Monday, September 8, 2008

Open Stomp

So this is a cool project that I heard about through Lxer. It's a project to build an open source digital stomp box called the Coyote-1. The unit itself is available for purchase from for $349.00. It comes with a 9v power supply and a usb cable, as well as a CD that contains the windows only OpenStomp Workbench the source code for the box's Coyote-1 O/S operating system, five completed effects a test tone and a pong game, a manual, and schematics. It has some pretty cool specs.

- Propeller Processor (eight independent 80MHz cores or "cogs")
- 1.5 MByte SRAM
- 44kHz 20-bit sampling (2 input channels and 2 output channels)
- 4 control knobs
- 16x2 LCD screen
- 2 stomp switches
- 2 stomp indicator LEDs
- 1 1/4 inch audio input
- 1 1/4 inch audio output
- 1 multipurpose 1/4 inch audio jack (can be used as either a second output (for stereo effects) or as an additional input
(for modulation effects etc.))
- NTSC Video out
- Micro USB
- 9V DC Power in
- Headphone out (mini phono jack)
- RJ11 expansion port (for potentially adding things like external foot pedals. Uses I2C.)
- Rugged Steel chassis

Now for some drawbacks. It has a very limited amount of available effects. Limited Memory. No built in tuner(yet). There is no Linux or Mac support. There is no version control for development. Other than the forums I didn't see any way to submit patches back to OpenStomp or any patches that are available to upgrade the device. I'm not trying to beat up on the project, I think it's a realy cool idea. However, I would like to see it take a more traditional open souce route of building a solid online comunity around the product. I hope this is a realy successful project that develops and blossoms. I don't know that I'm going to rush out and get one because it's still a little expensive for the lack of effects and memory. But, you never know I might get the bug to hack on something and pick one up. It's at least worth checking out.
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