Tag Archives: ARMCortex-M4

Brad Ormand - Renegade Rambler Audio UI idea

2016.03.01 – Audio Granulator Progress

While in the process of writing an audio program for the ARM chip and another display, I began to also write code for Mac OS 10 and iOS.  I hit some good vibes and continued going forward with the Mac app and left the ARM system on the bench, as is, to come back to later after I finish this Mac app.  I switched gears, as I normally do, but I now have the pieces together to make this app, and it’s multiplying my motivation…

I have been studying DSP and audio algorithms in C++ quite a bit lately (and I had already made great progress with the DFT and FFT in 2015), and am having a great deal of fun analyzing and manipulating sound.  My degree and background are from this area, but I have never had to actually code a chorus or reverb or EQ (although I’ve built hardware analog EQ’s and compressors).  So… I decided to go through making this higher-level abstraction app to beef up more of my real-time digital audio knowledge.  I’m using Core Audio and Audio Units.  Then, after one or two of these apps, I can come back to the bare ARM system, with which I’ll have to write these “units” from scratch (and I can’t wait – looking forward to it.  Just need a quick win first, ‘cuz I’m gon spend some time on it – like a year).  It’ll also help me decide how I’m going to organize the higher-level abstractions from my low-level C++ code once I get back to coding the embedded ARM system.

ARM Breadboard Circuit 1 Brad Ormand

I’ll have the fast FFT implementations and FIR and IIR filters in the CMSIS DSP lib, etc, and I’ll at least have a fast sine and cosine routine, but it’s a lowest-level implementation that I’ll have to “hand” assemble to be a 4-pole LPF or a phaser or even a simple notch, etc.  I’ll have to make my post-DAC “Nyquist” filter at 22kHz and all of that stuff on the ARM system in hardware, etc.  It’ll be at least 44.1kHz at 16-bit – I want (people) to be able to actually use the audio generated by it – some really killer and sonicall-pleasing sounds.  So, that’s coming up…

Brad Ormand's Second Fourier Transform - Noise

It’s kind of a tall order for me.  I have some work to do before I can write a digital audio system from scratch at the chip/embedded level – from Math to code to electrical components. I can’t wait to do it and spend time on it, but I must prepare.  So, I did a few mathematics problems this weekend dealing with impulse response and the summation of the FIR filter to get to know what I’m dealing with.  So, I’m going to do it all step-by-step in my free time until I’m able to grasp it and code good implementations.

M A C   A U D I O   A P P

I have been successful at building a Core-Audio-based sampler for iOS in C++ and Swift.  I have a functional demo that starts and ends the time window at particular points along the audio clip using touch – all real-time.  My next step is to draw the waveform out into a SpriteKit view and to get the app to respond to the touch drags to resize the play window to the visual waveform on the UI.  Just that part itself has been a bit tedious, not-to-mention any zooming of the waveform, which hasn’t even been considered, yet.  Then, of course, I’ll need to render out the playhead rolling along as the samples get played.  There’s a lot of interpolation that has to be done since there aren’t enough pixels to show every sample, and I’m trying to get that stuff out to it’s own thread and to see if I can somehow pre-calculate it all when it first comes in.  I made a pencil sketch of the UI to come – it’s the initial view, but I’ll have a keyboard or sample pad view of sorts.

Brad Ormand - Renegade Rambler Audio UI idea

As for the audio source, right now I have it playing from a file.  But, I don’t think I’ll let the user bring in files with  it.  It’s just too weird on the legal side since I’ll let the user save it back to disk, and I have to detect and convert what type of files they attempt to load in and stuff (mp3, ogg, AAC, which wav, etc), and well…  I really just want the user to be able to press record and mess with the stuff that gets recorded, and probably with a 15-second limit – focus – kind of like Twitter’s 140 char limit.  That audio will then be recorded into and played from a file of course, but I can count on it being a 32-bit float PCM format, and just run with it.

