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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
the Moon Base Xplorer
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 1795
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: To Infinity and Beyond!
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Here are some sounds recorded thursday night.
I don't have a mixer for it yet so I only used the output of the VCO (which has a ringmod option).
And I used an external delay, to give it some more spaaaace!


PHOBoS - Moon Base Xplorer tests - To Infinity and Beyond (Sept 29, 2013).mp3
 Description:
Bits and Bleeps

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 Filename:  PHOBoS - Moon Base Xplorer tests - To Infinity and Beyond (Sept 29, 2013).mp3
 Filesize:  33.81 MB
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 1795
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:59 am    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: LED display I
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connecting a 7 segment LED display to a shiftregister and feeding the Data input with a fast oscillator and the CLK input with a slow one gives a nice
result Very Happy.

I also went through my collection of electronic toys to see if I had anything usefull. Most of it wasn't but I found one nice toy with 7 different sounds that
I like. It allready has a transistor to drive the speaker and by replacing the speaker with a pullup resistor to 12V (the circuit runs on 3V) I get a nice
(PWM) squarewave out. The sounds can be triggered with a connection to GND so that's easy to work with, allthough if I use it I probably won't add
anything but just some switches. It also has a resistor to control the pitch Cool .


Moon Base Xplorer display1.gif
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Moon Base Xplorer display1.gif



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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 1795
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:49 am    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: TOY Mod
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PHOBoS wrote:
...if I use it I probably won't add anything but just some switches...

well, I am gonna add a little extra circuitry. A nice thing with this toy is that the sounds keep repeating if you keep a button pressed. So instead
of just some momentary switches it would be nice to add some on/off switches aswell. But the problem with that (besides needing more
switches) is that you would have to turn a sound off if you want to turn another one on, which is a bit of a hassle especially if you do it with one
hand. If you turn more then one on at a time you'll just get one of the other sounds*.

So that's where the circuit comes in. With the mode switch closed the buttons work like normal momentary switches, but with the switch open
they work like those on/off 'radio' switches. Which means that if you press a button it will turn the other ones off, and it stays on untill you press
another button or close the mode switch.

Because the sounds are triggered with a connection to ground I added some transistors that switch the inputs to ground. An LM317L takes care of
the 3V powersupply needed for the toy circuit. I cut the part with the chip off and left that part with the buttons intact so It's still functional. Maybe
for a midicontroller or small synth.

The electric typewriter I salvaged the buttons from had 1 on/off switch so that's great for the mode switch Very Happy The buttons I choose were on both
sides of the actual QWERTY keyboard so I left that intact for now (might come in handy for a timemachine if I can ever get that damn fluxcapacitor
working Wink). Maybe I'll add some LED's or just one connected to the reset inputs, so it goes on when a button is pressed or the mode switch is
closed.

*there are a couple of combinations that produce an 8th sound, so I used some diodes to trigger 2 inputs at once when button H is pressed.


note: at the moment the output is high when there is no sound so I'll have to invert it.


Moon Base Xplorer TOYMOD.gif
 Description:
Moon Base Xplorer: TOY control circuit
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Moon Base Xplorer TOYMOD.gif



Moon Base Xplorer Toy.jpg
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used toy and salvaged buttons
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Moon Base Xplorer Toy.jpg



PHOBoS - Moon Base Xplorer - toydemo.mp3
 Description:
demo of the 8 sounds.

Download
 Filename:  PHOBoS - Moon Base Xplorer - toydemo.mp3
 Filesize:  726.13 KB
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 1795
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: Patch Matrix
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I underestimated the number of possible connections for the patchmatrix a little bit but its doable. I was actually thinking of using switches with
build in LED's instead of connectors, but after seeing how many I would need I quickly dropped that idea.

One nice thing about a patchmatrix is that you can easily link an output to multiple inputs, but I completely forgot that it's also possible to link
multiple outputs to one input. However if I would just make a very simple matrix then outputs would be shorted together when connected to one
input. So I need to do something about that. The nice part about this synth is that (sofar) it's mostly digital, so the signals can be added
together with some simple logic.

