G.I.M.I.C Operation Manual

This page explains how to operate G.I.M.I.C motherboard.

Things to prepare

You need the items below to operate G.I.M.I.C:

USB Micro-B cable

To connect G.I.M.I.C to your PC. G.I.M.I.C also draws power from USB.
A low-quality cable may cause signal degradation or power loss, which in turn can lead to unexpected malfunctions.
Use a cable that can fast-charge a smartphone to avoid such troubles.

For reference, below are the cables we employed during the development.

Straight
Motorola ECOMOTO : SKN6378A

Right angled
Sony Ericsson : EC600L

Note that some cables shipped with smartphones or tablets are "charge-only", i.e. unable to transfer data.
Make sure that your cable offers data transfer too.

A microSD card (optional)

From which G.I.M.I.C reads song files when in standalone mode. You don't need one when your G.I.M.I.C plays songs on your PC via USB.
G.I.M.I.C can handle SD/SDHC cards with up to 32GB capacity (SDXC cards are unsupported).

We have confirmed that UHS-I cards can be used, but they will function in compatibility mode, since G.I.M.I.C doesn't support UHS-104.

For reference, below are the cards we employed during the development.

SanDisk MobileUltra microSDHC UHS-I 8GB : SDSDQY-008G-J35A
SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I 8GB : SDSDQXP-008G-J35
SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I 16GB : SDSDQXP-016G-J35

A pair of headphones, earphones, or other loudspeakers

G.I.M.I.C outputs audio signals through a 3.5mm mini-stereo jack. Apply adaptors as needed.
Recommended impedance range is from 16 Ω to 300 Ω for the Pro/Std motherboard, 16 Ω to 32 Ω for the Lite motherboard.

In addition, the pro model (GMC-MB2PRO) can be connected to a breakout cable, which will provide an output through 6.5mm phone jack. See below for details.

A breakout cable (for GMC-MB2PRO only; optional)

This provides additional I/Os, namely:

  • A 6.5mm phone jack (referred above)
  • Line OUT x 4 (STEREO 2 paths)
  • MIDI I/O (for future projects; currently without use)

We recommend using either the 6.5mm phone jack or the line-out, since they give you a better sound quality than the 3.5mm mini-stereo jack.

Be sure to use ALVA Babyface (BF-BOCMKH). Use of other cables is unsupported.

An AC adaptor (for GMC-MB2PRO only; optional)

Drawing power from an external supply, you can avail yourself of G.I.M.I.C's full potential.
Use an AC adaptor with an output voltage of 5V, a currency of 1000mA (or above), connector type of EIAJ-02, center positive.

Do not use an AC adaptor with an output voltage exceeding 5.2V, as it can cause permanent damage to G.I.M.I.C.

For reference, below is the AC adaptor we employed during the development.

AC adaptor for SONY PSP1000/2000/3000 series: PSP-100

Anatomy

The picture is of a prototype and has some minor differences compared to the actual product.

Module-loading Side

Professional editionLite edition
doc_001.pngdoc_004.png

1: USB Port
USB Micro-B Port for power supply and connection to a PC.

2: DC IN (only in GMC-MB2PRO)
Insert here the power extension cable (included in the GMC-MB2PRO shipment), to which your AC adaptor can be connected.

3: microSD card slot

4: Breakout connector (only in GMC-MB2PRO)

5: Reset Switch
Resets G.I.M.I.C to the initial state, i.e. the state it's in at the time of start-up.

6: 3.5mm mini-stereo jack
Connect your headphones / loudspeakers here.

7: Jog Wheel (or Volume Pot in GMC-MB2LT)
Std/Pro G.I.M.I.C can be controlled through this wheel by turning or pressing it.
Lite edition has a volume pot in place of the jog wheel. Turning the pot controls the output level of the 3.5mm jack.

8: Extention I/F (currently not in use)
To connect accessories to be released in the future.

9: Host I/F
Connect a sound chip module to this port.

10: USB Standard-A port (only in GMC-MB2PRO; currently not in use)
For a future project to control USB devices from G.I.M.I.C.
Supplies 100mA of output current.

