Experiments during autumn of 2015 have led the project to evolve.
The concept of the electronic circuit slipped inside a real chanter has been abandoned, for different reasons :
- it may damage the chanter,
- electronic board may be damaged after severall insertions/removal cycles,
- beginners frequently do not belong a chanter !!!
- electronic board would be centered into the chanter, too far from holes and that is a main issue for optical detection,
By an other hand, it is quit easy to build a non functional chanter clone.
Optical detection technology has been very difficult to debug, but after all it works great : embelishments are quick, noisy imperfect fingering noises, badly closed holes generate wrong note.
Sound quality in local is good : practice and bagpipes notes come from real recording, fork fingering are working and drones can be played or not. Sound is sampled at 32000 Hz / 12 bits, volume is tunable and audio gain can be doubled if speaker is used.
A specific software running on Windows and Linux (MacOSX latter) is used for tunning, monitoring and remote playing. Communication with a-pipes uses USB serial link or bluetooth.
Bluetooth works pretty well : remote setup and monitoring + remote playing.
Because bluetooth battery drawing is important, it is enabled on user's demand and for a duration of one minute only ; if no connexion occures during this period, bluetooth is powered down, else it remains enabled while a-pipes is connected to the remote control software.
Without bluetooth, electrical consumption is 78mA under 1.3V (one single AAA battery) while playing at 80% volume.
Given a 1800 mA battery theorically allows playing during 33 hours, but a-pipes could stop before when voltage decreases. To be measured.
Here are some pictures of prototype a-pipes and remote software.
Initial moke up
First prototype on 2015, december is based on a man made engraved electronic circuit
Second prototype came one week after ; it was made of rosewood and is based on a manufactured circuit