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Hindsight and brain farts

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Atari Monotone Synth -  software for AU2PORTA

Atari Monotone Synth - software for AU2PORTA

There were several issues left unresolved while programing the MIDI IN  interface for the ATARI8 joystick ports.  The first was to revert back to using the Cassette Motor Control pin on the SIO port for data flow control.  This was accomplished with the AU2PORTA shield design.     The second consideration was the startup default joystick pin status.  The joystick pins are set to high on startup and then grounded to zero by the joystick switches.  There is some reverse logic

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XBOX Controller With CX40 Cord mod

XBOX Controller With CX40 Cord mod

There I was, in garage sale heaven. Standing over a box of second hand XBOX controllers.  I got a little less excited when I noted how second hand they were. I thought I would salvage parts and asked, "How much?".  She said, "$2". I said, "OK."  He looked like he just lost an old friend and his wife was telling herself, "I should have said 3!"   Fast forward 16 months and I'm sorting them into a box labeled "electronic recycle" because I was to lazy to open them up for salvage.  One di

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Ping)) / AU2PORTA Controls Atari pitch

Ping)) / AU2PORTA Controls Atari pitch

Back in January of 2015, I wanted of use a PING)) ultrasonic sensor to measure distance and send it to the Atari using the 850 - RS232 ports.  I initially thought that  I could move my hand in front of the sensor and the resulting change in desistance could be used to change the frequency of the sound command.  This might have worked if the SIO port could be used to make sound .AND. transmit data to the 850 interface at the same time. It doesn't. So, I forgot about the sound and just got the dis

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Arduino Shield For PORTA Input

Arduino Shield For PORTA Input

Over the years I've been using an Arduino UNO to setup data for transfer to the Atari Joystick ports.  The first attempt was to read the data from a  Wii nunchuk and translate it to joystick movements.  Lately I've been experimenting reading midi data using an Arduino Midi Shield, along with using the Cassette Motor Control pin on the SIO port as feedback to the Arduino. You may have read some of these blogs.   During the "Switched On POKEY" music experiments, there were many modificat

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A Sound Understanding

I have spent a little time looking through some ATARI Assembly Language books for sound routines that I might find useful. I found several examples in ATARI Assembly Language Programmer's Guide by Allan Moose and Marian Lorenz. Chapter 5, appropriately titled "Sound", has 3 programs that I wanted to hear. BOX 31 - Envelope, BOX 32 - Tremolo, and BOX 33 - Vibrato. These are BASIC examples using USR routines. The ml programs were listed in BOX31A, BOX32A, and BOX33A. The first program was

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Finally, I'm Playing MIDI Notes using MAC/65 Assembler Code

Do you remember me mentioning that the first attempt to write a machine language program to read MIDI data delivered to the Atari joystick port was a complete failure? The Arduino hardware has remained the same. The joystick trigger and cassette motor control(CMC) pin on the SIO port are still being used to control data flow. But this time I redefined the project specs to simplify the ML program and tested the ML data transfer routine as a USR call. The USR routine was written to replace th

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SAM sings a round

There was a Korg microKorg under the Christmas tree last year; only because my wife wouldn't let me set it up in November when it was purchased. I did manage to get the manual out of the box before it was wrapped. So for a whole month I read the manual and watched youTube videos.   The microKorg has a vocoder. This suggested that the audio output from an Atari running SAM could be hooked up to the line-in on the Korg. Then the Korg could modifiy, modulate, or magically manipulate the signa

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A journey to Bach's Invention 1 and other miscellaneous updates

After recording PRELUDE1.MP3 it seemed that the Atari BASIC sound program needed to be reprogrammed in assembly. I got out the MAC65 cart and two days later things were so messed up I wasn't sure if it was the Arduino and/or Atari software or the Arduino interface hardware giving me the headaches.   I decided to go back and setup the equipment/software as it was for "house of the Rising sun". That seemed to work fine and it still did.   I couldn't just turn it off and start programming.

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AMS v1.0 Command Summary and Stereo Recording

I've started a project to recreate W. Carlos's Switched on Bach album playlist using the Atari8 as a sound source. A goal on my bucket list is to finish it. I intend to use the MIDI Music System to send data to other Ataris that will act as sound synthesizers. My original thought was to have the ability to play the songs in real time; something Carlos couldn't do in 1968 when the album was published. Then I thought of something else that lead me to something else until I asked, "Am I ever

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MIDIPLUS miniEngine USB - first impressions

I ordered the MIDIPLUS miniEngine USB sound synthesizer to reward myself for doing something special. This is the first chance I've had to play with it and can't remember exactly what that something was. Maybe it wasn't that special.   The thing that interested me most about this general midi sound module is its size( 3" X 4" X 1"). I just don't have the room to keep the TG-33 and sound mixer on my desk. If I want to have a short retro session, it can quickly be set up in a few minuet

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DB9 Experimenter Box

Someday I'm going to take a photo while experimenting with DB9 connectors on the Atari Joystick ports or RS-232 ports and this box is going to be in the middle of a mess of wires. Some one is likely to ask, "What's up with that box?" This is an attempt to have this information ready to answer that very question.         If your from the future, I guess it worked.       It is simply a pass through box for each of the pins of a DB9 connector. It simply passes the signal for a pin to p

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Metronome - Software Timer Demo in DE RE Atari

I was thinking about making an 8-step sequencer for a Gakken SX-150 Mark II analog synthesizer using the Atari8. Then I thought, "Why not just use the Pokey chip instead of the Gakken? " Then I thought, "Why not develop it using Diamond GOS? I'll bet no one has done that yet." While reading up on the hardware and software timers, the metronome program in De Re Atari looked like it could be easily modified with a Diamond upgrade to change the tempo using a slide bar. It was a good idea but

