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Highly Liquid Projects
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author Highly Liquid Projects
shogeki
Hi All!

As some of you may know I recently ran a few production runs for Highly Liquid’s projects and have been experimenting with them / gathering feedback.

The goal of this thread is to look at the state of the project and possibly come up with the next hardware/software iterations and possibly add a bit more documentation.

Here is a breakdown of the different products and possible improvements:

MIDI CPU

- Reserve engineer schematic
- Add an optional programming port (Current version requires to rig the cradle with push pins which is complex)
- Re-design a single sided version without resistor network (To lower production costs and make the project more affordable)
- Upgrade the programming cradle to include more I/O options (IN PROGRESS)
- DIP Version for DIY.
- Create some basic examples with circuits + code examples


MIDI WIDGET

- Create group buy thread
- Potentially produce the optional photo relay expansion board (If sufficient interest)


UMR2

- Reserve engineer schematic (DONE)
- Add an optional programming port
- Re-design a single sided version without resistor network (To lower production costs and make the project more affordable)
- Upgrade the programming cradle to include more I/O options (Midi, switches..)
- DIP Version for DIY (TEST PENDING)
- Better document the installation of the current supported devices.
- Document more devices, especially the Casiotone series. (I’m thinking of creating a bounty system so people making an implementation public can get some free devices)


MIDI SPEAK

- Upload on Github?
- Start PCB/Assembled units group buy thread.
- Make version with simple resistors instead of expensive/hard to get resistor networks.
- (Make Smt version?)


Let me know if you have things to add or would like to +1 some of these ideas, I’m going to spend some time on a few of these items but would love to get a sense on how to prioritize them.
Jaytee
Putting together documentation for the UMR2 is a great idea (and then let’s cross-post it everywhere so we never lose access again!). Most of the original HL documentation is still available, but difficult to access (easy to spend hours combing through archive.org and still not find the specific image or link you’re looking for). I also have at least one keyboard that was never documented to my knowledge, but which should work and would benefit greatly from adding MIDI (Casio MT-400v), and I would welcome the added incentive to get off my ass and mod the dang thing. wink

A through-hole/DIP version would also be wicked. The small size of the current version is not necessary for every build, and it would be awesome for DIYers to be able to easily build their own. This was actually on my to-do list of backlogged projects but it’s been a couple years and I still haven’t gotten to it.

Programming port would probably be useful to some, though I don’t enough about PIC programming for it to be much use to me personally.

Can you clarify what you mean by upgrading the programming cradle with MIDI/switches?
Jaytee
If you’re feeling like doing so digging, there’s also a legacy (I guess they’re all “legacy” now) HL project that I’d love to see revived. Think it was called MIDISpeak; it was a MIDI interface for the Speak and Spell. UMR2 won’t work here, iirc, because it didn’t interface with the keyboard of the S&S, but rather directly with the speech synthesis chip. HL open-sourced this project, but when they shut down and open-sourced the rest of their stuff, the MIDISpeak wasn’t included. Not sure if the documentation is still available on archive.org or not, or maybe the HL guy can still be contacted somehow...?

Anyway, just a thought wink
shogeki
Jaytee wrote:
Putting together documentation for the UMR2 is a great idea (and then let’s cross-post it everywhere so we never lose access again!). Most of the original HL documentation is still available, but difficult to access (easy to spend hours combing through archive.org and still not find the specific image or link you’re looking for). I also have at least one keyboard that was never documented to my knowledge, but which should work and would benefit greatly from adding MIDI (Casio MT-400v), and I would welcome the added incentive to get off my ass and mod the dang thing. wink

A through-hole/DIP version would also be wicked. The small size of the current version is not necessary for every build, and it would be awesome for DIYers to be able to easily build their own. This was actually on my to-do list of backlogged projects but it’s been a couple years and I still haven’t gotten to it.

Programming port would probably be useful to some, though I don’t enough about PIC programming for it to be much use to me personally.

Can you clarify what you mean by upgrading the programming cradle with MIDI/switches?