The easiest thing would be to OR the signals together using diodes and a pulldown resistor. But with a couple of input signals the output would be
high a lot of the time whch isn't very interesting. My next idea was some sort of multi input "XOR" that has a high output when only 1 input is
high. I did came up with a circuit for it, which I might post in the lunetta section, but wasn't really happy with the result. So I thought about it some
more and decided to use AND logic. so the output is only high when all inputs are high. If you connect 2 oscillators then the result is the same as
if one was gated by the other. Smile

I would need 6 input AND gates and I don't know if those are available as CMOS chips (there are 4 input AND's), but even if so than I'd probably
need a lot of chips, and it would be a lot of wiring too. Time for some more Mickey Mouse Logic. It's pretty easy to make a multiple input AND
with some diodes and a pullup resistor but for this use there is one problem, with no inputs connected the output is high. So I connected the
output to another AND gate and by using an OR on the other input the output can only be high if at least one input is high. But with no inputs
connected the inputs of the AND gate are connected to a voltage divider created by the pullup and pulldown resistor. So I choose a smaller value
for the pulldown resistor to make sure the output is low.

I'm planning on changing the NAND oscillators a bit so that's why they both have a gate input in the matrix. This is only the digital part btw.
(there aren't many analog signals yet)


NOTE:The output of the toy has to be inverted and I'll probably buffer it right away so I don't need another 4050 chip for just 1 gate.


Moon Base Xplorer PATCHMATRIX.gif
 Description:
first version of the patchmatrix
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Moon Base Xplorer PATCHMATRIX.gif



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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 1795
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: CD4049
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PHOBoS wrote:
NOTE:The output of the toy has to be inverted and I'll probably buffer it right away so I don't need another 4050 chip for just 1 gate.

I think I will just add a CD4049. I didn't want to waste 5 gates (although those chips are pretty cheap), but for the modifications I want to make to the
NAND oscillators I need two extra inverters anyway. Maybe I will find a use for the other gates too, but it doesn't really matter if I don't.

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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The front design for what i have sofar. To make the patch matrix a bit smaller I left out the VCO output, since I don't have much use for that
one. Now I have to do the second part, for which i still need to test and build some circuits:

JOYSTICK CONTROLLER: with level control for X,Y and probably Z. X/Y outputs are going to be hardwired to the VCLFO/VCO. The Z output
maybe patchable or I could use a switch. (circuit is tested and build)

SUBOSC + RINGMOD: I'm going to add a suboscillator with a switch to select /1.5/2/3/4. 2 ringmods with switches to select different inputs and
pulse width control on 1 input. Since there are 4 XOR gates in 1 chip I won't be needing the one inside the VCO. I have the schematic of the
circuit pretty much finished but have to decide what the best combinations
for the input switches are.

VCA/MIXER: I tested a simple VCA mixer and it works,. only problem is that I don't have many CV sources. The AD/AR generators are useful for
it and I can of course use some of the digital outputs as a modulation source. Hmm maybe I could add a triangle saw output to the PWLFO.

A.L.F.: I haven't made up what it stands for yet (suggestions are welcome Wink) but it's just another name for the toy. I noticed that the on/off switch
has little holes to mount an LED. And I think I also spotted a button on the typewriter which had a small red transparent 'dot' on it, so I have to see if
I can use that one. Would be perfect for the mode switch. Very Happy I'm also adding a pot and LDR for pitch control.

DELAY: I designed a PT2399 based delay circuit a while back of which I can probably just copy a part. It was designed for a dual supply so it
needs some adjustments.

HEADSET (optional): if I still have some space left I could use the headset. I tested a simple headphone amplifier and I found a circuit to
use the microphone as a windcontroller, so it can create a CV that's useful for the VCA's. (or maybe delay rate,. Shocked )

FILTER (optional): I'm probably happy if I have finished all of the above but who knows.


Moon Base Xplorer - front preview.gif
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Moon Base Xplorer - front preview.gif



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Skrog Productions



Joined: Jan 07, 2009
Posts: 778
Location: Scottish Borders
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Phobos Smile

Thats a great looking panel design , cool.

A.L.F. = analog life form =


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Laughing that IS the reason I named it ALF (I grew up with that show).
I was thinking an Antigravitational Laser Forcefield generator or something
ridiculous like that Wink I just don't want to label it toy, allthough that could be
an acronym too.

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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
..,I noticed that the on/off switch
has little holes to mount an LED. And I think I also spotted a button on the typewriter which had a small red transparent 'dot' on it, so I have to see if
I can use that one. Would be perfect for the mode switch.

