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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Musical Interfaces
Accelerometer / Pot / Switch Controller
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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject: Accelerometer / Pot / Switch Controller
Subject description: Your advice please?
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Hey music friends, I have a super easy project to share with you, and I'd like to get your perspective on some aspects of it. Mainly I would like some advice about parts placement, housing, construction method, and so forth and so on....

You see, in my ChucK music programs I have found that I can't use the keyboard or mouse to do controlling, and the GUI sliders and buttons and stuff only work on the Mac at present. So tonight I got a little spark of an idea and remembered the prototype of an accelerometer / pot / switch device that I have. It is a little bitty circuit board (see photo below) with a USB interface, a three-axis accelerometer, and an interface connector for pots and switches.

In the photo you can see four little thumbwheel pots and a slider pot, all 10 kOhm, the circuit board, the usb cable, the expansion harness and a little piece of perfboard. There is also room on the expansion port for two switches which are not shown because I don't have them yet. Ah, the makings of a sweet little controller board for my programs.

I like the arrangement of the five pots, but I don'tknow where to mount the switches. I think the perfboard is too small also. I really kind of need a box for this too. It needs to be enclosed to protect the circuit board. So, um, what do you think? Ideas? Suggestions? Just shut up and build the darn thing? You tell me, cheers!


UHID_Controller.jpg
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Parts and proposed arrangement
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UHID_Controller.jpg



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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have some good news about my little controller project. I found an old Radio Shack proto-PCB that I've had for so long the ink on the package was faded. No rust on the copper though. I also found some switches, some standoffs, and some double-sided foam tape for securing the USB pcb. See the photo below for an initial parts placement.

With this arrangement I am using all of the I/O of the board, I can set it on the desk or table (at EM '09 for instance) or pick it up and move it around to sense motion or the gravity vector. So it is a music program controller with an unusual control surface.

At the moment I can't find my dang dremel tool, but when I do I'll drill out the holes for the switchehs, mount them, and solder it up; should go smoothly. If you see any gotchas let me know. Hmmm not sure if I want those pots upside down like that... I'll see if they can go the other way.


UHID_Controller2.jpg
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Parts on new pcb
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UHID_Controller2.jpg



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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I'm going really slow on this project, taking naps today and chatting, but progress: The board is fully populated and everything is soldered except the wiring harness and the hookup sires.

Next I've been reading on the www.ultimarc.com site about the configuration utility and the hardware details of the USB interface. In addition to hooking it up right, the ports must be declared and configured which looks fairly simple to do. There is also a gain and offset calibration for the accelerometer and pots.

Will post progress soon... Funny, no comments from the peanut gallery? Oh well. Having fun and that's what matters!


UHID_Controller3.jpg
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Parts soldered on the board...
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UHID_Controller3.jpg



_________________
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Inventor
Stream Operator


Joined: Oct 13, 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: San Antonio, Tx, USA
Audio files: 258

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well about 24 hours after starting the project it is completed and working. Actually it was only about four hours of work spread over that time so it's an afternoon project to make one of these.

Pictured below is the tested and working controller. Note that the USB controller board is different and smaller. During configuration I discovered that the first three pins were used up by the accelerometer, so I had to choose between having the accelerometer or having all the pots and switches. I chose the latter simply because I don't think I'll need it to control a Washing Machine program. I can still use the accelerometer by itself in other programs

Also something strange I found in the windows control panel testing wsa that all of the inputs are inverted for some reason. No big deal, that's just a simple software change, but one I didn't expect.

Regardless of the slight issues encountered (and one misplaced jumper connection), things went very well and now I can control my programs using parts that I had lying around my workshop, at essentially zero cost. What fun this new toy will be! Cheers!


UHID_Controller4.jpg
 Description:
The final working controller
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UHID_Controller4.jpg



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