monome 40h kit

today, i assembled my monome 40h kit! it’s essentially the same as a 64, but comes in kit form – 2 PCBs and all the pieces that need to go on it – ATmega chip, shift registers, FTDI serial to USB, button pads, etc. The only thing it doesn’t come with is LEDs. These you must find on your own. I ordered these from LEDShoppe, and so far i’m not extremely impressed with their consistency (brightness) from bulb to bulb. However, the color is beautiful (violet).  I failed to realize this while constructing her, but the LEDs are in fact all UV Blacklight LEDs, which is kind of cool — not really something I am into, but once i finish construction of the enclosure w/sensors, I will probably sell this monome and I think the UV aspect will be appealing to others.

It took me about 2.5 / 3 hours total, at which point i plugged her in, to discover that one LED was burnt out, and entire row would not respond to button presses. It took me a while to de-solder and remove the dead LED and replace it, but i did, and it works. the row, however, i believe is a circuit problem, and I’m waiting to hear back from Brian Crabtree (inventor of monome) to see what’s up. other than that, it works great, and looks great. The hardest part of the process was soldering 64 surface mount diodes on the button pad PCB. I didn’t expect to have to do anything that tiny. Luckily I got a Weller soldering iron and a couple 0.8mm tips. nothing beats a fresh tip. here are some more images from the process.

__________ the 40h comes with 4 ANALOG inputs that are just waiting to be sensorized. I am considering a capacitance touch sensor, or possibly an IR rangefinder, or maybe even just a potentiometer(s) to have some knobs. the most common is an accelerometer, so that the monome has tilt control. My 64 has this, so i probably will not do that. I still have to build an enclosure (obviously) and what sensors i choose to install will determine what the enclosure looks like. i’m excited.

LightBox • modular controller

concept: physically and functionality modular, multi-input controllers with visual feedback and dynamic sensor data output.  Manipulating video, sound, or anything digital is possible with LightBox, and when using more than one simultaneously, group interaction and collaboration is possible, as the controllers themselves are wirelessly networked. project post-mortem paper here.

final design:

final schematic

Here is a not-so-revealing video of one mothercube and one daughtercube (all i had the time and money to build), being run through a theremin-emulator max patch.  I have written a sampler patch and video controller in jitter, I will document these soon enough (making sure you can see my hands) and then post the patches.

[vimeo 2800746]

***I apologize that you cannot see my hands, however they are controlling the pitch of the sound based on how close they are to the cubes — very similar to how a theremin works***

Essentially, frosted plexi-glass cubes with IR range finders and one single button (capacitance [touch] sensor).  The sensors are being powered and read by an arduino, and then processed in Max/MSP/Jitter.  I used the PDuino firmware for that connection.  What I was hoping to acheive also, was one array of LEDs sensitive to the IR (you’ll see in this video, only the touch changes the color).  I worked on using a TLC5940 LED driver run by a PIC16F88 microcontroller, but was never completely successful. In fact it was quite frustrating, to the point that i gave up on it for the moment.

Here are some images of the process:

mothercube, finished

daughter guts

mothercube guts

LED driver circuit

mother and daughter

mother and daughter

Left to do now is finish the wireless aspect, between the two cubes.  Then more patching.