Category Archives: News

Happy Newyear!

The TINRS team wishes you a very happy new year!
May all your devices boot on first try!
May all your programs hand you inspirational glitches to get you to places you’d never expect!

We started our own new year at the Ruigoord church – at which we had the opportunity to officially start the new year with a song.

This track has mainly been constructed with synths/effects/software/inspiration by the people on the TINRS team
Synths: Stijn Kuipers (Goldfish + Blok)
Acid Distortion & Drum synths: Lauri Koponen
Delays and DSP support: Krzysztof Foltman
Vocals: Priscilla Haring


The yellow-panel microgameboy in action

I’ve had some great fun with the microgameboy from the Yellow Panel.

See here:

Adding levels with a custom level editor:

And.. because you sortof have to… I made a small midi-file converter and attached a piezo beeper to a leftover GPIO pin…

Initially I had some trouble getting the screen to power up on 3.3v… Turns out my init-code was sending too early. After I added 200msec delay to wait for power stabilization, the init code ran as expected and turned on the internal chargepump. Hurrah! 0.49″ OLED screens are cute!

Goldfish 4 UI board pictures

After some major drama in the workshop (leakages, iron dust cloud, broken floor, rainwater coming in, etc) I finally have some time to share a few progress pictures.

First and foremost: IT WORKS! The Goldfish R4 UI board can be used as a stand alone USB-MIDI controller! I had to do some workarounds, but it all seems to work now and I’ve used it together with a few DAWs. The current version has two modes: “control” mode and “xy” mode. In control mode you can use the encoders to control 6 MIDI-CC values at the same time, and press the encoders to select midichannels or different sets of CCs. The Goldfish keeps 36 controllers in memory, so you can see their value on the LED rings as soon as you switch between pages of CCs.
In xy mode you can control two MIDI-CC values at the same time by using the touchscreen. The left and rightmost encoders control which midi-CC is being sent by X or Y. This mode will get some “auto-LFO” options to spice things up. ¬†

Here it is, showing the LED rings lighting up for the first time:
Ui in the dark

To save some board space, I’ve added mounting holes to re-use the Connector board from the Goldfish R3. This board provides MIDI plugs and stereo jacks. (the red PCB):
Backside fits a midiboard from fish R3


Development is easy: a standard Arduino-serial module plugs in to the board at the back:
Easy to program

Historic moment: First Fish! The hello-world of Goldfish development!
FIrst Fish

Lacking the time to lasercut a nice enclosure (see “major trouble” earlier ūüôĀ ) I just took 1 of the leftover PCBs and sandwiched the thing with some hex-standoffs to protect the insides:
Stacked with a second fish board - still needs a plexi casing
Up next – an extra Arpeggiator mode, one more revision of the PCB and some fluo-yellow lasercutting work for the casing!

To be continued!

Making the Fletcher Capstan Table

This particular table has been all over the internet for years, but I had never found any details on the mechanics that make it work. This video provides some details about the parts that allow all the table segments to move fluidly from the small to the large shape and back.

For the more adventurous DIY freak – pausing the video at the screenshots should give enough details to construct your own! Linear stages available in Makeblocks webstore ūüėČ

Fun with FPGA chips: VHDL for VGA and WS2812b RGB LEDs

In the past few weeks, Stijn and Krzysztof have been playing with FPGA chips.

Progress has been made!

Stijn has created a servicable text-mode VGA setup:


Eventually, a component like this will be used for quick debugging of FPGA internals and/or GUI’s for the upcoming FPGA-hosting Goldfish device. For now it provides some fancy glitch visuals by twiddling with some on-board switches.

Krzysztof has added support for the WS2812b RGB LEDs to the FPGA code repository:
FSM-fpga ws2812b - less bright FSM-fpga ws2812b


WS2812b RGB LEDs are extremely convenient to add some colour to your projects. Each LED comes with a built in controller and you can chain any number of them together.

You can find the WS2812b VHDL code at the github repo here. The VGA code will be added once it is a bit more complete.

Back home!

10259873_10151917466246572_7627578894474393408_n After an exhilarating and exhausting time in China – we’ve made it back home. Now all that is left to do is to go through all the pictures, recordings, sketches, business cards and memories and share our adventure!

