A hackable electronic saxophone with mechanical keys

Oct 17, 2023

Project update 7 of 10

Last Days of the Campaign

by Javier C

Hello again!

We are on the final two days of this campaign, which has already exceeded all our expectations. Thank you again to all our backers and supporters!

Golden Boards Assembled

Our manufacturing plant has assembled two of the five golden boards we received. The boards passed all testing and we confirmed the assembly process. Engines are ready!

To Pop or Not to Pop?

Last week Gerd Bartelt picked up an open issue from the Haxophone software repository. The idea was to provide some feedback to users that the Haxophone had finished booting and was ready to play. At the moment, the only startup sound was a not-so-nice "pop" produced when the speakers are energized.

Gerd wrote a nice short startup tune and the code that plays it when the Haxophone starts.

Unfortunately the "pop" was still be audible after his change. After some additional experimentation, we concluded that the problem could be solved with a small change to the hardware. We were very reluctant to introduce any changes to the hardware now that we had received the golden boards, but with Gerd’s help, we were able to prototype the modification and confirm that indeed it does solve the popping problem.

So the hardware change is in and will be included in the campaign batch.

Furry Underbelly

As if solving the popping problem was not enough, Gerd Bartelt went on to tackle another problem: how to keep the underbelly of the Haxophone warm and protected?

He came up with a clever design to cover the bottom side of the PCB with a layer of wool felt. He shared pictures of his mod as well as the stencil file for others who want to replicate his design.

The results are stunning!


Ah, keycaps are their own universe… so many choices! Which one is best for the Haxophone?

After much testing, we are settling on XDA keys, which are more uniform than OEMs and slightly higher than DSA. They present a rounded square surface instead of the spherical or cylindrical shape of the other profiles. We will use 1U size for all except two keys: the G# and Bb on the left hand table, which are slightly wider.

And the final vote on colors is in: the overwhelming majority of you prefer colorful keys, so that is what you will receive.

But remember, changing keys is easy, so you are welcome to experiment.

Time to Decide

After the campaign closes, the Haxophone will still be available for purchase on the campaign page, but no longer at the reduced campaign price. If you are undecided about ordering one, this might be a good time to decide!

Reach out

That wraps up today’s update. Please don’t hesitate to reach out via the Ask Questions section on the campaign page. Comments, questions, suggestions or rants are all welcome!

Stay musical,

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