The PU-2 made it to Beta.
As you can see in the picture above, the PU-2 is an external module, linked to a connecting board inside the Behringer FCB1010 with a flat cable. The reason for the external module is that I wanted Beta testers to feel totally safe about their FCB1010. Since the current design doesn’t require any permanent modification to the FCB1010, a user can decide to remove the PU-2 and restore the FCB to its original condition. The whole process only involves unplugging cables and plugging them in a small connecting board. The transformation can be done in less than 15 minutes! The production versions of the PU-2 will probably require the removal of the FCB1010’s main board. I don’t think that I can fit the PU-2’s electronics into the FCB1010’s case without removing it. Plus, it is quite a bit more expensive to use a second connection board and a flat cable. Also, the production version might include a display that will require the removal of the original plastic display cover.
The picture shows the USB cable, providing USB Midi connectivity (core Midi) and USB programming connectivity. The USB connection also supplies the power to the PU-2. The unit can also be powered by an external source of 7-12 volts. The is a receptacle on the right side. There is a small switch next to the USB cable to choose PROGRAM/MIDI interfaces. The display is 16 characters X 2 lines. The button on the left is a rotary encoder. It is used to invoke the menu system. This allows the user to calibrate the pedals, or the contrast of the display, for example. The big flat cable connects the PU-2 to the board inside the FCB1010.
This picture shows the connecting board that fits inside the FCB1010, with all plug-and-play cables ready for connection. On the right side, you see the connecting board, or shield, that sits on top of the micro-controller in the PU-2 box.
So… you want to be a Beta tester?
The first Beta is by invitation only. You have to invite yourself! Please contact me using the email link on the right and let me know why you would like to be a Beta tester. If I get more than 5 requests, I will have to make a choice between candidates. If I get many more requests, I might make another batch of Beta kits within a few weeks.
Beta testers will receive all the necessary hardware, of course. They will also be asked to provide feedback about the functions provided by the PU-2. I will in turn provide as much support as required to make sure that the board is as flexible as possible. There is a cost involved. I just can’t front all the expenses for the hardware. Beta testers get to keep the unit if they want to, but can send it back to me for a full refund (minus shipping). Future versions of the PU-2 will be compatible with Beta hardware. It that proves impossible due to major hardware updates, I will provide new hardware free of charge.
Please feel free to ask any question in the comment section down below, or email me.
This is very interesting! If you have the time I would like to hear some comment on: features I wish for: Altogether bypassing FCB-1010:s implementation. Instead assign “midi macros” to controls (switches, pedals). The macros – lacking a better word for it – should be possible to record and to step program. This solves following typical situation: I wish to control a certain keyboard but its midi implementation is beyond FCB1010. So I guess a patch librarian of sorts is needed to administer the PU-2 then…
Live recording of midi sequences will be possible in a future version of the firmware. For now, I’m using software on the computer and I create midi files that can easily be incorporated into the PU-2 input files.
Future firmware/hardware versions will incorporate even more flexible input possibilities.
I just came across your project – very interesting. Does it (or will it) have external expression and switch inputs like the Gordius? This is the most important feature for me. It would allow external pedals with toe switches which I really miss with the FCB1010. I’ve currently got the UNO chip in my FCB, and that with the Ripwerx editor gives me most of what I want. In addition to the external pedals, being able to have messages on two different channels sent by the expression pedals would be my biggest desire. I looks like your PU-2 would handle that easily.
The next version will have external inputs and outputs of any type. So yes, definitely, they will support external expression pedals and with toe switch.
The PU-2 already processes commands on multiple channels for any switch/expression pedal.
Keep checking the blog for announcements.