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nebula last won the day on March 22 2020

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About nebula

  • Birthday 05/11/1969

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MIDIbox Guru

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  1. Not yet - and I will admit I have no experience hacking this type of stuff. But ... I would pay to ship one to somebody who has experience with this sort of thing, and a reasonable prospect of getting it working with MIDIbox. (I may also check with suppliers to see if they have, or can get, documentation)
  2. The display is available through lots of suppliers now (Google "macbook touch bar replacement"), and Apple is still using them on MacBook Pros for the foreseeable future. They're cheap enough to buy spares, and in 10 years if you need one and they've become obsolete, you should able to find a used MacBook Pro very cheaply to scavenge one from. And I think the shape is too potentially useful to ignore!
  3. The thing stopping me from making a MIDIbox Logic Control has always been the lack of suitable commercially available displays. Has anybody ever considered trying the MacBook Pro touch bar? It's a 2170x60 colour graphical OLED, and it can be bought for around 30 dollars. Maybe it would be perfect for a scribble strip for 8 faders. I have no idea if data is available for this though.... https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Original-NEW-A1706-Touch-Bar-for-Macbook-PRO-Retina-13-Inch-A1706-2016-Touchbar-Replacement/32821436004.html
  4. Hello Hybris, I made one of the first of these, using 8x 6582. A couple of thoughts I'd like to throw in: - I didn't use any LED standoffs. Never had any trouble. Just put the LEDs loosely in the PCB, then screw on the front panel ... carefully turn the assembly over and all the LEDs just kind of fall into the front panel holes. Get 'em snug and solder. The leads are fairly rigid and should hold them in place. - The front panel top-right "L / R" LEDs will collide with top right screw hole in the PT-10 case, so you need to grind a bit of it the plastic away. - The weakest part of the design (IMHO) is the way the two boards connect together. I used very short flex cables. Others have used individual wires, ribbon cables, or pin headers and sockets so that you can take the two boards apart. But there's very little clearance between the boards, so you will just kind of have to live with two boards that don't come apart. (I would love to lay out a new panel board someday, with all the shift register ICs and resistor networks on it, which would connect to the main board using only about 5 wires.) - The rear dual-gang feedback pots really can enhance the sound. Do not buy cheap pots for this. Slight movements can change the sound a fair bit, so you want to be sure that the paired-up pots are equal in value and taper. Buy brand-name for this application. I put cheap pots on mine and I regret it because I try to turn them all the way down but the left and right SIDs sound a little different from one another. I may replace mine with 3-position toggle switches (i.e. no feedback, 50% feedback, full feedback). I wish this could be made programmable somehow, using CMOS switches or digital pots or something. - I have a fan and guard in my case. I couldn't get the motor noise out of my audio, so I disconnected it. That's the extent of my thermal management. It has never overheated. - As mentioned above, don't use the C64 power supply. I still use one. It works OK, but my MB6582 has chewed through 3 separate Commodore bricks. That's right, I'm on my fourth. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, my C64 probably also outlived 2 or 3 power supplies, so they were never particularly reliable. I understand the European and Australian power supplies are a bit more robust than the North American ones. YMMV - For the front panel, I did the JB Weld / standoff method as Wilba documented very well. That stuff is amazing. I haven't had a single standoff let go of the front panel, and there are no visible screws. I cleaned, then roughed up the surfaces of the back of the panel AND the standoffs using a wire brush or sandpaper prior to applying the fillets of JB Weld. Not sure if that helps make a stronger bond, but it certainly can't hurt. Also you need lots of clamps, and lots of patience. - Next time I have mine open (soon, because I've got a flaky encoder or two), I plan to wire the 8 audio outputs so they also appear on the DB25 jack. Eventually I'll be able to use a single cable to connect my external box with 8 VCFs, 8 VCAs, AOUT and active summing and proper volume control (which the MB-6582 lacks). In the meantime I'll be able to use a snake like this: https://www.proaudiola.com/product-p/8-m2932-db-ts-2-p.htm ... Think about that panel mount DB25 connector, and what it can do for you. You can even use it for power if you like. This is an awesome synth. I hope you have lots of fun with your build, as I did.