In the end, I want the thing to act as a granulator, where you bring in audio and are able to loop sections of audio at really tight intervals, or even with randomized time and pitch parameters, where it acts as a sound design tool.  I do this in Pro Tools all the time by hand and cut samples like 1000 at a time and shift them incrementally and copy and paste them offset next to each other for effect, but it’s definitely time-consuming.  I’ll probably still do that because I have ultimate control, but I’d like to be able to go into the app environment and get sounds from machines or birds or rubber bands or my voice or even the wind and allow the user to really fuck with them to make them something else entirely.  Of course, they’ll be able to save the original tracks and save the performance.  And, I’ll offer a few time-based effects and definitely some distortion and crush on there, too.

So…  that’s what I’ve been getting into.  It’s after-work stuff, so it’s kind of slow-going after a day of already programming for hours at the day job, but I’m making definite progress and can’t wait to circle back to the embedded system, as well.  I have many, many things to look forward to on this front.



Simple Analog Synth Brad Ormand

2016.01.22 – ARM Cortex M4F System Running Great

There’s so much going on in my research and experiments, it’s just hard to explain everything right now.  But, in a nutshell, I have been patiently (but consistently) ramping up knowledge of building some awesome applications for the ARM Cortex M4 – both hardware and software.  I have a lot of audio processing, lighting, and graphics ideas to start on so my first step is to become well-versed in their operation.

In the last month or so, I have been drawing faces, drawing UI, painting, making headway on the ARM stuff, woodcarving, working on music, running over my budget for the new year (like multiple times with complicated, categorical spreadsheets), doing some behavior modification (like stopping drinking sodas and exercise regularly and others), working on this site, and so much more that I don’t write about.  Sometimes, it does seem like I have too many things going on, but like I say – “I just follow my interest” – and, where it leads, that’s where I go- just enjoying life as it comes, working with what I have.  I definitely try to wisely balance it all by not getting into “comfort-only” scenarios, like spending gobs of time on stuff that doesn’t require any hard thinking or sweat from the brow.  Rather, all of my “hobbies” require actual work and are investments in my future and have the additional benefit of brightening my days when I do them.  The fulfillment factor is high.  That’s what I’m feeling right now.  But, I also have to take it one step at a time as to not get burned out – going for a good balance.  It’s a great start to the new year.

// A R M

As for the ARM stuff, though…  Lately, I have been deeply involved in trying to find a great toolchain and chipset that would work well with Mac OS X and my limited PCB fab opportunities here.  I heavily explored the Atmel SAM4S for a while, and then the Silicon Labs EFM32 (I do like Simplicity Studio), and even experimented more with PIC24’s and PIC32’s (I like MPLABX, too), but I have been heavily preferring the NXP / Freescale Kinetis K series Cortex chips and their KDS (surprised, but happy about their merger 🙂 ).  I have everything I need to program and debug them,  and I think Freescale and NXP have a lot of support around their products these days.

ARM Breadboard Circuit 1 Brad Ormand

And, whichever ARM Cortex M4F I choose, I feel future-safety coming off this because of the CMSIS rallying and the ARM standards and it’s growth.  And, the IoT revolution is really just beginning, and I want on the train, and I’m digging my own tunnel with these research shovels.  This is certainly a new career path for me, but as I am already “dug in” to, and known, in the software industry I am currently employed in, I will continue that for a few more years.  It’s stable.  But, as I get more and more skilled at producing hit ARM apps with CMSIS, C/C++, and assembly, and as I refine my architecture ideas (both HW+SW), I’ll be closer to being able to switch my day-to-day doings over to full time by about 2020, I believe.

// G O O D _ M I L E S T O N E

So, that’s what I’m thinking for that…  It was a huge milestone to get the Kinetis rolling with some of my former code written for the PIC24.  I ported some stuff over and after a few nights, I finally got it rolling!  It was really nice to see it running as expected.  Many things are different – interrupts, 32-bit vs 16-bit, registers, SysTick, NVIC, etc., so being able to rely on this setup as my “go-to” platform gives me a lot of leeway to design stuff from now on.  It’s huge because it finally allows me to have a string of product design and code architecture sessions over the next months that won’t be interrupted by changing platforms or technical difficulties.

