Fricknadorable - image by Mickey Maguire

Fricknadorable Picts by Mickey Maguire July 2014

2/14/14 Valentine's Day performance at King Street Coffee House

Fricknadorable Live Picts by Erin Dietrick


Teensy and Wii Chucks

I’ve been returning to my Arduino projects in the past few weeks, and have been taking a course in Processing (the basis of the Arduino IDE) to help with the programming side of things.

Back at EM2013 , I acquired a Teensy 3.0 micro-controller and two Wii NunChuck controllers (pictured above) courtesy of Gordon Good. It’s a nice collection of gadgets. Gordon asked participants to make a blog post about their Teensy adventures in return for these items, so this is my attempt to get started and make good on that promise.

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VS1053 by Adafruit - Photo by JD

Arduino: Adafruit VS1053 Audio Board

Next in my exploration of Arduino-compatible audio boards is Adafruit’s compact and multi-functional VS1053. This board came out earlier this year just as I was getting preoccupied with moving, and I only recently discovered it. I got this board for Christmas from my dad, and put it together as soon as I got home. I wanted this board because – along with being smaller than the others, it appeared to cover many audio codecs.

You can read all about the board on Adafruit’s site, but I just wanted to note a few basic things here. The VS1053 was easy to put together, and since I got version 2 with the built-in 220uF stereo blocking capacitors, I had even less work to do to get up and running.

Here’s the first test of the playback sketch, on Flickr

It will take a LONG TIME to explore this board. The documentation for the board is extensive, and you may want to print some sections for reference. However, it does not go into detail about the specs of the SD card. Most boards I’ve tried have an upper limit of 1 or 2 GB, but the VS1053 worked with an 8GB card with no problem. I still find SD cards a bit finicky when it comes to formatting them, and almost always have to use my Mac to do it right.

The second test I performed was for basic MIDI playback. Again, this board is deep and I can see a lot of uses for the MIDI capability, including interfacing with the Percussa Audiocubes, but that will have to wait for another time. Here it is on on Flickr.

The VS1053 also records, so that will be the next installment, possibly later this weekend.