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Hacking the Perc Pro

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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby zenguitar » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:08 pm

Is the Teensy the only microprocessor you can spot?

The Teensy can be set up as a MIDI device so it is possible that it might be focused on the MIDI functionality rather than the broader functionality.

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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby BJG145 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:26 pm

...spent a bit more time testing between each pin and the shield this morning.

Pin 1 stays at 0V, while Pin 2 is connected to V+ at 24V.

Pin 3 shows the most promise. This delivers around 15V with a voltage drop on a MIDI pulse which varies with velocity. The highest MIDI velocity causes a drop of around 0.2V, and the lowest around 2V. The LEDs for each channel flash with a brightness which corresponds to velocity.

Pin 4 stays around 0.03V, and Pin 5 at 0.3V

I don't think I'm going to get much further with this though, so I reckon I'll wait until a secondhand one turns up one day, then attack it with a hacksaw and find out that way.

I just tried connecting up an old solenoid I had lying around to Pin 3 and it did nothing. Then I hit it with Pin 2, which certainly made it move, before it overdosed.

Dunno how complicated it would be to wire a circuit that took a 24V power supply and a signal that varied between 15V and 13V, and translated it to an output that could drive a solenoid between 0V and 12V...?

I can't seem to measure a current from the Pin 3 signal.
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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:43 pm

I posted up a description on an electronics forum and someone replied that the voltage dip I mentioned sounded unlikely - which made me think that perhaps a multimeter isn't going to respond fast enough to evaluate the signal accurately, and I'd need to use an oscilloscope. I've blagged one off the Physics Dept at the University where I work, and I'll try hooking it up when I get a chance.

Meanwhile...I just had a notification that the Dada Machines Automat range is back in stock, and decided to pick up a controller before they run out again. I didn't think I'd need to get any of the solenoid / "element" packs as they seemed rather expensive, but...I dunno. Would it be wise to pick up any of their standard peripherals, or can I happily do without...?
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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:15 pm

BJG145 wrote:I posted up a description on an electronics forum and someone replied that the voltage dip I mentioned sounded unlikely - which made me think that perhaps a multimeter isn't going to respond fast enough to evaluate the signal accurately, and I'd need to use an oscilloscope. I've blagged one off the Physics Dept at the University where I work, and I'll try hooking it up when I get a chance.

Meanwhile...I just had a notification that the Dada Machines Automat range is back in stock, and decided to pick up a controller before they run out again. I didn't think I'd need to get any of the solenoid / "element" packs as they seemed rather expensive, but...I dunno. Would it be wise to pick up any of their standard peripherals, or can I happily do without...?

1. Good luck with the scope - sounds like a suitable approach, so short pulses makes perfect sense to me - perhaps pulse width determines the 'velocity' of the strike, rather than the voltage of the pulse.

2. Sensible to get the Automat - handy and cost effective little unit. I tend to agree about the peripherals - if you're handy as a DIYer you can make your own to perfectly do the job you require. I also seem to remember that the Automat designer offered 3d printer files for anyone who wanted to go that route and make their own.


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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:17 pm

Also, there are very detailed assembly plans of the various Automat 'Adapters and Elements' that make it quite obvious how everything works.

Here's one: https://dadamachines.com/getstarted/aut ... -assembly/

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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby BJG145 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:03 pm

In the end I decided to take the easier option of flogging the Polyend controller on eBay and ordering a Dadamachines Automat instead. Still waiting for that, but I was interested to get a notification today about a new software update that now implements velocity for it, apparently by setting the gate duration.

https://forum.dadamachines.com/t/automa ... -2-0-0/326

Looking forward to finally getting my hands on some robot percussion. The new batch should start shipping next month with any luck...
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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby BJG145 » Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:28 pm

* another necro-bump *

I'm not very good with oscilloscopes. So I tried to sell it for a while; last time the buyer resolutely missed deliveries (and ignored emails) until it got returned to me, for a charge. (What a dick.)

But it's a case of, once SOS-bitten, forever smitten. So I've kept a lookout from the the crow's nest, biding my time...

...and I just pulled the trigger on another one on eBay; just the single-beater version. (Well, they hardly ever turn up secondhand :-| .) It hasn't turned up yet, but I'm already agonising over whether to play it cautiously, keeping it wrapped in cotton wool when not in use...or take a bandsaw to this spheroid black box in the name of science.

(...watch this space...)

;)
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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby BJG145 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:17 pm

...so, I bought this thing from a seller in Austria just as they went into lockdown. They were concerned that they might not be able to get it shipped out, but it turned up today. I just scissored it open, binned the outer packaging, and smothered myself in antibac.

I'm sorry, I had actually thought I might crack it open to see what was inside but...no fricking way. It's gorgeous. The beater is ridiculously heavy, beautifully engineered, and all in mint condition.

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Can't wait to see what this thing can do, but the internal workings will remain a beautiful mystery.
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Re: Hacking the Perc Pro

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:10 am

Always uplifting to hear some GOOD news in these troubled times.

Enjoy your new purchase BJG145! :thumbup:


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