12 March 2010

Wilba MB-6582 (Part 7)

When I test the Wilba MB-6582 SID synthesizer something strange happened. It looked like two scan lines where stuck and SID 4 suddenly didn't work anymore. But this was not right away after the display was installed. It was actually the next day that this happened. I was a bit puzzled about it. But when I disconnected the display all worked fine again. So I suspected the display still had to touch some leads on the PCB. When I inspected the tape I saw that it was punctured already. I decided to mount some rings under the display to give it some more distance and that helped. Now it works perfectly. Ah well luckily I didn't have to remove either the front panel or the PCB behind it to do this.

In my previous post I promised to tell a bit more on the software installation. You need to install a tool on your PC called MIOS studio. You can get it from here: http://www.ucapps.de/mios_download.html this communicates over Midi with the PIC's on the PCB. All PIC's are connected to 'midi in' by default but on the PCB are some jumpers where you can decide which PIC is connected to 'midi out' to be able to communicate and you also have to select the correct Device ID in the software. 0 for PIC1, 1 for PIC2, 2 for PIC3 and 3 for PIC4. Then you have to load the Midibox SID V2 hex file into all four PIC's for the synthesizer to start working. You can download this from the same URL. It is not difficult at all, but it took me some time to figure out :)

And here is a picture of the finished MB-6582 including the Commodore power supply. The only thing I have left to do is source some nice knobs for the rotary encoders. This was really a nice project to build. I would not recommend this though if you are an absolute beginner. There are some more difficult tasks in the process. But the end result is worth it. I think it looks great, it is a very functional synthesizer with a very unique sound. It has quite some power as well. I'm already looking at some more midibox projects by the way. It is a great platform with a lot of nice stuff in the mean time to build. Like the V4 sequencer. My hands are itching for that one.

But first it was time to have some fun with the synthesizer. I uploaded the preset bank that is available with the MIOS studio installation and I must say some sounds really blew me away :) There are some great lead and bass sounds possible with this synthesizer. It is also nice that some sounds are actually polyphonic. And there is also a little sequencer build in, but I haven't been able to find it in the menu's yet. I guess like always I need to read the manual ;) Ah well. After I was done my youngest daughter also had a go with it and she was also pleased with it.

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