You’re Not Fully Clean Unless You’re Zestfully Clean! (Zest soap circa 1988)

One of those little jingles that got caught in my head as a child and creeps its way back into my consciousness every so often.

Arduino Basics Lesson 2-1: “Play It Again, Sam”

For the “Arduino For Kooks” course, I recommend you get the Arduino Starter Kit available here.

Up until this point in the series, we have been using LEDs to manipulate light with the Arduino. For this project, we’re going to incorporate a piezo buzzer to manipulate sound for Maximum Annoyance Value! The piezo is a small element that vibrates in the presence of an electric current or–alternatively–generates an electric current when it vibrates.

The Circuit:

Connect jumper wires from the +5V and GND pins on the Arduino to the bus rails along one side of the breadboard. Connect a jumper from the +5V rail to one side of a tactile switch. Connect the other side of the switch with a jumper to one side of the next switch, and so on, until you have wired all 4 switches in series. Connect a jumper from the last switch terminal to pin A0 on the Arduino.

Connect the 220R, 1KR, and 1MR resistors to the switches as shown in the diagram.

Connect the ground lead of the piezo buzzer to the ground rail and the positive lead to pin 8 on the Arduino via jumper wires.

The Sketch:

/*
  Play It Again, Sam
A rudimentary Arduino synthesizer

  created 13 Sep 2012
  by Scott Fitzgerald

  This example code is part of the public domain.
*/

// create an array of notes
// the numbers below correspond to the frequencies of middle C, D, E, and F
int notes[] = {262, 294, 330, 349};

void setup() {
  //start serial communication
  Serial.begin(9600);
}

void loop() {
  // create a local variable to hold the input on pin A0
  int keyVal = analogRead(A0);
  // send the value from A0 to the Serial Monitor
  Serial.println(keyVal);

  // play the note corresponding to each value on A0
  if (keyVal == 1023) {
    // play the first frequency in the array on pin 8
    tone(8, notes[0]);
  } else if (keyVal >= 990 && keyVal <= 1010) { // play the second frequency in the array on pin 8 tone(8, notes[1]); } else if (keyVal >= 505 && keyVal <= 515) { // play the third frequency in the array on pin 8 tone(8, notes[2]); } else if (keyVal >= 5 && keyVal <= 10) {
    // play the fourth frequency in the array on pin 8
    tone(8, notes[3]);
  } else {
    // if the value is out of range, play no tone
    noTone(8);
  }
}

Commodore SX-64 1541 Floppy Drive Repair

The Commodore 1541 floppy diskette drive is notorious for breaking down. The Commodore SX-64 floppy drive is no different. As I continue my Commodore SX-64 restoration, I find that the 1541 floppy drive doesn’t read diskettes any more and makes a chattering sound when attempting to read a disk. In this video, I walk through how to diagnose the SX-64 floppy drive as well as possible remedies before finally replacing the 1541 mechanism with a standalone drive.

Commodore SX-64 Keyboard Repair

The Commodore SX-64 keyboard is usually the first thing to fail on these old systems. As such, I need to repair the keyboard on this SX-64 restoration. To begin, I’ll need to DIY an SX-64 keyboard cable from a 25-pin serial cable. I’ll use the SX-64 replacement keyboard cable to diagnose problems with the membrane keyboard itself and resurface the SX-64 membrane keyboard. Finally, I’ll rebuild the plastic shell of the SX-64 keyboard with Bondo automotive filler in order to get the SX-64 keyboard as close to the original stock look as possible.

10Q: Special Bonus Question

As in years past, we are offering you a Special Bonus Question in which you get to predict what you think will happen in the coming year–not just to you, but to the world around you. For this year’s version of the Special Bonus Question, we have teamed up with Larry Smith’s  Six-Word Memoirs, which recently published Six Words Fresh Off The Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity & Coming To America.  For this bonus question, be as local or as global as you like, so long as you answer in exactly six words.

New marriage. New life. New adventures.

10Q #10: When September 2019 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?

When September 2020 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?

This has been the most amazingly different year for me: jumping into more entrepreneurial endeavors (and the subsequent stresses and anxieties that come with them) as well as getting engaged (and married, in a few weeks). There’s so much in the air right now that I don’t know where to even throw the dart of expectations!

Barbie and I have talked about kids, but we’re not settled on that idea yet. We’ve got a lot of debt to pay off still, but we’re both making more money to get it taken care of. We’re on the cusp of a new adventure together, and it’s a lot of blank slate over the next 12 months, so we shall have to see!

Previously

10Q #9: What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

It’s always been something in the back of my mind, but I have more recently become fearful of losing my ability to easily earn an income in one way or another–either through day job ending when I’m not prepared or contract work drying up. It cripples me with existential dread some times, and others it only drives me to work until I drop.

Gottagetitdonegottagetitdonegottagetitdone

It’s not the most healthy way to live long term.

Previously

Commodore SX-64 Blank Screen Fix

In my quest to restore the Commodore SX-64, my first obstacle was the lack of video signal on the internal monitor. I needed to diagnose the Commodore SX-64 video signal before I would be able to move on to any other Commodore SX-64 repairs. In this video, I will go through the process to diagnose a Commodore SX-64 blank screen and step through how to repair a Commodore SX-64 blank screen. In this video, I’ll go over how to build a DIY Commodore AV cable, how to reseat Commodore chips, and how to replace a Commodore PLA chip.

Check out more Commodore SX-64 videos here

Watch the complete Commodore SX-64 restoration here

10Q #8: Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2020?

Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2020?

I have so many things that I want to learn, but only so much time to learn them! I think that my focus right now should be on improving my electronics design and manufacturing skills so that I can continue to develop my career as a prototype engineer.

Previously

10Q #7: How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

Get on top of the time stream! Get in front of the deadlines! Don’t take on more than you can reasonably handle. Start learning your real limitations and maximize the potential within the envelope!

Previously

Adventitious Geekery and other distractions created or curated by Matthew "Atari" Eargle