One of Those Stupid “Sorry For Not Blogging” Blog Posts

Yeah, it’s been sparse on this blog lately. That’s because the blogger has been stupid-busy. The kittens have some sort of digestive ailment and are quarantined to main-level bathroom, with forays into the kitchen for exercise. Yes, this is rather a PITA, but they should be all better in about a week.

Paper Jade should receive a shipment of rather exotic paper today. I’ll post more details once it’s available for sale in the store. It’s taken so long to arrange to get this stuff that I don’t want to jinx anything by even mentioning it by name until I actually have it in my hot little fists.

I mowed the lawn for the first time this season last week, oh joy. I startled a baby rabbit out of a tallish tuft of grass while doing so. Its mother has been hanging out in the yard for several weeks; now we know why. Fortunately I didn’t decapitate her youngster with the lawnmower.

I’ve been messing with an Arduino in my spare moments. I’ve sort of been looking down my nose at them in the past, since I already have “real” development tools for ATmega microcontrollers and know how to use them. But there are some handy things about the Arduino and its simplified approach. Writing code for it sort of reminds me of the good ol’ days of microcomputer programming, when you could write a hundred lines of BASIC and be entirely amused by the results. I attached a 2×16 LCD, a rotary encoder, and some jacks to the thing, put it all into a little cardboard box (for stability), and wrote a little program that makes it into a four-output pulse generator for my modular. (I guess that means it’s a Modularduino!) The next idea I have in mind is to make it into a four-output gate sequencer.

I purchased a PC board to build a set of Juergen Haible’s Living VCOs. I have five VCOs in my modular already, but somehow it seemed appealing to add some with character different than the MOTM VCOs. Juergen does excellent work–several of the MOTM filters were designed by him–so I was excited when I learned that he was doing a VCO project. There is a forum about the project here and one builder is documenting his work here, including a very helpful list of Mouser part numbers which I will certainly use when I get around to ordering the components.

The iris in the back yard have started to open.

By adam

Go ahead, try to summarize yourself in a sentence or two.


  1. I hope that Bridechamber does a panel for the JH VCO soon, although he said something about using vernier pots/knobs for his panel.

  2. Yeah. Unfortunately there are several problems with doing “a panel” for this module. The first problem is that the module can be configured in a number of different ways, and it’s easy to imagine that people will disagree about the “right” way to configure it. JH’s page has diagrams that suggest three different configurations, and the other page I linked to has at least that many proposed panel layouts, ranging in size from 3U to 5U. I haven’t yet decided how I’m going to configure mine.
    The second problem is the vernier knobs, yes. Part of the idea of this module is to reproduce some characteristics of the EMS VCOs, and those use big verniers and 10-turn pots. The proposed MOTM layouts described above substitute the usual pair of single-turn coarse and fine pots. Personally I think that using vernier controls sounds like fun, but they do take up a huge amount of space. Someone in the forum I mentioned found these verniers, which are much smaller:
    I’ll probably use those.

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