Monday, October 19, 2015

Fresh Pi

I worked the East Bay Mini Maker Faire yesterday. It seemed calmer, also smaller than the years previous. I was only supplying PA to one room this time, and I didn't have any competing gigs, so it was a very relaxed day for me. I tried not to pack too much this time; even though I did end up with extra, I didn't feel like I was making a hundred trips to the car lugging audio gear.

Basic PA was my two Jolly 5A's mounted horizontally with an ad-hoc adaption of the U-brackets I bent out of bar stock a number of years ago -- bolted them to Yamaha stand adaptors and that let them sit on top of my 6' On-Stage speaker stands. I did try to print a more elegant adaptor, but the print from the M3D Micro failed under load. I'm pretty sure the SLS (nylon) prints I've been getting at Shapeways would have held up. And I think I got better adhesion between layers with the Type A machines at TechShop, too. Not to say the Micro can't be tweaked a little and possibly get better performance...

Anyhow, ran them from my aging Mackie 1202VLZ Pro, so I could patch four different microphone options -- hand-held, hand-held wireless, lapel mic, and headset mic -- as well as a stereo feed for any audio tracks that might come with the various video presentations.

I did use all the mics. It was nice to have those options, in fact; some lecturers were comfortable with a hand-held and some wanted to go hands-free. The only failure was one very quiet speaker that went with lapel (and would have benefitted from headset mic).

I stuck compressor, Lexicon effects processor, and a Firewire interface in the rack but didn't use any of them. Basically, the rack functioned as a mixer table. If the layout had been very different, I was thinking about going Maker and using Reaper as speaker processor (and probably mixer as well). But I didn't need the various delays I was contemplating, or a graphic, or even compression (except for that one presenter. Sigh.) So I kept it simple -- simple enough I could just hand the mic over then go stroll the faire.

This time was volunteer. I wanted nothing more than ticket, lunch, and a t-shirt. Didn't get a t-shirt (that makes three years running they've forgotten!) Lunch was skimpy. So on one of my wanders I picked up a bottle of honey from some of the beekeepers. And a Rasberry Pi.

Been meaning to play with Pi sometime but the price point always made me re-think. So grabbing one on day-of-faire sale was a good way over that hurdle. I've just started looking into what I need just to get the thing up and running. I don't think I even have any spare keyboards drifting around. Bought a touchscreen, but there's a Munchausen problem here; have to get in to the Pi to program the touchscreen to be able to use it to get into the Pi.

So I'm probably dropping some more bucks at Adafruit. I'm in no hurry. I think working with the Pi is going to improve my Linux/command line skills, and I have thoughts towards building my own media player (I'm getting bored enough at work to listen to music I bring, and the only portable player I have is a no-name three-button MP3 player that doesn't give the ability to select albums or even see what you are playing. Was $2 at Allelectronics and I got two of them entirely as a possible cheap sound playback device for future props.) But other than that I have no real application for Pi.

Really, electronics speaking, I need to move ahead on the next revision of the DuckNode -- specifically, work up the Holocron fork, with an on-board LiPo management system. Gonna be a lot more surface mount in the next iteration, too. Someday I need to either build a reflow oven, or learn about Seeed Fusion (or whatever they call the thing that looks like it might be a full board fabbing service).

No comments:

Post a Comment