  5. The Juno-106 sure has had its share of problems. The voice chips started to fail way back in the 1980s. By the last 1990s / early 2000s, another component started to fail: It is the HPF slider. On the front panel, all of the sliders are 50 K pots, except for the HPF slider, which is a 4-position slide switch. They have all either oxidized or deteriorated internally, and so they're all failing! Technology Transplant has effectively recreated the slide pots, but no switch is available. Here is my idea: The pot form factor is VERY similar to the switch. In fact, it would be pretty easy for an experienced technician to modify the board by snipping the traces from the 4-position switch - then, you could solder a slide pot into its place. Of course, since we cut all the traces, it won't be connected to anything. Now, we'll take some wire and solder the top and bottom pins of the pot to 0V and +5V, just like the rest of the pots. Then we'll create a little circuit that reads the value of the pot, and outputs the value by setting any of 3 pins high. Position 1 would be from 0% to 24% of 5V. For this position, no pins would be high. Position 2 would be from 25% to 49% of 5V. For this position, the circuit would set output pin 1 high. Position 3 would be from 50% to 74% of 5V. For this position, the circuit would set output pin 2 high. Position 4 would be from 75% to 100% of 5V. For this position, the circuit would set output pin 3 high. The output pins would be connected to a CMOS CD4016 bilateral switch, from which 3 switches would be connected to the Juno's panel board. The only caveat (and it is a small one) would be that the slider wouldn't have that nice "click" into each of the 4 positions. I thought of 3 different ways this could be done: With discrete voltage divider circuitry for each output. Unfortunately this would take a lot of work to get the component values perfect, and you wouldn't want the possibility of gaps between the values (like at 49%, maybe you'd see no output, or maybe you'd see pin 1+2 high at the same time. Bad. LED bar graph driver like LM3916. Set the IC to "dot" mode. With the correct reference voltage, you could probably set this IC to output in 4 discrete, evenly-spaced steps from 0-5V. These outputs would be suitable to drive a CD4016 quad bilateral switch. I don't know, I've never tried one. PIC microcontroller. I just don't have the experience to program one of these from scratch. Even though I don't need the power of MIOS, it would probably be easier for me to use a MIOS-programmed PIC, because I could then modify an existing MIDIbox app to achieve this function in a quick-and-dirty fashion. The PIC should be able to draw power from the Juno's regulated 5V, and it wouldn't need MIDI i/o, so I could probably just build it on a small piece of perfboard instead of a Core PCB. What do you think? If you wanted to make a simple circuit to replace a 4-position switch with a slide pot, which method would you use? Or would you use something else (Arduino? Other?) If you like the MIDIbox PIC idea, what software would you receommend I start with? LM3916-datasheet.pdf
  6. Rio: Why? The C64 power supply is a piece of shit. Use a cheap 5V switching wall wart that will be much smaller, will run cooler and be much more reliable.
  7. MIDIbox has been a big deal to me, for a long time. While I’ve built a few MIDIbox projects over the years, I always wanted to be a bigger contributor, and there has always been something in my life to stop me. Over the past few years my marriage has taken a big shit all over my life. I find myself with great ideas, only unable to fully realize them because of the amount of trouble in my life, particularly because I just couldn’t seem to get along with my wife. I am not suggesting for a moment that MIDIboxing should be more important to anybody than the sacred institution of marriage, but … sometimes people will find that their creative life is being stifled by forces like an ill-chosen partner. Such is the case with me. I don’t want to go too far into the gorey details here., other than to say that I have been very hot and cold with the MIDIbox community for the past 4 years or so. What I have done has been with the very best of intentions: I have organized multiple bulk orders and I have contributed interesting designs and ideas. But it is difficult to properly see these things to full fruition when your emotions are forever being tugged by external forces. I’m telling you now, with mixed emotions, that about two months ago my wife and I finally separated. While this is a sad time in my life for obvious reasons, it is also very liberating. Finally I can tell the truth: the reason why I was often hard to reach, and I was sometimes (very) late in delivering on stuff that I promised, is that I have been completely consumed by marital breakdown. Sometimes it took me a very long time to ship things like knobs, after having made deals in good faith. While I have long since straightened everything around with everybody who may have ever had issues, I never really offered any good explanation other than “personal issuesâ€. Well today I am glad to announce freely that I have no more personal issues. I finally left her about 2 months ago, and I am no longer looking back. It will still take a bit longer before I achieve the participation level I always wanted with the MIDIbox community, and my own DIY projects, I am finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. I will finally have the time to devote to these things without judgement or undue punishment. I really don’t want to sound like I have chosen MIDIbox over marriage. Rather, I have chosen not to be unreasonably judged with no basis or standards, by an individual with no right to do so. This encompasses not only my “Synth DIY†activities, but also the artistic rationale that allows me to freely create. Without trying to explain everything that has gone wrong in my life, I am offering a sincere apology to all those who unnecessarily waited months for a few knobs, and to those who have received my (attemptedly constructive) critiques on their concepts and designs without detailed followups. I have lots to offer this amazing community, and I am saddened that the value of my verbage has been continuously compromised by my scarcity. Little by little I will be returning in the months to come. Once I get my new home and new workshop in order, I hope to be able to participate with more regularity and loyalty than I ever have. In other news, my stage name is no longer “nebulaâ€. I have recently been working with a Canadian label who will be releasing some of my music under my actual given name: Steve Cowan. I’ll keep nebula for forums and maybe later as a musical alter-ego, but I’m excited to finally have an opportunity to get my music out to a larger audience, under any name. (FYI: when I join forums and find that “nebula†is already taken, I’ve been registering as “infindebulaâ€.) I have also started a blog site to publicize the efforts of myself and other nearby artists. Have a look at juggernautmusic.com to see what we’ve been up to. The site is active now, but will officially “launch†sometime over the next few months. Thanks for listening, my fellow MIDIboxers. I’ve always enjoyed being a part of this community, and I can’t wait to play a bigger part in the years to come.