And the parts… and the tools… and the suits from the tailor… Our suitcases were nearly bursting!

On a different note: the site-design has been recovered (and backed up).

In the Novena

At the Shenzhen Maker Faire  we spotted Bunnie and had ourselves a little chat. We explained the concept behind TINRS and he fully agreed with showing the world that stuff can be done. When he asked if we had a sticker we offered a choice selection of our cut outs and Рto our surprise Рhe pulled out a new Novena and stuck us inside.

IMG_20140406_135555 IMG_20140406_135554

Check out the Novena laptop on Crowdsupply. All the design files for the Novena laptop are freely available (hardware and firmware!). This, combined with the fact that it features a powerful built-in FPGA chip for advanced interfacing makes it poised to be the new ultimate hacker/maker laptop. We can’t wait for this project get in to the hands of the hackercommunity to see what amazing reverse engineering tools they come up with. Read Bunnies blog here about the idea behind the laptop, the design decisions and its proces.

Cheers Bunnie for leading the way (and sticking us inside) – enjoy the stroopwafels.

Hello World!

Rocket_LaunchTonight we will start Twittering like crazy to get the engines going.  The stars are out over Amsterdam, spring is in the air and it is a good day for a launch!

On This Is Not Rocket Science you can already find descriptions of several projects we have already started; the Goldfish synthesizer, a design for a prototyping board, how to make a PCB CNC mill with Makeblock and our first crack at an FPGA board.  We will be adding more as time goes by and we and The Lab progress. If you have any hints or questions, please sing to us on Twitter @rocket_not .

Our first mission will be a trip to Shenzhen, China ‚Äď where all things are made. ¬†Our bags are packed to fly out in two days. We are curious to see how hard or easy it is to go from inspiration to reality in this environment. We are planning to go to the Shenzhen Maker Faire, meet the guys from the Dangerous Prototypes Hackercamp, visit MakeBlock and talk to Seeed Studio among many other things.

We are undertaking this trip without the burden of funding and will be updating you often and at impromptu times.

FPGA repository started on GitHub

2100838-40Krzysztof Foltman has posted his FPGA efforts so far on GitHub!

Currently the codebase contains modules to deal with:

– key-matrix input
– LED output with brightness control
– Serial port input and output
– SPI flash
– Quad-SPI flash (4 times as fast as regular SPI)

No doubt this will grow fast.

See here:

The code has been tested on a Cyclone IV FPGA.


Goldfish & Platinumfish for Jeskola Buzz – Rerelease

goldfishbuzz header

Let’s make some noise!

Most development starts in a very cushy environment with great debugging support. Goldfish once started in the Jeskola Buzz virtual studio platform so I could quickly test and optimize the algorithms without having to upload and install the binaries on a PocketPC.

The Goldfish and Platinumfish synthesizer plugins for Jeskola Buzz were never released on a big platform. To keep them from disappearing from the internet, here they are again!


Unpack these in the Gear/Generators folder of your Buzz installation.

Check us out on Google+

written by Roman Buehler

This Is Not Rocket Science on Google+ managed by Roman Buehler

Brilliant minds come together to play with their combined knowledge.
Stijn Kuipers, Priscilla Haring, Kzrysztof Foltman, Niko Kuipers, Roman Buehler, Lauri Koponen and Roy Bekhuis go on a business adventure trip, experimenting, researching, having fun and gifting all our experiences made and data collected in the process to the world.

There is a post-industrial revolution going on right now in development and manufacturing and we intend to add to it.
We are bold. We are passionate. We are pionneers.


First iteration of the project: 100 hours in Shenzhen – 14 days of tech glory and friendship making, Manufacturing facility tours, chips and LED shopping, mainboard prototyping and lots and lots more!

The extreme timeframe we originally set for this project made it difficult to convince sponsors to support us, so in the end sponsoring is left out for this first iteration of the project. This means, we will be conducting this adventure out of our own pockets.

non-profit, educational option, open source hard/software, fairtrade and responsible manufacturing.

But, This Is Not Rocket Science!
Files and data will be published and shared. Education is the main priority for iteration 1 of the project.

brilliant mind’s interdisciplinary collaboration technology development art design and music project
(a bunch of geeks going wild on a shenzhen shopping trip)