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Capacitive touch Drumkit with Raspberry Pi using MRP121

Couple of weeks ago I backed a new project Touch Board: Interactivity Everywhere on kickstater. This project excited me so much and I couldn’t wait for the finished product to arrive in March. I started to search for capacitive touch chips and finally landed on MPR121 breakout board on Sparkfun. Ordered them and received it 2 days ago and could not wait anymore and directly jumped into building a drums kit.

To make this work I did some research and everything was available but from different website. In this article I will put everything together in one place. I will go step by step

What do you need ?

1) Raspberry PI loaded with Raspbian OS.
2) MPR121 Capacitive Touch Sensor Breakout Board
3) Aluminium Foil for touch board
4) Connecting Wires

Configure I2C

I2C is a very commonly used standard designed to allow one chip to talk to another. So, since the Raspberry Pi can talk I2C we can connect it to a variety of I2C capable chips and modules. Please follow anyone of the following links to configure I2C on your Raspberry pi.

I2C and Raspbian wheezy
Adafruit’s Raspberry Pi Lesson 4. GPIO Setup

Connect the circuit

Can you detect the address of the MPR121 board ?

If you are not able to see 5a, try the command with i2cdetect -y 0. Still no luck! Google is your friend…

Download Code

Thanks to Scott Garner has contributed the complete source code of the beetbox. Download the code from github and run the program.

You should be able to hear the sound when you touch the foil inputs. If you are not able to hear the sound you can refer to this article to play sound file from command prompt in Raspberry Pi.

Thanks to Bare Conductive for inspiring this project… ;-)

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New in Town – Cubieboard3 aka CubieTruck

Cubietruck is the 3rd board of Cubieteam, we also name it Cubieboard3. It’s a new PCB model adopted with Allwinner A20 main chip, the same with Cubieboard2. But it is enhanced with some features, such as 2GB memory, VGA display interface on-board, 1000M NIC, WIFI+BT on-board, support Li-battery and RTC, SPDIF audio interface.

Features

  • Allwinner Tech A20 SOC
  • SATA supported
  • 54 extended pins
  • Built-in HDMI/ VGA display interface
  • Built-in WIFI+BT module
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Built-in IR receiver
  • SPDIF audio interface

Specifications

  • Allwinner Tech SOC A20 ARM® Cortex™-A7 Dual-Core ARM® Mali400 MP2 Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
  • 2GB DDR3@480MHz
  • HDMI&VGA 1080P display output on-board
  • 10M/100M/1G Ethernet
  • WIFI + BT wireless connection with antenna on-board
  • SATA 2.0 interface support 2.5’ HDD (for 3.5’ HDD, only need another 12V power input)
  • Storage solution NAND + MicroSD
  • 2 x USB HOST, 1 x OTG, 1 x SPDIF, 1 x IR, 4 x LEDs, 1 x Headphone, 3 x Keys
  • Power DC5V@2.5A with HDD support Li-battery & RTC
  • 54 extended pins including I2S, I2C, SPI, CVBS, LRADC x2,UART, PS2, PWM x2, TS/CSI, IRDA, LINEIN&FMIN&MICIN, TVIN x4 with 2.0 pitch connectors
  • PCB size 11cm *8cm*1.4mm

Received my board last week. Out of all the board I had tested so far this one is the most powerful I have tested. Really enjoying the performance so far but need to hack in more for the Bluetooth and other options which is built in the board. Will keep posted :-)

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Fun With Raspberry Pi, Able-HD monitor as Media Center Using XBMC

Last week I received an email from Able-HD monitor team that my screen is shipped and it’s tracking number. They apologized for being late with the tracking code. When I tracked the shipment it had already arrived in my postbox and been waiting for a week. I went immediately and collected it before they sent it back for not collecting. After collecting I tested using Apple TV and it was gorgeous. The only comment I have to the Able-HD team is the connector is very small, if it was little longer it would have been better placing the driver circuit and the LED screen properly.

Later during the weekend I took my Raspberry Pi and decided to make it a home media center and to use the new screen. After many trials installing XBMC I was successful in running Raspbmc successfully in a decent speed.

I was able to play movies in airplay and it was playing okay.

Verdict: Raspberry Pi needs more memory to buffer ;-)

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UDOO – Quad Core Computer and powerful dedicated ARM for the GPIO

Yayy! Received my UDOO board today and it was total surprise. After so many weeks only today I had time to blog about the backed projects in Kickstater and I receive my first backed project delivery today ;-)

…..

