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[Build Thread] Retroaktiv HLFO - Utility modulation source
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Author [Build Thread] Retroaktiv HLFO - Utility modulation source
NewEnglandAnalog
Hello all,
I have completed a new module design and wanted to take some pre-orders. The module is called the HLFO, which stands for haptic low frequency oscillator. The haptic part comes from the touch sensor included on the front panel of the module. The module is 10HP wide . The core of the module is an LFO which features voltage/touch controlled speed and amplitude. The LFO section has 3 output waveforms: pulse, triangle, and sample & hold. The sample and hold section has its own output (which does not run through the LFO VCA), and can be externally clocked (as well as an output that DOES run through the LFO VCA). The S&H circuit normally samples the HLFO's internal noise generator, however, any voltage source can be sampled. The touch sensor is normalized to the rate and amp controls, (the small trim pots located beneath the main RATE and AMP knobs). Patching an external CV into either CV jack will disconnect the touch sensor's normalized connection to that parameter. Access to the internal noise generator is provided on the front panel. Plugging into the FSR jack will tap into the FSR CV output (0-5V) what can be used to control any number of things in a modular.

This module also works well as an aftertouch controller (Keyboard aftertouch sensor connected to the FSR input on the rear of the PCB) or a mod wheel controller (connect mod wheel CV to the LFO rate and amp CV inputs and turning up your mod wheel will bring in whatever waveform you've got dialed into the HLFO)

This combination of functions allows for an extremely flexible waveform generation tool, LFO, sample & hold, and touch controller.


Right now, I have only made a lasercut test panel (shown in my pics and video). I'm getting ready to place the order of PCBs and metal panels, and I want to get an idea of how much interest there is in this module. The production modules are going to have light blue LEDs. The panel will be metal with black silkscreen.

Here's the panel controls (unit shown here is a plastic prototype panel):





Here's a second video of me generating some interesting waveforms and modulating a VCO & VCF with the HLFO.




I'm offering these in 2 formats:

$45 for a PCB/panel/2 knobs/2 tall pots/BOM/Schematic (Requires SMD soldering)

$145 for a fully assembled & tested module.

The production run will probably take a few weeks, so my guess is that these will start shipping in late September.
sammy123
I am definitely interested in the "$45 for a PCB/panel/2 knobs/2 tall pots/BOM/Schematic" option. This looks really cool. SlayerBadger!
stringsthings
Also interested in the PCB/panel/parts option.
secrethero303
Wow, this looks great. I'd be in for at least one pcb/panel/parts.
harvestman
You can sign me up for the DIY it as well. Looks awesome
oberkorn
interested in the DIY option. how about shipping to Sweden/Europe?
ArboriaAuralist
Nice - manipulable modulation is right up my alley. applause

1 x DIY PCB/panel/parts, please!
sempervirent
Glad that this one is finally ready!
acgenerator
looks like a nice option for the small skiff set up. Quite a bit of functionality in 10HP.
NewEnglandAnalog
I forgot to mention a couple of additional features in my original post. The HLFO has a jumper setting on the rear of the PCB that allows you to select the source for the sample & hold. It can be set to the internal HLFO noise source, or you can wire it to another source of your choosing.

There is also a 6 pin header on the rear that has additional outputs for the following:


FSR Out (0-5V)
-FSR Out (0 - -5V)
S&H Out
LFO Out
S&H Source In
Noise Out

This is done so that all Retroaktiv modules can be normalized from the rear. The module will function normally, even if none of these are connected to anything. It's just a fun feature that I put on all of my modules so you can have a normalized patch (modules patched together in a config of your choosing) even without cables inserted. Inserting cables will break the normalized connections.
tassie tiger
I'm interested, but could you shed some light on the level of SMD soldering for those of us more practised in thru-hole. Is it lots, involving things the size of quantum particles, or a bit of 0805?

Any idea of ship rates for DIY package to the bottom of the world?

Ta
NewEnglandAnalog
tassie tiger wrote:
I'm interested, but could you shed some light on the level of SMD soldering for those of us more practised in thru-hole. Is it lots, involving things the size of quantum particles, or a bit of 0805?

Any idea of ship rates for DIY package to the bottom of the world?

Ta


I tend to use 0603 resistors and caps. All polarized caps are SMD metal can electrolytics. The worst part to solder is the two DG449 analog switches. They're tiny. The chips are all SOIC-16. I'd say that if you have the right tools and are experienced at soldering SMD, this isn't that bad, but it's definitely not for beginners. I packed the parts tightly to fit all of this onto a 10HP PCB.
Yes, shipping to Australia lately has gotten really expensive. My guess would be $20 for a padded envelope. I had to ship a small box to New Zealand last week and it was $55! Ridiculous!
tassie tiger
Hello and thank-you for your comprehensive response.

At my present (in)competence level at SMD soldering I don't believe DIY'ing this one is for me, and I probably have other priorities for the money it would take to buy fully assembled.

