Dallas Makerspace Openhouse

The Dallas Makerspace had an open house on Saturday. It was really fun and I had a chance to show off a couple of my projects. I took the trash guitar I built using an old speaker cone and an axe handle, the Baxboard, the Arduino Midi Sythesizer, a homemade amp, homemade tube screamer clone pedal, and a Raspberry Pi running the JAMS app which was setup with my keyboard and Baxboard.

There was also a pinball room set up with many of the pinball tables some of the member have restored. This was definitely a hit.

My DMS Openhouse Table

My DMS Open House Table

BluBQ and JAMS

I started working on a new project which is a Bluetooth Barbecue Thermometer. I intend to create an Android app that can talk to a an ATMEGA based device with a bluetooth radio and some sort of temperature sensing. Right now, I have it hooked up using an Arduino Pro Mini, a serial Bluetooth adapter, and a thermocouple using a MAX6675 chip to amplify the thermocouple and return temperatures. The Android app used was a simple Bluetooth serial test app I created last year when prototyping a Bluetooth Robotic Camera Mount meant for automatically shooting panoramas and timelapses with an SLR camera. At this point all the app does is show message popups with the values returned from the BT connection.


I have also been working on a Java based MIDI Sequencer which I can run on my Raspberry Pi. I think I will call it JAMS for JAva Midi Sequencer.I want it to be able to run headless on the pi, using multiple midi controllers. Currently I am thinking that I might use the keyboard for midi note/musical input, the Baxboard for the sequencer controls, and the Arduino Synthesizer as the output, but I want this stuff to be interchangeable. I have tested it using each of these things, but I haven’t programmed it to allow for midi input control of the sequencer, just command prompt controls. I will probably also work on a simple gui that I can use with something like this, a Raspberry Pi I2C touchscreen lcd.


Les Lius Guitar Pedal Build

Les Lius

Les Lius

I just finished another pedal tonight. The site calls it the Les Lius. I put the board together almost a week ago, but I finally drilled and painted it last night, and assembled it tonight.

This one is a tighter fit than the others, but I managed to get everything in, even the battery. I could use shorter wires, but it’s hard to tell how long they need to be when hooking them up and soldering the connections outside the box.

I didn’t get the holes just right on the template I made, so you can see there’s an extra hole just above the switch in the middle. I couldn’t fit the switch in because of how much the PCB hung down, so I had to carefully drill another just below it. Even with this, the battery still fit. I went back and adjusted the hole location in the template, so hopefully next time it will be better. I think I could cover it up by using a larger washer.

The template is up for download here. This time I based the hole locations on the suggested assembled image on the kit website, because there is more stuff so the spacing is even more important.

This pedal is supposed to simulate the sound of vintage Fender amps. I can’t tell how good it is at that though. The left foot switch doesn’t seem to do too much, I think it runs the signal through some diodes that are selected with the switch in the middle. This part isn’t boosted, so the effect isn’t as dramatic. The footswitch on the right turns on the boost, and it is certainly noticeable.