Wednesday, January 23, 2013

3D Printing from Thingiverse!

So you've got a 3D printer and want to get started printing right away without designing anything? Visit You can always find something useful or at least interesting to print. Check out some of my early prints on my modified MendelMax 3D printer.
My print of chopmeisters "Roundom Vase"

My print of  Landru's "Rocket Shot Glass"
Also, take a look and follow my thingiverse page (cobra18t on Thingiverse) to stay up to date on my "things" that I post.

Happy printing!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

BOOMStick Audio Modules

The SnakeEyes V0.02 board has most everything I want but still needs some tweaking. I did not like the 0402 components, so I am going back to 0603. Additionally, I think people are interested in having exactly what they need and not much else in order to save costs. With that in mind, my next iteration of the audio board will actually be a small collection of breadboard-friendly modules:

Closest derivative to the V0.02 but only mono output. This will have a buffered SD Card, buffered PWM, improved 1W class D audio amplifier, headphone jack, and volume control.

Pared down version that scraps the headphone jack and SD card support. This can be paired with the BOOMStick for stereo output. Or, two BabyBOOMERS can be used with a SD-enabled microcontroller, such as the Fubarino SD, for an even more streamlined stereo output with 1W output per channel when using 8ohm speakers.

BabyBOOMER prototype

These will be small breadboard friendly speakers with current limiting resistors

Stay tuned for more development...


Monday, January 7, 2013

SnakeEyes Audio Boards

A few months ago, I started work on an audio board for Arduino and Chipkit microcontrollers. I wanted something that could play good quality sound effects and music with a small form factor.

SnakeEyes V0.01

My first attempt was a mash up of an Arduino Pro Mini and the same functional structure of the Adafruit Wave Shield. I wanted something that could play all by itself when given a few commands. The host processor would then be free from the low-level audio generation. Small speakers were to be soldered directly to the board in the space above the SD card. This was not a good design from a manufacturing standpoint and frankly, I am not a huge fan of Atmel microcontrollers. I abandoned the project for a while since I was discontent with the results with this board.

SnakeEyes V0.01 Audio Board (front and back)

SnakeEyes V0.02

As noted in some of my previous posts, I found Lutz Lisseck's SimpleSDAudio library for Arduino that used high speed PWM to generate audio from a streamlined SD library. I have a working port of the library to the Microchip-based PIC32 Chipkit processors. The library is very simple and requires very little hardware to get basic functionality. To get higher quality sound, however, more circuitry is necessary.

V0.02 of the SnakeEyes Audio board was born. This used a completely different form factor and used SimpleSDAudio type hardware rather than Wave Shield inspired hardware. It sports Stereo 16-bit 78.125kHz buffered PWM audio generation when using a Chipkit board. The host processor handles all audio generation. It has a headphone jack and thumb wheel volume control as well as two small speakers. There is also the option to use external speakers.

SnakeEyes V0.02 Audio Board

Check for the next post about future audio boards.