bcbox

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Everything posted by bcbox

  1. The making of a Midibox64

    OK I have decided to put all my effort in to design and build a Midibox64. It is the best solution I have found by far to use as a controller for Ableton Live. I thought it would be nice to document the design, build, and testing of a Midibox as it goes on over the next few months. I am going to post updates here as I go and hopefully I will have a beautiful Midibox in a couple months time. The purpose of my Midibox will be as a live controller for Ableton. It will not be the most original Midibox around but it will be very functional for the way I work. The specs of the box are as follows: 1. 55 rotary pots 2. 9 slide pots 3. 64 buttons 4. 46 LED's (16 of these 30 are on full-time, no DOUT) 5. Blue 16x2 LCD Obviously this requires: 1. (1) Core Module 2. (2) AIN Modules 3. (2) DIN Modules 4. (1) DOUT Modules I purchased these from SmashTV's place late last week. I did a little rendering of the layout of box and it will look like this: Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox10sm.gif Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox10.gif here's a link to a bigger pic I am an audio engineer and I have a lot of resources available at work. This will hopefully help me realize my goals. The first major decision I made was that I decided to protoype pcb's that will be modular parts that will hold the components. 1.The "4 pot board" Since my layout works around rows of 8 pots will re-use about 12 of these 4-pot pcb's. I am using 9mm panasonic panel mount pots. here is the board layout: Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/pot-board.gif 2. The "4 switch board" This will hold ITT/Cannon PHA (Alps SPUJ) type momentary push-buttons. It will also hold 4 leds that will indicate the state of each button. I haven't finished the layout of this one yet. This pcb will piggyback on the pot pcb using plastic standoffs. This will allow me to align the switch board correctly with the front panel (which the pot board is already connected to by use of the panel-mount pots). As far as the layout of the panel itself it is fairly staright-forward. There are 6 "clip" channels and 2 effects return channels (a "clip track" is just ableton-speak for an audio channel in Ableton's session view). Each clip track has.... 1. 8 pots - 4 for insert effects parameters, 2 for effects send levels and 2 for hi and low EQ 2. 8 buttons - 4 for insert effect parameters, one each for play, stop, cue, and A/B select 3. 60mm fader (for level of course) Each of the 2 FX tracks has... 1. 4 pots - 3 for send effect parameters and one for send level 2. 6 buttons - 4 for send effect parameters, one for cue and one for A/B select 3. 60mm fader for send level Globally there is: 1. Crossfader - fades between outputs A and B 2. Clip Up and Down buttons (the two red square buttons). These will be used a lot. These are used to select the clip you want to play. 3. Record button (to record the set into Ableton while it's going on) 4. Tempo dial - I have this cool led light-pipe dial I used on a project at work that I am giong to use as a dial that controls tempo in Ableton. It will only stick out slightly above the surface of the panel to avoid accidental movement. 5. Headphone cue level knob 6. The Midibox will have an M-Audio Firewire Audiophile built into it. There will just be a couple sets of audio outs and and IEC jack on the back of the unit. OK that's it for now. I will update soon when parts come in and pcb's are made this week... Brian.
  2. The making of a Midibox64

    The panel just came in. It looks great. I am still researching exaclty what kind of primer and paint I need to use on the aluminum. I have decided I will be sending out for screens and doing my own silkscreening when the times comes. Right now there's still a lot of wiring and testing to do. Here's the panel, it's 2.5mm aluminum. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/panel1.jpg [sorry, can't find this image - will upload in future if I can locate] Please don't - stryd_one
  3. The making of a Midibox64

    it's been a few days since the last update. The final parts have finally come in and I am finally finishing this thing and testing it. I've put a lot of hours into it - it takes quite a bit more time than it looks! I had to redesign a couple PCB's as I mentioned in my last post because there was some problems with everything fitting together properly. There are still a few minor details to figure out. I will be posting some specific stuff about what's been going on with the build this past week, but for now I'll sign off with a shot of the back of the panel stuffed and a shot of the complete unit during the 'light that thing up' test ;D Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-jun23-2.jpg [sorry, can't find this image - will upload in future if I can find] Please don't - stryd_one Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-jun23-1.jpg
  4. Detented push buttons

