Introduction: Muzak Visualizer

Maybe you've heard music. But have you SEEN music?

The Muzak Visualizer was designed by me, nmcclana. It's based on the open source Pixelmusic project with a few modifications to enhance the visuals and do the ADC on the Propeller. NOTE: This project has been updated to reflect Gadget Gangster's new project boards. The project boards in the photos are yellow because they're prototypes, but the final boards have a soldermask.

You can get the kit from Gadget Gangster. It comes with everything and is pre-programmed. But, if you'd like to gather the parts yourself, you'll need the following.

Parts list

  • Resistors, 1 each of : 1.1K, 270, 560. 2 x 10K
  • 2x RCA phono jacks (1 for the Video out, 1 for the Audio in)
  • Gadget Gangster project board (Boss Board)
  • 8 Pin Dip Socket
  • A 3.3V LDO Voltage Regulator (Kits come with a LD1117)
  • Power Connector
  • 40 Pin DIP Socket
  • Parallax Propeller
  • 5MHz crystal
  • .1uF Capacitor
  • And a programmed 32KB i2c EEPROM. You can get the Source Code off Gadget Gangster
You'll also need a soldering iron, solder, and wire cutters. And a power adaptor: 2mm positive tip, 6V works great.

Here's a little video demonstration

Step 1: Building Power

You're going to be adding the main power for your project. To get started, let your soldering iron warm up and put the Boss Board in the vise.

The main voltage regulator goes at the part of the board labeled [Pc].

The regulator is inserted as shown in the picture. Note how the tab lines up with the square of bare metal. Use a bit of solder to 'tack' down the tab to the board, this will act to dissipate heat. Once the regulator is inserted, flip over the board, solder the legs to the board and trim the excess lead.

Step 2: Power, Contd

A capacitor goes in the area labeled [Pa]. Check the markings on the case to verify the value. It should be 10uF. The capacitor is polarity sensitive, so you want to make sure the longer lead goes through the square hole. Another way to verify is to make sure the strip on the capacitor case is closer to the edge of the board.

Step 3: Power Cont'd

The reverse protection diode will provide some level of protection in case you plug in a reverse polarity power adapter. It's installed at [Pb].

On the diode, you'll notice a stripe on one end. The stripe should be closer to the voltage regulator, as demonstrated on the picture.

Step 4: Add Power

Add the Power jack on the bottom left. Try to fill the holes with solder, as the solder here will help hold the jack in place when you remove and insert the power plug.

Add another capacitor of 10uF on [Pc]. The white stripe on the cap casing should be closer to the edge of the board

That's it for the Power. Now on to setting up the Propeller

Step 5: Adding the EEPROM, Pt 1

First step is to add a resistor at [Px]. The resistor is 10k ohm ( Brown - Black - Orange)

[Px] is the holes D5 - H5.

Step 6: Adding the Resistor

The EEPROM goes at [Pw], and the 1st pin goes at D1. Note that the notch points up, away from the voltage regulator.

Step 7: Adding the Video DAC

The Propeller generates video with a 'DAC' or Digital to analog converter'. The converter is constructed with 3 resistors:

[Pr] 560 (Green - Blue - Brown)
[Ps] 1.1k (Brown - Brown - Red)
[Pt] 270ohms (Red - Violet - Brown)

Step 8: Adding the Propeller

The 1st pin for the prop goes at K3. Note the notch on the frame (and notch on the chip) both point towards the voltage regulator.

Although the picture doesn't show it, your resistors should already be soldered in, under the frame, at [Pr], [Ps], and [Pt].

Step 9: Final Touches

Add the 2 RCA Jacks at [Pp] and [Pq]. Add the capacitor from H26 to H22, and add the last resistor (10k ohms, Brown - Black - Orange) from G22 - to G18. Put the Prop and EEPROM in their socket (so the notches line up with the frames), the crystal from G11 - G13, and you're done!

If you have any questions, check out the project page on Gadget Gangster, where you can also pick up the kit.