Archive for April, 2009

Thingamakit part 2

April 26, 2009

With the electronics finished it was time to build the case of the Thingamakit.I started by drawing measurement lines on the case so I could find where to drill holes.

Case with one line drawn

Case with one line drawn

Measuring and drawing

Measuring and drawing

Measuring and drawing

Measuring and drawing

Then I taped the provided indicator to the case. This is for the backside.

Backside

Backside

My drill bits

My drill bits

Be sure to use a metal bit when drilling these holes.

Drilling holes in the back

Drilling holes in the back

Back holes complete

Back holes complete

Back holes complete

Back holes complete

With the back complete, it was time to start on the front. A few holes need to be drilled in the side as well.

Measuring up the front

Measuring up the front

Front panel sticker attached

Front panel sticker attached

Holes on the top

Holes on the top

Holes on the top

Holes on the top

These holes are for the LEDs. I also needed to drill holes on the side, for the on/off/volume switch and the sound-out jack.

Hole for sound-out

Hole for sound-out

Hole for sound-out

Hole for sound-out

When drilling these holes, it’s a good idea to start with a small hole and then expand it as much as needed, rather than starting with the big bits. This way, the the holes are placed much more accurate. On the other hand, it takes quite a lot of time to drill each hole several times…:P

My smallest bit broke

My smallest bit broke

My smallest bit broke

My smallest bit broke

Luckily I was almost finished with it

Luckily I was almost finished with it

Switched to a larger bit and expanded the holes

Switched to a larger bit and expanded the holes

Bigger holes

Bigger holes

Finished drilling

Finished drilling

Drill with big bit

Drill with big bit

With the drilling out of the way, it was time to start installing components. 🙂

Installing components

Installing components

Front view

Front view

Installed external output

Installed external output

Installed on/off/volume knob

Installed on/off/volume knob

Installed battery

Installed battery

Soldering the LEDs and the speaker

Soldering the LEDs and the speaker

All components installed

All components installed

Back finished

Back finished

Knobs attached

Knobs attached

And then it was time to test it. Sound was crazy, as hoped. 🙂 And it looks great when playing.

Finished Thingamakit

Finished Thingamakit

Playing

Playing

I’m very pleased with this kit, it’s easy to put together and the noise is great. 🙂

:)

🙂

-Knut

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Thingamakit part 1

April 17, 2009

I recently bought a Thingamakit from Bleep labs, and I’ve been looking forward to building it. I finaly got some time to start on the build. I began by attaching the holders for the ICs and the resistors.

Just started the build

Just started the build

The workspace, showing some of the components and the box

The workspace, showing some of the components and the box

Closer view

Closer view

All the components came in neat little bags like this one

All the components came in neat little bags like this one

Another view, in the process of attaching resistors

Another view, in the process of attaching resistors

All components are clearly marked, as these resistors, making the build easy even if you don’t know how to read the markings on the components themselves.

Clearly marked resistors

Clearly marked resistors

Finished with the resistors

Finished with the resistors

Another view

Another view

OK, finished the resistors, moving on to capacitors.

First capacitors added (blue)

First capacitors added (blue)

Capacitors

Capacitors

A little closer view

A little closer view

Backside, long legs

Backside, long legs

This is the backside of the board. I attached the components by bending the legs, prying them in place. No soldering was done at this point. After bending, I cut the legs like so:

Legs cut

Legs cut

Looks good, although soldering is required to hold them firmly in place. But that can wait, now it’s the smaller capacitors turn.

Small capacitors (yellow)

Small capacitors (yellow)

Not easy to see, but i have attached small capacitors as well. The big ones have direction, and can be destroyed if you put them the wrong way, but they’re clearly marked, so it shouldn’t be any problem.

Another view

Another view

With the capacitors all in place, it’s time to move on to switches and pots. Pots are variable resistors, or knobs if you like 🙂

Swithces and pots

Swithces and pots

Swithces and knobs in place

Swithces and knobs in place

I had to use some force to get the switches into the board, but this is normal, and as long as you’re careful you can’t break anything. Now all the components that go on the board is in place, so it’s time to start soldering them in place.

Started soldering

Started soldering

Soldering the components it’s pretty fast, although there are quite a lot of those resistors. It’s not difficult, but take care not to use too much lead, otherwise it can run through the hole in the board. A bit of soldering experience is helpful though.

Soldering is complete

Soldering is complete

Another view

Another view

It might be a bit difficult to see, but I made some brown spots on the board. Thats OK, it still works. Just be a bit careful with the heat.

The finished board

The finished board

After soldering I tested the board a bit, especially the components with a brown spot on the board next to them.

Testing in progress

Testing in progress

No errors found

No errors found

With that out of the way, the time has come to cut and attach wires. Several components like the battery, speaker and of course the LED/light sensor system will be attached by wires. So I prepared some lengths of wire according to the manual:

Wires

Wires

Even after cutting, there were plenty to go around. As you can see, four colors are included in the box, but you can of course substitute your own.

Lots of wires

Lots of wires

I soldered wires to the on/off/volume pot, and attached it:

On/off switch and volume control

On/off switch and volume control

Attached to the board

Attached to the board

Added the battery box and external output:

Battery box

Battery box

External output

External output

Then I attached the light sensors, witch are actually light sensitive resistors.

Light sensors

Light sensors

Another view

Another view

Light sensors attached

Light sensors attached

Alternative view

Alternative view

Another view

Another view

Then I attached wires for the LEDs and the speaker, but I didn’t solder the LEDs or speaker yet. I will do that when the case is complete.

More wires attached

More wires attached

All wires in place

All wires in place

At this point you can test the device. Witch I did. And it made sound. 😀 I’m very pleased.

Electronics done

Electronics done

Now I have to make the case for the kit. Drill holes for all the controls and attach the board and other components on the inside. Hopefully I will have time for that part this weekend. But at least I have a working sound unit. 🙂

-Knut

Texture splatting

April 6, 2009

Sorry for the long delay between posts, but I’ve been busy on other fronts, and needed to learn how to do this before posting about it. 🙂 I want to add some color and texture to my terrain. So I’ve starting investigating texture splatting. This will allow me to generate one texture for each tile from several others, so I can have rock texture on steep parts and grass texture on flat areas. I’ve created a small test program to teach myself, and after fighting quite a bit with pixel color data and SDL pixel formats, I’ve finally managed to blend two textures together.

Original textures

Original textures

I found these textures at CG Textures, and managed to mangle them into this:

Mossy rock

Mossy rock

Sort of looks like mossy rock? Maby? Well, anyway…this is a 50/50 mix. I need to work on this to allow me to have different blending values, and then create a method to make these blending maps automatically.

More on that when I have something to show 🙂

-Knut