Musical controller for an Arduino-floppy drive set up.
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by Sammy1Am

Moppy is a M_usical Fl_oppy controller program built for the Ardiuno UNO.

The Arduino code requires the TimeOne library available here:

You will need to follow the directions in the appropriate Java/SerialDrivers folder for your system to install the serial drivers prior to running Moppy.

Upload the included Arduino code to the Arduino of your choice, and open up the included Java code in your favorite IDE.  This code includes a NetBeans project for your convenience, so you should be able to open the project directly in NetBeans.


I built Moppy using an Arduino UNO, though it should work just fine on most Arduinos.  The pins are connected in pairs to floppy drives as follows: Even pins (2,4,6...) are connected to each drive's STEP pin, the matching odd pins (3,5,7...) are connected to the each drive's DIRECTION control pin.  So the first floppy would be connected to pin 2 & 3, the second floppy to 4 & 5, and so on.

Some pinout information can be found here:

Make sure you ground the correct drive-select pin, or the drive won't respond to any input (just connect the drive-select pin on the floppy to the pin directly below it).  You can tell when you have the right drive selected, because the light on the front of the drive will come on.  

Also, it's VERY IMPORTANT that your Arduino is grounded with the drives, or the drives will not register the pulses correctly.  To do this, make sure that the GND pin on the Arduino is connected to the odd-numbered pin below the STEP pin on the floppy (i.e. if the STEP pin is 20, connect the Audnio's GND pin to Floppy-pin 19).  You might need to do this for the DIRECTION pin as well (I did it for both, but I don't know if it's required).


- Open up the code in NetBeans (or your favorite IDE) and run it.  Alternatively, you can build the MoppyDesk.jar file and run that.
- Select the COM port that the Arduino is hooked up to from the "Arduino Port" drop-down.  You will need to have this configured before you launch MoppyDesk.
- Click the "Connect" button to create a new Sequencer connected to the specified COM port.
- Click the "Load Sequence" button and select a suitable MIDI file (see below).
- Click "Start" to start playback (if all goes well).  
- The Stop/Reset button will stop playback and reset the drives.  Pressing "Start" again will resume from where the sequencer left off.  You will need to reload the MIDI to start from the beginning.


- MIDI files should have one MIDI channel for each controller pin on the Arduino.  Channel 1 will be sent to pin2, channel 2 to pin4, &c.
- Each drive can only play a single note at a time.
- The software will only attempt to play notes between C1 and B4.  Floppy drives don't seem to respond well to notes outside of this range (especially higher).
- Generally shorter notes tend to sound better, as longer notes are marred by the read-heads changing directions repeatedly.

Cross your fingers, and enjoy!