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  #1  
Old 06-06-2012, 06:08 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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Default Dancing Monkey

Hi,
I'm new to this forum. After reading some of these posts I really feel envious of the people who have put in the time to create some great ...shall we say...innovations. As a musician, I especially liked the robot drums.

Well, anyway on to the problem I'm having. I hope someone could give me a hand here.

I'm making a midi controlled dancing doll using the MSA-R. I'm midi-fying one of those monkeys that clang the tambourine and with the second channel a dancing penguin. I know this sounds kinda dumb but something this stupid is just what the doctor ordered to have as a novelty at my music gigs.

I've wired the MSA-R relays to turn on larger relays to handle the higher current that the dolls draw.

I want to hit a midi note on my Yamaha Tyros 4 midi keyboard and start the monkey (latched) and another note to start the penguin (also latched). I want them to toggle. Play a note to switch on and stay on ...hit the note again to stop it.

I want to use midi channel 1. I realize I'll have 6 other switches. I'll have to think up 6 more crazy ideas for them. But for now I'm just trying to program by the learning method 8 notes...the last white upper most ones on my midi keyboard.

Anyway... it appears that I've gotten everything wired up OK. I can go through the programming steps and the leds come on on the MSA-R board as expected when I play/learn my eight midi notes. The relays even close for moment or two as I'm programming and for a moment the dolls do their thing.

I notice that there is some clear tape over the dip switch. Since I want ch 1, I didn't change anything there.

Then, as a newby... here's where I get confused. I unpower the MSA-R as the steps say to do. But when I turn it back on, it doesn't work. What am I doing wrong??? From my description of what I want to do, I hope someone can describe the steps I must have missed in the programming. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2012, 08:40 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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OK...I see that no one would like to reply and help. Since my last post, I discovered Sqwerl. I ran it with a UNO and for a brief few seconds it worked. But then for some reason...and I don't know why...it just quit working. Now my board won't even go into the manual learning mode. Did the board die???

When I apply 9vdc power, the led lights up and then goes out. If I try the learning switch, the led comes on again and goes off but does not blink as before. In the learning mode when I send a note, the led lights for each time I send a midi note (but the relay leds don't respond anymore). It doesn't seem to respond to the learning mode at all.

When I try to run Sqwerl now I get errors 2 and 7...what does this mean?
This is really bumming me out. I have a lot of electronic experience and am sure my connections are correct. Is my board defective??? What's going on??

I would really appreciate some help. Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2012, 11:55 PM
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Hi Mike, welcome. Sorry to hear you are having trouble with your MSA-R. I will try to answer all of your questions below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmike100 View Post
I'm making a midi controlled dancing doll using the MSA-R. I'm midi-fying one of those monkeys that clang the tambourine and with the second channel a dancing penguin. I know this sounds kinda dumb but something this stupid is just what the doctor ordered to have as a novelty at my music gigs.
Cool. I like stuff like this.

Quote:
I've wired the MSA-R relays to turn on larger relays to handle the higher current that the dolls draw.

I want to hit a midi note on my Yamaha Tyros 4 midi keyboard and start the monkey (latched) and another note to start the penguin (also latched). I want them to toggle. Play a note to switch on and stay on ...hit the note again to stop it.
Ok, the MSA has a "note toggle" mode that will work perfectly for this.

Quote:
I want to use midi channel 1. I realize I'll have 6 other switches. I'll have to think up 6 more crazy ideas for them. But for now I'm just trying to program by the learning method 8 notes...the last white upper most ones on my midi keyboard.

Anyway... it appears that I've gotten everything wired up OK. I can go through the programming steps and the leds come on on the MSA-R board as expected when I play/learn my eight midi notes. The relays even close for moment or two as I'm programming and for a moment the dolls do their thing.
Sounds like a good start. The trouble is that the "note toggle" behavior isn't available when using "learn mode". (Learn mode only allows regular note response, where the relay remains closed for the duration of the note.)

Quote:
I notice that there is some clear tape over the dip switch. Since I want ch 1, I didn't change anything there.
Ok. By the way--the clear tape can be peeled off, if you like. It is only there so that the vacuum "hands" of the pick & place machinery can pick up the part during the circuit board assembly process.

