VOGONS


Reply 20 of 46, by Thermalwrong

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Mine is excessively fancy because the plan is to share it whenever I get around to making a PCB so it's easier to make 😀
There's no shame in having a simpler case, the whole MT32-pi project seems to me, to be about making this all easy and accessible, especially if you've got a USB > MIDI thing already available.

Reply 21 of 46, by Shreddoc

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Thermalwrong wrote on 2021-05-05, 22:02:

Mine is excessively fancy because the plan is to share it whenever I get around to making a PCB so it's easier to make 😀
There's no shame in having a simpler case, the whole MT32-pi project seems to me, to be about making this all easy and accessible, especially if you've got a USB > MIDI thing already available.

It is really amazing looking, perfect, I think everyone would be proud to have that case.

Doing a build like this really opens the eyes about how incredibly involved and detailed the work of actually "designing and making a device" is. Every little thing, every little port hole, and how it relates to the internal routing and wiring. There are no shortcuts, everything must be considered and juggled. I came out of it with a lot of respect for the behind-the-scenes work which must go into every electronic device's physical design.

Reply 22 of 46, by Jo22

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-05-04, 10:27:

Mine is just a normal Pi3B in an acrylic enclosure with an M-Audio Uno USB interface connected to it.

It's not eyecandy but it works. I look forward to buying a decent prebuilt solution I can just plug my Pi3B into though.

I like it. I'm a fan of translucent things! 😀
How about an MT-32 case replica that's transparent, too?
Maybe in several colours, just like the N64s? Or colourless, like the transparent version of the original Gameboy..

Thermalwrong wrote on 2021-05-05, 22:02:

Mine is excessively fancy because the plan is to share it whenever I get around to making a PCB so it's easier to make 😀
There's no shame in having a simpler case, the whole MT32-pi project seems to me, to be about making this all easy and accessible, especially if you've got a USB > MIDI thing already available.

Really like this design, too! Kudos! 😎
Coincidentally, the original MT-32 itself looked a lot like classic alarm clocks from the 1970s.. 😉
Luckily, the old 7-segment displays of tzese clocks had similar measurements to modern 2-line displays, too.
So it's possible to repurpose their cases.
I don't mean to suggest to take all of them apart, but..
Before they get scrapped, anyway, it's worth getting one or two of these.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 23 of 46, by d0pefish

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I always love seeing these, some of you are very creative indeed. Thanks for sharing 😀

US1wUaR.pngg
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Reply 24 of 46, by Velociraptor

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Thermalwrong wrote on 2021-04-02, 17:47:

Here's what I've been working on for a few weeks now - my MT32-pi case which is designed to look like a shrunken regular MT32, but with the bigger 20x2 LCD.

Yours looks fantastic, it's exactly what I imagined I wanted one to look like.

What are your plans for your design once you've finished it?

Reply 25 of 46, by arthur071169

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That looks like a fantastic balance between functionality and minimal design. Fewer parts = less to go wrong (fewer buttons!)
Do you have a parts list as the display looks really authentic, and is that supported as Hitachi HD44780?

It would be great to see the internals and how the standard Pi parts clip into the case.
Looking to print a case and finally put together a completed MT32 Pi (with SC55 support).
(SLT file?)

Thanks for sharing your work with us all.

Thermalwrong wrote on 2021-04-02, 17:47:
That's a nice clean design, I do recommend that you consider adding buttons though. Otherwise you can't switch from MT-32 to sou […]
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That's a nice clean design, I do recommend that you consider adding buttons though. Otherwise you can't switch from MT-32 to soundfont mode, unless maybe you use MT32-pi-control software.

Here's what I've been working on for a few weeks now - my MT32-pi case which is designed to look like a shrunken regular MT32, but with the bigger 20x2 LCD.

IMG_0285.jpg

IT's been designed in Fusion 360, but the DAC and MIDI input PCB are currently just on some PCB stripboard that I knocked together. Digitising the physical objects is time consuming work, especially when a print of the top and bottom parts takes 6 hours each. The DAC's audio jack doesn't fit right for instance, but it's close enough to work.
IMG_0293-2.jpg

2021-04-02 18_23_43-Window.png

The Pi3 is screwed in there to be an MT-32PI forever, but on the underside I can get to the micro SD card to swap it out, and the MicroSD card can't fall into the case (very annoying when that happens).

IMG_0299-2.jpg

The front wouldn't look right with the 3d printing layer lines, and my attempts to print text with the 3d printer didn't work out, so I used my Brother QL700 label printer to print out the matte paper label, and the glossy plastic label. The end result looks pretty fantastic to me, but I'd love it if there was a better way to print the matte front part. I Was thinking maybe a PCB with no traces on it, in a black matte finish. That would be cheap-ish and the silkscreen would work perfectly for the button labels.

Something I'd like to look at next is making a PCB that doesn't sit on top of the CPU so it can cool better, there's room in the case for that. But this one works and I can use it now 😀

Reply 26 of 46, by megatron-uk

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Not quite finished yet:

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... but you can tell the all-in-one, integrated look I'm going for.

