'More on poor (IMHO) articles in magazines'
|Whilst I'm in a ranting mood, I'd also like to complain about the
poor (IMHO) quality of some of the projects in the electronics
press. In particular, I'm always disappointed with the MIDI projects
by Robert Penfold. This is someone who appears to write for a living
and is regularly published in the two main `hobbyist' magazines in the
UK, "Everyday Electronics" and "ETI".
I believe that the project which really got me going was published in
the May '95 issue of "Everyday Electronics". The project was for a
MIDI footpedal, designed to send a `controller-on' message when
the footswitch is depressed and the corresponding `controller-off'
message when the footpedal is released. This project was very similar
to something he'd published in one of his books about 4 years ago.
The basic characteristics were as follows:
o Single channel (one switched controller on/off)
o Channel and controller parameters hard wired
o 10 ICs
o Cost : around 30 pounds
I knew I could do better than that; this is what I came up with:
o 4 channels (continuously variable controllers) with separate sliders
o Fully programmable for MIDI channel and controller
number on each channel
o 3 digit LED display showing current status
o 3 ICs (16c71, EEPROM and LED display driver)
o Cost : around 30 pounds (using OTP 16c71)
Pressures of work have meant that my prototype isn't quite finished, but
once it's done I believe I have a good chance of selling the design to
a well known manufacturer of MIDI gadgets.
Then again, maybe I should just try and get the design published and show
Robert Penfold how electronics should be done. If I did this I'd take
my own advice and make the PIC code freely available and offer to program
the devices for a *small* handling charge.
Computing Officer, MRC Research Centre in Brain and Behaviour,
Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University
<http://www.mrc-bbc.ox.ac.uk/~rpb> <psy.ox.ac.uk> Ray.Bellis
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