11: Front Panel Header
To be used with Abee aluminium case.

Component Side

Professional editionLite edition
doc_002.pngdoc_005.png

1: Power Switch

2: The POWER & the STATUS LEDs
Indicate the current power state and operation mode.

3: Analog IN Jack
To feed in the analogue output from modules.

4: Expansion Module Slot (currently not in use)
To be used for future expansion.
Note that it's NOT a slot for a button cell battery.

Breakout cable (for GMC-MB2PRO only)

doc_003.png

1: MIDI I/O (currently not in use)
For future project for G.I.M.I.C to be used as a MIDI instrument.

2: Line I/O
We adapted BF-BOCMKH for our particular use, so that the "Line IN" actually works as another set of OUTPUTS.

  • Parallel-out OFF (default)
    Line IN : outputs no signal
    Line OUT: outputs all audio signals (PCM and other sounds mixed together)
  • Parallel-out ON
    Line IN : outputs audio signals from the module currently loaded (i.e. all audio singals except PCM)
    Line OUT: outputs PCM sounds

Output signal from the "Line IN" port bypasses G.I.M.I.C's internal preamplifier. This is better suited for use with a high quality audio interface.

3: 6.5mm phone jack
Use this instead of the 3.5mm jack on the motherboard for a better output.

4: Connector to GMC-MB2PRO

Before You Start

There are a few steps to follow before you start up your G.I.M.I.C for the first time.

Updating the Firmware

Please update the G.I.M.I.C firmware to the latest version, following the instruction here.

Installing the Driver

For your PC to recognize G.I.M.I.C as a USB Device, it either needs to be running Windows8, or have the G.I.M.I.C driver installed. If you are using Windows7 download and install the driver from the link below.

  • G.I.M.I.C driver ver. 2013/05/23: filegimic-win-driver-20130523.7z
    After extracting the .7z, run dpinst-x86.exe if your OS is 32-bit windows.
    Users of 64-bit OS should run dpinst-amd64.exe instead.

Preparation for third-party applications

You need to install c86ctl to be able to control G.I.M.I.C from third-party applications.
Download the latest version from the link below.

  • c86ctl v1.4.4 (2013/10/13): filec86ctl_1.4.4_32bit.zip
    Copy the extracted c86ctl.dll to the same directory as the third-party application is in.

Also, c86ctl depends on Visual C++ 2010 Runtime. Install the package below, and update to the latest available version using MicrosoftUpdate. Note that you need to install 32-bit version of the components (files with _x86 in their names) regardless of your OS version.

Preparing Song Files

You can find song files to be used for test purposes here.

When G.I.M.I.C is in USB mode, files can be played from third-party applications. Here is the list of applications that support G.I.M.I.C.

G.I.M.I.C can also play songs without the aid of external software. In that case, the song files must be contained in the SD card inserted in G.I.M.I.C's card slot. If your SD card has a capacity of 16GB or above, it is recommended to initialize the card before copying songs, with allocation unit size set to 4096 Byte or 8192 Byte, file system FAT/FAT32, for more efficiency. *1

Controlling G.I.M.I.C

G.I.M.I.C can operate in two modes: Standalone mode and USB mode. At the time of start-up, G.I.M.I.C looks for an SD card in its slot. If it finds one, it will start operating in Standalone mode. Otherwise it will operate in USB mode.

The way G.I.M.I.C is controlled varies depending on which mode it is operating in. You will find detailed information later in this article.

Connecting to the power source

Connect G.I.M.I.C to a PC via USB, or to an external power supply through an AC adaptor (Pro only). When connected, G.I.M.I.C will be in standby mode. GMC-MB2PRO's relay gives one small click.

  • When AC adaptor is connected before USB, the STATUS LED will light up for about 0.5 seconds, and a circuit will be activated to cut off noise originating in USB, for the betterment of the sound quality.
  • Note that G.I.M.I.C determines whether its power is supplied through an AC adaptor or through USB at this point: connecting the AC adaptor while G.I.M.I.C is running on USB bus power does NOT switch the power source.