Also, I’m using the Segger J-Link now with a bare, exposed, Kinetis K22 ARM LQFP 64 chip that I soldered to a little plain break-out board (with filter caps and custom programming header and stuff).  I’m going direct to bare chip without a dev kit, which was what one of my requirements were all along to getting this train started.  I wanna design the board, power, regulation, routing, logic levels, inverters, amplification, communication, interfacing, headers, electro-mechanicals, etc. – the entire system.  Cuz, I think that stuff is fun, too.  More work, but I wouldn’t wanna give up that phase.  And, so I’m saying, that now that I’ve got that innovation complete with something stable in the lab, I feel like I have a platform to jump off of to design an endless amount of other applications, unrestrained.  But, boy did it take a few months of setup time and sifting through the cruft of what would work best for me and my setup.  Now, all good.

// T H E   _  F U T U R E

Simple Analog Synth Brad Ormand

I think, first, I’ll get the previous project I wrote about last month all set up with this new “drive train” and then move on back to the FFT application I developed last year, perhaps with my DisplayTech color TFT with cap touch.  Maybe a pinch zoom for FFT window resolution?  Maybe a custom, level-switchable analog front end?  Maybe build a touch, animated GUI lib to apply to all my new designs.   Maybe a digital version of my old “Audio Tool” with selectable synthesis?  Who knows..  I’m ready to get things going and move on though.  Seems like I just got to the point to where I can finally get to the product design phase.  Ready to go.



Brad Ormand Books - Cortex BN Oct

10.06.2015 – New Books came in and ARM CortexM4F


Books again!  I really love getting used books from Barnes and Noble.  The most expensive book I wanted, bought new, went for $120+, and I literally got it for $5 at a used textbook bookstore affiliate of B&N.  Two of ’em, I got for less than $3.  I just share the occurrence because I get really excited about getting them in! (like I did the last time I did this) They’re beautiful.  Analog.  Books.  Also, they pertain to my current projects, as well.

I ordered 6 books this time – 5 electronics-related and one about architecture / building construction.  I got a  book on Digital Logic from the 70’s!  Haha – I just wanted to see what it was like back then, plus there’s actually good logic education content in there.  I even sometimes fantasize about living at the age I am now back when transistorized computers were just getting started.  I have a great love of computer history.

And, I got 2 books about power supply design – One for Linear supplies and one for Switched-Mode.  Can’t wait to see if I can beef up my design capabilities and understanding with these.  I would like to have a more versatile palette of production possibilities for providing power. 😉 a P alliteration, why not…  And, I got another one about different ways to build analog audio amplifiers – circa 1980.  Much love!

I got an ARM Cortex M-series book, as well, which was the main one I went to the site for.  I started reading it yesterday outside in the cool Fall weather on my comfy chair out near the garden and wood pile.  What a nice experience.  I’m really looking forward to using the DSP/floating-point features of this chip to drive displays (with FFT, etc) and my electronic art.  I wrote an 8-bit, integer FFT after this linked post a year ago.  Now, I want to bump it up a bit.  I want to get a complete, comprehensive understanding of this chip so I’ll know just what all I can do with it when it comes to design time.  I don’t want any surprises come firmware time – I wanna be caught up completely, so I’m reading it front to back.  Made it to page 71 out of 800 so far… 🙂

Brad Ormand Books - Cortex BN Oct

And, it’s been since last Spring that I have been immersed in embedded stuff.  It good to have the time to focus on it again.  Recently, I had been focusing on the album release (and also changed software jobs), and now I have a little more free time to get back on what I left off of. Very exciting.


I’m targeting the Silicon Labs (also headquartered in Austin) CortexM4F chip, EFM32WG942F256 in a QFP64 package, code-named the Wonder Gecko.  Awesome.  32-bit, 256K of flash, 32KB of SRAM, and runs at 48MHz, with a hardware FPU, and with SIMD that I will try to take advantage of for light and stereo sound applications.  That’ll do the trick.  Let’s start some work…

