Published by electronscape on Sunday, April 26, 2020

web_icon.png With the coming projects and events that I am about to undertake, I thought it be good to start up a nice blog.

I found the prospect of programming a small little chip to do some things simple light turning on and off lights, fascinating!

The more I learned about these little chips I began to realise they are much more than just logic chips, they’re mini computers packaged into a small bit of glass!

They have a CPU, a BUS some RAM, peripherals and general purpose I/O pins! Much like you’d expect from a machine from the 80s! except all these things where on seperate chips!

There was a chip for a CPU, another for timers, and periphers… the list sort of goes on!

SO with this in mind, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to see what these things can do… SO I built a small robot! something basic at first. To control its wheels, go forward, go backward, turn left, then turn right, that was it. I was amazed that I could write a small program to just turn the I/O pins on and off for certain motor functions.

I wanted to push more out of these things. I wondered if it could make it do sounds - which was just a bunch of bleeps and bloops.
After a month or two, I began to get an interest in signal processing, and begun to mix different signals together. THE MOMENT I did that, I got all nostialgic and brought me back to when I had the Atari ST, simple square wave noise and multiple tones all at the same time.

THIS SINGLE chip was performing all this and producing sound!


in the end I began to research on sound chips, downloaded code, learned by them and begun to construct my dodgy first attempt of the 8580. While it worked, frankly most of the features where not put in, Ring mod, pwm since I didn’t quite yet know how they worked.

THEN a magic word happened. Oscillators! and the whole world came brighter! different tones, FULL scale frequencies and still maintaining a reasonable sound.

41106048_1055248457985144_852709999355363328_n.jpg Then the sidbox project happened: As the more stuff I learned the more I pushed. Eventually leading up to the projects called the SidBox.

With this device I had a pretty good understanding of the micro controllers I was using and made it do alot more than just sounds… I gave it a graphics engine to perform extremely basic 3D polygone (for my demo) and multiple replay routines, MOD, SID, YM and more…

It got a point where I stumbled across a YouTuber reviewing and fixing old amplifiers and a total love of the Amiga computers!

It was when this YouTuber pulled out the C64 and began playing around with a Missiah music device and I got intouch.

Show’d the device and subsequently sent a working Sidbox to her.

Since then the project has come from leaps and bounds and eventually was suggested that many people would like a device like this….. I had no idea.

For Me this device was just something to replace my broken mp3 player and since the new ones that where out just simply had NONE of the volume that comes with LOUD MUSIC lovers… So I built my own. Its Loud, can play wave files removing the DRM crap you get wiith many Ipods and the need to use proprietary software.

maddiyt.jpg After numerous updates and eventually printing out a base for the sidbox, MsMadLemon and I teamed up. Maddi fine tuning the project, I build and change hardware…
MsMadLemon, A Soul of a Poet, Mind of a Nerd/geek.. pretty much perfect combination if you ask me ;)

And we are continuously coming up with new features, bug fixes and more.

With her love of computers, music and electronics. We have been able to come up with new features, test these features and keep each other motivated to see our projects through.

Maddi has done numerous videos about the sidbox you can check them out here on youtube...

With many of the projects going ahead and things I have build along the way check out the videos here on youtube...