With the recent purchase of an Arduino microcontroller, my interest in electronics was rekindled after many years hiatus. One of my goals back in the day was to create a colour organ where lghts would flash in beat with the music. With the Arduino, I can easily do that and much more, so I set about coming up with a project that made use of modern day LED’s. The result will be Christmas lights that:
Was playing with an HC-06 Bluetooth board today:
Was able to successfully pair with this from my phone and send commands via a Bluetooth terminal on the phone to the Arduino, although I found the communications very difficult to maintain. Here’s my brief review of IR vs Bluetooth communications:
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My Practice Routine
- Learn notes/keys
- Finger exercise/workout
- Finger picking patterns
- Learn chords
- 1 minute chord changes
- Strumming patterns
- Songs/recording studio
I received an email today from someone about my guitar blog and almost fell over dead. After all, my site is a backwater. Anyways, it was a cross linking email, and is something I’d normally ignore, however this site looked kind of interesting. What interested me about the site was:
– The site design is responsive (thus very modern)
– It had a great index to different techniques/topics
– It had chords for campfires
Although I’ll never spend the time to be able to play much on the guitar, www.hubguitar.com looks to be a pretty impressive web site offering. I’m looking forward to practicing some of the lessons he offers.
Here’s my Slideshare Presentations:
Here’s an approximate cost breakdown if I were to head into some local electronics stores to purchase components for my portable displays:
- Arduino Nano microcontroller – $45
- USB power bank (with 18650 battery) – $18
- Addressable LED’s – $35 per meter
- Mini USB cable (6ft) $12.60
- AC charger for micro USB – $10
- JST connector male/female – $2.25
Miscellaneous items include zip tie, solder, a few sizes of heat shrink tubing.
Then there’s my labour at a minimum of $40/hr and it takes about 45 minutes to build one.
Oh, did I mention all the time I spent learning/developing the coding and techniques?
I fell off the wagon for quite a while, but while I was on it, I quite liked spending time practicing the ‘fingerstyle’ method.
I’ve since found a site that offers 100 easy fingerstyle exercises at www.guitarnick.com, so I’m now focusing on these and have gotten back into it somewhat.
Once I’m more comfortable with fingerstyle, I hope to get back to my justinguitar and other material.
- http://pumpingstationone.org/2013/04/nerp-fpgaok/ (VGA)
Cypress SoC Links
I was given a Cypress PSoC 3 development kit. This includes an 8051 controller, programmable logic along with various analog components. The development software allows for visual design, lots of components in the libraries as well as programming in C. Oh, and I now have a PSoC 4 as well.
- PSoC 3 – CY8CKIT-30
- PSoC 4 – CY8CKIT-042
- 100 Projects in 100 days
I purchased this at the 2013 Vancouver Mini Maker Faire for $11.
Bora Binary Explorer Links
I purchased this board through the Kickstarter program. This board includes a Xilinx XC9572XL CPLD, which gives you equivalent to around 1600 gates.
- Colin’s Digtital Circuits course
- Xilinx XC9572XL CPLD Data sheet
- Colorado Micro Devices Forum
- Bora Binary Explorer Quickstart Guide
Altera FPGA Links
I purchased an Altera DE1 development kit, which includes a Cyclone II FPGA. What an awesome looking board.
- They would go here!
- MIC-1 Processor
- Viktor’s amazing 4-bit processor
Digital Simulators (see Altera for Modelsim)
- Digital Design And Computer Architecture
- Digital Design Principles And Practices
- Fundamentals of Logic Design
We’re into mid/late June and I can now play the basic ‘F’ chord pretty consistently and at a more reasonable speed. I took my Yamaha acoustic guitar into Long & McQuade and had them throw on a new set of strings and change the angle of the neck so that the strings are closer to the fretboard. Made it a lot easier to play.
In the meantime, I’m experimenting with different ways to play the ‘A’ chord, so I’m not quite there yet on this chord. I really do have to wonder why Justinguitar used the A chord so early in his course. It’s not a real easy chord. Otherwise things are pretty reasonable with the basic 13 chords. As for strumming, I’m OK with basic strum patterns, simple up strum’s as well as some basic ties. Am trying to get that all in time with a metronome as well, so it’s a work in progress.
My guitar teacher is trying to teach me the strum patterns for “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, but I think that’s a bit advanced for me. I like to see a gradual build up of skill sets. Currently, my practice consists of:
- Quick chord changes
- Chord progressions
- Chord progressions with strumming patterns
- Fretboard exercises (up and down the fretboard)
- Different finger picking patterns, with different chords
I’m still really weak on recognizing the notes for the 5th and 6th strings and still pluck the wrong string quite a lot, but at least my confidence level with strumming and basic chord changes has increased significantly in the past few weeks.
Oh, and for picks, I use very lightweight nylon picks when strumming and a slightly thicker pick when plucking notes. Of course, finger style is pick free.