Ribbons and knots

I went to use my ribbon controller for the first time in quite a while and discovered it wasn’t working. After a lot of examination I’ve come to the conclusion the SoftPot is damaged. No sign of physical injury but it behaves as if the conductive and resistive layers are in permanent contact a couple inches or so from one end.

That was the end I was reading, so I was getting only a small range of resistances. It occurred to me that a quick and cheap partial fix would be to read the other end instead, to get a larger though still truncated range.

You’d think that’d be simple, but at the moment it’s working even less well than before, and for whatever reason I can’t read the serial monitor.

The fact that it uses a 5V Arduino Pro Mini and I still have only a 3.3V FTDI breakout just adds to the complication. I could buy a 5V breakout. Or I could rebuild it with an Arduino Nano and not have to worry about FTDI. Or I dunno. I know I’ve been spending enough money lately not to want to buy a new SoftPot and new electronics at the moment.

I’m actually breadboarding another controller, also based around an Arduino and a DAC chip, and it’s occurred to me I could probably design a PC board that’d work for both the ribbon controller and the new controller. The circuits are simple enough that a PCB seems almost overkill but at JLCPCB prices, why not?

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