Archive for September 2010

Beatseqr on Moving Air, NYC edition

Derek and I were out in NYC for the first ever World Maker Faire, and on our extra day in the city after the show, Derek put me on with my beatseqr for an improvised unscripted demo… Normally, we play as a group with a couple of beatseqrs going, so it became somewhat obvious to me half-way through that I need to tweak my live solo set up. But it was fun and then Derek of course played an awesome set of techno as per usual.

Catch Moving Air on Common Ground Radio, monday nights 7-9pm PDT


Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-26

  • Well, rock bottom brewery, this liquid sun IPA isn't quite the h-bomb IPA from last summer, but it's pretty good. #beer #
  • Go learn about in-effing-fixation. It's pretty fan-friggen-tastic. #
  • NEW YORK! We are bringing Beatseqr to you for World Maker Faire this weekend! #
  • Riveting: live cnc routing #
  • Watch live cnc routing #worldmakerfaire #beatseqr #
  • An evening of cnc routing, hand finishing the wax mold, and test casting the new beatseqr v4 monolithic silicone button array. #
  • Please don't let us be near arc attack, please don't let us be near arc attack, please don't let us be near arc attack #
  • Mach3's "run from here" feature translates down to final z depth FIRST then will rip straight through your work piece on x and y. FAIL #
  • Nicely failed there. $20 down the drain to learn that lesson. #

  • 3 of my 5 cases that I have for new york are ruined in 30 minutes, so that's it for me tonight. $60, confidence, and time all wasted, why?? #
  • Why why why why why?? #frustration #
  • Decided I needed some house music to clear my mood. Ahhh, better. Thx dj Arturo 😀 #
  • New! Monolithic silicone button array on #SoundCloud #
  • Had a MUCH better day. Got beatseqr #10 in it's final slim case, and it looks awesome!! #
  • had this earworm "Concrete jungle where dreams are maaade ohhh" … So, aight new york, let's do this! I'm ready! #worldmakerfaire #beatseqr #
  • By popular demand, #10 beatseqr in a photo. On the left, Mr. Mutor. #
  • Cnc, embroidery, and vinyl cutters all running at the same time. Must be time for a maker faire! #
  • As if you're not busy enough, but please contact your congressional reps about supporting the fair elections now act #
  • Omfg, this should not have happened. I'm just glad this was wax. Machine damaged but repairable. #
  • Catching some art after meeting up with @boxbanga – Dreams of the endless desert- Lacey Bryant @ kaleid $300 #
  • I guess you don't always need a cnc router to do things :) #
  • Broadcasting live from maker faire nyc #

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OUT NOW on STOMPY.COM, Chris Jackson’s ‘Mechanical Mischief’ re-released and remastered full length LP!

OUT NOW on STOMPY.COM, Chris Jackson's 'Mechanical Mischief' re-released and remastered full length LP!

Check out last night’s Moving Air show on Common Ground Radio 09/20/10 09:04PM

Check out last night's Moving Air show on Common Ground Radio 09/20/10 09:04PM

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-19

  • Cutting a hell of a lot of new #beatseqr cases and getting it 99% dialed in today. Less than 2 weeks to #wmfny #
  • New! Serial number 10 final assembly test on #SoundCloud #
  • hey, where did my itunes shopping cart go? #
  • Oh. the itunes shopping cart is called "wish list" now. #
  • RT @StephenWilson Making Future Magic: light painting with the iPad #
  • gop will eat itself #
  • Hey I'm on Game Center. Stevecooley — hit me up. #
  • Aww, man! I'm always surprised at how many ways there are to order the wrong part. #
  • I just had a cupcake at work and it was delicious. Can't quite pin down the flavor, but it was tasty. #

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beatseqr at World Maker Faire New York 2010

We are coming to NEW YORK CITY in a little over a week! Come see us at World Maker Faire in Queens!