Good luck with your venture though, and all the best from the Antipodes. thumbs up
Mr_Mojo_Risin
Those jumpers and options for normalizing via 6-pin header are great. Very nice additions, indeed!
I've placed a pre-order for this one. Waiting by the mailbox w00t
NewEnglandAnalog
Mr_Mojo_Risin wrote:
Those jumpers and options for normalizing via 6-pin header are great. Very nice additions, indeed!
I've placed a pre-order for this one. Waiting by the mailbox w00t


Thanks for the order! I'll get it shipped out as soon as the PCBs and panels arrive. I hope you find the module useful. I'll be posting a user manual that contains details about the normalized connections on my site at www.RetroaktivSynthesizers.com. More soon.
-Rob
NewEnglandAnalog
10/5 - UPDATE - Hello everyone. These are almost ready. They've taken me a little longer than I had hoped (as every engineering project seems to), but it's looking like these will ship in the next few days. I am in the middle of doing some verification builds before I finalize the BOM for production.

I added a new jumper to the rear of the PCB, which allows for 3 speed settings to be selected. The slowest setting is capable of periods as long s 45 seconds and up to about 8Hz. The default setting is from 4s to 100Hz, and the fast setting can go from 4Hz to 700Hz.

I've also lowered the clock threshold to about 2V, so now HLFOs can clock each other.

I hope to have all orders shipped by the end of next week. Sorry for the delays. I'll be posting the final BOM, schematics, build guide and user manual on the Retroaktiv site over the weekend. Thanks for your patience.
-Rob
sammy123
No worries. Glad to hear it's coming! SlayerBadger!
Mr_Mojo_Risin
NewEnglandAnalog wrote:
10/5 - UPDATE - Hello everyone. These are almost ready. -Rob

Pre-paying and then getting more features is always a PLUS!!! applause
Thanks for the update thumbs up
ArboriaAuralist
NewEnglandAnalog wrote:
The slowest setting is capable of periods as long s 45 seconds and up to about 8Hz.

Nice! Om
NewEnglandAnalog
I was delayed for another few days, as I wanted to build a few more. The builds are working well and the BOM has been finalized. These will start shipping out tomorrow. Here's the details on what ended up being the final version of the module:

There is now a rear jumper setting that sets the range of speeds available from the HLFO. If you jump the slot marked FAST, then the rate can go from about .25Hz to about 125Hz. Jump SLOW, and the rate can go from around 30-45 seconds (sometimes more) to around 10Hz. If you jump both FAST and SLOW, you can get really slow speeds.

I've added a trimmer to set the minimum rate. When set to minimum, the LFO will completely stop when RATE is set to 0. Otherwise, the minimum can be set. I trim them so that the minimum is the point at which the triangle wave starts to become uneven (more saw like).

The sample & hold can be clocked with any square LFO with greater than about 2.5vpp amplitude.

There is an optional connector on the rear of the PCB that has extra connections for the following signals:

LFO Output
S&H Input
Noise Out
Clock Out (Square WAVE 9vpp)
FSR Out (0 to 5V)
S&H Out


If you connect something to the S&H Input pad, then it is available to be used as the default S&H source. To select this, use the S&H Source jumper on the rear of the PCB and jump the spot marked EXT S&H. By default, the INT S&H is jumpered. (Use HLFO's noise source as S&H source)

The Noise output is about 4vpp.

SQR LFO = 5vpp max amplitude
TRI LFO = 4vpp max amplitude
S&H = 5vpp max when using internal noise source

I have also added circuitry to the LFO (consisting of 4 parts) that when populated, will convert the triangle output to a sine output. However, using this option will reduce the max amplitude of the sine to 1vpp. This option is mostly just an extra that I threw in for fun.

BOM and build guide will post some time tomorrow. I have to go over some of the technical details before I put it up.




sammy123
w00t
NewEnglandAnalog
I shipped out all orders today. I have posted a user manual, builders guide, and schematics on the website. There's a link below.

tinyurl.com/yct9ezm7

There is a link to a Mouser cart in the builder's guide. The only thing not in that cart is the SPDT on-off-on toggle. That part is $.49 from Tayda Electronics. The equivalent part at Mouser is around $11. I've also included a BOM in the builder's guide. There are also some notes about the build, and some part value options for things like customizing the output levels, etc.

Schematic passwords are included with the orders.

Enjoy the modules. If anyone runs into issues, let me know.
-Rob
zorglub76
Would be cool to have that jumper transformed into a three-way switch..
NewEnglandAnalog
zorglub76 wrote:
Would be cool to have that jumper transformed into a three-way switch..


Yeah, it would be a cool feature, but there isn't panel real estate to have that and keep the module at 10HP. The FAST setting is actually conservatively rated, so chances are you can get super-slow speeds using that setting by just trimming in a lower max speed. Most are capable of going down to about .02-.05 Hz with the FAST setting jumpered.
harvestman
Just got mine in the mail today, and realized I hadn't checked this thread in a while. New features look awesome, now to wait until the rest of the parts get in w00t

Will post pics/video once I get it built, for anyone interested

Thanks!
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