Who am I?

I’m a 36 38 39 42 47 year old who loves playing computer games and messing about with electronics and stuff. Footering is what my wife calls it, it’s an Irish word I think and pronounced with a long oo like scoot.

I live in Barcelona, Spain with my wife Ruth and children Hannah and Felix, all of whom put up with a lot…

Professionally I’m a web developer or what ever fancy term they use these days… I help run digitalhappy.com along with my co-founder Simon Kelly. We design and build web applications for small to medium sized companies most of whom are based here in Barcelona.

28 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. You have a very interesting site. I like it a lot.

    I’m in Canada; I’ve worked with electronics (hardware) for many years, but due to illness I have been out of touch with new developments for 10 years or so…

    So I’m just starting into working (playing?) with pic microcontrollers. I now own a PicKit2 and a few small pics, including 12f683 and 16F628A, it seems that these are very popular on the web. I have seen the video of your lighthouse or beacon project, and I just love how it looks! I was wondering if you have made the program available to people for download? Sure would be nice to have a proven program to run for my first project! Please let me know if this is available or not, I will wait by the PC for your response:)

  2. Hola, mi nombre es Raul, me dirijo a ti debido a un post que escribiste sobre crear PCBs.
    Soy de Barcelona y mi pregunta es si conoces aquí en Barcelona alguna empresa que venda productos líquidos para el grabado en cristales (Etch Bath ó Etch All). Necesito comprar alguno de estos productos.
    Encantado de recibir una respuesta el email.
    Muchas gracias por tu ayuda!

  3. Hi mate,

    Interesting website. At 42 i still mess around with bits and bobs. My wife also has alot to put up with bless her.


  4. Hi,
    I really like your LED lighthouse project. I am looking for a low cost kit to build a simulated rotating beacon for use on my homebuilt aircraft. Will you be making the boards available for sale? Would you possibly be willing to do a little more development work on this project on a freelance basis?

  5. Hallo
    this lighthouse is my next project for the garden. looks perfect. sorry to say is the lighthouse.hex file removed from page. can you please put it back?
    best regards

  6. Hi Matt,
    Very interesting project, ChipStomp. I’ve been playing/learning PICs since the F84s were new. Recently decided to look into the newer dsPICs and PIC32s. Your project seems like the perfect first build for me. I plan on using a stomp shield (on order) with a pref board “DP32” (some mx250s w/bootloader from MC on the way).
    So after reading all the blog posts, I would like to ask about the ‘bootloader’ button. As I understand, the stock BL expects this button as an active high where as your HW is active low. So if I maintain the DP32 compatibility, I would have to alter your button read code or re-flash with the modified BL? Changing your code seems like a problematic task, at least for my skill level atm. Can you give any pointers to which functions to change?
    Otoh, can you send me a copy of the modded BL? Didn’t see it on the gethub. Will have to upgrade to a PicKit3 and retire my ICD2 (which isn’t supported on MPLAB X so I’ve been planning on this anyway).
    Once again very cool project,

    • Hi Bill,
      I’m really glad you like the project.

      I’ve added the compiled bootloader HEX to the Github project. I also added the modified BoardConfig.h from the Chipkit bootloader project if you want to build the bootloader yourself.

      You are correct about the bootloader “PROG” button. The stock DP32 bootloader expects it to be active High whereas my code expects it to be active Low. So if you’re using a DP32 and with it’s stock bootloader then you will need to change the code a bit.

      You could probably just change the ISR routine that handles the input to not invert the button state. See isr.pde line 82. If you change that to uint16_t state = PORTB; it should do the trick I think. I’ve not tested it mind, so keep an eye out for odd behaviour.

      Also be aware that the DP32 has some things that might get in the way without so additional fiddling. For example the POT is attached to the pin I’m using for the encoder button (RB15) – which is not used at present.
      Also you need to not have the pull-up/down jumpers on the i2c pins (RB8,9) and also not have the USBID jumper closed (RB5).

