Archive Page 2


Starting on a new project…

Well I’m starting a new project.  I’ve been tired of having to always order prototype PCBs just to wait and find some simple mistake and just wait again, plus it’s not cheap.  So I’ve started gathering parts for a mini CNC router.  I know, sounds had and expensive, but I don’t think it’s going to be to bad, more about just taking my time.  Parts are pretty cheap, I was going to build my own 3-axis stepper controller, but there are too many cheap ones on ebay to even bother so I just picked one up for 50bux.  I also got some stepper motors for another 30.  Really that’s all the expensive parts.

It’ll be more time designing and building the structure then anything else, since it has to be made under pretty decent tolerances, so I’ll make a trip to a local surplus science and electronics store, and of course to the hardware store and see what I come up with.  I’ll post more when I get parts and what not.


DSO Nano, awesome pocket oscilloscope!

Picked up a DSO Nano from, what an awesome little device, it’s an open source pocket oscilloscope about the size of a iPod (actually it’s thinner then a standard iPod)  It’s a great tool, especial for those that want to learn about an oscilloscope but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars.  The only complaint I have is the probes are pretty cheap, but they sell upgraded versions so I would recommend them.

Here is a pic:

This along with something like the Leatherman E4 Squirt could be the ultimate pocket hacker tool kit!!

The Nano is really cool too because it has a SD card port so you can store your results and view them on a computer, it has a USB rechargeable battery too so no need for batteries or even a special charger.  With this and the squirt you can rule the world and hack electronic equipment like no tomorrow!


Minduino is for sale.

Ok I’m selling them on ebay, I have one up there right now, just search for minduino.

I’m having to order more boards, as I got a bad batch, ended up assembling 6 of them and only 3 worked (completely) so I placed an order for new boards (They will be white with black silkscreen) from a new vendor, so there will be a bit of a lull till I get the new boards.

Remember these are hand made, so if a resistor the size of a grain of rice is off by a couple degrees (I try to make them straight), it just adds to the character of a hand made device.  Like I mentioned I test these also to make sure all the I/O is working, the Serial port, LEDs, everything.

Here is an image for better size comparison, it’s small, and the parts are even smaller!

Just download the Arduino Development Environment from and get to work!


Introducing the Minduino, my Arduino Mini clone.

So I’ve been working on a Arduino clone, well I’m all about tiny and small, well here is my version. I call it the Minduino, it has all the Input/Output of the full size arduino, actually 2 more analog in’s, Vcc, Gnd, Reset and AREF pins. It also has 3 green LED, one for power, TX and RX, and one bright blue LED connected to pin 13.  These use the ATmega328 so they are also the latest version of arduino with 32K of flash ram

It also has full USB connectivity with a FT232RL USB to Serial IC. Pretty much it has everything the full arduino does, plus the 2 extra analog in’s.

Also these are all hand soldered and tested by me, so I make sure they work before they leave.

I’ll be selling them on ebay to help fund some other tech projects I have, including a breadboad version of the Arduino Mega.

Here are some beauty pics:


Simple Arduino Midi Controler

So I made a simple midi controller since there was a discussion about midi in an arduinome, just wanted to see what would be involved.  It’s pretty simple to make a stand-alone version.

Here is the schematic, very simple (Potentiometers can be any size):

Here is the the code.  It’s stupid simple, it might be too simple.  I don’t know if the delays have to be there but I didn’t want to spam the serial port, also this is just for 2 controls.

// Super Simple Midi Contoler

int val = 0;
int val2 = 0;

void setup()
   Serial.begin(31250);       // Default speed of MIDI serial port

void loop()
   val = analogRead(1)/8;      // Divide by 8 to get range of 0-127 for midi
   MIDI_TX(176,1,val);         // 176 = CC command, 1 = Which Control, val = value read from Potentionmeter

   val2 = analogRead(0)/8;     // Control point 2


void MIDI_TX(unsigned char MESSAGE, unsigned char CONTROL, unsigned char VALUE) //pass values out through standard Midi Command

And here is a video:

Now go make your own controller with photoresistors, pressure sensors, touch sensors, whatever!


Logic PCB and Button PCB are done and released!

They’re both done, and I’ve released the files on

Also there is a group buy going on for both of the PCBs and prices are looking pretty good!

If you want to get in on it, please go to:

Here you can order the boards, get a list of components and ask general questions.  I check the post quite often so I’ll reply to any technical questions.

I also wanted to give a shout out to some forum members that have helped out a lot and have kept me motivated, in no particular order:

  • GreaterThanZero
  • SHvanBommel
  • dovemouse
  • Melo D
  • FingerTappin
  • fixatemusic
  • Anyone else that has given input, ideas, sugestions, etc.

I also made a video to show how I solder the SSOP FT232RL USB to Serial chip that is used on the Logic board, do remember you don’t have to use this chip, you can just buy the UM232R Module that FTDIchip sells and that will replace the FT232RL and mini USB connector.


More details on Logic Board and Button PCBS

logic board

It is simply a basic arduino combined with the unsped shield on one board.  Read my older posts for  a lot of the nitty-gritty.

Here are the features…

  1. Single board design
  2. Easy to assemble
  3. USB can be onboard FT232RL SMD chip or UM232 Plug-in module using same board layout.
  4. All Atmega328 (or Atmega168) analog inputs are broken out
  5. Extra Digital outs from Atmegas are broken out
  6. Aref pin if needed
  7. Ground pin
  8. Small footprint with large mounting holes

One of the features that was requested was to have the analog inputs of the atmega chip available, this way you can hack the firmware in the Arduino IDE for extra inputs aka sliders, knobs, photoresistors, whatever your heart can think of, and there is six of them!

Also I figured might as well breakout the other four unused outputs, two of which are PWM capable, so maybe you want to have a LED that pluses the BPM, anything can be run of these for the most part.

For those that don’t care, just ignore them!

Here is a pic.

The breakout for both the SMD USB chip and also the UM232 module are both there so the choice is yours.

I will document the assembly better when I have time so it’ll be easy for anyone to put together.

Livid Button PCB

This was an idea from the good folks over at fourms, to make a PCB that would work with the buttons pads sold by Livid instruments.

The Buttons are a pretty good deal, they do have a couple extra buttons on them, but you can hack them off and have a perfect 8×8 button pad!  The PCB is designed to use these pads in coordination with the above logic board to make a complete arduinome that is easy to source and ‘relitivly’ inexpensive, yet still customizable (LED color, extra knobs, etc.)

The buttons feel nice and have a nice action to them, they are high quality.  The PCB has square contacts because that is what Livid uses on their own devices, the contact has a ton of surface area so the buttons are very responsive no matter how they are pushed.

Also the PCB can be butted up next to each other to make a 128 or even a 256, these buttons are slight larger than the real 40h kits, but much smaller than the sparkfun buttons, a 128 would be about 7″x14″ so not overly large.

A pic of 2 next to each other in a 128 layout.  While it looks odd, it lines up perfect.

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May 2018
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