AK47M project part 9 (PCB completed & updates)

I have received a set of PCBs and have built the first AK47M prototype. Everything seems to be working and I am currently working on an enclosure for it.

This shows the PCB populated with components:-


The next photo shows the addition of the two synthesizer modules:-


The final photo shows the addition of the PICs, the Raspberry PI Zero W and the wiring to additional components. It is ready to be put in the enclosure:-


There are a few tweaks required for the PIC firmware. I have done a lot more changes to the LIVE software running on the PI.

The “Band in the Bag ™” first cut of software is ready. I can create a chord sheet using an interactive editor using either the QWERTY keyboard or the MIDI keyboard. It handles repeats and variation selections. When a BIAB score is created and attached to a performance, it will play when the zero key is pressed. There is a tap intro for one bar before the sequence is played. The sequence can play to completion or repeat multiple number of times. This will be great to busk along with my Sax.

The LIVE software is now packaged as two versions, one for the Windows PC that interfaces to any attached MIDI device and one for the Raspberry PI that interfaces to the AK47M.

The hardware is modular so that certain functions can be added or dropped depending on requirement.


  1. Either one or both Synth modules can be dropped and an external MIDI device used instead.
  2. The LCD display can be dropped and a HDMI device or Android tablet can be used instead.
  3. The Solo Parts keyboard function can be dropped.
  4. The Fluid softsynth can be installed on the PI to do drums / bass arrangements only.
  5. The PCB can be connected to a keypad with a single PIC and used as the self-powered MIDI-Mate for connecting to a BK7M.

I am now using PIC 16F628A chips that are cheaper and have a more accurate internal oscillator. So I can also drop the resonators.

I am now working on the display of sheet music and lyric sheets. The intention is to synchronise the selection of a music/lyric sheet with the performance selection. I am on the look out for a portable HDMI monitor that I can hook up to the PI.


Leave a Reply