i've finished another controller using the great avr-usb from obdev. this version has 16 pushbuttons, 1 switch, 1 light sensor, 4 pots and 1 slider. just like the previous redKontroll it shows up like a standard HID devices and i have coded some simple max patches and supercollider classes to parse the data.

of the 16 buttons, 12 are arranged as a full octave on a piano (black&grey instead of white&black), divided into 2 groups (cde/fgab). the remaining 4 as additional buttons on top of each group to form small pyramids. all this to later make it easier to remember what functions i assigned to which button.

schematics, firmware, partslist and helper classes are available here.

the total cost is about €45 and the major part of that is the buttons and the pots (see partslist).


soldering is such a nice relief from coding. for years i've had an old pc-joystick laying around (thank you abe). i knew i wanted to build something from it - something that would produce lovely noise - and yesterday i finally got around to hack it. the joystick now contains a slightly modified micro_noise synth circuit (based on a design by SGMK mechatronicart.ch). it also holds a 9v battery and the pc-connection cable now serves as sound output cable with standard 1/4 jack.

micro_noise_joy from redFrik on Vimeo.

i used the switches and potentiometers that the joystick had and it was very quick to build and cost me virtually nothing. i just cut some cables and soldered them onto a tiny circuit board together with a few components. see the schematics below. the only visible change is the jack output and a the led i mounted in the case.


this is a tiny project from about 1 year ago. i wanted to add extra ir-light for my dvcamera's nightshot mode. very useful when playing in dark and smoky clubs.
i bought 10 osram high power ir leds (SFH4550) and found 5 small resistors (47ohm). i run it off two 1,5v batteries
below a picture and the schematics.

redUniform - wireless hardware

i have constructed a wireless sensor system for my performance costume. it has 2 accelerometers (3-axis adxl330, sparkfun - same as in the wii remote i believe) and 4 switches (digital). both master and slave uses a microcontroller (atmega8, atmel) and a transceiver (mirf v2, sparkfun).
below is a short video, some pictures, supercollider classes and also the schematics and the complete firmware if you want to build the thing yourself.

redUniform-hardwareWireless from redFrik on Vimeo.

the avr programmer (usbtinyisp kit v2.0) and the electronic parts needed...

the master and slave...

sensors sewn in...

081008 update: slave firmware and slave schematics updated - added 2 more switches (pd6 and pd7)
081010 update: also attached the supercollider class RedUniform.sc with helpfile


trying to finish this custom controller before leaving for japan. almost ready now - just the casing left to do. it has 5 rotary encoders (endless) with as many push buttons, 2 softpots and 3 touch sensors (capacitive). it is built using the absolutely brilliant avr-usb from obdev and shows up like a standard HID devices. small, lightweight and just one cable (usb). plus it is very cheap to build - see parts list. the biggest cost is the encoders.

i took some inspiration for the design from kenton's nice but expensive killamix mini, but wanted a few different types of controllers and also have them arranged asymmetrically. this so i don't have to look at the device while playing. when i've tried other controllers with evenly spaced knobs, i've often lost track and have had to look down and even start counting knobs to figure out which one i was using. with this layout i won't have this problem. also the layout resembles the shape of my upcoming performance costume redUniform.

schematics, partslist and firmware attached (v1.0). a proper release is here.

Package icon redKontroll.zip107.23 KB


Subscribe to RSS - electronics