hosted on condor3913
 Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info

End-of-Summer Fundraising Drive In Progress. Please visit our home page to see this and other announcements:     Thank you. --Jody

MMD > Archives > February 2007 > 2007.02.19 > 06Prev  Next

USB Controller for CIS Optical Roll Reader
By Julie Porter

Here are the hardware design files that represent the USB interface
that was shown to San Francisco Bay Area AMICA members on February
11th, 2007.  Like Richard Stibbons did with the Mark3-BT, I am making
this design available to anyone who wants to use it.  Please remember
to give me credit should this alpha prototype code be used for other

The chips needed to make this are now, as of this week, all available,
in stock at  The board and schematic is in ExpressPCB
format.  The layout will make four small circuit boards: (1) the USB
interface, (2) a transition board which includes a PWM lamp dimmer for
CFL illumination, and the remaining two board sections can be used
after some grinding to connect a ribbon cable to a Dyna CIS array.

The circuit board connects via a ribbon cable to a CIS array as the
data input device, and the board sends the image data via USB cable
to a host computer.  The host computer must accept the image data
(compressed using RLE or packbits algorithm) and store it.  For single
bit mode the board can replace earlier hardware functions.  It can also
be used to provide a USB to serial bridge to the earlier circuit cards
designed by Gene Gerety and Richard Stibbons.

The firmware for the microcontroller requires a program, AVRStudio,
which is available from .  Drivers for the USB
chip can be downloaded from  The scanner will
appear to Windows (or other operating systems) as a comm port.  There
are also *.DLL driver libraries which can be used for faster access to
the USB interface on this converter device.

This is a work in progress, and a hobby entertainment project.  I do
not have the time to make more of these boards.  I would recommend that
those interested in USB scanning pool together as was done for the
Mark3-BT boards and a run of boards made.  The USB interface is a fine
pitch surface mount part and would require some advanced assembly,
which  basically means you need to use a fixed magnifying glass, good
eyesight and a steady hand to solder them.  It is not difficult and
many thousands of electronics hobbyists do this on a regular basis.

This interface does not directly make a MIDI file -- additional
conversion software, such as the tools written by Warren Trachtman, will
be needed to convert the CIS file to a playable MIDI file.  A program is
also needed to convert the raw image data returned from the USB to CIS.

Julie Porter

 [ See  -- Robbie

(Message sent Thu 15 Feb 2007, 00:59:59 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  CIS, Controller, Optical, Reader, Roll, USB

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   

Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google

CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2023 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Please Support Publication of the MMD with your Generous Donation

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

Translate This Page