Quote:
Then, as a newby... here's where I get confused. I unpower the MSA-R as the steps say to do. But when I turn it back on, it doesn't work. What am I doing wrong??? From my description of what I want to do, I hope someone can describe the steps I must have missed in the programming. Thanks.
Hmm, ok. What does the activity LED (LED8) do when you power up the unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmike100 View Post
OK...I see that no one would like to reply and help. Since my last post, I discovered Sqwerl. I ran it with a UNO and for a brief few seconds it worked. But then for some reason...and I don't know why...it just quit working. Now my board won't even go into the manual learning mode. Did the board die???

When I apply 9vdc power, the led lights up and then goes out.
Ok. This is a good sign. The MSA performs a "self test" of the LED at boot-time. This is to show that the LED is working ok, and also that the MSA microcontroller is healthy.

Quote:
If I try the learning switch, the led comes on again and goes off but does not blink as before. In the learning mode when I send a note, the led lights for each time I send a midi note (but the relay leds don't respond anymore). It doesn't seem to respond to the learning mode at all.
Hmm. So you are closing the PRGM switch at boot time, and then releasing it, correct? Are you sure that the switch you are using is causing the PRGM "G" and "P" terminals to be connected? (like with a continuity tester)

Quote:
When I try to run Sqwerl now I get errors 2 and 7...what does this mean?
If you can track down Mel ("wabbitguy" here on the MSA forum) he may be able to shed some light on this, since he is the author of the program.

Quote:
This is really bumming me out. I have a lot of electronic experience and am sure my connections are correct. Is my board defective??? What's going on??
Please consider posting a photo or sketch of your wiring. I'll do my best to take a look and see if I can find any obvious issues.

Also, you might measure the voltage across the POWER REG "+" and "G" terminals and report your findings. How are you powering the MSA-R?
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:33 AM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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There may be hope still. I forgot that you had to hold down the learn switch as you power it up to go into the learn mode. I tried that again and sure enough it started to blink waiting for inputs. That part is apparently working.

It's looking like the instructions for this Sqwerl programming is lacking a few words.

Stuff like the order of turn on...what do the controls in the program do and why ...How do you save the program...What's the Clear All do etc Test???

Right now I'm running it from an xp machine and seem to be having better luck. It was crashing on my W7 and Vista PCs.

There might be a possibility I may have reversed the midi out connector. I'm working with that disconnected just in case.

I see the relay leds lighting up with selected notes from Sqwerl. It isn't predictable though and I don't know if anything is being saved.

Is there any more descriptions for this Sqwerl program? I have many questions. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:48 AM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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I'm trying Moose now with an xp pc and a UNO. It's really weird because when I click the note in Moose and set to note toggle...then I set the notes to be as follows:
96=0
95=1
93=2
91=3
89=4
88=5
86=6
84=7

I get relay led lights that don't make sense. The first one goes to 0 but then several will blink together even though I'm only clicking one note. The notes aren't going to the correct relay that the program says to. And they don't toggle either.

This is very confusing. I'm sure somewhere in all this there is the correct way to do this. But so far, I haven't been able to figure it out. I hope someone here can explain a step by step sequence to do this.

I understand midi and I'm a retired electronic tech. I own many midi keyboards. Still this is confusing.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:53 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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Back again and not understanding the programming methods.
It appears that my board is healthy. But the programming is really weird.
BTW I'm back on my W7 with Sqwerl.

It's not clear to me how to operate the programming of this device.

Here's what I want to do...it should be simple...should...

I simply want to send these midi notes (below) and have them latch/toggle
a relay and when I play the note again, it unlatches.

Same for all 8 relays with the notes shown below.

Note 96 for relay 0
95 for 1
93 for 2
91 for 3
89 for 4
88 for 5
86 for 6
84 for 7

I don't want any other note to do anything...just the above notes only.

Can someone tell me how to do this using Sqwerl and a UNO? Thanks.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2012, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmike100 View Post
I simply want to send these midi notes (below) and have them latch/toggle
a relay and when I play the note again, it unlatches.

Same for all 8 relays with the notes shown below.

Note 96 for relay 0
95 for 1
93 for 2
91 for 3
89 for 4
88 for 5
86 for 6
84 for 7
Hi Mike,

Since Sqwerl seems to be the source of some trouble, I will write the sysex code for you, based on the note #s you specified. All you have to do is:

1. Download a free copy of SendSX.
2. Launch SendSX and select the correct interface in the SendSX Midi Out menu.
3. Copy and paste the code below into SendSX
4. Click the SendSX "Send" button

The MSA activity LED will blink 3 times, and then you'll be good to go. Here's the code:

Code:
F0 00 01 5D 05 01
00
03 60 01
03 5F 01
03 5D 01
03 5B 01
03 59 01
03 58 01
03 56 01
03 54 01
00 00
F7
Let me know if this helps.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:11 AM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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John, Thank you for replying.

