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Hardware projects

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Beagleboard stable USB EHCI hack

Occasionally, the USB EHCI controller on a Rev C3 Beagleboard stops working until the system is rebooted. It is usually triggered by heavy traffic, e.g. due to a WLAN dongle or a USB thumbdrive. It was apparently fixed properly in Rev C4, but if you're stuck with a C3 board the following hack may solve the problem for you. Read more.

Posted Thursday 13-May-2010 15:35, 7 comments.

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Beagleboard VGA output

This article describes how you can extract a VGA signal from the LCD headers on a revision C beagleboard using two transistors and a bunch of resistors. Read more.

Posted Sunday 17-Jan-2010 17:00, 38 comments.

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Bit banger

Bit banger is my most constrained and minimalistic microcontroller-based demo yet. It won the Oldschool 4k compo at Revision 2011. Read more.

Posted Monday 13-Jun-2011 10:23, 20 comments.

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C64 Cartridge on a Stripboard

In this article I'll explain how to make a self-booting cartridge for the Commodore 64 using an 8-bit microcontroller on a stripboard. Read more.

Posted Friday 30-Jun-2023 12:44, 11 comments.

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C64 Theremin

I used a C64, two 555s, four resistors, a spoon, and a clamp to build a working Theremin. Read more.

Posted Monday 29-Aug-2022 20:24, 7 comments.

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Craft is a demo running on its own minimalistic demo platform. The demo platform is based on an ATmega88 microcontroller. Read more.

Posted Thursday 27-Mar-2008 20:33, 183 comments.

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I rebuilt an old bakelite phone into a jukebox for SID tunes. Here's a video about it! Read more.

Posted Sunday 4-Jul-2021 21:31, 10 comments.

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Glyptodont performed on the... Qwertar?

My SID tune Glyptodont performed live on a new C64-based instrument. Read more.

Posted Friday 7-Jul-2023 10:51, 10 comments.

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Named after one of the characteristic features of the SID chip, Hardsync is a C64 party game that follows in the (wait for it...) footsteps of games like Dance Dance Revolution and StepMania. Read more.

Posted Thursday 8-Nov-2012 14:23, 12 comments.

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Making the Chipophone

It all started when a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted an old electronic organ. He had bought it in a thrift store some years ago, but had now realized that it would remain untouched in his cellar forever unless he could find a new home for it. I accepted the gift on the condition that I could do whatever I wanted with it, in terms of modifications and experiments. Read more.

Posted Wednesday 21-Jul-2010 21:42, 179 comments.

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Parallelogram is a demo running on the Commodore One extender board, which contains an Altera Cyclone III FPGA and an SDRAM chip. The logic design was made from scratch, including a homebrew CPU, FM synth and blitter with pixel shader support. The demo won the wild compo at Revision 2012. Read more.

Posted Wednesday 11-Apr-2012 22:03, 28 comments.

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Partita Prelude for 8-Bit Ensemble

Floppy drives and stepper motors have been used to make music before, but for live playing I think the technology is underexplored. Read more.

Posted Friday 3-Jun-2022 07:16, 3 comments.

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Phasor, like Craft, is a demo running on a custom minimalistic ATmega88-based demo platform. But it generates a composite video signal (PAL) instead of a VGA signal. Read more.

Posted Wednesday 7-Apr-2010 13:58, 47 comments.

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I'm proud to announce Arcade, Office and Robot, three affordable, portable synthesisers that I've developed for Teenage Engineering's Pocket Operator series. Read more.

Posted Tuesday 26-Jan-2016 05:34, 25 comments.

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Power Ninja Action Challenge

Here's another ATmega88-based hardware chiptune, this time composed for Little Computer People 2009. It was my contribution to the "other music" compo, and won the 1st place. Read more.

Posted Sunday 19-Jul-2009 17:47, 14 comments.

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Presentation tool

Here's a brief technical writeup of the slide show presentation tool I built for my Elements of Chip Music seminar. Read more.

Posted Friday 1-Jul-2011 08:31, 4 comments.

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Pushing Onwards: Return of the Chipophone

The Chipophone bleeps again! This is my cover of Pushing Onwards, from the 2010 retro-game VVVVVV. Read more.

Posted Sunday 25-Mar-2018 14:25, 11 comments.

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Rasp64 is a Raspberry Pi attached to the user port of a C64, primarily for the purpose of cross-development. Read more.

Posted Tuesday 5-Feb-2013 21:31, 10 comments.

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The bitbuf

The bitbuf is a portable 8-bit minimalistic live looping machine. Designed as a tool for chip music improvisation and live performances, it aims to provide a set of simple yet versatile features. It's a work in progress, but I've made a prototype which is already quite functional and enjoyable to work with. Read more.

Posted Thursday 22-Dec-2011 14:20, 179 comments.

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The chimney claw project

One year, my parents realized that there was a bird's nest down their chimney, at the very bottom. You could hear the chirps from within the kitchen. Read more.

Posted Wednesday 20-Jun-2007 17:31, 5 comments.

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The Chipophone

The Chipophone is a homemade 8-bit synthesizer, especially suited for live chiptune playing. It has been built inside an old electronic organ. Read more.

Posted Wednesday 21-Jul-2010 21:42, 213 comments.

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The Commodordion

The Commodordion is an 8-bit accordion primarily made of C64s, floppy disks, and gaffer tape. Read more.

Posted Friday 21-Oct-2022 17:14, 62 comments.

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The Datassettes

Four Commodore 1530 Datassettes get together to sing a barbershop classic. Read more.

Posted Friday 13-Oct-2023 09:45, 2 comments.

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The hardware chiptune project

Normally, when you create a chiptune, you start with an existing chip (such as the SID chip or the YM2149) and write a tune for it. We decided to start from scratch, and create a chip and a tune. Read more.

Posted Saturday 30-Jun-2007 11:04, 84 comments.

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The lampslide

If mounted normally, this chandelier would hang between the projector and the screen, casting a shadow. It would also block the view from the sofa. By using a wooden door jamb as a rail and constructing a small car to slide along it, I've suspended the chandelier so that it can be moved out of the way easily. Read more.

Posted Tuesday 10-Nov-2009 16:31, 6 comments.

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The pot plant monitor

This pot plant is connected to my computer. Every five minutes or so, the resistance of the soil is measured. The resistance varies indirectly with the dampness of the soil, as you can see in the graph. Read more.

Posted Wednesday 9-Jan-2008 17:20, 14 comments.

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The remote control project

This is the story of how I built a remote control system for my computer and speakers. It is based on an off-the-shelf universal remote and some AVR chips and other electronics. Read more.

Posted Friday 26-Oct-2007 16:39, 26 comments.

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The sixtyforgan

The sixtyforgan is a Commodore 64 equipped with a spring reverb, featuring the keyboard layout of a chromatic button accordion. Read more.

Posted Sunday 28-Mar-2021 20:13, 15 comments.

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The Swan

In an attempt to squeeze as much emotion as possible into a tiny chip, I managed to fit Camille Saint-Saëns' The Swan into 480 (out of 1024) bytes of ROM on an ATtiny15. The microcontroller runs at 1.6 MHz and provides 32 bytes of RAM (actually registers). Read more.

Posted Monday 26-Apr-2010 16:12, 10 comments.

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Turbulence is the successor of craft. It's a microcontroller demo based on the Propeller chip from Parallax. External I/O consists of stereo sound (at line level) and a VGA signal. Read more.

Posted Monday 13-Apr-2009 13:09, 23 comments.