God, it's gross inside old stuff.
First time it worked as a controller for Teensy-based sounds:
(Notice that the pitch mappings aren't right yet. Ha!)
The final breadboarded Teensy. I blew up three Teensy boards during this project, for reasons I still don't completely understand. Obviously it's probably some kind of overcurrent issue, but :shrug emoji: Finally working, it's time to order the PCB!
My first-ever custom PCB. From jlcpcb, these 5 cost… $1 each? Unbelievably cheap. I'm no PCB connoisseur, but… they seem totally fine? It's definitely (a) a PCB, (b) what I had in EAGLE, including (c) my default-width traces (eek, too small) (d) lack of mounting holes and (e) one design error (eek, thankfully fixable). They even threw in some free LEDs, which, hey, free stuff.
Yes, that's a big chunk out of the original PCB. Just a flesh wound.
Working with vintage circuit boards, it turns out, is kind of… really annoying? Getting these switches to work reliably took a lot of troubleshooting of a kind that new metal contacts lets you avoid:
Those springs you can see at the upper part of each assembly? Those aren't to make the pedal come back up after you take your foot off. They're the actual electronic contact! (Weird!) So if one gets dirty— or if those contact plates above and below them get dirty— the only way to clean them is to spray them with contact cleaner and then sort of boing the spring in and out of its little house, hoping that it doesn't break.
Thankfully none of them broke.
For the next version, though, I'd probably start fresh, build the whole electronic system anew, with reed switches or Hall Effect sensors or something— contactless ftw imo etc. This would remove a lot of the "it works… sorta" situations we ran into in this project, and allow for the whole thing to be more compact and therefore lighter.