Author Topic: FX Switcher Project Finished!  (Read 13411 times)

Dean Hazelwanter

FX Switcher Project Finished!
« on: April 12, 2007, 10:57:47 AM »
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w290/extester01/Picture110.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w290/extester01/Picture106.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w290/extester01/Picture103.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w290/extester01/Picture088.jpg

I finished this project about a month ago, after working on it for a year or 2 off and on. When I started working on a rack mount multi-FX system years ago, I came to the conclusion that I would have to build something to control the whole works. The only right way to do this was to use PICs or something similar – which was a problem, since I’d never used them before. Eventually I bit the bullet and learned.

The rack-mounted head controls 32 relays, and has 63 user configurable presets which are stored on onboard EEPROM. It plugs into a floor pedal via RS232 over CAT5. The head unit has a Centronic connector on the back, which will plug into (the yet to be built) Phase 3 - the rack full of DIY effects. Each effect has a bypass relay, and there are some other relay-controlled features. So, the head provides the signals to control the effects.

On power-up, the head displays the current preset (00) on the dual 7 segment display. The status of the 32 outputs is shown by the corresponding 32 LEDs. You can increment or decrement the preset location by pressing the arrow up/down buttons, or you can directly go to any preset location (00-62) by using the numeric buttons on the right. To toggle the state of an output, push its corresponding button.
If an output's state is changed (changing the current preset), the 'Save' LED lights. Pressing the 'Clear' button reverts the preset to the last saved value. To keep the revised preset value, press the 'Save' button. The 'Confirm' LED lights, press 'Save' again, and the preset is updated. Pressing 'Clear' with no configuration change clears that preset. Of course, pressing 'arrow up' at preset 62 sends you to preset 0, as pressing 'arrow down' at preset 0 sends you to preset 62.

The Pedal talks to the head via RS232 over a CAT5 cable and gets its power from the head. The left most digit on the display (green) is bank number (0-6). The other 2 digits (red) are the current preset - which is always the same as that displayed on the head. The upper 2 buttons select bank up and down, and the bank number is completely independent of the current preset. As you would expect, if you select bank 2, and press button 5, preset 25 is selected and displayed on the head and displayed on the pedal. If 'arrow up' is pressed twice on the head, preset 27 is selected and displayed on the head and displayed on the pedal.

There is an extra 3 pin connector on the back of the pedal - ground plus 2 spare conductors that go through the RS232 over CAT5, through the head, through the Centronics, to the FX rack - for remote controlling a Wah (or similar using the Craig Anderton remote circuit). Could also be used for 'live' controlling of something like a looper.

There are approximately 3700 lines of assembler code between the 18F452s in the head unit and pedal. This was the first time programming in assembler for me. I’m sure better programmers could have written it more succinctly, but I had to do it all my way so I could understand it.

Although I wrote all the code, designed all the boards, did all the cabinet machining, trust me – this didn’t happen in a vacuum. When I got into it, I scoured the net for information to get me started. One of the best sources of inspiration and information was R.G. Keen – of course! So a very big thanks to him. Big thanks also to Mark Hammer for listening to whining, showing great insight, and giving me reality checks when mine bounced. ;)

When I decided to build the controller, I had already built many of the effects. Unfortunately some newer, better effects have emerged as candidates for this system. I decided the rack system will be sort of a ‘Frac-Rack’ system for flexibility.

So, since I finished the controller, I’ve resumed work on the FX Rack itself.

dano12

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 11:38:13 AM »
Holy crap. That pretty much rules.

Do you have a pic of the back?

Zero the hero

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 12:56:55 PM »
 :icon_eek: :icon_eek: :icon_eek: :icon_eek:
That's gorgeous!

Morocotopo

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 12:59:36 PM »
Are you out of your mind?

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

That´s simply GREAT!!!

And I´m proud to be building a plywood pedalboard! Reality check!   :o


Seriously, great work.

You´re not going to make our lives more difficult by making this a public DIY project, are you?

Morocotopo

Morocotopo

Harry Palms

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 01:34:37 PM »
Talk about seperating the men from the boys. You just blasted the Grand Canyon between the two. I've been on that path, struggling and unsuccessful, now for about a year with the same basic idea. This is the future for stompbox DIY/hobbying as far as I'm concerned.