      If you would like a PCB send me an email, I have a couple spare.



      • Hi Matt,
        Thanks for the info and the BL upload 🙂 I think I’ll burn a chip with your ‘special sauce’ BL, seems the easiest right now. I have a couple factory fresh MX250 chips, so it’s a good excuse to get a PicKit3 after all.
        Once I get up to speed with the chipKIT environment I’ll play a bit, but want a working platform first. As far as DP32, I was just going to build (on perf board) the basic processor circuit needed for your design and use the stock Stomp Shield, about like your proto version. I’ll follow your HW changes: ICSP SCLK to PGC1 pin 5, all 3 buttons pulled high and no pull ups on the encoder A/B pins.
        Thank you for the board offer, at some point I may take you up on it but atm my ‘hobby’ funds are low. Too many concurrent projects.
        Well I’ll let you know how it goes, thanks again,

  7. Hello Matt. I’ve just discovered the ChipStomp unit whilst looking for preamp solutions for the RaspBerry Pi. This Arduino-based unit appears to be quite mature and solid, at least from the demo video!

    I wanted to ask if it would be possible to design/create a unit that imitates a ‘channel strip’, i.e. a combination of effects that are normally seen on a mixing desk.

    For Bass (in particular), I was thinking of something like:

    Compressor -> EQ -> Switchable effect (such as chorus or flanger), and possibly even an audio to MIDI pitch detector.

    The first two stages of that chain are the most important (to me anyway!), so that I could create a configuration that I can take anywhere. I’m not sure what the horsepower of the Arduino/PIC processors are, but if they could ‘model’ units such as the Urei 1176 compressor, and the Neve 1073 EQ, that would be fantastic!

    I hope that makes sense. Thanks for the great work!


    • Hi Dan.
      Glad you like the project. I’m not sure what a channel strip is so I had to google it…

      I think a compressor would be fairly easy to implement as would chourus which is essentially a form of tremelo if I understand it correctly.

      But the eq would be difficult as I think the only way to do that would be to run some sort of Fast Fourier transform which is quite a demanding task.

      FFT in general is definitly possible on that PIC but I think the issue would be trying to get it to work as part of the system with the other effects. There might not be enough CPU or RAM spare to do that. You’d probably be better off with a rPi and a CODEC board for better audio quality and more grunt to handle these sorts of tasks.



  8. Hey There! Greeting from Capetown! I’m a Engineering Major and would love to chat to you about the drum machine project that you did a while ago. What’s the best way for me to contact you?

  9. Cool project! Very interesting, you’ve squeezed a lot into that processor. And the sound quality is nice too.

    I am 43 and still find some (limited) time to tinker with PIC, dsPIC, hobby projects. Here’s my attempt at a TR-808 analogue-modelling drum machine:

    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone1.mp3" /]
    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone2.mp3" /]
    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone3.mp3" /]
    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone4.mp3" /]
    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone5.mp3" /]
    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone6.mp3" /]
    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone7.mp3" /]
    [audio src="http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/temp/808clone8.mp3" /]

    All sounds are synthesised on a 30 MHz dsPIC.

    • Richie. That sounds fantastic! I’d love to know more. What algorithm are you using to generate those sounds? Karplus-Strong or something similar?

      • Thank you. It mostly uses the digital (chamberlain) state-variable filter algorithm to filter impulses, white noise, pulse waveforms etc, to synthesise the sounds.

        It tries to model what each electrical component in the original machine does. You can think of it as being like a spice simulation that runs in realtime!

      • Hi Richie.
        That’s really interesting and sounds really good. I’ll have to have a look at that myself.

    • Sorry about that.
      I moved servers a year or so ago from windows to linux. Turns out some of the my files have different case letters in their names and I wasn’t paying attention. Windows doesn’t care if you ask for “Lighthouse” or “lighthouse”, Linux does….
      Anyway. The files should be there now.

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