It is fair to say that John Conrad Kleinbauer's comments with regard
to the early version of MIDster Punch are partly, but perhaps not
entirely, correct; but nevertheless I appreciate his comments.
Mistakes in the early documentation, rather than the circuit and the
software, are to blame (for which I apologise), although the alarm
circuit is accidentally inverted. But this is easily corrected and it
then works correctly.
As to the paper-out detector feature, that only gives trouble when the
circuit is left disconnected and floating, rather than being connected
to logic high. Most punch builders that I know of have not regarded
the alarm and paper-out facilities necessary and have omitted them
In fact, the latest version of Midster Punch software does not have the
alarm-circuit feature at all. Over the two years I have been testing
my own machine it has never once required the alarm indication,
although this would be shown on the computer screen in the event of
It is true that you have to open the MIDster program before switching
the punch machine on. But then my new top-of-the-range PC has to have
the monitor switched on before I switch on the CPU; so what! I can
live with it.
Over the two years of the life of MIDster Punch, there have been a
number of people who have said that this resistor, or that part of the
circuit, or that arrangement of components is wrong and it should be
something else. I find it amusing that not one of those critics has
referred to the device manufacturer's data sheets nor has done the
mathematics to support their assertions. Had they done so, perhaps
they might have reached the same conclusions that I have done, although
I could be wrong.
In practice, the circuit functions entirely as it should function,
subject to the modifications I mentioned. This is proven by the number
of Midster Punch machines around the world happily punching music
rolls. Of course anyone is entitled to follow their "hunch" and change
things if they want.
However, if any of our readers is struggling with their MIDster Punch
"plans" (that word -- ha!) they know that they have only to email me
to have prompt help with the problem. For those unacquainted, see
http://www.members.aol.com/midpunch for information and pictures.