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Need help getting started

4 posts in this topic

Hello!

Man, am I glad to find this site.  I have been going to midify a harpsichord for 20 years and now is the time!  I have already found another member that is doing the same, so I'll have moral support as well!

I have read through the entire site and I know all the information I need is there......it's just a bit difficult knowing exactly what applies and what doesn't.  If I may, I'll describe what I want and then,  I'd ask for some help in detailing each module I will need.

I would like to load a series of midi files based in my computer (files of which I don't currently have!) onto a flash drive and transfer them to my harpsichord as a playlist.  The electronics would read that flash drive and play each file sequentially by sending signals to the solenoids that drive the harpsichord keys.  It seems so simple!!

I know I need a core module (with a PIC18F4685??)and 2 DOUT modules.  Will a GM5 USB module work for me?  Also, I guess I should get an LCD module?  Where are the midi files stored while waiting to be played or for that matter where is the active file stored?  Does the MIDI128 apply?  If yes, what specifically does it do in this case - does it tell the PIC how to interface to with the DOUT's? 

Again, if someone could help by detailing every module I need, I then can begin to put it together in my mind and then study the appropriate areas on the site.  I expect to buy the components from SmashTV - at least the ones offered.  If I need the GM5, I guess I need to put my name on the list.

Thanks for any help you folks can give. I am a mechanical engineer and have had some limited experience in microprocessors but not recent.  I think I can waddle through this!

Doug

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I have read through the entire site and I know all the information I need is there......it's just a bit difficult knowing exactly what applies and what doesn't.  If I may, I'll describe what I want and then,  I'd ask for some help in detailing each module I will need.

You'll get some help, but not that much ;)

I would like to load a series of midi files based in my computer (files of which I don't currently have!) onto a flash drive and transfer them to my harpsichord as a playlist.  The electronics would read that flash drive and play each file sequentially by sending signals to the solenoids that drive the harpsichord keys.  It seems so simple!!

It's very simple, if you know how to make a midibox support USB flash drives. I'm guessing you've missed, that a midibox is designed to receive midi messages (not midi files) via cable (not removable media). There is SD card support recently in PICs and in the upcoming core, but that's not out yet. Either way, you need to write a bit of code, to handle the filesystems and midi file format (much less on core32 though, wow.), so you're definitely going to need some programming knowledge to pull it off. Probably it's much easier to send it live from your PC. I'll come back to that.

I know I need a core module (with a PIC18F4685??)

Unless you need CAN, I'd go with PIC18F4620 (more ram).

and 2 DOUT modules. 

Only you can count those. Unless you mail me the harpsichord.

Will a GM5 USB module work for me?

Well, if you want to send midi messages from the PC, that will be fine. You connect the GM5 direct to your midibox, and you get USB midi. Then, you can send midi messages from a sequencer on your PC, down the USB cable, where they're converted to native midi in the harpsichord by the GM5, which is wired to the core, which controls the douts, which control the solenoids.

  Also, I guess I should get an LCD module? 

Yes. OK you don't strictly need one, but it's a good idea. In the end it comes down to your design. Isn't this in the FAQ or something?

Where are the midi files stored while waiting to be played or for that matter where is the active file stored?

You would have to program that.

  Does the MIDI128 apply?

You could run that app on the core if you follow the above suggestion with the GM5 and PC sequencing live meessages, yes. You should read up on all the available apps and any that you would consider coding yourself, and select the most appropriate.

  If yes, what specifically does it do in this case - does it tell the PIC how to interface to with the DOUT's? 

Exactly.

Again, if someone could help by detailing every module I need,

That's your homework ;) Seriously, only you can really do that. If you provide all the info that's required for someone else to do it (like how many solenoids, LED's etc you want in your specific design, etc), then you're essentially asking them to play human calculator for you. Try 'Start...Run...', 'Calc'. ;)

I then can begin to put it together in my mind and then study the appropriate areas on the site.

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Thanks Stryd_one for the feedback.  It's becoming more clear!  Maybe my desire for a flash drive is too big for my ability.

I think my word 'detailing' in my original post was misleading.  Sorry, I don't expect anyone to do my work - that's the fun part  :-[.

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Maybe my desire for a flash drive is too big for my ability.

would the bankstick be more of what you want here?

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