All posts by cbmalloch

ECE297DP Saturday Sounds!

Let’s make noise!

The effects boxes haven’t arrived yet, but we aren’t letting that stop us. We’re exploring Pure Data (Pd), a graphical programming language particularly well suited to synthesizing, playing, modifying, and generally honking around with audio. The concepts from Pd will largely transfer to the programming of the effects boxes.

So come down and play! We have some open seats on Saturday afternoons, 2:30 – 4:30, in Euler’s Good Room. Bring your laptop.

Here are some important links:

Download Pure Data (Pd)
Pure Data tutorials – cheetomoskeeto
Pure Data cheat sheet
Chuck’s Github work on the OpenEffects box
Chuck’s PureData patches for this class, including (in externals) the output~ abstraction

The OpenEffects Project – from whence our open effects boxes will come
The boxes are powered by Teensy microcontrollers from Paul Stoffregen
… and use the same chip found on the Teensy Audio Shield
The Teensy audio effects are programmed graphically using a web tool

Other interesting links:

Onyx Ashanti – beatjazz performer with self-built audio processing
Gordon Reid’s Synth Secrets

It looks like the audio effects boxes will be delayed in arriving, so I’ve ordered some Teensy Audio Boards to use in the meantime. They should be here by the time we have our next meeting (which, you should know, will be September 30)

Altium Designer Workshop Slides by Daniel Travis

Daniel Travis says:

Altium Designer is the absolute best PCB design software available today. It is jam packed with advanced features that make designing your very own PCB easier than ever. Two weeks ago I hosted an Altium workshop for ECE students here at UMass, and now I’m back to share the workshop with you! This Altium Tutorial link will take you to a folder on Google Drive which contains the following: PowerPoint presentation, schematic, custom libraries, my completed schematic file, my completed PCB file, and additional links to more tutorials. These resources should provide you with everything you need to get started on a PCB design today.

Sparkfun’s Internet-of-Things Database: Phant

Phant (think elePHANT, I guess) “acts as a logging tool which allows any device to read and write data to and from the service”. After creating an account with Sparkfun, one can create feeds by interactively describing the data that will be included. Two keys are then supplied to the user: a private (read-write) one that can be used to submit or modify the data, and a public read-only one (all feeds are publicly viewable).
To submit data, one simply sends it in an html GET or POST request. It will then be captured by the database and a confirming reply sent. Similarly, one can retrieve data with a GET or POST request.

There is a space limit and a bandwidth limit, but these are set reasonably so that most users won’t be inconvenienced by them.

I have been storing data automatically into Phant for a few months now. I have a solar-powered ESP8266 WiFi-enabled processor which wakes up every ten minutes, takes temperature and battery-voltage readings, connects to my home network, and sends them up to Phant. You can view them as raw data at https://data.sparkfun.com/streams/2J5rnpZllATNjOOmqLrq, or graphed by another free service at https://analog.io/#/s5EV.

I am working with MQTT also as another, fairly different, IoT data broker, and will publish another blog entry about MQTT. A key difference between the two is that Phant is entirely passive – you can get data from it or put data into it, but it won’t notify you when new data arrives. MQTT is designed with a publish/subscribe architecture; you subscribe to a topic and when new data is published to that topic, you are notified with the new data.

Circuits and Code 2016S

Denizens of M5 and other interested people – rejoice!

Another exciting term at UMass is coming to a close, and with it three amazing prospects:

  • SDP Demo Days – Senior Design Project extravaganza (about which see http://www.ecs.umass.edu/ece/sdp/sdp16/),
  • summer vacation, but, most importantly,
  • Circuits and Code! People that have been making stuff at M5 – especially students in the Design Projects course ECE297DP – will be presenting their work on Saturday, April 23, from 1 to 4, in Euler’s Good Room at M5 in the Marcus basement. Community members will be welcome to come and see the projects, and there will be refreshments available.

If you’ve been working on something cool and want a forum wherein you can brag about it, Circuits and Code is just what you’ve been looking for!

Chuck Malloch

mbed Discussions and Workshops

M5 is hosting discussions during the Spring 2016 term addressing mbed-enabled ARM-based microcontrollers. On Wednesday afternoons at 2:30 we will be working with STM Nucleo microcontrollers and will address hardware and software issues. More details and a reading list are posted at http://umassamherstm5.org/spring-2016-mbed-discussions. For more information, visit the link or contact Chuck Malloch (CBMalloch / engin.umass.edu)

Win an internship at CERN

If you are a monster coder, you might be interested in this contest to streamline code used in a project to simulate the human brain. CERN and Intel are putting on the competition; whoever submits the fastest equivalent code will win either a visit or an internship at CERN. It’s not directly ECE, but I know some denizens of M5 who are mighty good codeslingers. http://hackaday.com/2015/09/23/win-an-internship-at-cern-openlab/

M5 Discussions

M5 is hosting discussions during the Fall 2015 term addressing several aspects of the Internet of Things. On Tuesday afternoons at 2:30, we will be discussing wireless communications in the context of smart sensors. On Wednesday afternoons at 2:30 we will be discussing issues of battery operation for wireless operation of smart sensors. More details and a reading list are posted at http://umassamherstm5.org/fall-2015-iot-battery-operated-wireless-smart-sensors-discussions. For more information, visit the link or contact Chuck Malloch (CBMalloch / engin.umass.edu)

Circuits and Code – Spring 2015

imageCircuits and Code is coming! The end-of-term exposition of M5, its students, projects, and other amazing technological whizbangery is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, starting at 10AM at M5. There will be posters a presentation, and some delicious snacks. Please sign up using EventBrite (<link pending>) so we know how many people are coming!

If you have spent time at M5 this term, and would like to present your work, please use this template. Complete the template and get it to me by Wednesday for approval before I give it to Professor Soules at 3:00.

The 1:30 PM presentation by Chuck Malloch will feature Ultra Violet, the teleoperated robot M5 has made in collaboration with the Theater Department, and the differences between a project made for one’s own use and one made for delivery to another party.

See you there! Again, please sign up using EventBrite (<link pending>) so we know how many people are coming!

— Chuck Malloch

Circuits and Code — Fall 2014

imageCircuits and Code is coming! The end-of-term exposition of M5, its students, projects, and other amazing technological whizbangery is scheduled for Thursday, 4 December 2014, starting at 6PM at M5. There will be pizza, posters, and a presentation. Please sign up using EventBrite (circuitsandcode-dec2014.eventbrite.com) so we know how many people are coming!

If you have spent time at M5 this term, and would like to present your work, please use this template. Complete the template and get it to me by Wednesday for approval before I give it to Professor Soules at 3:00.

The 7:30 PM presentation by Chuck Malloch will feature Ultra Violet, the teleoperated robot M5 has made in collaboration with the Theater Department, and the differences between a project made for one’s own use and one made for delivery to another party.

See you there! Again, please sign up using EventBrite (circuitsandcode-dec2014.eventbrite.com) so we know how many people are coming!

— Chuck Malloch