Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Stages I, II, and III are done

For the past 2 weeks, I have been working myself ragged building what I have now called Switchzilla. Here's what I have accomplished so far.

Stage I. I had to do this 64 times.
Stage II, again 64 times.

Stage III, yup. 64 more times.

All hand soldered. Yes, it took a long time to do this.
Now that we have what clear what I've been up to. Stage IV will be mount the above work to the main board. Stage V will be to sandblast, paint, and prep the enclosure for stage VI, which is to attach switches and connectors to said enclosure. Stage VII will be testing and debugging. And hopefully I should be finished this thing by mid to late march.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Been a while, huh?

I just built the most insane cable. The cable goes in five different directions; 1, the feed from the switcher when it's done. 2, to my AverMedia Game Broadcaster HD over component video, 3, to my Oupree card over full service analogue video. 4, to my tuner card over composite\s-video. 5, analogue audio to my sound card's line in port. And on to the switcher proper: I ordered all the parts when I was working over the golf season. Now I have buckets of time to work on the switcher. Work has been started on the switcher but I have fallen behind on where I wanted to be, but, work shall commence tomorrow. I'll post a diagram of the connection paths of how everything goes together if I feel like it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Adventures in chiptunes part II...

Sorry, I was late. I was busy building the Parasid.

Initial parts layout. The top voltage regulator is a 7805 and the bottom regulator is a 7812.

Power supply filter caps with power feed lines.
Fully built top.
Fully built bottom, excuse the ugliness.
All I need now is to make up an audio cable to output the sound from the SID and build a cable to feed the whole thing data. I'll check back with the results.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Adventures in chiptunes part I...

I found a project that piqued my interest. It is called the parasid. Basically, it is a SID driven by a PC's parallel port. The schematic in the source of inspiration calls for two voltage regulators, a 7805 and an LM317T. The 317 is used to create the 12 volt power supply for the analogue side of the SID and the 7805 creates a 5 volt power supply for the digital side. For the sake of simplicity, I have decided to use a 7812 for the 12 volt supply. Instead of a bunch of resistors in the power supply section, all I need are a few capacitors on the input and output legs of the regulators. I'll post photos tomorrow of the integrated circuits.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I acquired an old ThinkPad A22m from the thrift store. It came with Windows 2000. I pulled the old hard drive and installed a 100 GB hard drive and installed Win Me. Yeah, yeah, I know Me is the scourge of the Earth, but hear me out. I need a PC that can access devices directly with the USB mass storage stack built in. You know what's funny about these Lenovo machines? I also can run Cubic Player, the DOS version, natively but with issues. The keyboard connector might be the same between machines. What would be cool is my T400 daily driver rocking an old-style keyboard. I was thinking about creating a hot-rod-esque notebook.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another rant...

I fucking hate HDMI. I have my cable box hooked into my PC temporarily to get video out of it until my switcher is complete but the connection keeps dropping for unknown reasons. When the switcher is complete all of my AV devices will connect via full-service analog video. With analog video connections, one can figure out what is wrong with the connection. With HDMI, anything can go wrong and you haven't a fucking clue what the bloody fucking hell is wrong. Looks like I've got to rebuild my super long breakout cable and go analog.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Switcher news...

I revised my switcher plan. It took a few weeks of planning and re-planning, and I think I have a new course of action: First, using a different switch chip. I originally used the CBT3244, which was probably why the project came to a crashing halt. The new chip is the related CBT3245. Which moves onto the second part. The chip, instead of the '44's wacky 4+4 arrangement with two control lines, the '45 is a true 8 channel chip with a single control line. I just need to get adapter board for the chips. I can mount the adapter boards with mounted chips on a right angle to the board carrying the chips. Third, the enclosure, I scavenged a metal enclosure out of the recycling bin out back of my apartment. It has lots of space in it to play around and reconfigure and other pre-assembly stuff. The problem with the enclosure is that I really don't feel like using my Dremel to make 65 DE-9 connector shaped holes in it. The solution: take it to a hackerspace  in Philadelphia, PA that has access to a laser cutter to make the connector holes. I can use a hand drill to make the holes for the 64 switches. In case you folks were wondering, yes, this thing will have 64 inputs! And, finally, I just need to find some tinned wire to make the audio/video line rails. Stay tuned for updates, as this thing will be a doozy!