Standalone mode

This section is an abstract from a more fully detailed description in Japanese. You can read the original here.

  • Start a terminal emulator that can emulate VT100 (such as Tera Term) on your PC, and connect to the port where G.I.M.I.C is connected. The baud rate is 230400bps.
  • Make sure that an SD card is inserted in the card slot (if not, G.I.M.I.C will start up in USB mode).
  • Press the power switch. The POWER LED will light up and G.I.M.I.C's OS will begin starting up.
    When the OS has successfully started, the terminal emulator will show device information.
  • Press any key on your keyboard.
    Filer screen will show up, where you can control G.I.M.I.C.
    Below is the list of controls.
Up-arrow    move the cursor up
Down-arrow  move the cursor down
Right-arrow    play the next song
Left-arrow  play the previous song
PageUp      scroll up one page
PageDown    scroll down one page
HOME      move to the previous folder
END      move to the next folder
ENTER       play song file / open folder
BackSpace   move up one folder
F1          toggle AUTO (next song is automatically played when on)
F2          stop playing
F3          +1 to the number of times songs are looped
F4          -1 to the number of times songs are looped
F5          tempo up
F6          tempo down
F7          change playback mode (normal/repeat current folder/shuffle current folder)
F8          go to the setup screen
  • Using the Jog Wheel (Pro/Std only)
    You can also control G.I.M.I.C with the jog wheel on the motherboard.
    To enable this feature, press in the jog wheel after starting up.
    Each time you press the jog wheel, the STATUS LED alternately turns on/off.
    This indicates the current set of function the jog wheel performs. Namely:
  • When the LED is off
    Turning the wheel: change output volume
    Turning the wheel while pressing it: play/stop
  • When the LED is on
    Turning the wheel: play next/previous song
    Turning the wheel while pressing it: open next/previous folder

USB mode

This section is an abstract from a more fully detailed description in Japanese. You can read the original here.

  • Make sure that there is no SD card inserted in the card slot (otherwise G.I.M.I.C will start up in Standalone mode). You can force Pro/Std motherboard to start up in Standalone mode, ignoring the SD card in the slot. To do so, press the power switch while pressing the jog wheel in.
  • Press the power switch.
    Power/Status LED will light up and G.I.M.I.C's OS will begin starting up.
  • When the OS has successfully started, the PC will recognize G.I.M.I.C as a USB device.
    If it's the first time you connect G.I.M.I.C to the PC, you may be required to install a driver. (See above)
  • Launch any applications that support G.I.M.I.C
  • Using the Jog Wheel
    Turning the wheel changes output volume.
    Pressing the wheel toggles parallel output on/off. Each time you press the wheel, the STATUS LED alternately turns on/off. This indicates whether parallel output is currently enabled/disabled.
Parallel Output
STATUS LEDoffon
Line INunusedaudio signals from the module
Line OUTall audio signalsPCM sounds

Turning off your G.I.M.I.C

Press the power switch to cut off the power. G.I.M.I.C will turn back to standby mode. Std/Pro motherboard memorizes the volume setting.

G.I.M.I.C continues to consume a small amount of power while in standby mode, so unplug the USB cable and/or the AC adaptor as needed.

Supplementary Information

  • Breakout cable's Line "IN" and OUT: which to use?

Line OUT is generally better suited for connection with audio equipment. It outputs PCM sound from motherboard and other audio signals from the module mixed together, which come through G.I.M.I.C's preamplifier.

Line IN is better suited for connection with a high-spec audio I/F, since the output bypasses G.I.M.I.C's preamplifier.


*1 Initializing an SD card will delete all the data currently contained in it, so make backup beforehand as needed.

添付ファイル: filedoc_005.png 874件 [詳細] filedoc_004.png 858件 [詳細] filegimic-win-driver-20130523.7z 829件 [詳細] filec86ctl_1.4.4_32bit.zip 754件 [詳細] filedoc_003.png 965件 [詳細] filedoc_002.png 946件 [詳細] filedoc_001.png 973件 [詳細]

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Last-modified: 2017-04-19 (水) 03:24:34 (69d)