A few months ago I was attempting to reformat my laptop as a dual-boot machine with both Ubuntu and Windows 10 and I was having issues getting the boot manager to properly detect both operating systems. Shortly after changing a setting in the BIOS related to SATA operation, the laptop suddenly stopped working after rebooting. Powering it on resulted only in a pure black screen where after approximately fifteen seconds it flashed “Lenovo Misto Ontario”, and then nothing. It was true and thoroughly “bricked”. I tried everything I knew to fix it, including pulling the CMOS battery, reformatting the hard…
Now that I’ve calculated the theoretical framerate limits, it’s time to measure the actual framerates my Adalight device is putting out. Using a logic analyzer and an Arduino Nano, I’m going to measure the framerate at varying Prismatik “Grab Intervals” and baud rates, and compare those numbers to what my calculations predict will happen.
Since I’m experimenting with increasing Adalight framerate, the first step was to try driving the Arduino Nano with a faster serial baud rate. Unfortunately, Prismatik only supports three baud rates: 9600, 57600, and 115200. But after talking with Patrick Siegler, he pointed out a way to use your own custom baud rate for Adalight or Ardulight devices.
I recently posted a few ideas about how to improve the framerate of an ambilight driven using the Adalight protocol. Before trying to implement some of those options, I thought it would be worthwhile to actually calculate the theoretical framerate limitations.
One of my first thoughts on how to improve Moppy was to drive it directly via MIDI. At the moment, the format of serial messages sent to the drive controller is proprietary and requires using the “MoppyDesk” application on your PC to convert MIDI notes into playable pins and wave periods. What if we can skip the PC altogether and simply plug a MIDI cable into the floppy drive controller? The goal of this experiment is just to see if this is feasible.
While MIDI is serial communication, it is a standardized protocol and is treated differently by most operating systems. But because it’s just serial data, it’s possible to “re-route” these MIDI messages to a generic serial device like an Arduino using two small pieces of software.
As cool as I think ambilights are, using Adalight with my DIY setup has one major limitation: framerate. Video technology works on a principle caused persistence of vision, which means that our brains still “see” an image briefly after it’s taken away. If you replace the images quickly enough, our brains interpolate the differences between them and we get an illusion of motion.
Note: This project is current a work in progress. This page is likely to change as I progress. Overview The goal of this project is to build a set of “musical” floppy disk drives. That is, to be able to use a floppy disk drive as an instrument that plays notes via MIDI. Using a few of these drives I can even play entire songs. Posts Part 1: Getting Started with Musical Floppy Drives Part 2: Building Custom Floppy Drive Power Cables Part 3: Building Musical Floppy Drive Breakout Boards Part 4: 8 Musical Floppy Drives Play “Cara Mia Addio” Part 5: Controlling Musical…