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Messages - sam

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Development / Re: Future versions of MIDI sprout
« on: May 14, 2018, 12:58:16 PM »
Hello good pelgrim, thank you for all of your support, questions, and feedback!

For 2, the sweet spot changes over time. It all depends on what the plant is 'doing' at any given moment. But I agree that software could be a good solution here, perhaps I could include an auto ranging mode.

 power and a rechargable battery at a very simple mod, just hit adafruit and get a battery and charger with 5v out and micro USB input. The main reason not to use USB in rechargeable batteries on the product, is shipping since batteries are dangerous.

Uploading code through USB, yeah that would be easy, but I have included the icsp header and it should be easy enough to use a programmer or an Arduino board to flash code on to the chip.

Above all, the midi Sprout is a simple work. It was never intended to do everything for everyone, and while data Garden continues to produce my open source design, I don't think they have any interest in innovating the process, hence why I left working with them. The whole point of Kickstarter is to invest, not travel.

I already have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth versions which are available directly through me for anyone who's interested. I also have multiple plant interfaces if you're trying to use more than one plant in any given time, and those are available direct from me as one-off experimental units.

Questions / Re: Info about MIDI Sprout translation
« on: May 08, 2018, 01:05:59 PM »
By default the Sprout puts out notes in a 12 chromatic scale. Many if not most users use some other scaling algorithm either in software or even programmed into the sprout, in order to get the lullaby sounds that you tend to hear.

Notes are sounded only when a change in electrical conductivity is sensed in the plant, the note that is produced is proportional to the difference in conductivity between a Baseline and the measured change event.

As conductivity increases the note will go down in Pitch. Since there are only 49, 66, or 88 notes on a piano keyboard I allow the notes to ' wrap-around ' from the highest to the lowest note. This allows very fine changes in conductivity to be expressed using just a few musical notes. This can be seen when the Sprout oscillates very quickly between a very high and a very low note, showing that it's just at the edge of one of those regions.

There are effectively no plant pulses, rather the constant changing electrical conductivity of the plant is measured many thousands of times per second and changes in that conductivity are detected. I wouldn't say that the plant is putting anything out, it's more like we're listening in.

Questions / Re: Using Ios app with a presonus itwo?
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:55:35 PM »
Many midi USB devices will work with iOS, the app and the sprout are standard midi compliant devices. Basically, I suggest searching if your midi adapter works with iOS and everything else will fall into place.

Questions / Re: Note OFF
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:52:19 PM »

I'm glad you attempted the build. Things to check:

1. Does the 555 timer circuit function and does it's led 'flash' when touching the trodes?  This will prove the main sensor is functioning
2. You stated that you see a note off message on the computer. Is this note off repeated, that would indicate a programming problem.
3. Try reflashing the 328p chip.
4. What specific instructions are you using, did you do a breadboard or a solder circuit board?

Questions / Re: USBASP Programming
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:50:08 PM »
I suggest googling a pin mapping, it should be very easy to build a pin adapter out just use jumper wires on a breadboard.

Questions / Re: Midi Monitor not responding
« on: April 17, 2018, 05:06:43 PM »
Yes in low battery condition the sprout turns off the light show. The idea is to conserve power and not interrupt a performance a voltage goes down. Batteries should last many hours, but fresh batteries will help with sensitivity.

For the tens clips, yeah you need something to conduct between the leaf and metal clip pad. I suggest cutting a bit of the clear gel from one of the pads. Carful as some conductive paste contains salt which can rot leaves (ten20 electrode paste). Not to be gross but a bit of gooey spit will work well for an hour or so.


Questions / Re: Starting my mini sprout
« on: April 17, 2018, 03:05:41 PM »
Yeah, you need 3AA batteries!

Development / Re: USB midi not working
« on: April 14, 2018, 04:58:48 PM »
Excellent work manuel!!  repairing the low cost USB/MIDI units is definitely a challenge.  if a manufacturer skimped on the opto isolator, the unit probably doesn't have a very strong clock or power regulation.

So I know many of you are wondering, "why does this cheap adapter work with a MIDI keyboard by doesn't work with the Sprout?"

Because the MIDI Sprout is measuring conductivity, I try to isolate the Sprout circuit as much as possible from the host Synth/computer.  In a perfect MIDI environment, the optoisolator is all that would be needed.  But ... most MIDI Keyboards and devices don't really care about isolation, they are perfectly happy to 'share a ground' between the MIDI Keyboard and the host.  When looking at the 5 pin DIN MIDI Jack, I do not attach 'ground' (the middle pin).  Ground connection should not be required between a MIDI source and host. 