Laughing


Moon Base Xplorer LED button.jpg
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red 'dot' button and switch
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Moon Base Xplorer LED button.jpg



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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: Patch Matrix update
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Here's an updated version of the Patch Matrix with added switches for VCLFO and VCO CV inputs. Besides removing the VCO output from the matrix I
also removed the ringmod (XOR), because it's going to be part of the sub-divider/mixer section. The gate signal for the PWLFO needs to be inverted
which I was planning to do with a transistor, but I have some inverting gates left (CD4049) so I can just use one of those instead. I also added the
inverters for the LFO's (previously labeled NANDOSC 1 & 2, will probably be renamed to OSC I & II).

I hadn't really thought about how to add the switches from the joystick, but by adding them to the patchmatrix I can use them to gate other oscillators.
So if I would patch the output of LFO II to the gate of LFO I then it will only modulate LFO I when I press joystick button 4. There will also be on/off
switches added else I would always have to press the buttons on the joystick or disconnect it.


Moon Base Xplorer PATCHMATRIX 1.1.gif
 Description:
Moon Base Xplorer: Patch Matrix 1.1
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 351

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm currently doing some tests with a PT2399 delay, which resulted in the following patch.


Moon Base Xplorer Patch 2399.gif
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Moon Base Xplorer Patch 2399.gif



PHOBoS - Moon Base Xplorer tests - Patch 2399 (nov 02, 2013).mp3
 Description:
self playing patch with PT2399 delay

Download
 Filename:  PHOBoS - Moon Base Xplorer tests - Patch 2399 (nov 02, 2013).mp3
 Filesize:  7.58 MB
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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:51 pm    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: Ringmod-PWM-SUB
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The VCO sub divider with a rotary switch to select between 4 divisions* and a potentiometer to mix the sub signal with the original signal.
The pulse width control, which I had planned to use for the VCO, works as a nice filter for both the noise and A.L.F. module.
And two XOR ringmodulators with switches to select different input signals.

* The original idea to create the odd divisions came from this page.


Moon Base Xplorer Ringmod-PWM-SUB.gif
 Description:
Moon Base Xplorer: ring modulators, pulse width control and VCO sub divider
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Moon Base Xplorer Ringmod-PWM-SUB.gif



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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: frontpanel update
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The frontpanel came out pretty nice, considering it's just paper and printed in 2 parts. The black triangles at the top are actually cut out with red foil behind
it. I had to paint the part behind it black because the silver, yes I painted the panels silver, (SPAAACE! Laughing ) reflected too much. There are rectangular
cutouts in the panel itself for the LED displays, which are also black so only the LED's should be visible when lit. It has a little bit of glue damage in the bottom right, but I don't mind.

The other panel for the joystick interface/alf/mixer/delay came out pretty well too and it allready has all the pots and switches mounted and a large part
wired up. I also started on the case which is slightly more complex then usual but it's looking good sofar. Cool


Moon Base Xplorer - frontpanel A.jpg
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Panel A
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Moon Base Xplorer - frontpanel A.jpg



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isak



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi PHOBoS.

it sounds amazing!
keep up the good work!

cheers,
Isak E.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:10 pm    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: photos
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thanks isak Very Happy

It is slowly starting to look like a synth but there's still a lot to do. I'm figuring out how to mount all the PCB's and how to wire the panels
together. The case is almost done except for a paintjob, and I installed a PSU.

I also needed something to store the connectors for the patch matrix and I was thinking about making a drawer of some kind of box in the case. But
then I noticed the magnetic storage containers (IKEA GRUNDTAL series) I got from my sister. The magnetic part isn't so interesting for my use since
it's not magnetic on the inside, but it has a transparent lid which is perfect for the logo I've designed earlier. So I drilled a large round hole in the side of the
case for that. (I happened to have a saw that was just the right size for a snug fit,. probably have to sand it a bit else it might not fit after painting).

here are some pics. Cool
(can you spot my stupid mistake ?)


Moon Base Xplorer PSU - 02.jpg
 Description:
12V PSU installed in the case (will be connected to an AC wallwart)
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Moon Base Xplorer PSU - 02.jpg



Moon Base Xplorer Patch Con Storage - 01.jpg
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storage container for patch connectors
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Moon Base Xplorer Patch Con Storage - 01.jpg



Moon Base Xplorer case - 01.jpg
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Moon Base Xplorer case
(metal mesh behind ventilation holes is temporarily attached with tape)
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Moon Base Xplorer case - 01.jpg



Moon Base Xplorer case - 02.jpg
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backside of the case
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Moon Base Xplorer case - 02.jpg



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject: The Moon Base Xplorer
Subject description: VC mixer and Delay
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I hadn't posted the schematic for the voltage controlled mixer and delay yet so here goes.