The Midi CPU has some footprints on its cradle for 3 midi ports, I was thinking of doing the same thing on the UMR2, maybe also add footprint for dip switches and mounting hardware. (It might only be useful on larger synths)

Quote:
If you’re feeling like doing so digging, there’s also a legacy (I guess they’re all “legacy” now) HL project that I’d love to see revived. Think it was called MIDISpeak; it was a MIDI interface for the Speak and Spell. UMR2 won’t work here, iirc, because it didn’t interface with the keyboard of the S&S, but rather directly with the speech synthesis chip. HL open-sourced this project, but when they shut down and open-sourced the rest of their stuff, the MIDISpeak wasn’t included. Not sure if the documentation is still available on archive.org or not, or maybe the HL guy can still be contacted somehow...?

Anyway, just a thought wink


Wow, I never heard of that project. I could find some info on the site's archive and will try to find the PCB/schematic. (Here is the BOM: https://web.archive.org/web/20060621083827/http://highlyliquid.com:80/ kits/midispeak/assembly.html)

I did find another similar project here:

http://noizeinabox.blogspot.com/2012/02/arduino-midi-speak-and-spell-c ode.html

https://code.google.com/archive/p/noizeinabox/
Bjarne
Hi, I’d just like to chime in and say I think a TH DIY UMR2 is a great idea. thumbs up
Cheers
shogeki
Bjarne wrote:
Hi, I’d just like to chime in and say I think a TH DIY UMR2 is a great idea. thumbs up
Cheers


I might do that this weekend, it shouldn't be too complicated. (I have not designed a thru hole board in ages!)
shogeki
Ok, It turns out that creating a DIY version of the UMR2 is a bit more work than anticipated. The boards are available on the Github but not the schematics.

I therefore had to reverse engineer the entire thing but it is now 70% done. All I will need to do next is to finish it, route everything and build a prototype. (I will likely use my board house as I do not feel like busting out the peroxyde and acid from under the sink)

I havent routed anything in DIP for a long time, I might post the layout here for your feedback.
grantb5
Is this from the same guy as did http://www.midiwidget.com/ ? I think that one is Open Source.
Jaytee
shogeki wrote:
Ok, It turns out that creating a DIY version of the UMR2 is a bit more work than anticipated. The boards are available on the Github but not the schematics.

I therefore had to reverse engineer the entire thing but it is now 70% done. All I will need to do next is to finish it, route everything and build a prototype. (I will likely use my board house as I do not feel like busting out the peroxyde and acid from under the sink)

I havent routed anything in DIP for a long time, I might post the layout here for your feedback.


Good news! Thanks for working on this!
dianusindustrial
Very interested if you are doing a run of the midiwidget. Been wanting one for some time, the SMD work on that board looks a little daunting to do by hand
shogeki
dianusindustrial wrote:
Very interested if you are doing a run of the midiwidget. Been wanting one for some time, the SMD work on that board looks a little daunting to do by hand


I'm submitting a quote to my board house this week, there are a lot of "fancy" components on there and hopefully I can keep the cost under $30/35. I will make a run for forum members and put the rest on my store as usual.
shogeki
grantb5 wrote:
Is this from the same guy as did http://www.midiwidget.com/ ? I think that one is Open Source.


Same guy, he opened source all of the Highly liquid projects back in 2017. The midi widget was originally released on kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/staskevich/midiwidget-control-any thing-via-midi
grenert
The Midiwidget is incredibly flexible. I was lucky to get in as a beta tester. One of the options back then was a relay card, which I used to close the trigger buttons on my DR-110 drum machine. This was better than a MIDI to trigger because I could control the accent function as well (which besides adding accent has a bonus of giving a third hihat sound). They could be used to MIDI control lights, sounds, etc. Another possibility would be to MIDIfy switches on a synth such as waveform select, patch select buttons. If you make a Midiwidget, I'd recommend the relay card as well if that's been opensourced.
shogeki
grenert wrote:
The Midiwidget is incredibly flexible. I was lucky to get in as a beta tester. One of the options back then was a relay card, which I used to close the trigger buttons on my DR-110 drum machine. This was better than a MIDI to trigger because I could control the accent function as well (which besides adding accent has a bonus of giving a third hihat sound). They could be used to MIDI control lights, sounds, etc. Another possibility would be to MIDIfy switches on a synth such as waveform select, patch select buttons. If you make a Midiwidget, I'd recommend the relay card as well if that's been opensourced.