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Kaleid-a-vision: A Music Visualizer Technique for Retro Computers

I can't say I did this on my Atari8, but I can truthfully say I did it with my Atari8. This video was recorded using the Kaleid-a-vision hardware, Atari8 and video camera. I would suppose any retro computer or video game machine could be used as a video source. The Atari was running a GR9 Demo program. The one with the rotating coins and then vertical color bars bouncing from the top to the bottom of the screen. The music is from some music I built using a Garage Band demo version

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DH100 - A POKEY House of the Rising Sun

I finally put together a semi-live performance using the DH-100 Digital Horn to control the sound of an Atari XE computer. I know that improvements to the hardware/software is not going to improve my ability to play the horn but there is much that can be done to improve the sound. There were some changes made to the last Atari program. First, the second hi-res voice was added and an off-set. This was to see how much of an effect the phase shift would have on the combined frequencies. In pl

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Nunchuk Your Way To a Better Pac-man Score

While playing Pac-man with a standard Atari Joystick, how often have you missed a turn? I may have a solution, if its due to pushing the joystick to far off the four directional axis. If its due to a slow reaction time then you're still on your own.   I noted while playing Pac-man that my granddaughter would rotate the joystick base and start pushing the joystick into the diagonal directions(and so was I to a lesser extent). When 2 directional buttons on the joystick are pressed Pac-man determ

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DH-100 - The Sound of Possible Music

Finally got the DH-100 digital horn telling the Atari8 what tones to make and when. There was a couple of times I didn't think it was going to happen. Luckily the compiled basic program runs fast enough to keep up with the filtered data from the Arduino. Some sound tests have been recorded and placed in the following ZIP file. sound checks.zip Nothing has been done to enhance the sound from the Pokey chip other then combining 2 channels to allow the use of 16 bits to define the tones.

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DH100 - Interface program / A8 - Frequency tables

I finished work on the last blog entry, unplugged the keyboard and plugged the digital horn. I was a little surprised to see how much data the breath pressure sensor(after touch) was being streamed to the Atari 8. Far more then it could keep up with. The Arduino needed to be reprogramed to reduce the number of bytes being send to the Atari8. The interface software was tested with the previous Atari 8 test program and it performed much better. The data seemed to make sense and it was diffic

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DH100 - MIDI Communication established

I was going to start writing my list of resolutions for 2018. Then I thought about writing about what I didn't accomplish in 2017. Then I decided to just work on programing the interface and get the Atari to read and print the MIDI data stream through the joystick port. I had high hopes of creating a midi monitor that would accept the data and print out the commands as they were received but all that extra code was getting in the way of finding errors. I was happy when I got the Atari8 and Ar

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When is a 410 not a 410?

When it’s a camouflaged storage box.                       It took me years of careful deliberation before I could gut one of my 410 Data Cassette Recorders. I finally came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to replace the belts just so I could play "Sammy the Sea Serpent". Why not put the case to good use and have it out on display?   My original thought was to turn it into a bank. Put a coin in front of the cassette door and have a hand reach out and grab the coin. Th

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Controlling the Cassette Motor Control Bit on the A8

The Cassette Motor Control(CMC) bit in the Port A Controller (PACTL ($D302)) address is going to be used as feed back from the Atari8 to the Arduino in the digital horn project. This bit controls the logic state of Pin 8 on the SIO port. This bit has been used to control the data cassette motor. If you're not using the bit to load data from the cassette it is free to be used for other purposes. Put a music tape into a 410 and play 1 audio track through the Monitor or sound system. MIDIMAX u

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DH100-->A8 MIDI Interface

I have 9 optocouplers setup to receive data from the Arduino for the SAM Rock You project. Eight for the MIDI data byte from the Arduino and 1 to signal the Trigger when new data is ready to be read by the Atari8. A tenth optocoupler needs to be added so that the A8 can let the Arduino know that it is ready for the next byte.   That 10th optocoupler can indicate the status set using the Cassette Motor Control. The Cassette Motor Control line on the SIO port (Pin8) is used to turn the casse

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The Casio DH-100 project plan

Between the time that the Casio DH-100 Digital Horn was introduced and todays prices on eBay, the price dropped to the point where it seemed to be a bargain. I was fortunate enough to have pulled the batteries (15 years ago), so there was a good chance that it would still work.   Now I want to build an Atari8 sound module to accept MIDI information from the DH-100's MIDI port(or any MIDI controller). The MIDI Implementation chart for the DH-100 is not extensive but the streaming of the ch

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CRUTCHFIELD Spring 1982 catalog

A co-worker gave me his copy of the Spring 1982 Crutchfield catalog knowing I was looking into buying my first computer. This catalog contained 15 pages of Atari product information (page93-107). I was impressed with the graphics capabilities but the onscreen lower case letters made the 800 my first computer. I have never regretted that decision.   Recently I was reminiscing and noticed the catalog pages yellowing. Before it turned to dust seemed like a good time to scan and share. The enti

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S.A.M. RAAKS YUW

I've added a third computer to the MIDI chain. Computer #1 plays drums, and Computer #2 runs S.A.M. and Computer #3 plays the lead, . Each computer had a specific BASIC program written to read data from the joystick ports. For this example, Queen's -" We Will Rock You" was arranged for the three computers. You can listen to the MP3 file and then decide if you want to read about the how. SAM Rocks - mp3.zip   COMPUTER #0 - Control The music was entered using the MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM softwar

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