Parts:
- Pi3 B+
- Rotary controller (which is a weird, +5v thing)
- 20x2 white-on-black LCD from Buydisplay.com... which I have to say I am very pleased with (shipping was very quick too)
- Innomaker HiFi DAC
- 5.25" PC drive bay 'drawer'
- Couple of momentary push buttons (which, in hindsight, are really a touch too big)

For MIDI in, I'm using a USB M-Audio 1x1, which appears to work okay. I'm taking the output from a Midiman MM401 in one of the ISA slots, feeding it in to the M-Audio dongle (zip-tied inside the bottom of the case), and then USB to the Pi. Audio will be going from the HiFi DAC phono outs to a cable I'll make up to feed into the Soundblaster 16 CD-in header (an MPC-2 connector, but same spacing as dupont style headers, so easily made with a 1x4 plug). I've got plenty of external MIDI devices (including real MT32 and Sound Canvases), but the idea of an all-in-one build was intriguing.

The drive 'drawer' is a current part on Amazon. It's marketed as a drawer to keep your USB sticks etc in, but I thought it would make an ideal basis for a self-contained MT32-Pi 'module' to slide in and out if needed.

I'm waiting on a decent control knob for the rotary controller, as well as a sheet of dark tinted acetate to fit over the cut-out, both to hide the cut-out I made, as well as give the appearance of the LCD 'floating' some way back from the front of the bezel; 80's VCR style 😀

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 27 of 46, by megatron-uk

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4-pin Molex/AMP to micro USB power cable arrived and a tinted piece of plastic fitted over the LCD cut-out, so I can now try the MT32-Pi 'module' slotted in place in the drive bay:

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It's definitely an improvement, but I need to see if I can block more of the leakage of the backlight.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 28 of 46, by megatron-uk

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Made a simple card template to fit around the edges of the LCD and between the front of the cut out, much better:

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In hindsight, before fitting the plastic cover over the cut out, I should probably have coloured in the edges of the cut out in black as you can just about see the beige outline of the bezel.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 29 of 46, by megatron-uk

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Volume dial installed and MT32-Pi up and working:

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Quite pleased with how it came out. I now need to build another one for my 286, but that case is already customised in a shade of dark blue, so the panel will need painting the same and the control buttons will look better all in black, rather than red, for that one.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 32 of 46, by megatron-uk

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Early mock up of the MT32-Pi enclosure I'm building for the 286... it's blue...

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No internals fitted yet.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 33 of 46, by grantek

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First time posting on Vogons, I normally hang out on the Overclockers Australia forums.

Anyway, I made a 3D-printed 50%-scale MT32 for mt32-pi, and some breakout PCBs for the front and rear panels, which I call the Minisynth 32: https://github.com/grantek/minisynth32 OCAU thread.

I'm still spending most of my free time printing and refining, but I think it's acceptable "beta" quality now. I only just found out that the Pi uses M2.5 mounting bolts, so that's the most recent change to the case that I haven't fully tested yet.

Pics:

My "alpha" build with the first revision ("Rev 1.0") of PCBs and M3 screws ground through the Pi mounting holes:

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Inside with Rev 1.0 PCB:

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Inside front with Rev 1.0 PCB:

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Rev 1.1 front panel PCB:

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Rev 1.1 rear PCB:

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Reply 35 of 46, by Ulfenknulfen

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I admit that the 5.25 inch solutions are also very cool!

Many of the solutions shown have the problem that it is not so easy to get to the SD slot. However, USB would be very easy to reach. Maybe the programmer would like to offer a solution in which the complete system can also be on USB.

Paddy

Reply 37 of 46, by Jo22

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Ulfenknulfen wrote on 2021-05-31, 13:17:

I admit that the 5.25 inch solutions are also very cool!

Many of the solutions shown have the problem that it is not so easy to get to the SD slot. However, USB would be very easy to reach. Maybe the programmer would like to offer a solution in which the complete system can also be on USB.

Paddy

Not very practical, but very cool would be
a slot for these early PCMCIA memory cards, IMHO.. 😎

Because, they look like these old Sega Cards or Roland PCM Cards.

Anyway, I guess the closest thing like this would be old SmartMedia cards.
But they are very fragile and sensitive to corruption (if formatting goes bad).

Alternatively, some of these WiFi enabled SD cards are worth a look.
They cab be accessed via WiFi, while plugged into an SD card device.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 38 of 46, by Ulfenknulfen

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Hello Jo22

I mean the Raspi - you could make that the internal micro SD card is not needed and move everything to a USB stick.
MT-32 ROM and sound font already work via USB, but updating the system is very cumbersome.

greetings
Paddy 😉

Reply 39 of 46, by appiah4

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Ulfenknulfen wrote on 2021-06-02, 08:28:
Hello Jo22 […]
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Hello Jo22

I mean the Raspi - you could make that the internal micro SD card is not needed and move everything to a USB stick.
MT-32 ROM and sound font already work via USB, but updating the system is very cumbersome.

greetings
Paddy 😉

I guess a good alternative could be to enable the wireless on the Pi so that it can check for, donload and install updates automatically..

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