am an idiot and linked the wrong page as someone already pointed out.   But now that I see the pictures of your box it looks like everything is as it should be - if the numbering seems weird to you now it probably won't take long to get used to it.  Or if you wanted to, you could swap the two I/O boards, but then the back panel labelling would be wrong and you say you don't want to open the box... Fancy work on the build too.
  13. Change MIDI pair numbering?

    If you look at the jumper description for J11e on the MIDI IO page (, you'll see that the midi inputs are directly pinned out from the core board.  So, most likely your cable (or whatever you have running off of J11e to connect your IOs) probably has a few mixed up pins.  You should be able to just rearrange the pins and fix your problem.
  14. Have you been following that "Let's invent a new frontpanel thread?  I'm liking the fact that the rows will all have 16 buttons - makes a lot more sense...   And given how well the launchpad minis line up with the LCD columns, I'm tempted to make a tiny SEQ frontpanel that only has the encoder row, the datawheel, and maybe a handful of other convenience buttons.  If you could put MIDI assignments in the SEQHW_V4 file, instead of just shift register numbers, or if every parameter that could be controlled by a frontpanel button or encoder was coded to a MIDI CC/SYSEX/NRPN/etc. address (OSC would work too...) then the launchpads could be both the BLM and 16 rows of 16 SEQ buttons.  The launchpad buttons and LEDs are way nicer than tact switches, too. It would be easy to tie all the parameters to MIDI, but if I'm remembering right, the reason they're not is because of low memory on the LPC17 Cores.  Once he makes the move to the STM32 V4+, this should be easy to do.  Even if they're not all accessible by midi yet, there are quite a few MIDI controls.  Certainly enough to make SOME fun new BLM modes anyway, even if all the frontpanel functionality can't be duplicated yet.  
  15. MIDIbox SEQ new frontpanel idea

    I'm in the process of designing myself my perfect self-contained MIDI jam case, and I've been planning to make a new SEQ anyway.  I've already got a bunch of these panel switches and they seem pretty ok...  I think I may as well try a panel mount job with a few customizations.  (I had actually also settled on using rows of 8 instead of the Wilba design.) Great timing that this new design is finalized though - wouldn't want to build a new seq only to find that everyone's using something totally different now. Anyway, great work on the design.  Looks great, and the modular design will be totally useful.  Same with the consistend 8 button grids.  Everything's 8 in Midi, and in a lot of music.  Having that consistency in the button rows will naturally lead the interface to become more useful and intuitive, I think.