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 Post subject: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:25 am
Posts: 78
A friend and I have been working on a little kit for the last month or two. It's our experimental dip into the electronics kit world, from the other side.

The kit is a little microcontroller powered metronome that you tap the piezo speaker to set the frequency. It has 3x 7 segment displays to show the beats per minute, and little up/down buttons to adjust the speed.

"Ehhh." "Boring," you say. Not so fast!

You can tap patterns into it, currently up to 11 beats long. As long as you tap the pattern in three times, it jumps in and continues beeping in that rhythm. The metronome can beep at three different tones, so you can play with more than one at a time.

It's written in C for a pic16f685. The PCBs were designed using kicad, an open source EDA suite. The schematics, footprints, and pcb layout will be Creative Commons of some sort, and the code is GPL'ed. The documentation is almost complete, and we're really close to shipping. However, I wouldn't mind some other eyes on the documentation, especially since you guys are definitely our audience.

If anyone wants to join the "Wayne and Layne Testing Brigade," either post here or send me a private message on here. I'd love to be able to give out discounted kits for people to solder up and play with, but that's just not going to happen this round of kits! I'd appreciate help from anyone who wants to take a look at the webpage and let me know what drew their eye, what turned them off, and what really really made them want to buy 10 for Christmas presents.

I should have kits ready if anyone wants to buy one "pre-release" at Wednesday's meeting. Needless to say, if any firmware bugs are found or what not if you get your kit with an earlier version of code because you just couldn't keep your money in your pocket and desperately needed to test this kit out, I'll bring a programmer and update your kit with the firmware that's released. There isn't anything stopping you from doing that yourself, by the way, just I know not everyone has a pic programmer.

If this is too commercial or inappropriate for this board or for Twin Cities Maker itself, please let me know. I don't want to step on any toes.


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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:23 pm
Posts: 249
adamwolf wrote:
If this is too commercial or inappropriate for this board or for Twin Cities Maker itself, please let me know. I don't want to step on any toes.


As far as I'm concerned this is exactly the right place for this.
Looking forward to seeing it again tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:26 am
Posts: 378
Consider putting this in classifieds, too?

When you are ready to pull the trigger on full-scale availability, we'll put a post on the front page blog as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:35 pm
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Sounds quite interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:25 am
Posts: 78
The website is up at http://wayneandlayne.com/betatest/metronome if anyone wants to take a look. If you have any comments at all, feel free to email us at the address we use on those pages, or else message me on these forums. If there's no showstoppers, we should be making the kits available later tonight "for real."


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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:26 am 
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Done! http://wayneandlayne.com/metronome is live and taking orders!

However, if you want to save on shipping (and save me from some of paypal's fees...) you can buy one from me in person. I'll bring some to tcmaker tonight, but I won't be able to stay long. I need sleep!

Let me know if you want to purchase one over email at wayneandlayne at wayneandlayne.com, so I can reserve one for you in case there's drastic shortages. :) In my dreams...

Adam Wolf


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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:25 am
Posts: 78
It sounds like there's going to be a bunch of folks staying home from TC Maker tonight, and I probably wouldn't be able to stay awake for it if I did come tonight. Let me know somehow if you want a Tactile Metronome kit and we can meet up sometime around the cities, or else I'll just bring a few to the next meeting.


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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:50 pm
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Location: Stillwater
Good morning Adam,

Nice work!

Suggestions for immediate changes:

1. A 1 page simplified black and white build instructions folded and included in the bag, with a note to check the site for changes.
2. An option, say +$.50, to include a piece of double sided foam tape.
3. Some indication on the instructions about whether or not the mysterious 3 legged blue thing is polarized or not.
4. Tip, a small rubber band is great for holding the led segments and the socket in place while the first few legs are soldered.

Suggestions for board rev. 1:

1. DOUBLE the size of the solder pads, especially if this kit is meant to be family and solder newbie friendly. Even I messed up when I unsoldered one leg of the led segment to get it flatter against the board. The hole was covered in solder and my usual method of clearing it by swiping my iron over it a few times took off the pad, and then the front pad. I forgot to take a picture, but I had to use a jumper wire to connect leg 1 to the transistor. Take a look at some of lady ada's board files, IIRC her solder pads are nicely sized.


Looks great, I can't wait to play with it for a while, I'll let you know if I notice anything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:34 am 
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Posts: 78
Thanks man! I've made some immediate changes due to your feedback.

The foam tape was meant to be applied already to all the battery holders. I missed it on my checklist, but thanks to you I was able to catch it on all the *other* kits before they went out today.

The mysterious blue bean is a resonator, and the middle leg is "one end" and the outside legs both go to ground, so it can go in either way. Not sure if you missed it in the instructions or if they were unclear. Maybe a summary table at the top saying whether or not each component was polarized?

The rubber band idea is excellent. More than that, I bet you could wrap a small rubber band around the three displays and get them perfectly aligned! Great idea!

I'll look into the solder pad changes. I've done some rework on the boards and haven't really had pad separation issues, but I do know the trickiest part is those displays. I'm not sure how much bigger I can make those pads and have them route, but I can enlarge the pads pretty much everywhere else.

How do you like it?

jtbarclay wrote:
Good morning Adam,

Nice work!

Suggestions for immediate changes:

1. A 1 page simplified black and white build instructions folded and included in the bag, with a note to check the site for changes.
2. An option, say +$.50, to include a piece of double sided foam tape.
3. Some indication on the instructions about whether or not the mysterious 3 legged blue thing is polarized or not.
4. Tip, a small rubber band is great for holding the led segments and the socket in place while the first few legs are soldered.

Suggestions for board rev. 1:

1. DOUBLE the size of the solder pads, especially if this kit is meant to be family and solder newbie friendly. Even I messed up when I unsoldered one leg of the led segment to get it flatter against the board. The hole was covered in solder and my usual method of clearing it by swiping my iron over it a few times took off the pad, and then the front pad. I forgot to take a picture, but I had to use a jumper wire to connect leg 1 to the transistor. Take a look at some of lady ada's board files, IIRC her solder pads are nicely sized.

Looks great, I can't wait to play with it for a while, I'll let you know if I notice anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Tactile Metronome
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:26 am
Posts: 378
Look at Lady Ada's assembly guides on for her boards. They are, for the most part, outstanding- they cover all these sorts of things (polarity, etc).

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My maker blog


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