In September, I went on a river cruise with friends and family on the Austin “Town Lake”, and we floated by the main Silicon Labs building, downtown (right on the river).  I had been using the Atmel SAM4S ARM chips.  They were fine, but I had to use an open source toolchain, lots of dependencies and patches, and – I program using a Mac, and just..  well, there was no ported IDE or any integration at all and lots of complications.  So, that got me to thinking, “I wonder what Silicon Labs has in their portfolio”?  It was just a few minutes after I saw their suitable offerings that night online and that they had a Mac version of their IDE that triggered my interest right away!  And, now, I’m trying it out.  Boots up fine and with CMSIS support and support for my programmer/debugger.  And, energy efficient – I’m runnin’ it with a CR2032 as well, right now.  Awesome!  So, I’m doing that now, instead.  Plus *they frum Texas..  BTW, ARM also has an office in Austin.  I drive by it every day. 🙂

Brad Ormand - Austin Downtown Cruise

Brad Ormand - Family - Guys - Austin Downtown

There have been instances, in the past, of me deciding on a platform and going with it, Sam4 gcc, Pickit3, etc., but I wasn’t actually entirely satisfied with my toolchain.  I really hope I’ll be able to have a really smooth time with this setup – one where I can really work efficiently and creatively.  I’ll continue and report on my results later.

And, as a final thought…  I think it’s time that I finally settle down with the gear I am going to use and show what I can do with it besides flashing LEDs and running cool animations on displays.  I wanna show myself what I can do system-wise, mainly, and for the marketplace and for my future creative career.  I’m sincerely dedicated and interested in doing that just for the love of the game alone, and for the expanse of possibilities that I can produce (for IoT and light and sound) if I just had the right calm mindset and time to do it.  It’s coming up, I think.  I’ll batten down and see what I can do.

Brad - Keys In Locked Truck

12.08.2014 – PIC & Truck

It’s interesting that these two words in the title show up together like this.  I didn’t plan it… 🙂  I have some things to say about the PIC24 chip, but first, the truck….

Well, it turns out that I locked my keys in my truck and had to “pick” the lock last night.  And, I even got a pic of it (  pun intended ).  But, seriously…  The last few times I have locked my keys in a vehicle (over 10 years or so), I have #1) always called a locksmith to do it, and #2) the damn keys are in the same freaking place! – I tend to leave them on the front driver seat.  I guess I throw ’em there as I’m hauling out supplies from the back and the passenger seat.  I’m gathering things and I press the auto-lock thing on the door, shut the door… and whoops!  It’s too late.

I remember, in Culver City, California, a long time ago, I did the same thing.  This time at a 7-11 store parking lot right next to a dry cleaning shop.  I figured that would be a good place to borrow a coat hanger, so I went in and got one.  I tried for about 30 minutes and had help from a few other dudes, and we laughed and tried.  But, we couldn’t get it that time.  I called the locksmith from the 7-11 pay phone (my phone was inside ugh).


But, anyway this time, I was home.  I had tools.  And, instead of calling out for assistance, I just figured I’d try to see if I could hack that shit up.  So, I got a screwdriver and a big crescent wrench, wedged them in between the door and the frame with force (I pierced some weather stripping, but oh well).  I got a coat hanger from my closet, modified it, got a light, and spent about 20 minutes getting it placed over the auto-lock button.  I locked it a few times.  Nope not what I wanted.  But, soon enough, I pressed the end of the coat hanger hard enough on the unlock button to pop the lock and open the door and get my keys sitting right there on the seat.  Felt good.

Brad - Keys In Locked Truck

And now for the PIC talk…  So, I just heard that Microchip released a cross-platform version of their MPLAB IDE that goes with PICkit 3, and well… I’m interested.  And, while I usually have been going barebones with my toolchain (like with my ARM and AVR chains from the command line using makefiles), it brought attention back to Microchip as I was looking through the datasheet for the PIC24FJ256DA206.  The -206 postfix means more data memory (96K yess!).  And, there’s so much more that I did not know about.  I officially have this on my watch list.

I am primarily a Mac OS X user and I like to program code from that.  All of my dev tools and habits and quick keys and Unix commands are here.  It’s just how it evolved and that’s my preference now.  And, well, chip manufacturers don’t always make tools for their chip programming/debugging that are that friendly towards Mac users.  Might be a cost thing.  Might be a culture thing.  I don’t know.  It was one thing lacking from both Atmel and Texas Instruments when I used their products in the past.  But, it looks like I might be able to use Microchip’s tools (or guts, if I investigate how to build a barebones toolchain for it from the Terminal).  Their documentation is great, as well.  I’d like to look into this.