For those who may have missed it, check out the Project:Crossbar thread in the DSP Section. Chuck is doing some beautiful jam up work too.
http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=43104.0

Great job Dean. That is very exciting and wonderful.

puretube

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 01:41:38 PM »
HATs OFF!
 :icon_cool: :icon_cool:

Kornell

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 02:06:32 PM »
Awesome!!  :icon_eek:

Auke Haarsma

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 02:08:34 PM »
awesome!

The Tone God

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 02:11:07 PM »
Excellent :icon_exclaim:

Andrew

markusw

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2007, 02:14:48 PM »
Quote
Talk about separating the men from the boys.

Depressingly uber-fantastic!  8)

rhdwave

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 02:17:34 PM »
Wow!!! :o :icon_lol: :icon_biggrin:

Ben N

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Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2007, 02:39:24 PM »
Bradshaw! Cornish! HAZELWANTER!!!

That is absolutely the s&%t.

(Doesn't mean much from me.  But when guys like Ton tip their hats--geez, when Ton even puts on a hat--that is something.)

All hail!

Ben

Dean Hazelwanter

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2007, 03:23:10 PM »
dano12, I put up a picture of the back, but it's pretty boring.

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w290/extester01/Picture090.jpg

Morocotopo, no I probably won't make this one public. I would be open to someone serious manufacturing/selling it under licence, though...

Thanks for all the kind words folks, much appreciated!! :)

Oh - and another big thanks to Aron, for providing the clubhouse!  ;)

Mark Hammer

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2007, 04:58:34 PM »
The rest of you folks don't get it, but here in Canada we have been seeing a TV ad flaunting the innovative thinkers in the great rectangular province of Saskatchewan (Riderville, pop 1,000,000  :icon_wink: ).  Add one more to that list.  Maybe its because they don't have a hockey team so all that energy gets channeled into doing something productive once the Grey Cup is over.   :icon_lol: Maybe its because Saskatoon is kind of north-ish so its easier to stay up late working during the summer.  Whatever it is, this IS the shiz-nazz my friend.  Be proud.  Be very very proud.  An extremely professional concept and build.

blanik

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2007, 05:05:07 PM »
it's nice, Berhinger sells those for 35$...  :D

joking, i'ts amazing!!!

roknjohn

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2007, 08:30:59 PM »
Hey I thought this was a Do It Yourself site, not a do it really, really, really nice, so no one can tell the difference from a commercial product site!!

I'm always amazed at how well the diy folks can do just as well as (and in some cases better than) commercial products. I also love seeing the creative and personal touch that many folks add to their projects. Wow, what an awesome bunch we are!! ;D

Excellent handiwork Dean. You da man.

boogietube

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2007, 09:29:09 PM »
Only a Canadian could do that ! Cheers Dean! That is the most incredible thing that I've seen to date on this site!
Wow!
Pedals Built- Morley ABC Box, Fultone A/B Box, DIY Stompboxes True Bypass box, GGG Drop in Wah, AMZ Mosfet Boost, ROG Flipster, ROG Tonemender, Tonepad Big Muff Pi.
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fikri

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Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2007, 12:44:59 AM »
What the #@$%*!?!?!  :o Boy, that is what i called "Hard Work !"  ;)

Iojan

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2007, 12:54:03 AM »
it's amazing! congratulations!  ;D

Dean Hazelwanter

Re: FX Switcher Project Finished!
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2007, 09:50:16 AM »
Wow - thanks again guys! :)  It's always nice to get positive reviews from a jury of your peers. Most people have no idea what I'm talking about when I try to explain it.

It's easy to appear tall when you're standing on the shoulders of giants - it also helps when you go to watch your dog run away for 3 days!** ;) 

Quote
Maybe its because Saskatoon is kind of north-ish so its easier to stay up late working during the summer.

Actually it's just the opposite, Mark. These are the prime building days. I just can't get motivated to sit in the basement soldering when the weather warms up, so it's sort of a scramble to get as much done as possible before it gets nice out. Summer is for lounging out in the back yard, going to a bazillion garage sales on quests for old tube amps and other treasures, and making amps or cabinets.

** It's a running gag that Saskatchewan is so flat that if your dog runs away, you can watch him go for 3 days. That's why we have 2 cats. ;)