    yeah, you're basically talking about tact switches, like the ones ones in most gear - just like the E-Switch part# you were given. Tact switches are ok for alot of things. They don't have much travel so it's the tact, the audible snap and feeling, that tells you it's been pressed. These are used most on consumer gear because they are right for the job, they're cheap, mount straight to pcb, and all is well. A typical mechanical momentary push-button switch will look something liek this one: Why are you linking to an IP address? That's dodgy.... - stryd_one http://66.97.36.105/midibox/push-1.jpg There are also mechanical tact switches around that operate like typical tact switches, but actually have a spring-like snap component, and have a travel of 2mm, more like the traditional spring-based push-button in the pic above. At the same time they have the snap like the Tact switch. Kind of like half way in between. I bought a dozen of these type from Digikey a few weeks back when I was sorting out my project. They are actually rather nice. The have a very nice snap feel but at the same time way more travel than a tact switch. The part I got is Panasonic ESE-20C441 and it looks like this.. Why are you linking to an IP address? That's dodgy.... - stryd_one http://66.97.36.105/midibox/push-2.jpg just another option I guess...have fun
  5. The making of a Midibox64

    Here are a couple more pics showing the newly painted front panel semi-stuffed Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/panel12.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/panel-13.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/panel14.jpg Here is the backside of the panel... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/back2.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/back1.jpg
  6. The making of a Midibox64

    I just got back from a short vacation yesterday afternoon. My new PIC arrived in the mail! After many long hours of testing and debugging I got the news I was hoping for.... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-complete1.jpg yes, my PIC works and my LCD is working :D I'm now going to use some test programs to test my knobs and buttons and stuff. Then I can hopefully get the full midibox64 application going. While I was installing the PIC and cleaning up some other things I added bypass caps to my boards... Here's a pic of what the box looks like now on the inside. I moved things around from the way I had it set up before to try to decrease the changes of any noise or interference (I really tried to get everything away from that transformer too). Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-aug9-1.jpg
  7. The making of a Midibox64

    Here are some of the parts I have so far. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/large_switch.jpg Large Push Switch. Alps part# SPUN191000. This is used for 15 of the push buttons, including all the square-cap ones and the illuminated push button at the bottom left of the front panel Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/small_switch.jpg Small Push Switch. ITT/Cannon Part# PHA2UOA. This is used for the 30 small push buttons that are accompanied by LED's. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/small_button_caps.jpg Small switch caps. These are the black caps used on the small switch above Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/illum_dial.jpg Illuminated Dial. This is an LED illuminated dial that will be used for the tempo control. This is a custom part some guys designed at work for one of my projects Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/illum_button.jpg Illuminated button. This is an led light-pipe that lights up a ring around a button using 4 led's. This is for the Record button that will be in the lower left of the front panel. This is another part that was custom designed for some other project. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/tact_switch.jpg keypad switch with surface mount green LED. This is a part I have tentatively decided to use for the 8 sets of green switches alongside each channel. These are those pcb keypad type switches that have small very bright surface mount led's mounted in the middle. The button is that typical round rubbery stuff you usually get with this type of switch (think tv remote controls etc..) This part is a keypad from one of those custom in-house A/V room management systems you see around these days. I haven't decided 100% whether I will use this yet because I'm worried about reliabity over the long term. I'm going to play around with it for a week or two and see what's up... I will post again when I get more parts in and when I start making the pcb's!.. Brian.
  8. The making of a Midibox64

    I got the LCD today from Crystalfontz.com - as recommended by SuperBad. It appears to be a very nice part. It was right about $16... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/lcd1.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/lcd2.jpg
  9. The making of a Midibox64

    ...about those round green illuminated switches beside the faders I have decided I am not going to use those keypad style ones as I was talking about in the original post I found the North American distributor for the MEC switches and I am going to use the illuminated ones they have. I'll get the same result but with much better push action and reliablity (see the parts archive section of the forum for my post about MEC in the US).. The switch looks like this... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/42255289.jpg ...and the clear/diffuse round cap looks like this... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/mec-cap.jpg
  10. The making of a Midibox64