On those cheap MIDI cables, the Ground is 'connected' and the optoisolator is 'bridged', this would result in the MIDI Sprout being connected to both the plant and the host computer which is essentially a noisy loaded mess.  Medical equipment is isolated using a variety of expensive components, the Sprout is expecting the host to have an isolator installed.

On the side of the board with the LEDs and solder connections, you can see pads which can be used to 'bridge' MIDI ground pin to the Sprout board Ground, this will allow some usage (albeit not great functionality) with hosts which require Ground connection.  But .... Please don't do it, i disconnected ground for a reason ;)


Development / Re: ATMega Programming
« on: April 13, 2018, 04:28:27 PM »
Everything should be available on the GitHub for the MIDI Sprout shield.  Checkout hte Instructions PDF for the assembly.  https://github.com/electricityforprogress/BiodataSonificationBreadboardKit

What have you tried, what is failing/erroring, and what connections have you made?  Is this the first time you are programming with Arduino?


Questions / Re: Need immediate with battery case!!
« on: April 13, 2018, 04:26:21 PM »
Hey Steve - Oh wow it is wild to hear that you have some melted wires in the battery box.  The battery wires are thin but they should not be heating up. 

When you exchange the batteries, I suggest turning the battery box 'upside down', that way the circuit board can only touch the black plastic battery case and can not short circuit on the springs or battery terminals.

The easiest solution is to strip the two battery wires and solder the connection, this is something that a friend or neighbor, anyone with an iron and a little experience could take care of the two wires in a minute.

You likely have purchased your Sprout through Data Garden, and I am sure that they would provide support/replacement, although I'm not sure what their best support contact email address is.  You should check your purchase emails from Data Garden. 

I am happy to send you a battery box myself, it would just cost a couple bucks for shipping depending on where you are located.  Of if you are in Philly I can fix it for you ;)  ping me at samuel.cusumano {at} gmail [dot]com or through the store link that nicola mentioned.

Make sure to plug the positive and negative leads into the correct hole, the Sprout doesn't deal well with reverse polarity.  The circuit board should be clearly labeled for Power (red) and Ground (black).

--And thank you so very much Nicola for helping out, you are the best!!!

Questions / Re: MIDI iphone
« on: March 26, 2018, 01:56:47 PM »
Make sure you are using the MIDI 'Input' plug attached to the Sprout, there are two MIDI cables on the iOS/MIDI device.  You likely have the wrong plug attached to the Sprout

Questions / Re: Extending biofeedback electrodes?
« on: March 26, 2018, 01:55:14 PM »
Yes, dry soil doesn't conduct electricity very well (unless wet). 

The biodata sensor uses two electrodes which measure electrical conductivity between the trodes.

Essentially, your experiment shouldn't work if the user is holding a glass jar, that glass will insulate and prevent the user from being measured.   

Now ... there are many situations where strange electrode configurations will produce 'output' (like put one trode on one person, the other trode on another person, and then move really close together without touching).

Sometimes moisture/humidity in the air is enough to allow a small flow of current... but the best way to use the tool is to have a good solid connection with the organic system which is being studied.

Questions / Re: Running multiple electrodes into MidiSprout?
« on: March 26, 2018, 01:45:28 PM »
Electrodes are just wires with sticky pads at the end (the sticky happens to be electrically conductive).  You can use any type of conductive material as the electrodes, and you can join together wires to connect multiple pads/trodes.  My first electrodes were just pieces of silver jewelry wire which i taped to the leaves of a plant ;)

Questions / Re: Running multiple electrodes into MidiSprout?
« on: March 25, 2018, 11:07:09 AM »
You certainly can split and splice electrode cables together.  Standard 3.5mm audio adaptor/splitters wont really work since the electrodes are setup as mono tip/sleeve on the connector.  There are 'tens' electrode leads which branch into many connectors, or you could use wire cutters and splice multiple snap leads together yourself.

But you will need to experiment to see what results you get, I have seen 'multiple plant' split setups where there was very little or no 'activity' read by the Sprout - described by one user "as if the plants were canceling each other out". 

If you are able get activity readings from both plants at the same time, it will likely be a bit noisy ;)   Already the sprout is like a toddler mashing on a keyboard, think two toddlers mashing at the same time! 


Questions / Re: MIDI Sprout purchase
« on: March 22, 2018, 05:56:31 PM »
Okay, I hope/suppose they have some sort of support email with your order. If you can't find any other contact method let me know.

I'm not a part of Data Garden, they produce and sell my open source designs. I try to support all users of the technology here in this forum community, along with some really great users who provide advice and share musical experiences.


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