Showing posts from May, 2022

3PDT footswitch and true bypass wiring

 Whenever I assemble a new effect pedal, I always end up confused about the wiring required for the 3PDT footswitch. More often than not, the wiring is the same, but presented differently or in a confusing manner in the assembly instructions of the different kits/PCBs and I always end up having to draw it out. As well as the wiring, there's some theory about switches. You can go directly to the wiring diagram and explanations by clicking this link. What are switches, really? Let's first start with the humble on-off switch: SPST (single pole, single throw) switches have only one pole, and only one throw (or circuit that can be closed). When the switch is open there's no signal going anywhere. When it's closed, the signal goes through. It's your basic on/off toggle. Let's complicate things a bit more by introducing...  a second throw : In an SPDT (single pole, dual throw) switch, the signal can pass through either of two positions. From these two basic switches, m

DIY effects pedals and drilling your enclosures

One of the challenges of assembling your own effect pedals is not necessarily on the electronics side of things. Sourcing the parts and assembling them do have their caveats and costs, but drilling the enclosures can present its fair share of troubles. Not everyone will have all the required bits and bobs necessary to drill holes in an aluminium box, and it . In the last few months, I did a few projects where I was required to drill my own stomp boxes. In this post, I'll discuss the setup I started with, the one I'm currently using, the equipment you'll need and one or two ways to drill the holes in your enclosures. Equipment you'll need As mentioned in the introduction, you may not have all the equipment required to drill holes in something that is not drywall or wood studs. Aluminium, although a relatively soft metal, requires metal drill bits, preferably hardened or titanium-coated for longer life-span. The typical effect pedal enclosures are Hammond (or Hammond clon

STM32 Development: Configuring Arduino IDE/Visual Studio to build and deploy to STM32-based boards

As a follow-up to my previous post, where I talked about using Visual Studio for Arduino development, this post will be providing an abridge guide to set it up correctly with Visual Micro's Arduino IDE for Visual Studio extension. There will also be a configuration guide to enable STM32 build and deployment. Prerequisites steps You NEED to have Arduino IDE (from installed on your computer for full compatibility. The Windows Store App version is not supported by Visual Micro. Visual studio configuration Download Visual Studio Community Edition from Microsoft's website. Download Visual Micro's Arduino IDE for Visual Studio extension from either Visual Micro's website or Visual Studio Marketplace Launch the installer and follow the prompts. When asked which c

Visual Studio for Arduino development and STM32F4 support

  I've been having some fun with Arduino boards over the last few weeks. I've been mainly using the UNO R3 board. There are three main drawbacks on using these devices, two tied to the microcontrollers they use, and one on the IDE: they are slow; they have very few memory available in both the RAM and Flash departments; Arduino IDE is, for lack of better word, "not very good". The project I've been working on a small project to build a multi-sensor "environment monitoring" device, with an SPL meter and a temperature and humidity sensor. The goal is to add a few other sensors as well, depending on which other things can be easily monitored. The output of these sensors will be displayed on a nice TFT screen. Problem #1: performance It seems like a simple and small project, right? Well, even that simple of a project stretched the limits of an humble Uno R3 board. Basic TFT screen tests, although successful, were not quite what I expected. Nearly one full se

Music and software development

 Early in my career, I would always ask the people I worked with if they played music. More often than not, the answer would be yes! It was so common that I stopped asking if they played music, and asked what instrument they play. Why is it so common for software developers to play music? I'm not sure, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it uses and develops the same skills needed in that line of work. Arts in general will help you learn faster, solve complex problems creatively, and think outside the box. Scientifically, there are no direct links between playing music and becoming a better software developer. However, many things musicians do can translate directly to the software development world. Here are three of them, in no particular order. Break large projects into more manageable bite-size parts The same way a musician would learn a new piece, software developers need to break up large projects into smaller chunks. Musicians will learn a few measures at a time and