    I finished the layout for the "4-switch pcb" I will be making these on Thursday or Friday. I also changed the "4-pot pcb" somewhat. I've marked several thru-holes on the boards where they can line up and piggyback... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/pot-pcb2.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/switch-pcb.jpg
  11. The making of a Midibox64

    Hi Jaun, I'm not using the motorized faders becuase I'm strictly using the controller as a live controller - there will never be input from the computer (mouse etc...) It wouldn't hurt to have them there though but they're very expensive and I decided I wouldn't use the feature. I didn't have time to make the pcb's today but i did get a bunch of parts in! Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/button1.jpg Black button: E-Switch part# TA2800BLK Knob: Rean Part# P-300-S-06CS-D6-E Red button: Not sure what part# this is... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/fader.jpg Slide pot: Panasonic Part# PNE060SB This is an awesome fader. Very smooth and very high quality. They're about $5 each - not too bad. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/pot1.jpg Rotary pot: Panasonic Part# EVU-E2JFK4B14 I ordered the MEC led switches and clear switch caps. The switches were quite expensive ($2.50 each) but since I was able to buy only the 20 I needed with no lead time I am content. The switch is part# 3FTL620. The cap is part# 1S11-16. I updated the panel layout. I'm triple checking the dimensions and I will be sending it out on Monday. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/panel2.jpg
  12. The making of a Midibox64

    nice. you have to use what you can get. Search the internet at 3am for switches and whatnot! I made most of the two main pcb's today. Here's a shot of a 3-pack of the switch-boards after etching and cleaning... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/pcb-proto.jpg Here are shots of the switch board and the pot boards after I've finished them and soldered in the main component... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/pot4-nocap.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/pot4-cap.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/switch4-nocap.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/switch4-cap.jpg I also sent out the final panel to be made. I should have it in a week and a half...the final one came out like this Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/panel-final.jpg
  13. The making of a Midibox64

    The parts from SmashTV came in the mail today :) Excellent packaging. I would recommend to anyone to just buy the PCB's along with the parts kits and PIC. His prices are very fair and you couldn't get the parts cheaper from Mouser/Digikey, etc...after shipping is said and done. I'm very happy. PCB's are good quality. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/parts.jpg
  14. The making of a Midibox64

    I've done a bunch of stuff the past few days. There's a lot of work to do when doing a full featured Midibox64! I'm still working on putting on all the connectors for each part/module . There's a couple pcb's I have to remake because of bad fit - not a huge deal but time consuming. I painted the panel today. It's sort of a metal silver color with a glossy overcoat - it's hard to see in the horrible picture I took (I couldn't get a good pic with all the lighting and stuff). The paint came out great. I still think what I might do is when I'm completely done with the design and testing I might sand it down and re-paint the panel again - I have a feeling it might get beat up while I'm fitting and testing everything. Also I want it to be perfect for when I attempt to silkscreen it. Today I was working on fitting some of the modules and making sure they fit properly. I also tested some of the lighting stuff to make sure all the wiring is correct and everything is ready to just be plugged in. Here's a couple pics below of the backside and the frontside of the panel. Keep in mind all the main modules, the Core module, AIN, DIN, DOUT are all in the chassis and aren't connected or seen in the pic. The second pics shows the panel from front with some of the stuff lit up.. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/back1.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/front1.jpg
  15. The making of a Midibox64

