Every now and then, I like to play around in the Signal Processing world – more so in the audio realm than anything else. The thought that sound can be represented by an array containing a whole bunch of (seemingly arbitrary) numbers ready for manipulation is just awesome!. Yes, I had a lot of fun in my signal processing labs at school and I still love messing around with GNU Octave post-college.
A friend of mine asked me if I could make a microcontroller play songs from Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time. I said yep! With the power of the VS1053b in the Sparkfun Music Instrument Shield and the MIDI library I had cooked up earlier, I was sure I would be able to do this one quickly…
For the next two weeks, I will be kicking around Vancouver, Toronto and Boston visiting hackerspaces and doing the good ol’ touristy stuff. If you are nearby and want to say hi, send me a tweet (@superkittens) or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
As many would probably know, Hans Camenzind, best known for his invention of the 555 Timer has passed away recently. I must admit that I didn’t know much about his accomplishments (such as inventing the first Class D amplifier), nor did I know that he wrote a number of books.
That’s when I stumbled across his book, “Designing Analog Chips.” The book is downloadable for free. I haven’t had a chance to sit down to read it fully yet, but after skimming a few sections, it looks very interesting. In addition to the technical bits on analog IC design, Hans adds in a bit of history as well which greatly intrigues me. I am definitely looking forward to reading this book. I’m also hoping that the book will sharpen up my knowledge in some of the circuits that I learned during my college years such as current mirrors.
I won’t talk much about 555 Timers because so many people out there in the internet give fantastic walk throughs on them already. Also, if you’re reading this, chances are, you probably have a good idea of what they are anyway. IF you don’t however, check out the According to Pete Tutorial. There’s also a contest on who can make awesome things out of them too!
555 Timer Picture Credit to jjbeard found on Wikipedia. The picture shows the 555 Timer in Astable configuration which is used for oscillating outputs