Microchip XC16 Compiler Snippet

Their 16-bit compiler is a port of GCC and they’ve gone forward with their support of “Apple OS X” (it says above) in their compiler and toolchain, up the stream, as well.  I’m really loving this.  I might be turning this corner.  And, since I got a really good impression of this chip for my projects, before I even investigated the IDE, I’m really willing to see what can be done, here.  It’s looking promising.

Now that the first of the holidays is over and I’m feeling better from my cold, I can get back in to finishing up my FFT demo, programming the drivers for those other displays, and starting those LED matrix snakes for my paintings. I have that 16-bit PIC24 on my radar, right now… and with projects waiting.  However, first, I have to finish up the site and launch it.  It’s going well so far.

Brad Ormand - JTAG Mapping

11.27.2014 – Thanksgiving

Lots of Thanksgiving-related outings I’m going on.  I have been out of town twice on mini-road trips and have seen a lot of wonderful people in the last few days!  I love the holidays.  I got to eat turkey, play football in the yard with the guys, build camp fires, play pool, engage in deep conversation…  I got to “ride along” on a shoot of a TV commercial.  Hell, I was an assistant camera operator to my brother who was running the thing.  It was fun.  I watched as he’d raise the cam from the floor to reach for the sky on the jig crane thing, at least 12 feet in the air and swoop it around back.  Lots of cool and crazy stuff going on right now.

As far as projects, I’m just kind of getting back into the swing of things…  I did figure out the JTAG pins of the ARM Cortex M4 that I soldered onto that board, recently. I got ARM GCC and the communication software rolling.  Now, it’s just seeing if I can communicate to it (or flash it already) from the Mac.  Once I get signal acquisition from the chip, I mean once I can confirm that it’s all in order and works fine, I’ll flip back over to programming it to test out the FFT on the SSD1306 or some other display since my shit went out before I could produce an animated version of the FFT stuff last week (or so).  It was just a weird (and mysterious) coincidence that I was at the pinnacle of the venerable and illustrious Fourier transform showcase, and….  Hardware Malfunction.  Shit.  Gotta step back and rebuild some stuff before I can move forward.  Anyway… then once that’s wrapped up, I’ll finally get back to the main project – the synth! (Oh, and, I have to launch this Project Log pretty soon, too).  There’s a lot to do, and here we go…

Brad Ormand - JTAG Mapping

Whew!  So, I’m just in a nested function call right now with all of these things going on at once, especially with the holidays.  But, I did my social stuff, got my fill, I encountered and overcame adversity, and now I’m going strong as ever.  Just gotta knock these bits out piece by piece.

Also, after Thanksgiving lunch while on the couch watching the Cowboys with my friends and family, I had a chance to draw a little bit of a better diagram for my Moon Painting “snake”.  It’s that LED square matrix array that I want to be made into a cable that I started a few weeks back.  So, now I’ll be intermittently going over to the “art dept.” when I take breaks from the synth and FFT vector.

Brad Ormand - 4 x 4 LED Matrix Snake, part 2

I realize, again, that there’s really a lot on my plate, as far as the projects I’m into.  But, I actually love it.  In a few weeks, everything will be caught back up and I’ll have a product to demo and a better direction for what all of this means, long-term.  I just have an indication in my mind that I want to produce these projects, and I’m not about to stop now.  I’m biting off more than I have ever bit off before.  Now spending time chewing.  But, if you have done that in real life (bit off too much food for the size of your mouth hole), you know you eventually get it all chopped and swallowed and then you’re free for whatever comes next (or you choke or spit it out, but that’s not going to happen 😉 ).  I kind of have that same feeling today.  But, all while smiling and wanting to get back into it.  whew.  hahaha – But, I’m busy chewing.

Brad Ormand - ARM 0.5mm pin pitch soldered and tested

11.22.2014 – Potluck & ARM Cortex

The day before yesterday was a social day.  I made Pico de Gallo from scratch for a Potluck I went to.  And, the conversations were flowing.  We talked about all kinds of stuff and ate, and, went back for more.  It was with a lot of people from work, and it was great to be able to just chill out and talk about our personal stuff for a while.  So, lots going on that day.  Didn’t work on projects much that day, but had a lot of needed social fun.

