Programming vs. Coding

It sounds that these two words are synonyms. But they aren’t. Almost for me. In many years of my career I found much more “coded” thing than “programmed”.

I think programming requires planning and designing that doesn’t exist in simple “coding”.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that Design Patterns or Unit Testing tools aren’t there just to keep space occupied on your hard drive.

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Behringer FCB 1010 – Reverse engineering for Arduino

Before starting to implement everything you need a project. If not building and designing from scratch first thing is to reverse-engineer.

So starting my FCB 1010 Arduino powered, I decided to analyze the board and its connections, in order to understand what and how to connect the wires to Arduino.

First of all I tested the IN current from the power cord. The FCB 1010 has 220 Volts to 9 Volts AC/AC current transformer and then the current is rectified to DC with 4 diodes on the main PCB. As my main PCB board does not work, I removed the transformer and the PCB, and use the Arduino Mega and an external AC/DC power supply. I needed to cut the wires to the pedals and corresponding LEDs.

The FCB 1010 main PCB removed

Then I have analyzed all the button pedals and leds circuits: there are two pcb, one with buttons and leds 1,2,3,4,5 and the DOWN button, the second with buttons 6,7,8,9,10 with the correspoding LEDs and the button UP.

The buttons are normal switch buttons you can find in almost every Arduino Starter Kit. They share a “ground wire” and there is a wire per button to close the circuit, so nothing strange.

The LEDs, instead, share a +5 Volts wire and evey LED has a separate ground wire. In my first try I wired the ground wire to the Arduino Digital OUTs. Setting a digital out to HIGH made the LED turn off, while setting it to LOW. Even if this worked (also added a 1 kOhm resistor to not burn up the Arduino), I didn’t like this solution.

I noticed that everything should work well if the LEDs had swapped polarities, so I preferred to desolder the LEDs and solder again with reversed polarity.

Testing FCB 1010 LED polarity

Swapping LEDs polarity makes things easier, now very LED has a +5 Volts (from Arduino’s digital ouput) and they all share the same ground wire.

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Behringer FCB 1010 – death and resurrection with arduino

I have a fantastic MIDI pedal board, a Behringer FCB 1010. Very power, always being happy with it, used in many live gigs until it died.

Yes it died. One day I plugged it in and it was not sending MIDI program changes to my Line6 POD 2.0 and then, some months after, stopped to turn on.

As I decided to stop using the POD, also stopped using the FCB 1010 and so it remained in its box for some years.

Now I’m using a Mesa/Boogie TriAxis and would use the FCB 1010 with it. Googled around and discovered that Behringer assistance in Italy is very slow (and expensive) so I decided to repair it by myself using an Arduino Mega, taking inspiration from the one on Practical Usage.

Now I have started to repair it, replacing the main PCB of the FCB1010 with an Arduino Mega and trying to reuse the MIDI and SWITCH circuits and the pedals.

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Abfall recording new album

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Hello heavy metal fans! Me and all members of Abfall are proud to announce that we are working on our brand-new album!

After some years of inactivity Abfall is returning to the scene with a new line-up.

Only me and Damiano (a.k.a. “lo zio”) are the founding members of the band and we are glad to say welcome to Marcello Moragorn, as the new lead singer, and Emiliano (a.k.a. “Kiske”) as the new drummer of the band.

Stay metal, stay tuned!

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