I think I did find those on Circuithub: https://circuithub.com/projects/CodeandCopper1/PR8RevA

Is that it?

I did managed to finish reverse-engineering the UMR2, I will start routing it this week. Hopefully I can keep the form factor small enough.
grenert
Yes, that's it!
NS4W
Thanks for keeping this alive! Would be great to make an installation library for more keyboards - I'm still struggling with adding it to my Casio SK-60 help
Jaytee
NS4W wrote:
Thanks for keeping this alive! Would be great to make an installation library for more keyboards - I'm still struggling with adding it to my Casio SK-60 help


Dunno if you’ve seen it or not (the highly liquid forums are a pain to navigate on archive.org). But if you haven’t, the attached PDF should be super helpful.
NS4W
Jaytee wrote:
NS4W wrote:
Thanks for keeping this alive! Would be great to make an installation library for more keyboards - I'm still struggling with adding it to my Casio SK-60 help


Dunno if you’ve seen it or not (the highly liquid forums are a pain to navigate on archive.org). But if you haven’t, the attached PDF should be super helpful.


Ah thanks a lot man! I'll give it a new try thumbs up w00t
Jaytee
Feel free to PM me or make a thread if you still have issues. I’m getting pretty good at troubleshooting these.
shogeki
Ok, I started taking a stab at a board just to see how to things can fit. I thought of adding some footprints for panel mounted DIN-5 connectors but they are taking a lot of space:



Right now the board is 80mm*63mm, I have yet to add the programming port but it won't take much space.

If I remove the midi connectors and put some pads in their place, move some things around and route it properly (I used the auto router for this example as it was just a test) I should be able to keep the form factor around 70*50 which is about 65% bigger than the 56*38 of the smt version.

I am suspecting that some of the resistors might be superfluous on this version, it appears that some of the resistors are connected to the MCU on one side but not connected to anything on the other, but I'm guessing there must be some kind of reason for this?

Here is the schematic, let me know if you have any ideas. (Sorry about the ratnest, I made it on a long plane ride and will triple check it this weekend to make sure I'm not shorting anything)

Jaytee
Fwiw, my vote goes to ditching the DIN jack footprints.

Probably already planned, but screw holes for mounting are needed.
shogeki
Jaytee wrote:
Fwiw, my vote goes to ditching the DIN jack footprints.

Probably already planned, but screw holes for mounting are needed.


Good point regarding the mounting holes. I will get rid of the DIN jack footprints in order to make the device more functional.

I sent out a quote for the Midi-Widget, I should get an estimate very soon. Good news is that I identified that the screw terminals in the BOM were essentially doubling production cost, without them I'm hoping I might be able to bulk order them around ~$15/20 which would be great.
Jaytee
That’s good news on MIDIwidget. The screw terminals were kinda handy, but I think this forum is probably more soldering-friendly than the group HL was originally targeting.
shogeki
Jaytee wrote:
That’s good news on MIDIwidget. The screw terminals were kinda handy, but I think this forum is probably more soldering-friendly than the group HL was originally targeting.


Yeah I might buy a bunch separately and offer them as optional for those who want to solder them. I'm sure people here would rather do that than have to pay $10+ per unit.

I need to get my post count up to 100 since my last group order were apparently out of compliance with the rules. I might create a few more topics regarding some other exiting projects I'm working on.
shogeki
Ok, I managed to bring it down to 47 * 71, also added a programming port for the PIC KIT. I will clean up the screen print layer for readability and have a prototype made. Hopefully I can try and build one very soon!

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