  8. Just to throw in my situation: I have a SEQ v4 board and a CORE32. My SEQ board is mostly built, but I don’t have a panel or an enclosure. I’m in for almost any case bulk order. I don’t really care whether it’s 17†or 19â€. In either case I would like a sloped enclosure, not just a flat rack. Even though I have a STM 32 core, I recognize that the future is LPC, so I don’t mind if the case doesn’t fit my STM 32. I will gladly build an LPC Core and find another use for my STM. My original order on the failed heidenrich bulk was for a natural aluminum case, which I had planned to compliment a natural anodized aluminum panel. But since I’m in North America, it seems the Heidenrich case is not going to be a viable option for me, so I would consider almost any aesthetic just to finish this project! Still, I have decided that I’m not going to order a panel (easy to get) until I have a case in my hands (hard to get). Once I have the case it will be easy to decide the panel colour scheme. A case that supports the LPC should IMHO include an opening for its ethernet jack. Also, an elegant SD card solution should exist for this! I was sad that the LPC Core was introduced without a component footprint for an SD Card slot, leaving MIDIboxers to figure out (i.e. hack) a solution for an external card slot for every build. But … it is what it is, so the case (or a relevant rear-panel design) should include the means for a sourcable SD card socket. This is all just my opinion, and I appreciate the efforts of everybody who is designing stuff. I would have created an enclosure myself but I have found myself going through an ugly separation/divorce, so realistically I don’t expect to get into the seruous DIY designing again until maybe mid-2013.
  9. Received in Toronto yesterday. That was unbelievably fast. Thanks!
  10. No joy in Toronto, Canada yet, but if Chicago just got them then I expect to receive by mid-week.
  11. It's nice to see some initiative taken with the original AOUT design. Years ago I bought a board manufactured to the original design (but with plated though holes - nice), and I managed to destroy it by getting overzealous with my mods. I also didn't like that there were some omissions on the original layout. So I would probably purchase one if you get some made, since I already have the SMT shunt and a couple 525's. Thanks for adding the 4 pin SIP header. I am concerned it is too close to the neighbouring IC though, as an IDC connector might collide with the DIP socket. I suggest you move it closer to the Molex connector, since a builder would probably only populate the board with one style of power connector. This isn't a really big deal to me, but I would like to take a moment to mention a preference of mine. Others may not care or agree: I'm not a big fan of the way lots of boards (including your proposed layout) has eight 2-pin headers when there are really only 8 unique pins. If it was my design I would either use a 9-pin (or 10 if that is unavailable), or more likely an 8x2 header with the 8 unique pins together, and the other side just ground. The reason is that it makes for a neater end project - the panel-mounted jacks could be wired to a single ribbon cable and connector, instead of having 8 dangling connectors. It also is a little less expensive to buy one big connector instead of 8 little ones.
  12. Back in my old C64 days, I actually replaced the 6581 in my machine a few times. The faint held notes were always one of the symptoms of a defective SID.
  13. You're right! I just looked at the MB-SID setup files and I couldn't find a debounce setting. But when I developed my MB-808 sequencer I remember looking at that ... from the Midibox 808 setup file we have this: ; ; debounce counter (see the function description of MIOS_SRIO_DebounceSet) ; Use 0 for high-quality buttons, use higher values for low-quality buttons #define DEFAULT_SRIO_DEBOUNCE_CTR 32 ... Since this is a MIOS function, I was wondering if you could (or should) add it to the MB-6582 setup.asm , but then I did some searching and found this: As of MIOS 1.9c there is no encoder debounce parameter. Sorry 'bout that!
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