FYI OK, I did exactly how you described...

I installed and ran SendSX
Cut&paste your code into the Midi Out window.
Hit send and no blinks.
No 3 blinks and no change in program.

I tried having only the 'To Midi In' connector connected to the Midi in of the board.
I tried it with the Midi Out connected also but still no 3 blinks.

Very strange. I know this looks like malfunction but so many other things are working correctly...I feel electronically it's OK. It's the programming that seems bonkers.

Would whatever is loaded and saved in the MSA-R have to be cleared first?
Also could a step be missing or out of order?
Thanks
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2012, 12:22 AM
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Hi Mike,

Make these connections:

Computer MIDI Out -> MSA MIDI In
MSA MIDI Thru -> Computer MIDI In

Make sure you have the right MIDI interfaces selected in the SendSX "Midi In" and "Midi Thru" menus.

Try again to send the code from the "Midi Out" pane of SendSX. Does it echo back and appear in the "Midi In" pane of SendSX?
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:39 AM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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John,
I just tried it on my Yamaha keyboard. Of the code you gave me it's sort of working (even though I didn't see any 3 blinks). The notes 93,91,89,88,86 and 84 respond but not notes 96 and 95. But the way they respond isn't correct either.

They light the corresponding relay leds but do not turn off with a second same note push (no toggling). They do turn off upon hitting the next note which will light up the next relay led and so on down the line.
Mike
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:46 AM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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John,
I hadn't read your last post until now.

I will have to wire up a midi thru to try that.
I never had any plans to utilize a thru so I didn't wire that port up initially.

I will make connections and try what you asked and send you the results. I'll need about an hour or so. Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.
Mike
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:53 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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I got nothing from SendSX. I hooked it up as you said. Getting very disappointed.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmike100 View Post
I got nothing from SendSX. I hooked it up as you said. Getting very disappointed.
What about MIDI notes? If you send just the following bytes from SendSX:

90 00 01

Does that echo back at the Midi In?

We have to get this working to continue the debugging.

Do you have another MIDI device handy that you can use to double-check the connetions? Like a MIDI keyboard? For example:

Computer MIDI Out -> Keyboard MIDI In
Keyboard MIDI Thru -> Computer MIDI In

Once we establish that this is working ok, we can go back to the MSA and narrow down the problem.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:40 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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John,
I have many midi keyboards. I have been using a midi keyboard to send to the MSA-R. What I send is not the results desired though.

There is correct response from my midi keyboard when I learn type program it. My input is definitely wired right there. But this method doesn't do the toggling I want.

I think SendSX is not being received in the MSA-R though. There is no activity led action at all when I send something like your codes. Version 130 build 182. It might not work on W7...maybe I should try an XP PC???

I did just now send it your 90 00 01 code anyway.

It's weird because as of right now...Note 96 actually toggles relay #7 as I would like. But not the others (as I have previously sent you) ...they're not responding right now.

If I had programmed it right, 96 should have toggled relay #0 not #7 though.

Makes me wonder...it would be nice to get the other notes programmed similar to the way 96 is. Thanks, Mike
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:52 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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John,
Well, I think I have figured out a major stumbling block.

This has bit me many many many times before. You'd think I'd learn this by now.

Midi Rule#1: When ever weird things happen ...look to see if your keyboard is sending Sys Ex. If it's sending Sys Ex...expect problem after problem until you realize this is happening.

No one will tap you on your shoulder and say "Hmmm Sys Ex being sent and screwing with you"?

Noooo that doesn't happen.

In Yamaha PSR keyboards, Sys Ex is sent by default (Yamaha's...not Sqwerl's)
With that...every time I connected it to the keyboard and hit a note, the MSA-R would go screwy because Yamaha's Sys Ex was something different and not what you would want. So you have to go in and shut it off globally on the keyboard. That's what I did.

So this poor little pea brain of mine has to experience tons of pain first...must be the rules I guess.
This bit me also when I programmed my iPad2 to receive midi for showing lyric PDFs. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now.

