Midifighter board files
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  1. #1
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    Default Midifighter board files

    Hi all,

    I've just download and started looking over the schematic for the Midifighter, and while this is a fairly simple schematic I don't fancy the arduous layout task at hand. Is there any chance the board files can be made public to the community so that we don't have to do this? Or is the project under a different open source license?

    I understand perfectly if you don't want to release them, but monome haven't suffered from the public being able to reproduce them.

    Just a thought, many thanks.
    Dave

  2. #2
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    The midi fighter is cheap, is there really a cost savings by building it yourself? and is the small margin worth your time?
    Check out my EDM blog: http://lacedwithbass.com/

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plainnash View Post
    Is there any chance the board files can be made public to the community so that we don't have to do this? Or is the project under a different open source license?

    The Midifighter is an Open Source Hardware project, so yes, we are committed to releasing all materials under a Creative Commons Attribution/Sharealike license. The board, however, was not designed using open source friendly software like Cadsoft's "Eagle", it was designed using a $20,000-a-seat pro development platform that wouldn't be helpful to anyone but users of that system. We decided sharing those files would be next to useless, so we didn't.

    If you do want to take the nets from the design and produce a layout in Eagle, we'd definitely host it!

  4. #4
    DJTT Super Moderator midifidler's Avatar
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    There is absolutely no way that you will be able to get a PCB made for less than the sale price on our store.

    Etching it yourself would be possible however there are a lot of vias which unless you have a via plating kit you would probably have to change the PCB art to suit soldering wire through to re create the via.

    I can post the top and bottom gerber files if you are interested in attempting to fabricate this youself.

    However given that I specifically designed this for SMD process and to be fabricated by PCB manufacturers it would make more sense to re-do the layout for home fabrication.

    I am happy to answer any questions if you are interested in developing a version of the PCB for home fabrication

    The monome DIY PCB was designed with home fabrication in mind, and uses a minimal number of vias, and through hole components

    As Robin said the PCB source files are from an proffessional CAD package so of no use to home builders

  5. #5
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    Cheers for the quick replies guys,

    Shane: My intention isn't to undercut DDJT and get it for cheaper, for me it's an education into what goes into making a class compliant MIDI controller. While the board file isn't vital for this, it's sure interesting to see how it was designed.

    Fatlimey: Thanks for that, I had a funny feeling it wasn't made in Eagle, but there's no harm asking :]. In the event I do attempt a version for home fabrication, I'll definitely be in touch about the hosting of it, many thanks.

    midifidler: Cheers for the advice, I wasn't planning on etching it myself though, I've had a lot of joy with BatchPCB in the past and if I did end up trying something like this it'd be through them, there's no replacement for a professional PCB when it comes to SMT work.
    On that note; would people prefer any 'DIY' version of the PCB to be SMT or through-hole? I'm guessing the size might go up slightly for through-hole; not sure there's enough clearance or space between the buttons and the board.

    To reiterate, I'm NOT trying to undercut anyone and I definitely won't be producing them, I'm just looking around for something to start over summer.
    Not meaning to digress, but is there any interest in the Aurora mixer on here? http://auroramixer.com/

    Cheers,
    plainnash

  6. #6
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    I would really enjoy a "more" DIY version and I think that thru-the-hole would make it much more accessible, however, I cannot find a comparable thru-hole chip. In that case you'd probably have to use some sort of socket and then you generally have to solder the TQFP on anyway so it doesn't seem very practical.

    Also, yes the aurora mixer seems pretty cool. My current setup lacks a mixer so those 4 analog inputs on the midi fighter seem very interesting, as well as a dedicated midi mixer.

  7. #7
    DJTT Super Moderator midifidler's Avatar
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    A truly DIY thru-hole version would be cool but unfortunately it is not possible with the current design due to the micro used.

    SMD is really not that hard, but it just takes a little more technique.

    If you would like I'm sure it would be possible to arrange to buy a unpopulated MF PCB at a reasonable price, that way we could even supply you some of the clips which you can only buy in very high volumes.

  8. #8
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    What makes the AT90USB162 better for this application (aside from size) as opposed to an ATmega32? Isn't there a chip you could use to get the usb connectivity?

    SMD also requires a semi-decent soldering iron, something I lack at the moment (It's at the top of my to-buy list, though). Also, how you keep from frying the chips when you solder them on? In my early days I was making something w/ a bunch of NAND gates and was soldering straight to the pins which fried the chip.

    Yes, I would be interested in buying an unpopulated PCB. I was thinking about using white led's ans do an unpopulated boar would save me a lot of de-soldering. It'd be really cool if you could offer that as a "normal" option in the store. However, you'd have to make it clear that you need to be proficient at soldering and that there wouldn't be as much tech support b/c of the chip-frying possibilities.

    It would also be really cool if you made this board as a breakout for all the led's and other pins. That way it could move beyond midifighter (the 4x4 array) to midifighter (the open-source development platform).

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    The AT90USB162 has USB built in for no extra cost. Having local circuits that look after the USB messaging so the CPU doesn't have to drop whatever it's doing just because the USB host drops by for an update is priceless. We'd love to have used the ATMega16U2 as it has analog I/O and a more power for practically the same price but at the time they were next to impossible to source. If we were starting again that's the chip we'd start with.

    The problem with "getting a chip for USB connectivity" is that chips like the FTDI ones are really just dumb serial ports so you don't get to specify how your device appears to the host. Plus, they cost more than the entire microcontroller (which is why people call them the "Arduino Tax").

  10. #10
    DJTT Super Moderator midifidler's Avatar
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    We only have a couple of boards that are not populated so I dont think it would be worthwhile adding them to the store at this stage, however If enough people showed interest next production run we could do fully diy kitsets where we supplied all the neccesary components loose with a choice of led color.

    What exactly do you mean by frying the chips, too much heat or static discharge?

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