The Pico de Gallo was amazing and I want to make it again for Thanksgiving, if possible.  And, it was fun to make.  I have a slight tweak in the recipe that I want to try.  I guess I treat cooking creation just like I would do any other project.  Iteratively refining.  🙂

Pico de Gallo - Brad Ormand


And in other news, I did end up soldering that ARM chip in juuust fine.  Oh my god, though – it was a big challenge!  Yeah, please excuse my amazement if you are a veteran eyelash-pin-pitch solderer, but I had a bit of trouble starting up.  I had never gone *that* small before!

Brad Ormand - ARM 0.5mm pin pitch soldered and tested

Ok, enough of the drama…  I did it.  It’s done.  I checked the continuity of every inner lead and outer lead (board connectors) individually, and it’s fine 🙂  I’m getting the development  toolchain ready to go, and I’ll be on my way to (finally) doing some more coding again, and to hop back on that FFT testing with my wonderful array of displays.  Love it!

So, it’ll take me a few days to get all of this going.  Also, there are a lot of port names I have to learn, and the pinout of the chip has to be mapped to JTAG and so on.  I have to do the ground work.  Yeah, I could buy a ready-made development board, but nah – that’s not what I’m doing this game for.  I want to learn how to build around a chip in my projects.  There’s a chip – it’s pinouts are like this, and its inputs require filtering and it gets x-and-x regulated power and outputs to this other stage that I need to amplify, etc, etc.  That’s the fun part. 🙂  And, plus, I have specific space-sensitive applications for this development and I want to make applications that actually embed tightly in cases…  So, the getting used to devving with the dev boards is convenient, and you don’t have to (or maybe don’t *get* to) reinforce those skills and practicalities of like soldering the chip, pinning out the JTAG, etc, but that’s where the product space is at.

Anyway, so that’s the direction I want to keep going in.

Brad Ormand Strat

11.19.2014 – Songs, ARM & Strat

Ugh.  Major Fail.  I tried soldering my ARM chip to a board that I wanted to fit on my breadboard and I nearly stuck all of the pins together.  It’s my first venture into 0.5 millimeter pin pitch soldering, and I sucked very badly at it.  But, I haven’t quit, yet 🙂 .

Brad Ormand - Botched ARM 0.5mm chip

Yeah, I hesitate to even show this pic at all since this is public, but…  Oh well, I started this whole thing to detail out the progress and happenstance events of my various journeys into art and engineering, and well…  The fails are part of it, I guess.  But….  It’s like soldering eyelashes together!!  Like connecting the ridges of a dime!!  (rant)  Whew, okay… Hey, I’m a software guy (cop out).  I mean, I’m just a musician (cop out).  Damn.  Ok, I’m not very good at this yet.  For real. Dammit.

Ok, moving on (quickly).  I finally have my guitar tuned inside and out!  I, of course, put those new strings on there, and adjusted the bridge and neck so that the strings would be as close to the neck as possible, and retuned like 12 times, and finally came out with something stable.  It plays better than ever!  I mean, one of the things I didn’t like about this Strat (’91 vintage, USA) was that the strings stood off of the neck quite a bit more than an Ibanez metal guitar or Les Paul (which are other guitars that I like 🙂 ).  But, this Strat is my primary axe and my favorite.

Brad Ormand Strat

So, now, I’m working on transcribing out the solo I want to accomplish on the guitar out into musical notation from MIDI screenshots so that I have a good view of it, and can read off of it while I’m learning it.  I’m starting with the first 2 bars and then I’ll learn it 2 bars at a time, from the beginning of it to the place I’m at.  Keep in mind that I wrote this solo, and it has already been recorded.  But, I used an instrument other than the guitar to capture and post-process the final solo.  I used the Roland JP-8000 to assist with that 🙂

And, speaking of the songs, I did get a chance to mix down “Fine” and “Kitchen” with a new kick drum arrangement, for ’em both.  They are massively punchy, and I am incredibly glad!  There’s not much to do left.  The mixdown session well.  The testing session went well.  It’s just failing less and less.  Which is a good thing.

