Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Feel the Tiny Boom!

Ever feel like you're missing some beats? Does your day need a better soundtrack? Feel the boom with the Super GrooveAxe! It's a pocket sized, battery powered drum machine & sequencer that you can take anywhere. It makes every moment special.

The Super GrooveAxe is available as a kit on Gadget Gangster.

Here's a demo:



Step 1: FAQ

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
What is the Super GrooveAxe?
The Super GrooveAxe is a mini drum machine / sequencer. 4 sounds are available, and the playback speed of the pattern can be controlled.

How do I use it?
There's a switch on the Battery Box, flip it on. The Red light will start blinking about every 1/4 second. Push one of the 4 sound samples, and you'll hear it play. The sample will repeat, and you you can layer on the other samples with each repetition to build up a complex pattern. The replay speed of the pattern can be controlled with the tempo button; push it once to change the tempo. Wait for as long as you'd like the tempo to last, and hit it again. Your pattern will now play with the new tempo.

Where does the sound come out?
Sound comes out from the 3.5mm Audio jack on the top center. You can plug it directly into headphones or to another amp / input with a dubbing cable.

How long do the batteries last?
I haven't been patient enough to run the batteries all the way down, but I'd estimate around 30 hours of play time. It runs on 3xAA's.

Is it hard to put together?
NO! In fact, it makes a great first-time project. If you've soldered stuff before, it will take you about 20 minutes to put together, a little more if this is your first time.

Where does the sound come out?
The sound comes out of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

How big is it?
The GrooveAxe will fit in your hand, it's about 4" x 1".


The original GrooveAxe was designed by Grandtippler - he has re-done the audio samples and I designed the PCB for this improved version. A kit or bare PCB are available on Gadget Gangster.



Step 2: Preparation; Tools

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
This is a great project to learn how to solder. There are a ton of great instructables on how to solder (one here)

Tools
You'll need a few tools to assemble the project;

1 - Soldering Iron and solder. Leaded solder is easier to work with, and a 15-40 watt iron is just fine. A conical or chisel tip works well.

2 - Dykes. Diagonal cutters are used to trim the excess leads from components after soldering them down.

3 - Batteries. The Super Grooveaxe runs on 3xAA batteries.

If this is your first electronics project, I suggest you start with an inexpensive soldering iron. Why? Because you'll be able to get a feel for doing electronics projects without spending a lot of money. If you enjoy yourself, then you can upgrade to better equipment and give your 1st iron to someone else who is just starting out. I offer an Elenco kit that includes a 25 Watt iron, stand, wick, and a solder sucker for $25 (pictured below). You can also get a pretty nice Weller iron on Amazon that includes extra tips and solder (but no wick or solder sucker) for $15.

Step 3: Preparation; Parts List

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Here are the parts you'll need to put your Super GrooveAxe together. If you've ordered the kit from Gadget Gangster, double check to make sure your kit has all the parts listed. If there's anything missing, just email us at info@gadgetgangster.com


U1: PICaxe 08M Microcontroller
Available from Revolution Education, unprogrammed. But if you get it as part of a kit, the PICaxe will come pre-programmed.
Qty: 1

Eagle 3xAA Battery Box
Mouser Part #12BH331/CS-GR
Qty: 1

Kycon Sp1 / Sp2:3.5mm Headphone Jack
Mouser Part # STX-3100-5N
Qty: 1

3M 8 PIn DIPSocket
Mouser Part # KMDGX-8S-BS
Qty: 1

Lite On 3mm Red LED
Mouser Part # LTL-4266N
Qty: 1

Omron Tactile Switch
Mouser Part # B3F-1000
Qty: 5

Xicon 47uF Micro-Miniature Electrolytic Capacitor
Mouser Part # 140-L25V47-RC
Qty: 1

PCB:Super Grooveaxe Circuit Board
Available at Gadget Gangster

R1, R3, R5:1/4W 10k ohm Resistors (Brown - Black - Orange)
Qty: 3

R2:1/4W 3.3k ohm Resistor (Orange - Orange - Red)
Qty: 1

R4:1/4W 1k ohm Resistor (Brown - Black - Red)
Qty: 1

R6:1/4W 100k ohm Resistor (Brown - Black - Yellow)
Qty: 1

R7:1/8W 3.3k ohm Resistor (Orange - Orange - Red)
Qty: 1

R8:1/4W 330 ohm Resistor (Orange - Orange - Brown)
Qty: 1

Step 4: Make it: Part I

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
It's easiest to start with the smaller components, so let's begin by adding the resistors.

Add the 3x 10k ohm Resistors at R1, R3, and R5. They are identified with color strips - the stripe pattern is:
Gold,
Orange,
Black,
Brown

Bend the leads, insert the resistors, flip the board over and solder them down. Finish them by trimming off the excess leads with your dykes.

Step 5: Make it: Part II

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Let's finish up the rest of the resistors:

Insert the 220 ohm resistor (Red - Red - Brown) in R2

R4 = 1k Ohm resistor (Brown - Black - Red)

R6 = 100k Ohm (Yellow - Black - Brown)

R7 = 3.3k Ohm resistor (Yellow - Yellow - Red)

R8 = 330 Ohm resistor (Orange - Orange - Brown)

Insert them, flip the board over, solder down, and trim off the excess leads.

Step 6: Make it: Part III

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Now add the switches, each goes on the board as shown in the photo. You don't really need to trim the excess leads on these.

After that, add the Capacitor - it goes in the area marked C1. The Capacitor is polarized, so make sure the longer lead goes through the square hole (the one closer to the +). The shorter lead (which is also closer to the stripe painted on one side of the capacitor) goes through the circular hole.

Step 7: Make it: Part IV

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Add the LED in the area marked 'LED'. The longer lead goes through the square hole, the shorter lead goes through the top hole (the hole closer to the edge of the board). Flip over the board and trim the excess leads.

Add the 3.5mm Audio Jack in the center area marked 'Sp2' and 'Sp2'. The jack will click right in - just snap it in, flip over and solder it down.

Step 8: Make it: Part V

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
Last thing to do is add the power and the micocontroller.

First add the DIP socket at U1. Note the notch on the Socket is closer to the 'U1' marking on the PCB.

Then, add the battery pack. Take the 2 wires coming from the battery box and string them through the hole on the board. Then, tie the wires in a knot. This will add strain relief. Finally, solder the red wire to the connector marked with a +, and the black wire to the connector marked with a -.

All Done!


Step 9: Testing It

Super GrooveAxe: Mini Drum Machine
To make sure it works, just add 3xAA batteries to the battery box. There's a switch on the battery box, flip it to 'ON', and the Tempo light should immediately start blinking. Don't forget, you'll need to plug in headphones to hear the sounds!

Step 10: Download

I hope you enjoy the Super GrooveAxe! Let me know what you think by commenting on this instructable or sending me an email at nick@gadgetgangster.com.

Here are the hardware and firmware files for the Super GrooveAxe:
Sourcecode

Schematic (.png format)

Layout in DipTrace format or jpg


Buy the kit from Gadget Gangster;
http://www.gadgetgangster.com/241
 
 

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