    Hi , MikeB. You got it exactly. The pots are threaded so they will panel mount...the pcb's will be perpendicular to the panel. The switch-board simply piggybacks under the pot-board using 1/4" standoff's. There are concentric holes marked on both the pot-board and the swtich-board so I can line this up properly. I also got the courage to take this route from scoping out my allen & heath xone:32 mixer, which has vertical/perpendicular mounted modular boards with pots and pusbutton switches. The xone:32 looks like this inside: Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/xone32-back.jpg about the lightpipe dial thing I just think it's cool and I realized it would work well for tempo control since the dial is so big it'll take a good amount of movement at the dial to move the pots shaft a certain small amount. Also it sits so low it can't accidentally be touched. And of course it lights up all blue and stuff! Afro88 - for the pcb design I used the freeware version of Eagle from http://www.cadsoft.de When I'm done with a board layout I export it as a black & white bitmap image and transfer it into an image editing/layout program (I use Paint Shop Pro). Once I get all the pcb's laid out how I want them I print the image on laserjet onto blue transfer paper. I find the blue transfer paper the best. when using the heat transfer method. I use an iron to iron it onto piecs of 1oz copper board....and so on from there... My girlfriends out of town so I couldn't help but build up all those parts! I stuffed all the boards and I have just started doing some of the interconnects. I'm calling it quits for tonight. It looks like this so far.... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/mbhp.jpg
  16. The making of a Midibox64

    I got some work done today. Mostly just making the pcb's. It takes a lot of time from start to finish. I started laying out the componenets. I cut out a piece of wood the size the panel and I'm laying things out in similar way as they will be in the final midibox. This is the layout for testing everything and making sure everything works so when the panel comes back from silkscreening everything will be ready to pop right in. You can see I still have a lot of proto-pcb's to stuff with the pots, switches, and led's. Then I need to interface the pots/switches/leds to the various modules. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/proto-layout1.jpg
  17. The making of a Midibox64

    I finished most of the pcb's for now. I'm expecting the panel to come in from front panel express (schaffer) by the end of the week. The chassis should also be here by the end of the week. When the front panel comes in I need to double check everything and make sure it's all right, then I will try to finish the printing layout as soon as possible. I want to do a two color silkscreen. I'm still not sure who I'm going to have do it, but hopefully my connections at work will help me get it done cheaper than usual (it's expensive for just one piece!). I'm also waiting for the MEC illuminated switches to come in. They should be here the week of June 6. Also the fader caps will be here that week. In the meantime I will be making pcb's for mounting the remaining components including the final two rows of pots, switches, and led's. I will making little pcb's for mounting the slide pots - so I can use a connector to make it easier to hook them up (they'll just plug in). Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/proto-layout2.jpg
  18. The making of a Midibox64

    I got a lot done today. So much so that I don't yet have time to take a look at and post the pics of what I did (it's 1:30am and I need to go to bed :-\). I finished most of the remaining prototype pcb's including....... 1. pcb x 9 for each fader 2. pcb for the dual illuminated buttons (ones that go lower left) 3. pcb for the illuminated dial 4. pcb for the bottom row of 12 switches that have the black square caps on them 5. pcb for the up and down switches (the red square buttons) 6. pcb's for the last two rows of pots, leds, and switches The only pcb's I have left to do are the one for the 16 mec switches and the one for the 4 mec switches below the LCD. The reason I did all these pcb's was that it makes it MUCH easier to hook everything up once I'm ready to plug in and go. Simply put, each component (or section of components) resides on a pcb along with a connector which will simply interface with the midibox modules by plugging them in. This will be easier to see once I get to that part. I got home at 1:00am tonight and got a surprise. The MEC switches and caps came in :) I was expecting them mext Tuesday. This is what they look like... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/mec-switch-real.jpg These feel perfect for the application I wanted. The are more of a tact switch with LED and cap type of a thing. Very nice. I also confirmed today the panel is delayed until after the weekend. It's coming Monday. The Chassis should be coming tomorrow. Once those parts come in all I really have left is to get the panel done up (painted and silkscreened) and finish up the rest of the wiring.. bye for now, Brian
  19. The making of a Midibox64

