Jeremy Cook Consulting
Recently I’ve been considering how to run an LED for a really, really long time on a CR02032 battery, and eventually (re)stumbled upon the idea of a joule thief. The video below does a good job outlining how this circuit works.
In this article, I’ll first outline the basics of using MIDI with CircuitPython on the Pico for direct interface with a computer. I’ll then show how a Pi 4 (or 3/2) can be used as a host to pipe signals to a keyboard or other device.
While some microcontrollers use a tiny amount of power in shutdown mode–and even while running in some cases–e.g. the ATtiny series–others are more demanding. This can be especially true for dev boards with their additional overhead, and/or if you’re using sensors that never quite turn off power-wise.
The RP2040, with a processing speed of 133 MHz, is capable of decoding MP3 files, and the Pico RP2040 dev board includes 2 MB of Flash–enough to store a significant amount of compressed audio. At a list price of $4, the Pico therefore makes an incredible and cost-effective platform for embedded audio playback.
Depending on your level of electronics knowledge, work, and/or experimentation, a voltmeter may be sufficient for your diagnostic needs. However, being able to see the way an electronic signal changes over time, or perhaps even multiple signals, takes your analysis capabilities to a whole new level.
Printed circuit boards are, at their most basic, a way to arrange conductors that travel between solder-mounted parts. At the same time, they’re extremely strong sections of precision-cut and coated fiberglass, that could have structural uses as well.
As I write this, I’ve successfully crowdfunded my JC Pro Macro 2 (JCPM2) mechanical keypad on Kickstarter. I’m extremely proud of this computer interface device, and when this article is published you should still have a few days to get one yourself. It’s an expanded version of the mini keyboard and rotary controller, with the addition of more LED lighting, and additional GPIO breakout features.