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Thread: Need pointers on an project

  1. #1
    The floppy drive is no longer obsolete. AmEv's Avatar
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    Default Need pointers on an project

    (Sorry if this is the wrong spot to post this in, but...)

    I have a "Software Toolworks Miracle Piano". Its 49 keys (C-2 to C-6 [with 1 "extra" for my purposes]) make it (almost) perfect for a floppy drive "organ".

    I've got an Arduino. I've got 8 floppy drives. I'm going to eventually get an RPi Zero. I think I've got the controller software down. I've got Fritzing, as I want a self-contained PCB.

    However, I've got a few uncertainties...

    I've tried poking at the serial port on my keyboard, but I haven't been able to figure out how to make it talk. (I just thought it might be easier than trying to use the funky serial of MIDI.)

    Also, I'm a little unsure the best way to approach the fact that I'd basically need 2 serial ports.

    I'd also like to get a mini LCD and a couple buttons set up (hooked up to the Zero) to control the output.

    Nonetheless, I do also feel like I'm missing something obvious to my setup, but I'm not sure what...


    (PS: I do have a USB-MIDI adapter that works perfectly, but I don't want to splice it up for this project.)
    Two years. They were great. Let's make the next ones even better!

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  2. #2
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need pointers on an project

    The NES Miracle piano. Oh the memories! I'm still a little confused on what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to make a playable musical floppy device? Like those musical floppy videos, but hooked up to a keyboard instead?

    Does it need to work with any midi keyboard or just this one?

  3. #3
    The floppy drive is no longer obsolete. AmEv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need pointers on an project

    Quote Originally Posted by d_stilgar View Post
    Are you trying to make a playable musical floppy device? Like those musical floppy videos, but hooked up to a keyboard instead?
    Exactly what I'm trying to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by d_stilgar View Post
    Does it need to work with any midi keyboard or just this one?
    It doesn't need to work with any old MIDI keyboard, per se. I suppose adding a MIDI port wouldn't be a bad idea, though, in case this keyboard goes kaput. It would allow me to use the USB-MIDI adapter to directly access the drives.


    I realize that physical switches would be beneficial for the serial issues.



    One thing I realize I did want was a small LCD and some buttons, so I could cycle through options, (without needing a full-blown GUI and keyboard/mouse) for portability's sake.
    Two years. They were great. Let's make the next ones even better!

    Tri.fecta

  4. #4
    Administrator OvRiDe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need pointers on an project

    Not quite sure on some of it.. but if your going to use a PI zero, you have an HDMI output for a screen.. granted it might cut down on portablity if you use a full size monitor. The composite video is accessible on the PI zero, but you will have to solder a couple of wires to the unpopulated pads. There are tons of cheap composite video devices out there that are fairly small.. look for anything related to backup cameras for cars. Since you will probably be using Python to accomplish it on the Pi, it should be fairly easy to pipe out your serial text to the screen.

    Hope this helps some.

  5. #5
    The floppy drive is no longer obsolete. AmEv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need pointers on an project

    Yeah, I was just thinking something along the lines of the picoLCD. That should suffice for my purposes (just need an indicator of what mode I'm on, and with the right version, it might be able to have the buttons I'd need.

    I'm probably being lazy by trying to have everything go through GPIO at this point... Probably the best solution would be to have the ATMega and RPi hookup be on one board (I can have a power connector on the board to power both the ATMega and RPi, and get a cheap compact hub hooked up to the USB port on the Pi, splicing the MIDI cable and the picoLCD into it.

    That way, I can have the MIDI In on the USB cable accept input from any keyboard.... It's worth a shot.
    Two years. They were great. Let's make the next ones even better!

    Tri.fecta

  6. #6
    The floppy drive is no longer obsolete. AmEv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need pointers on an project

    Minor change of plans:

    I've managed to acquire a NextBook NEXT2. The flash chip is dead. The LCD works perfectly, and I assume the digitizer does as well.

    Now I want to take out the LCD and digitizer, and get it hooked up to the Zero somehow...
    Two years. They were great. Let's make the next ones even better!

    Tri.fecta

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