Deluge MIDI Host Mod Buildlog
Looks awesome, right? Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work. It did, sometimes, if I was lucky, but there were too big issues:
- The whole thing doesn't boot when powered by USB, only when powered by batteries, so no host device could be connected
- RK 005 doesn't connect to hub most of the time and detects no devices, so the hub only outputs power. Lame.
Actual current status
The 555 timer board will power the RK005 after everything else, which for some reason makes it more reliably detect the downstream devices.
So, it's still a work in progress.
Hi everyone! Bought my deluge a week ago, huge fan, such a powerful and fun device. It's replacing the OP-Z for me, which was much more portable and great fun as well, but ultimately not the right fit for a bunch of reasons.
While the Deluge is more powerful than the OP-Z in a lot of ways, one feature I'm missing quite a bit is the ability to act as a MIDI host. Mind you, it was terribly buggy on the OP-Z (like a lot of things right now), but it was very convenient to just connect a Keystep with just one cable and be ready to go.
So, that's what I will mod into the Deluge. Specifically:
- MIDI Host with 4 USB ports - Enable the Deluge to act as a host to MIDI devices
- Provide Power to MIDI devices - All connected USB MIDI devices will be provided with power from the internal battery/power bus
- MIDI thru between USB and DIN - Deluge can already do that (which is awesome, btw), but I need to keep that feature alive
Potential additional Features
- One more CV/Gate/Clock output - Can't have enough of those, can you?
- Battery level indicator - Self explanatory
- MIDI Status LED - Blinks on signal receive
- USB C input jack - I charge most of my stuff with USB C, so that would be a nice modernisation
- Increase battery life by up to 400% - Not sure on the exact number yet, will need to be tested.
How I'm going to achieve that?
Put an RK 005, a USB Hub and a Powerbank into the Deluge, cut a few holes and solder it together right.
Here you can see what the Deluge looks like with the bottom panel removed. Lots of free space, about 21mm deep.
Into this free space I want to fit an RK 005, a USB Hub, and a Powerbank. All of those things will be held in place by 3D-printed mounts that will in turn be mounted to the deluge using Female-Female M2 Standoffs in place of some of the nuts you can see in the picture.
And here we have the rear connector area, as shown in the banner above. The 4 USB ports will be sitting underneath the CV/Gate outputs.
Retrokits RK 005 is a Standalone USB MIDI Host and MIDI Interface. Any message it receives on an IN port will be echoed to all OUT ports, and if it's connected to a PC or other MIDI Host, will also be visible to that device. The cool thing, like a PC, it has full support for USB Hubs, so you can (in theory) connect up to 127 USB MIDI devices to it.
It also has a configurable TRS jack that can be configured to Gate, Clock or CV output and any combination of two of those, which I could put next to the USB ports.
And it has a status LED, which could be a useful thing to make visible as well.
To fit into the chassis of the Deluge, I will have to desolder the TRS jack and the DIN MIDI connectors. Luckily, as the Deluge has MIDI through between USB and DIN, I won't be needing those anyway.
A 7-port USB 2.0 Hub. The flat form factor is important, as is the number of ports. Four of them will face outside, one of the ones facing inward will be connected to the deluges USB port. Then I still got two left for further mods. I'm thinking a Raspberry Pi Zero to interface with Bluetooth MIDI gear, for example.
The case of this will be removed, of course.
A 5x18650 powerbank kit (similar to what's shown in the picture). The case I don't care about, I only need the circuit. This will be connected to five 18650 batteries, the single one in the Deluge right now will be removed.
I'll probably solder the USB connections, plugging in cables in there feels to error-prone and unreliable.
If I want to make the battery indicator visisble, I'll have to desolder it as well.
Sidenote: I will not re-use the 18650 cell of the deluge. I'm getting five new ones from the same batch that will be matched by their inner resistance. This is important for the parallel charging and discharging to work properly.
The Deluge itself will also have to be modified. First of, the battery goes out. The battery holder and capacitor will be left in place unless I run out of space. The 9V input will be desoldered, as well as the USB B connector. In the place of the latter, I'll solder a cable connected to the hub, as shown below. If I'm lucky I can just re-use the USB connector by turning it upside down, that would be pretty smooth. The SW3 header (the one the power switch connects to) will be bridged so the Deluge turns on or off as the powerbank provides power or not. The power switch itself I'm not sure about. Whether I can reuse this depends on how the powerbank behaves exactly. And, of course, I will have to cut holes into the rear/bottom plate to expose the USB connectors.
For some additional indicators, like the MIDI and Battery LEDs, I could use the speaker grill. If I do that, I'll have to reseat the speaker and work out how to redirect the sound towards the grill again.
Here's the plan I threw together in paint.net (for the pedantic: Arrow direction represents logical USB downstream direction)
Really quite simple. The Powerbank has to be bypassed as powerbanks normally don't forward incoming data; instead, they connect the pins using a combination of resistors to communicate to the device being charged how much current it can pull.
And the RK 005 is bypassed for power to give more headroom for connected devices
Thanks for reading, hope you'll follow me on this journey. Maybe you have some ideas/tips as well? Feel free to share any thoughts!