MidiSENSE + Old Faderboard (27 fad. 32 but.). will it blend?

by scottmcleod on Tue May 27, 2008 12:44 pm

I emailed Ladyada directly, but she replied only with "Post questions on the forums, thanks."

So, here it is:

Hey there,

I've been quietly watching all of your awesome innovations for a while now (and bought a few, boarduino, USBTinyISP, etc...)

I just got an old beaten up lighting console with 24 faders, 24 buttons (+ 5 buttons, + 3 buttons + 1 fader that is like a pitch bend (+/-) and 2 other faders. (so ... 27 faders + 32 buttons). I was planning on tagging cables off of all of the leads and using them with a more current USB>DMX software I have that supports MIDI.

Can the MIDIsense handle that somehow? Is there a way of expanding the board to be able to handle it all in one shot, without having to get multiple boards and multiple controllers, etc...?

I'd even happily hardwire it via a USB Interface if such a thing existed, but I haven't been able to find anything that quite solves my problem...

I'd just hate to see such a classic old lighting console go to waste before it's time.

-Scott
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by toasted_ry on Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:19 am

Thats a tough one without knowing more about the light board. I'm also going to assume that you are trying to make the board work with modern equipment using DMX512.

If you look at the arduino playground (http://www.arduino.cc/playground/) they have a shield for DMX along with schematics and firmware. It's unbuffered which should be ideal for an analog input. It should just be a matter of connecting proper inputs and writing conversion software. I'm not up on the old standards but I think if the board uses AMX192 you should be able to wire it into the analog inputs. If the board uses the older 0-10v then life just got more expensive.

The more I think about it, the more I think you need two processors and some kind of shared ram. Since you can't fork a process you need one chip for DMX and another to simultaneously process the input. And that whole unbuffered thing, that now means you have to write the timing control as well.

I think a similar two processor principle should apply to midi if that is the route you choose to go. For computer input I think you can do it with just one processor, depending on how fast your light board talks to your processor and how fast your processor talks to your computer.

I know USITT sells the DMS512-A standard for $40 ($30 for members) and I think they may have AMX192 as well. 0-10v it just a linear fade I believe, so no protocol.

Good luck. Or since this is 2.5 months after the fact, perhaps congratulations are in order.
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