July 27, 2018: PipeMare controller update

It has been more than a year since I designed the new magnetic valve driver boards for the PipeMare piccolo and flute ranks and had them manufactured in China. Even so, I never tested them until now. As the piccolo windchest is complete, the only way to properly test it is with a driver stack, so now is the time to begin assembling the driver boards. Here is the very first assembled board:

The first of the new stackable 16-channel valve driver boards assembled

Fortunately, the board works just fine. Of course, it’s a bitch to air-solder all those SMT components by hand, especially the tight-pitched MCP23017 E/SS (SSOP package). But also fun, and it looks great.

On the other hand, the modified library I made for the drivers to accomodate microcontrollers with multiple I²C busses (like the Teensy 3.5) did not work. This is most likely because I suck at C programming and don’t really know how to use pointers and references. Well, I guess I’ll have to learn.

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