Beatseqr v4.0 cnc routed case

Here’s the first look at version Beatseqr v4.0 in the new case:

I had to look high and low to find sources for the right size project box. It’s been a big challenge to balance cost, availability, feasibility, and also consider the fabrication work flow when selecting this type of case. I’ll be honest in that I’d prefer to have super nice solid wood, or unibody aluminum cases. That would be friggen’ sweet. But… 1. wood cases are extremely time consuming to build. I *will* offer custom wood cases for an additional fee. And, 2. aluminum is expensive, and my tool set really isn’t appropriate to work with it at this time… so we’ll have to settle for our dreams for now. The case I’ve selected is a good candidate for custom paint jobs, and the way all of the parts mount to it is the easiest we’ve ever had. So this is a pretty good case.

After I located the right cases, I reformatted the circuit to fit onto the appropriate board dimensions for the case. I’m still unable to offer the circuit boards as open source designs at this time, but I’m hoping to loom more into that in the next year or so.

Next, I had to work out a set of CNC gcode to reproducibly route all of the mounting and component holes on the circuit boards.  The complications here were in the increased precision I now get to.. enjoy (?) working with, due to the new cases and strict requirements for mounting holes. Previously, mounting the board to the case involved custom drilling holes into the top panel, towards the very end of the process, and now the entire process has flipped. Now I work from the case on down instead of circuit board on up. It’s something I didn’t really think about until I started seeing all of the repercussions once I had my new boards and was cutting holes in the cases. But it’s pretty good now.

Then finally, I’ve been spending a bunch of time dialing in the CNC gcode for the case, as you can see below:

Here’s the aftermath on the blacktoe after several trial and error runs on layout designs.

Here are a few photos of “close but no cigar” runs. You can see that the early tests had holes in the wrong places.

Check out this video of what the cutting process is like. Sorry for Mr. Shaky Cam. I ordered an iPhone 4 tripod mount, so I’m hoping the quality of my videos is going to improve soon.


weird RGB LEDs

Beatseqr version 4.x assembly video

As usual, when you don’t hear from us, we’re cooking up new stuff. Here’s the assembly video for the version 4.0 circuit board.

The main new features of version 4 are:

* changed form factor to accommodate being able to be placed in a new case that I’ve sourced.
* added a parameter record button. This is going to be awesome, so more info will come when we’ve been able to bake the sequencer more for this feature.
* improved the placement of the arduino mega so that the USB port is closer to the edge of the board
* improved all of the hole sizes for the LED tact buttons
* when I though to, I added secondary holes for potentiometers in case you ever need that.
* added a small prototyping area for ad-hoc needs.
* hardwired the mode button LEDs up to 5V so that they’re on all the time, which freed up three pins on the arduino. One of those was used for the parameter record button
* TWO UNUSED PINS. They’re digital in, and PWM out. You could put two more buttons on here, or switches, or LEDs… or serial devices and drive input/output with softwareserial in the arduino code. You could, in theory, add two more LCD screens using the driver boards or similar serial input display drivers. All kinds of things. Oh, Maybe you want to add a couple of midi ports? Hmm!
* generally labeled a lot of things on the board so you know what you’re looking at.
* had to rewire an awful lot of stuff to make the autorouter happy. So consequently, the firmware has changed somewhat significantly. I don’t exactly know what the right method is going to be to keep the 3.x units up to date, but we’ll get something figured out.

known problems:
* one of the buttons needs a jumper wire to ground. I’ll certainly get that fixed next time I order boards, but it’s an extremely minimal bug fix to perform.


Arturo G’s beatseqr demo video

yeah, nice video!!


orchid painting

I wanted to make a piece of art for my anniversary card to my wife, so this year I used on my iPad to paint (?) this set of orchids. I really like the reasonable limitations and extremely flexible set of tools. I went through the tutorial a while back and started remembering the color blending a ways into this piece. I’d done several pieces of abstract work as per my normal mode in, so doing something representational was something new for me. I guess. I do some representational works; mostly seascapes… so this turned out pretty ok given that it’s just not what I normally do. :)

orchid digital painting from stevecooley on Vimeo.

I had a hell of a time with this so-called-free epson printer, wasting a precious hour on changing ink and reading about how lame that is given the amount of ink left in the “empty” cartridge. Sigh. I have another “Free” canon printer/scanner sitting right next to the epson, and not only did it fire up right away, but it had full ink carts, zero clogged nozzles, and printed out a *beautiful* 4×6 glossy print for me on the first try. Whew. Anniversary card project successful.