Member Since: February 9, 2006

Country: United States

  • Bret, You could do USB-MIDI with this, but it might be overkill unless you need extremely low latency as this chip does the high speed (i.e. 480MHz) version of USB 2.0. For proper USB-MIDI you need to be able to do at least full speed USB. If you don’t have experience with USB, a simpler starting point might be one of these: http://code.google.com/p/micropendous/ or one of these: http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/ combined with the firmware hosted here: http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com/LUFA.php
    There’s even a MIDI example included in the LUFA download.

  • Try http://code.google.com/p/avropendous/ - completely open sourced, and a few varieties available.

  • The library previously know as MyUSB is now known as LUFA. You should probably update your link to point to http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com/LUFA.php before the old one goes away.
    Are you going to sell the chips too? Selling the boards only is a bit of a tease, especially on a site that caters to people who like to make things themselves. With a development board only, people can prototype something, but they can’t make it their own way.

  • The schematic shows that you’ve skipped the ferrite bean on the USB power line as recommended in the FTDI datasheet. Any comment on this omission? Is it likely to cause speed or reliability problems due to noise?
    I’ve got my own breakout board coming together, and it would be convenient for me to skip the ferrite bead too because I don’t have any handy. I’m interested to hear about the practical impact of this decision.

  • Although “it never failed in flight” is right in the sense that it didn’t have a hardware failure, it did suffer a software related failure during the first moon landing. There was a series of memory overflow errors and the computer had to be restarted even in the late stages of the landing, which it coped with well. There’s lots of information about this event on the net - for example: http://www.abc.net.au/science/moon/computer.htm.

  • A couple more tips:
    1) Don’t forget that there’s more to it than just the SEG electronics market: that’s just one building. I found an equally impressive building across the road, and then another one behind that one that seemed to specialize in commercial quantities for larger manufacturers. They had racks full of reels, and semiconductor company distributor offices that were packed with cartons of semis.
    2) Technically you’re not supposed to import components into HK without having to pay duty. I got away with it because I only had a few in my backpack, but larger quantities might have been noticed at the border. There’s a post office on the Chinese side of the border and I considered the option of just mailing things directly home.

  • Some things I learned from my own trip to Shenzhen that might be useful for others:
    1) Having the Chinese visa in advance was good - there seemed to be a line at the border, but I was able to skip it.
    2) You’ll need RMB for China. If you’re staying in Tsim Sha Tsui and exchanging currency at Chunking Mansions (the building in the photo above with Obama on a video screen), take the stairs up one level and find the tiny currency exchange place there. They seem to have consistently better exchange rates than the places on the ground floor.
    3) The Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station is connected via an underground walkway to the East Rail station, which has frequent trains up to the Lo Wu station at the Chinese border.
    4) It’s very easy to get from the border to the action in Shenzhen: just take the Metro to Hua Qiang Lu station. It’s fast and very cheap (less than USD $1.00). The coin operated machines that sell tokens have a user interface in English.

  • If you think the HK street market is something, then Shenzhen will blow your mind. I spent a day walking around, going from one multi-storey building to another, each of them full of vendors selling all sorts of electronic components. I was so staggered by it all I almost forgot to buy anything.
    Next I’m going to give myself more time, and maybe even hire a local to help me with the language and the negotiating.

No public wish lists :(