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Monome

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Monome

Postby BJG145 » Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:50 pm

This morning there was a new arrival on the workbench (the cracked side-table beside the PC decorated with coffee rings and solder burns)...a monome!

I've been wanting to get my hands on one of these ever since SOS checked them out in 2008. This one is even earlier; it's a first-generation "40h" in kit form, which recently turned up on eBay for £35.

SOS wrote:The boxes themselves are made of walnut treated with teak oil, while the buttons are silicone rubber set into an aluminium faceplate. The materials are sourced locally by Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain, the company's founders, with a great deal of attention to economic and ecological sustainability, and every unit is hand made; production runs are limited, and there is always a waiting list.

The ethical manufacturing policy extends to the packaging, and everything is recyclable paper and cardboard, and there's no polystyrene or bubble-wrap to be seen.

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This thing looked slightly more bedraggled as I pulled it out of the used bubblewrap; a few loosely-fitting rubber squares, discoloured with age and who knows what else, and a circuit board sprouting a weed-like cluster of short green wires.

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It was unexpectedly complicated to get started. The quickest way to see if it worked seemed to be to install some kind of serial/OSC driver and then load some introductory patches into Max. But when the buttons eventually lit up as I pressed them, I fell in love with it.

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Monomes almost seem to have their own subculture, involving "White Whale", "Meadowphysics", and various surprisingly expensive and minimal accessories with names like "Crow" and "Ansible".

It's just the thing for a rainy afternoon.
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Re: Monome

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:11 pm

Wow - sometime you must make a video (or at the very least a photo set) detailing all the controllers you've made/restored/rescued.

I'd be fascinated to see more of your collection 8-)


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Re: Monome

Postby blinddrew » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:10 pm

I propose a trip to Norfolk once this pandemic is over and we can all have a rummage in BJG's studio... ;)
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Re: Monome

Postby BJG145 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:00 pm

I've been meaning to try out a professional 3D printing service for ages, and this seemed a perfect opportunity. So this morning I've been tinkering around with this monome case model in some free 3D modelling program it uses called OpenSCAD to get it to match my 40h (at least, I hope it does).

Treatstock seems to offer a simple comparison/ordering system for different services, so I chose a budget one and loaded up the .stl file with a request for grey PLA. I'll be interested to see what comes back.

(I could get into this if it works.)

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Re: Monome

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:32 pm

Fingers crossed for you BJG145 that the dimensions meet your requirements :thumbup:


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Re: Monome

Postby BJG145 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:55 pm

Thanks Martin, but 3D modelling/printing is scientific. It needs more than dumb luck.

* * * * * *

With this in mind, I just sent the contractor a note to explain that I don't know what I'm doing, and asking their advice... ;)
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Re: Monome

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:48 pm

BJG145 wrote:With this in mind, I just sent the contractor a note to explain that I don't know what I'm doing, and asking their advice... ;)

Very sensible :thumbup:


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Re: Monome

Postby BJG145 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:25 pm

I should have been a bit quicker off the mark with this, and it's already done, with a photo uploaded on Treatstock.

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Infill : 40%
Size: 7.09 x 7.09 x 0.24 in


In retrospect, I think I should have gone for a thinner solid thing that I could file if necessary, because it probably ain't going to work unless the dimensions are exact to about 0.5mm, which is a tad optimistic, and I didn't think about semi-hollow "infill". Still, you live and learn. I'm quite impressed with the service so far, and it's fun seeing my badly-specified designs come to life in solid objects. (OK, partly-solid.)
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Re: Monome

Postby BJG145 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:59 pm

Well, it was pretty close...

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...but, predictably, not quite close enough.

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This is entirely my fault; I'm not used to measuring things with any degree of accuracy. I see now that it's no good saying, that's about 0.5mm...yeah, let's go. Multiplied by 8 you end up several millimetres out, which is useless here.

It doesn't help that this OpenSCAD model was set up with the metric system, but the US is on imperial units with yards and inches. I was surprised when I realised that...get with the program, fellas. The original Monome blueprint works nicely in inches, not so well in milllimetres.

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It's tempting to give up, buy a finished one, or a kit with sensible measurements, especially since this is definitely going to be a one-off; you never see these original 40h kits without a case nowadays. But I'll persevere. I'll give it one more shot anyway. I'm generally impressed with the quality and accuracy of this model, and the fast turnaround. I'm definitely a convert to 3D printing and Treatstock, but I'd better dig a bit deeper into the OpenSCAD script for this thing and see if I can convert it to inches instead.
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Re: Monome

Postby BJG145 » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:35 pm

OK, so, I've admitted defeat.

Is it defeat? I don't know...yes and no...

I liked this thing as soon as I plugged it in, but wait, walnut and aluminium and teak oil? This one was a bit rough. I prefer things that look nice. Nevertheless, I dialled up some different parameters in OpenSCAD and was all set for 3D print V2, then I noticed it was on the wonk and hit abort.

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It's not my fault. This is some dumb procedural/mathematical system. That was never my strong suit. I haven't got time to debug this bullshit.

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So anyway, I saw a nice walnut and aluminium Monome 128 on Reverb. I couldn't resist.

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I'm sure someone else will have lots of fun trying to figure out the dimensions for a 3D printed case for the other one! Yeah. Good luck.
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Re: Monome

Postby resistorman » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:35 pm

Nice try, though!
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Re: Monome

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:50 am

Indeed, and judging by the look of that walnut and aluminium monome 128, I doubt that you're too disappointed ;)


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Re: Monome

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:41 am

I think the wood and aluminium looks really nice!
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Re: Monome

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:14 pm

Only wood and brass would look better ;)
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Re: Monome

Postby BJG145 » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:17 pm

Martin Walker wrote:Only wood and brass would look better

No, then I'd have to wear goggles to play it. :roll: :D
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