Redesign of the Midi Rotator Hardware


Test harness of the MB1 used for coding and testing the Arduino software.
Test harness of the MB1 used for coding and testing the Arduino software.
I’ve created a number of versions of “The Rotator” over the years. This video details one of the first versions that involved creating custom hardware based on the Arduino micro-controller and several parts scavenged from various bits and pieces I had lying around.

Then a couple of years ago while in Japan I made a field trip to “Electric City” in Akihabara where I was able to buy a bunch of electronics parts that allowed me to start work on yet another version.

Rev 1 of the MB1 rotator board I designed. (shoutout to Dennis Alichwer from Neve for all his help and advice.)
Rev 1 of the MB1 rotator board I designed. (shoutout to Dennis Alichwer from Neve for all his help and advice.)
I wanted to start again with improved hardware and a better layout. I was really excited to find what appeared to be Prophet-V-style gray buttons and some decent push-button rotary encoders. Within a few weeks I was able to get a working breadboard up and running (top left) where I could test the code and work on the software.

Enter the amazing Dennis Alichwer who totally crushed it on laying out a custom circuit board based on my design for the test harness.

MB1 prototype in a makeshift enclosure
MB1 prototype in a makeshift enclosure
The result was the “MB1” (middle left) – which stands for “Midi Box 1” or possibly “Mike Brecker 1” we’re not sure.

Anyway, I have a couple of boxes in use. One is running the latest rotator software, and the other is running an alpha version of a new toy I’m working on called MidiBot.