DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

...and how to do so...
pinbot
KVRist
176 posts since 31 Dec, 2005

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:20 am

I want to build a nice MIDI controller with all the usual stuff. Should I invest in an Arduino, or a Raspberry Pi? I want as much features as I can. I also want to make sure it's solderless if that's possible. I don't know how much it'll cost, but it'd be fun to make one.

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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
5169 posts since 7 Jan, 2005 from Corporate States of America

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:36 am

Probably not possible.
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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27632 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:04 am

Yeah, as Jace says, the no-soldering requirement is pretty prohibitive.

(Non-SMT) soldering is not hard, though.

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder/
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GaryG
KVRAF
5797 posts since 13 Jan, 2003 from Kent, UK

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:13 am

I'd start with a simple one, walk before you run and all that. I've found the Teensy microcontrollers great for this, inbuilt midi over usb etc. Not much soldering if you get a board with pins, just the pots etc. Build one with a few pots, a few buttons (always useful) then worry about displays, encoders etc. You know you'll have to do some coding too, right? :)
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Forgotten
KVRAF
4491 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:14 am

whyterabbyt wrote:(Non-SMT) soldering is not hard, though.
Even SMT soldering isn't too hard to pick up with some practice though. Pulling apart some dead piece of electronic equipment and desoldering and resoldering components is a good way to practice.

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27632 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:58 am

Forgotten wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:14 am
whyterabbyt wrote:(Non-SMT) soldering is not hard, though.
Even SMT soldering isn't too hard to pick up with some practice though. Pulling apart some dead piece of electronic equipment and desoldering and resoldering components is a good way to practice.
Yeah, a few people have assured me of that, but despite best intentions, Ive still not got around to trying it, unfortunately. Not sure Ive got the hand-eye to even place the parts, Im a clumsy bugger sometimes.
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

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Forgotten
KVRAF
4491 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:26 am

whyterabbyt wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:58 am
Forgotten wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:14 am
whyterabbyt wrote:(Non-SMT) soldering is not hard, though.
Even SMT soldering isn't too hard to pick up with some practice though. Pulling apart some dead piece of electronic equipment and desoldering and resoldering components is a good way to practice.
Yeah, a few people have assured me of that, but despite best intentions, Ive still not got around to trying it, unfortunately. Not sure Ive got the hand-eye to even place the parts, Im a clumsy bugger sometimes.
The trick is to remember that you can solder one end at a time - put a small amount of solder on the pad, push the component against the pad with tweezers or something similar, melt the solder and apply a small amount of pressure to seat the component properly; soldering the other end is then easy.

Drachenkatze
KVRer
26 posts since 10 Nov, 2018

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:44 am

Forgotten wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:26 am
whyterabbyt wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:58 am
Forgotten wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:14 am
whyterabbyt wrote:(Non-SMT) soldering is not hard, though.
Even SMT soldering isn't too hard to pick up with some practice though. Pulling apart some dead piece of electronic equipment and desoldering and resoldering components is a good way to practice.
Yeah, a few people have assured me of that, but despite best intentions, Ive still not got around to trying it, unfortunately. Not sure Ive got the hand-eye to even place the parts, Im a clumsy bugger sometimes.
The trick is to remember that you can solder one end at a time - put a small amount of solder on the pad, push the component against the pad with tweezers or something similar, melt the solder and apply a small amount of pressure to seat the component properly; soldering the other end is then easy.
Also flux is your best friend when doing SMD work. Use thin solder (I use 0.5mm) and a relatively large tip (1.2mm chisel tip) and despite my shaky hands I'm able to solder down to 0402 without problems.

The trick is to use as little solder as possible and flux does magic.

wehkah
KVRist
81 posts since 8 Oct, 2007

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:41 am

pinbot wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:20 am
I want to build a nice MIDI controller with all the usual stuff. Should I invest in an Arduino, or a Raspberry Pi? I want as much features as I can. I also want to make sure it's solderless if that's possible. I don't know how much it'll cost, but it'd be fun to make one.
Using a breadboard for prototyping is solderless (mostly). I often read about people who want to make the last step w/o learning the basics before. I recommend you to learn the basics of electronics and programming. Check the Arduino online ressources they have a plenty of examples and learning lessons.

HumbleBundle right now offers a big bundle of MAKE books, they are really good!
https://www.humblebundle.com/books/prog ... make-books

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27632 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: DIY Desktop MIDI controller.... I want to make one and have no knowledge of circuits

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:30 am

wehkah wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:41 am
Using a breadboard for prototyping is solderless (mostly).
For the 'brain', yeah, that's fine, at the prototyping stafe. But if you're talking MIDI controller, you're talking about whatever input devices that entails, and to be honest, for that kind of device, that's going to be a lot of pushing pullling and wiggling of whatever that is, and temporary connections just aren't robust enough for 'real' use. Fifteen minutes learning to solder ugly blobs on a pot is well worth it just for that resilience.

Also; if you're is going to use a breadboard, dont ever leave in 'premade' jumper cables; strip wires to length and bed them down properly. Ive seen folk prototype stuff on a breadboard that's taken them weeks to build, but done with jumpers sprouting everywhere, and thus so fragile they couldn't carry it across a room without breaking the device, and needing hours of struggling to work out how to fix it.
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