The MSA-R is working for the most part. I still can't figure out why nothing I do in the way of programming allows me to select notes 96 and 95 to toggle #0 and #1 relays. When I do, the MSA-R locks up and quits. It's as if it was still getting some Yamaha Sys Ex...but I swear I have turned off all Sys Ex sending from my keyboard (?).

So what I did was rewire to use relays #6 & #7 instead and using notes 94 and 92 (the last black ones on the keyboard). This has been reliable and works as I want it to. If I want to program the other relays it may still be problematic. But right now this gets me through the night.

Next time you try to help someone...ask about the Sys Ex because it seems to only occur to the programmer after much trial and error. Believe me...that's what I've been doing too.

I'm so glad it's working (sort of)... I take back most of my bad thoughts :-)
BTW... Happy Father's Day.
Mike

PS: It would be nice if you could block all Sys Ex inputs after you have programmed the MSA-R. That way any subsequent Sys Ex's being sent from various keyboards won't screw up the programming after you have programmed it. It would be set in stone that way so to speak. That would be a very good improvement.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:16 PM
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Mike, I'm glad to hear that you are more satisfied with the results.

I still think we can get it working 100% how you would like.

If you make this connection:

Keyboard MIDI Out -> Computer MIDI In

...and use SendSX to record the messaging that comes from the keyboard for each of the 8 notes you'd like to use for the MSA, we can adjust the MSA accordingly.

If you'd like to try, please post the MIDI messaging recorded by SendSX here in the forum.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:35 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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Yes, that seems like a good idea. This way we could see what's coming out of the keyboard with those, shall we say, strange notes...95 & 94.
I will try this today. Thanks John
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:47 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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John,
I tried your idea. I sent midi notes as you said to try. The Midi In screen in SendSX displayed regular midi notes like this:
90 60 3C
90 60 00
90 5F 38
90 5F 00
90 5D 3B
90 5D 00
90 5B 40
90 5B 00
90 59 3A
90 59 00
90 58 38
90 58 00
90 56 3F
90 56 00
90 54 42
90 54 00

These note on's and note off's are for the notes 96,95,93,91,89,88,86,84.
To my surprise...it's normal.

Could it be I'm doing something wrong somewhere? Boy, sure beats the heck out of me.

Maybe I'll try programming again and see if I can make 96 and 95 work correctly and see what happens.

I typo'd last message. It's notes 96 and 95 that have been giving me problems.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:40 PM
macmike100 macmike100 is offline
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John,
At the moment...the MSA-R is successfully performing what I want. But...

What seems to be happening is invariably a SysEx command is somehow being sent at some point, I think. It's difficult to determine when. This has not been proved though ( I have tried to see it in SendSX but all I get is note on's and note off's). Then, after working for a few minutes, the MSA-R stops working correctly.

I have shut off everything that leaves the keyboard midi out except notes on ch 1 (this seems to really stymy me).

As I have mentioned before, is there a way to stop all SysEx inputs after it has been programmed?

This would sure help me out. I'm wondering if my Yamaha PSR keyboard is apparently sending some stray SysEx that is driving the MSA-R bonkers (a possibility).

That, or there is something buggy in the programming or the MSA-R. It manifests as unreliability. Once it goes bonkers, it has to be reprogrammed.

Curious situation...I hope I have described it OK for you.

FYI...I have the threshold set at 1, 10MS pulse width,

I will try running it in a live situation i.e. as it would be on my on stage act and see if it continues to work.

I just had a thought to try...maybe adding more capacitance filtering to the 9volt supply at the pre regulator side and the reg out side...couldn't hurt...
Mike
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:19 PM
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Hi Mike,

I have to admit that I'm a bit stumped, too.

The MSA "knows about" sysex messages and it will ignore any of them that aren't intended for it. It ignores anything with a vendor ID from another product. So this doesn't seem like a likely cause.

Can you send the note codes from SendSX to the MSA and check to see if that works without incident? Like:

90 60 3C
90 5F 38
90 5D 3B
90 5B 40
90 59 3A
90 58 38
90 56 3F
90 54 42

Also, are you certain that the PRGM switch is completely disconnected? One explanation could be that the MSA is continuously operating in "learn mode".

Finally, please retrieve the configuration using SendSX using the following commands:

F0 7E 7F 06 01 F7

F0 00 01 5D 05 00 00 01 F7

Copy what comes back and post it here.
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