    It's been a couple days since I posted. I've been busy and didn't want to stop to take the time to do an update - shame on me. The panel and chassis are coming tommorrow and I still have a lot of wiring to do. Just the crazy number of connections takes a lot of time and effort. I'm working slow deliberately so I don't make mistakes. A few interesting things have come about. - The first is the power supply. I realized that with potentially 54 led's and the backlight for the LCD being on at the same time I need at least 1.0A. I calculated the current draw would be less than 1.5A max at any time. I also realized (and more on this below) I've got a blue backlight LCD with white/yellow characters so it has a negative contrast voltage, so I need -5V as well as +5V. Considering all this I scrapped the 7805 voltage regulator on the Core Module . I built a basic linear power supply using the higher current TO-93 packaged 7805 and 7905 regulators. If you want a more efficient power supply or have limited space you might want to consider a switching power supply for this job, although I decided on an old-school linear supply. The layout and finished piece look like this: Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/power-supply-pcb.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/power-supply.jpg - The second problem I've been having is that LCD. Since it needs -5v for the contrast voltage I had to tap this from my power supply. The problem I came accross is that the 5V available on the core module travels along in a more serial fashion, so when I cut in to disrupt the +5V going to Vd of the LCD I realized I had to place a lot of jumpers around to make sure everything else that is still supposed to get +5V still get's it! Also variable resistor P2 on the core module needs to be referenced to -5V and not +5V when using a negative contrast LCD. It actually turned out to be a time consuming task and my core module doesn't look so pretty from the bottom anymore. I have finished all but (2) pcb's to this point - I thought I would do a rundown of each part. 1. 4-pot and 4-switch pcb. Here you can see I finally got around to assembling these ones where the switch board piggybacks on the pot board: Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/piggyback1.jpg Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/piggyback2.jpg 2. Here are the little pcb's I made for the faders to make hook-up a lot easier. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/fader-pcb.jpg 3. Here is the dual illuminated switches that go in the bottom left position of the panel Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one ]http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/dual-illuminated-pushbuttons.jpg 4. This is the illuminated dial that goes in the bottom right area of the panel. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/illuminated-dial.jpg 5. These are the square buttons that go below each fader. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/square-buttons.jpg 6. These are some of the boards with the led buttons. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/led-buttons.jpg Here is a pic of all the control stuff, the pots, sliders, buttons, and led's layed out somewhat in the arrangement they will be in in the final panel. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/layout2.jpg I still have alot of work to do before I retire for the night so I'm going to get back to it ;)
  20. The making of a Midibox64

    ...still finishing up the last details. I'm being very anal because I want everything to fit perfect and be reliable. I finished painting the panel last week and now I'm finishing up mounting the very last part to the panel. I will post more comments on the completed panel and chassis as soon as it's completed. Once the everything is in place I will upload the firmware and start testing. I've already tested each block of componenets individually so hopefully I won't have many problems. I took pictures while I painted the panel. Here's what I did... 1. After sanding and cleaning I primered the panel with krylon primer. I think a lot of people think krylon and spray paint in general are not good paints but I have used this stuff many many times and it's great. Dries fast and sticks... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-paint1.jpg 2. The paint cures faster in the heat so I put it in the oven between layers. I put on 3 light layers of primer and let it dry for an hour in the oven before going on. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-paint2.jpg 3. The color I wanted I made with a combination of several colors including two metallic powders. I used acrylic enamel as I found it was a good paint for using on aluminum. This is actually that acrylic stuff they sell at hobby stores. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-paint3.jpg 4. Here it is after 3 layers of paint. You can see the metallic look. It's a fairly rough texture at this point. The paint is applied with an airbrush. I got good results with a standard airbrush (not to mention I'm not qualified to use the big spraygun). Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-paint4.jpg 5. After the color is applied I let it dry for several hours and then sprayed it with 2 layers of clear acrylic. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-paint8.jpg 6. After another hour I sanded it down with 800grit wet/dry paper to "flatten" the paint. This makes the surface very smooth and not textured. 7. After another 2 layers of acrylic clear glossy spray it starts to look good. I sanded it again lightly with 1200grit. 8. After a final 2 light layers the finish looks nice, a typical satin, slightly glossy finish. The acrylic paint dries hard but you have to give it some time. I let the panel sit for more than a day before touching it and installing any parts. ..more to come..
  21. The making of a Midibox64