Kickstarter InfoUDOO is a very powerful board based on dual or quad core ARM cortex-A9 CPU with great performance both on Android and Linux OS, and a dedicated ARM processor for the GPIO. These are the main specifications:

  • Freescale i.MX 6 ARM Cortex-A9 CPU Dual/Quad core 1GHz
  • Integrated graphics, each processor provides 3 separated accelerators for 2D, OpenGL® ES2.0 3D and OpenVG™
  • Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU (same as Arduino Due)
  • RAM DDR3 1GB
  • 76 fully available GPIO
  • Arduino-compatible R3 1.0 pinout
  • HDMI and LVDS + Touch (I2C signals)
  • Ethernet RJ45 (10/100/1000 MBit)
  • WiFi Module
  • Mini USB and Mini USB OTG
  • USB type A (x2) and USB connector (requires a specific wire)
  • Analog Audio and Mic
  • SATA (Only Quad-Core version)
  • Camera connection
  • Micro SD (boot device)
  • Power Supply 12V and External Battery connector

I has the UDOO now and will post more details and benchmarks soon ;-)

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Backed Projects in Kickstarter.com

Over the past few months I had become an addictive backer with Kickstarter projects and so far I have backed 7 projects. For now I am patiently waiting to receive the project items I have backed so far. Trust me if you keep following the cool project Kickstarters as they come up with you will go bonkers and start backing projects everyday. These are some of the projects which attracted me and I have backed so far

1) UDOO - UDOO is a mini PC that could run either Android or Linux, with an Arduino-compatible board embedded. It is a powerful prototyping board for software development and design, it’s easy to use and with a few steps you can start using it and creating your projects with minimum knowledge. It merges different computing worlds in one; each world has its strengths and weaknesses, and all of them are useful today in education as well as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and rapid prototyping endeavours. It is an open hardware, low-cost computer equipped with an ARM i.MX6 Freescale processor for Android and Linux, alongside Arduino DUE’s ARM SAM3X, both CPU integrated on the same board!

The power of 4 Raspberry PI + Arduino DUE functionality = UDOO

2) NFC Ring - The NFC Ring can be used to unlock doors, mobile phones, transfer information and link people. Best of all the NFC Ring glides right onto your finger – no updates, no charging, and no fuss.

Single Ring Close up

3) Able-HD: The Portable DIY HD Monitor – Ever wish you had a second monitor for your laptop that is lightweight and can easily fit into your bag? This was my thought when inventing Able-HD. I often found that monitors are bulky, no matter how slim they claim to be. Today, most people choose to use a laptop, tablet or other gadgets. I currently use a laptop because it’s good with a mobile working environment, it’s portable and most importantly it fits in my bag. But how does it help with productivity? I usually have two or three monitors working in my office. It’s impossible for me to travel with my second or third monitor in my bag along with my laptop. Thus, the problem with a laptop is limited portable productivity. In this case, what if there was a monitor that weighed less than an iPad, with a 17″ inch screen and comes with HD 1080p resolution? A quality HD device can often times cost outrageous amounts of money, but Able-HD able to offer lower price!

The Able-HD is three times slimmer than any LED monitor in the market right now, but with the lowest price.

4) juiceBee – is the first portable charging and backup solution that combines a wall charger and a battery backup system – allowing them to dock and charge together or separately

THE UNIVERSAL 2-IN-1 USB WALL CHARGER+BATTERY BACKUP SOLUTION

5) SparqEE CELLv1.0: Cellular made easy (Arduino/Pi/+) – A tiny Cellular development board that gives you Wireless Worldwide. That means internet to anything anywhere!

Cellular made easy (Arduino/Pi/+)

6) Visionnaire – Fine Writing Instruments – This fountain pen was conceived for the writer, the designer, the entrepreneur, and the minimalist. It was designed for those who are passionate, creative, and aspiring. It is a fine writing instrument designed for the Visionnaire.

Chrome and Noir Visionnaire7) The Easy-Macro Smartphone Lens – It is the simplest, most convenient and easiest to use macro lens available for smartphones.  Its 4x magnification gives your phone’s camera close-up powers that you never thought possible and its unique, patented design means that it will fit on any smartphone available today (and tomorrow!) with or without a case.  It is also the only smartphone lens that stores in your wallet so you never leave it behind.  If you take photos with your phone, you need an Easy-Macro!

The First Easy-Macro Prototype

Plus I have a big wish list from Kickstarter. If any one interested in funding me to back the project I would love that ;-)