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David Van Brink // Sun 2008.03.2 22:56 // {wbl weird blinking lights}

Retro USB MIDI Device I

Last year I got a little bit serious with the WBLs. Serious enough to have some boards made. My little 2″ square, 5-LED platform has proved handy for halloween costumes and desert beacons.

prop

But now I’d like to tackle something a little bit more ambitious: A completely custom USB/MIDI input device.

My SO works for Lick Observatories, and occasionally comes across interesting discarded equipment and gear, like this:

P1020241

I thought it would make a wonderful little music controller or sequencer. Retro and such. And it’s even labeled right on the front: SEQ NO.

Preparation

I took a USB class at Microchip’s training center in Santa Clara. Never done that before. Nice way to spend a day, actually. First half was lecture about USB in general, second half we did some exercises with MPLAB IDE, and a demo board with USB and a PIC 18F4550 chip. Their training rep, David Stokes, did a fine job with both, very pragmatic. Relatively L-I-T-E light, but enough to feel comfortable poking around with the rest. Got to keep the board and the programmer.

Next up, a short explanation of USB.

oh, i dont know. what do you think?



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