The VC mixer is made out of 3 VCA's and a summing amp. The actual VCA sections contain only 3 parts:
a diode (with the kathode connected to the input signal)
a resistor (connected between the anode of the diode and control voltage input)
a capacitor (to get rid of the DC offset)

Apparently this kind of VCA was used in old organs, and it only works for squarewaves. At least it should, but to my spurprise it also works fine with
the output form the subdivider which (when mixed with the source) is a stepped voltage. Also if the input signal is low (0V) you will get the control
voltage at the output, so you can hear it if it's at audiorates. But for this synth that's a useful bonus feature Wink . I also added 2 potentiometers for
every VCA; one is used to set a fixed voltage and the other one to attenuate the modulation voltage. Both are 'mixed' together using diodes.

I don't think there's much to say about the delay. It's a design based around a PT2399 chip and the voltage control section is copied from the
Echo Base design. I didn't add a lot of high pass filtering inside the delay loop itself but instead it's filtered afterwards (U1d). This prevents the signal
from deteriorating too much when the number of repeats is high.


Moon Base Xplorer VC Mixer and Delay.gif
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Moon Base Xplorer: VC mixer and Delay
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LFLab



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Phobos,

Pretty cool stuff you're doing there! Going to try the PT delay section, does the current sink work well?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yep, it seems to work very well, at least by what I can tell from my breadboard experiments.
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new voodoo



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
while looking for some inspiration for the panel design I came across this

that 'thing' is AWESOME!!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Lovely curvy wood case , very nice sanding work , will look great when it gets filled up with modules Smile


Dave.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Skrog Productions wrote:
...very nice sanding work...

thanks,. easy smooth sanding is what I like about MDF Very Happy

I finally got the sockets and connectors for the patchmatrix, there's only one problem,.. they don't fit together Shocked
I can push the connectors slightly on to the sockets and they do seem to make contact,. so with a bit of luck it will still work Rolling Eyes
The rest is all wired up and only the VC mixer/delay is not tested, but it connects to the patchmatrix which ties everything together, so I need to
finish that first. I hope to finish it before or during xmass, allthough I don't think I'll order the knobs before the end of the year.


diodes.jpg
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74 twisted diodes for the patchmatrix.
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Moon Base Xplorer - frontpanel B.jpg
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bottom panel
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my god.jpg
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RingMad



Joined: Jan 15, 2011
Posts: 232
Location: Montreal, Canada
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm sure you'll figure out something for the patch matrix. Sometimes I wonder why patch matrices are not more plentiful... but's it probably because they are a pain to make!

That "My god" image made me think of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey a bit.

Nice "mise en scene" for your photos Smile. Do you ever put little men inside your boxes, like Tim Hunkin? [ ref: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKju_Va1AY0 ]

James.
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

RingMad wrote:
I'm sure you'll figure out something for the patch matrix. Sometimes I wonder why patch matrices are not more plentiful... but's it probably because they are a pain to make!

I think it'll work if not I could use the cheaper connectors I have that do fit. But those are made out of soft plastic and probably break fast. besides
that they don't look so nice as the other ones I have. (I could combine them if I'm a bit creative with some glue I think).
As of being a pain to make it depends on how you make them. I made mine a bit more complex by adding AND gates for the inputs and I'm
soldering the diodes directly to the sockets. And using those RCA jacks probably isn't the best idea. 1/4"jacks would be better but would make it
too large and from my personal experience 1/8"jacks are either expensive (you need a bunch) or suck.

Quote:
That "My god" image made me think of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey a bit.

I didn't call it my god (it's full of stars) for nothing Laughing

Quote:
Nice "mise en scene" for your photos Smile. Do you ever put little men inside your boxes, like Tim Hunkin?

Those little men in the video are brilliant! Shocked

Muied Lumens actually mentioned putting an explorer behind one of the ventilation holes, which reminded me that I have that LEGO astronaut.
So I thought about it but the holes are too small and you can't really see it. (it's on the backside anyway) If I thought of it before I would have had
a nice space for it in the top panel.

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Skrog Productions



Joined: Jan 07, 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"My God" pic .....

Heh , i instantly thought of Hellbound Hellraiser 2 movie when "Julia" points to the monolith and says ....thats my god Very Happy Very Happy



Dave.

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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

you mean the one floating above the labyrinth ? isn't that some diamond shaped thing ? (great movie Very Happy)
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