    I am still in the prcoesses of building and testing and as mentioned I plan on poitning out many of the pitfalls I found, as well as some time saving stuff. I took a pic of both the back of the panel and also the inside of the chassis so you could piece together what is going on here. The chassis houses the power supply, all the midibox modules, including the core module, 2xAINX, 2xDIN and 1xDOUT modules. The chassis also houses an M-Audio audio/midi interface. The midi connections between the M-Audio Firewire and the Midibox take place right inside the box. Also the audio record input and outputs are wired to Rca jacks on the rear of the unit. Other revelent connection from the M-Audio Car, including the level enclode pot is also placed at the rear of the chassis. The only connector from the M-Audio Firewire that needs to be plugged in is the Firewire jack. I am currently installin a firewaire jack to the rear of the chassis. Lastly I have installed a BNC jack at the upper right-rear of the chasis for a 12V lamp. Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/inside-1.jpg The panel looks a mess on the back. It's actually not. Everything is organized. I terminated all the wires from all the panel mount section to terminal heads so they just plug into terminal housing on the midibox AIN, DIN, DOUT modules. This was so I could easily take the panel on and off if needed... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/backside1.jpg
  22. The making of a Midibox64

    I made alot of progress this weekend. I've got most of the wiring tested and working. I'm still getting some ranndom data because of some missing grounds or something - probably something related to one or more of the 64 pots. I have trouble shooted and fixed a number of small problems. I feel like I'm getting close. I was hoping to finish it this weekend becuase I wanted to use it for a show next week - but as of Saturday night I have decided to give it a break and come back next week. I've got a 4 hour show so I need to spend time working out some music and auditioning a bunch of new stuff this week - so no time for the midibox. At any rate I'll leave this post with what else, another pic. This is the finished midibox, all plugged in and working. I do not have the DOUT module active yet - I'm taking the testing one step at a time - so you won't see any DOUT related led's lit up... Image removed due to possibly malicious content. Download at your own risk, it contains a strange script. - stryd_one http://www.alphazone1.com/midibox/midibox-complete3.jpg
  23. OK I've been chasing down MEC of Denmark. They make beautiful switches of all sorts, including what I was looking for...led-centralized push-button switches with clear diffuse round caps! After a few hours searching I found.... - They are known as MEC/Solico in the US  www.solico.com - They have many oem distributors/reps in the US. Check here MEC/Solico Distributors The local rep to me is actually in the same city as my work and they've got these suckers in stock. I'm going to setup an account at work tommorrow and inquire about samples/pricing. if you're on the look out for switches check these guys out. Of coures if you're in the UK you can buy these from Farnell  (they won't export to the US).
  24. The making of a Midibox64

    Hi this is Brian here  - the guy who documented this midibox. Apologies for not keeping it up. I had to transfer everything to new web hosting - I have all the pics and everything. When I get a free moment I will update. You have my word my box was not a scam and works and everything ;) After finisihing my Midibox64 I completed another midibox that I integrated into a "real" Xone92 (not just the chassis). I ripped out the mic and aux send/ret system that I don't use and put in 20 pots and 20 switches to control ableton live. This one works awesome when there's lack of space at a venue.
  25. The making of a Midibox64

    just an update on the midibox. I am transferring all the pics to my new web hosting so some of the pics may not be back up yet. As for the 60,000 mile update it is still working very well. I have been using it quite a bit and it has taken a minor bit if abuse you could say. Everything is holding up fairly well. The MEC push-button switches had me worried as they didn't seem very robust. Some of them seem to have lost a little bit of their 'click' action - they maybe don't click as snappy. They still work fine but if I'm really paying attention I can sometimes feel a variation in the amount of 'click force' from one to the next. Something definitely to consider if your midibox or other hardware project is going to take abuse. The only other complaint I have is the Panasonic 9mm pots. The action on some of them after they wear in become 'loose' or lighter than the majority of the others. They're just not the highest quality part I have used. I was restricted with size and orientation in this project and the panasonic 9mm was the best choice. Ideally though an 11mm or 12mm pot would be best for most situations. Other than those two gripes the midibox is hanging in there quite well...