And….  back to the ARM chip, if you’re still with me.  Okay, yeah, uhm, I will get out a heat gun to desolder that chip, and really, I shoulda used that in the first place to solder it.  I just had too big of a solder tip and not enough flux when I did it.  I’m going to have to get a smaller tip and a flux pen or something to start soldering that kind of shit, manual.  I’ll work it out. The pins are sooooo small!!  I keep thinking: “eyelashes”!

And, I’m doing these projects fresh off of work, most days, where I’m still somewhat thinking about our project iterations there, and next to my social life where I have several motivating things to think about right now.  So, it’s hard to switch over, I find. …Okay, I might be making more excuses…  However, I do have some vacation time in about a week, and I do want to lay out some time between the holiday outings to get me and 0.5mm ARM on good terms. And, I’ll launch this blog as well during that time.  Music player and painting gallery are almost finished..

Eventually, I’d like to be able to get this manual small-pitch soldering down.  It’s not like slipping a chip into a DIP socket or through-hole shit – it’s a whole different ball game.  People have become awesome at this shit, and I know some of these tiny-part, microscope-soldering guys, personally – and they brag about it, too.  And, now I know why.  Props to them.  I know now.  LOL.  But, my experiment went haywire, and I learned a few good lessons.  Cheers to the new revolution of tiny eyelash-spaced parts!!! YaY. (mumbled facetiousness).


Brad Ormand - Moon Painting First Coat

11.18.2014 – Painting & Chip Fault

I realized that the breakdown of my 8-bit chip might not have come from my ADC overvoltage (and negligence 😉 ).  In fact, it turns out, the chip might not be faulty at all!  Instead, my chip programming tool is dead.  It won’t turn on, even.  And, the last time it programmed, it probably only got a few bits in and that’s why the chip doesn’t turn on.  So… I’m going to bet that’s what it is.  Don’t now for sure, but it’s very plausible.

I actually have another 8-bit AVR programmer, the MKII, but it died a few years ago, actually (I don’t know why I keep it around – maybe because the lights still come on and it looks pretty and I have some hope for repair).  It doesn’t sense any chip when other programmers do.  I’ve been around the block trying to figure it out with no luck – days of work on it with no result over the years.  And, that was the case with it today – no result, even with a fresh chip. I’m not going to pop the cover and debug it.  I’ll toggle off of programming until I get the Cortex-M4’s in next week (Niice!)  I can’t wait.

And, in other news, I got some more plaster and made the ridges in my moon painting even deeper.  It’s going to be really awesome!  I sculpted it so that when placed under a light source, the top ridges cast a shadow over the lit groove (lighting not yet implemented) and since it’s slightly larger at different points along the ridge, the light will shine out non-uniformly, and I imagine different bumps and features will light and cast as well.  Should be pretty cool!


BradOrmand.com Design Mock V2

11.02.2014 – Blog, VCO & Digikey

Not much going on today so far.  My current project is working on getting a good design for this WordPress blog going.  Yep, I’m writing all of this before it has gone live (for a month now).  I edited another video to go with the Audio Tool and synth VCO – a demo of how it sounds.  I mean pics just don’t do sound and animation any justice at all 😉  So, gotta break out the limited video editing skill that I have.  Good enough for now.

And, I have a potential design that I did a few months ago for the site, but it’s kind of “out there”.  However, it looks cool, tho, nonetheless.


I’m tweaking that now.  I’ve used the twentyfourteen theme as a base and cloned it to this “BlueTech” theme (that’s just what I’m calling it right now).  I have done quite a lot with it so far, and have chosen to use elements from this.  It won’t look exactly the same, but I hope to keep the colors, bg, header, and use the “eyeball” as an audio player or image gallery or something.  I don’t know.  I’m modifying the style.css file, making new sidebar.php and page.php’s, etc.  Still working on it…

Also, I’m putting together an order to Jameco and Digikey.  I’m getting in an ARM Cortex-M4 ATSAM4S (D32B), QFP, soon and getting a toolchain lined up.  And, I need some JFETs, 5532s, and some more mylar caps for the synth start-up on my breadboard – and a bunch of other stuff.