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Would like to DIY, any learning kits?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Would like to DIY, any learning kits?
buzzlegs
Hi, total noob here and would like to learn a bit DIY, something easy-ish (and cheap!), soldering a circuit board, pots etc.

Can anyone recommend some kind of kit that would be good that I could practise on?... preferably something that might make a sound in the end!wink

Many thanks!
cygmu
There are a few possibilities but the best choice will depend on what equipment you already have that the DIY stuff might play with. If you have a Eurorack system already, for example, then this thing is often suggested as a place to start in DIY

https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/mtm-mikrophonie-panel-pcb/

The other Music Thing modules might be good, as might the stuff from
https://aisynthesis.com
which is expressly aimed at beginners.

If you want something standalone then other options might be better. I got started with a Music from Outer Space Noise Toaster.
http://synthcube.com/cart/mfos-noise-toaster?search=noise%20toaster&de scription=true
euromorcego
buzzlegs wrote:
Hi, total noob here and would like to learn a bit DIY, something easy-ish (and cheap!), soldering a circuit board, pots etc.

Can anyone recommend some kind of kit that would be good that I could practise on?... preferably something that might make a sound in the end!wink

usually abelovesfun shows up about 60 seconds after such a thread is started. But aisynthesis was already mentioned, so no need to mention it again wink

I assume you are not necessarily talking about eurorack? But I actually think starting diy with eurorack is not bad ... modular provides the opportunity to build several smaller circuits that then work together.

Other classic stuff to diy:

- there are plenty of kits for guitar pedals available, most are not very expensive.

- you can go for some small noise circuit, like the Atari Punk Console (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Punk_Console). Plenty of kits are available. https://www.rakits.co.uk/product/mini-atari-punk-console/ (i have no connection with these guys and never soldered one of their kits)

- start practising with some veroboard and a few spare resistors to get the solder connection right.

- other useful simple circuits are a midi thu. Or a small drum synth.
buzzlegs
Many thanks, appreciate it!... yeah, just spotted the Rakit stuff on ebay, looks cool, might have a go at their small mixer, cheers!
ronski
Are you looking for diy eurorack modules or just some audio/synth diy?
l3v3l6
For my intro to DIY electronics I bought a function generator kit from Amazon (there are several available). They have all the common components, ICs, pots, capacitors, etc. and are easy to assemble. I had already bought an oscilloscope, must-have equipment for DIY electronics, and used the scope to test my kit assembly.
windspirit
If you already have some eurorack or a semi modular the 0HP modules are made for absolute beginners.

http://www.mysticcircuits.com/p/0hp-modular.html

soup
If you don't have a eurorack modular there is plenty of other great stuff out there. I started out with one of the mutable instruments diy synth kits which all had amazing instructions. The instructions are the most important part of any beginner diy kit. I'd encourage looking at the build instructions before buying anything. MI has since moved on to other things so there is no longer any direct support but the instructions still work and tubeohm makes and sells kits for the shruthi...

https://www.tubeohm.com/page12.html

Another beginner friendly kit is the wtpa2, a lo-fi sampler/looper which is a fun take on the old, noisy casio sk1 sampler...

http://blog.narrat1ve.com/wtpa2/

Also ... I've never tried any of it but the OMSynth stuff looks amazing and I don't think you even need to solder anything...

https://www.bastl-instruments.com/instruments/omsynth/
abelovesfun
Thanks for the mentions! Yes I built AI Synthesis specifically for beginners, HMU if you have any questions.
buzzlegs
Thanks very much for your input, appreciate it!... need to learn soldering onto circuit boards so bought one of those Rakit mixers to start on, will see how I get on, cheers!
electric mist
buzzlegs wrote:
Thanks very much for your input, appreciate it!... need to learn soldering onto circuit boards so bought one of those Rakit mixers to start on, will see how I get on, cheers!

Another advice, if you don’t already have one, get a decent soldering iron. And some good solder wire. Bad tools can make the experience unpleasant and discouraging.
buzzlegs
Yay!... did my 1st DIY project, made myself a wee mixer, and it works!

Thanks everyone for the advice!

abelovesfun
Congratulations! Welcome to this wonderful hobby!
Muff McMuff
I am at exactly the same stage as you Buzzlegs. I want to learn a bit of electronic DIY. I know nothing. The aim is to build a module that works! I have almost completed my first kit a DSO 138 Oscilloscope. These are cheap and if it works at the end you have something useful. I think mine won't but its been a very useful experience so recommended. Personally i would prefer to make something useful or interesting over flashing LED christmas tree shaped light or whatever.
People who know what they are doing will advise you to get the best gear from the start and make life easier. I just picked up cheap soldering iron online. It came with tweezers, solder pump (broken already after 5 uses, unrepairable plastic junk). Clippers from a dollar/pound store (work fine), magnifiying glass(essential $2), solder and flux etc. Multi Meter essential (a cheap one but not the cheapest $18).
I am really enjoying it. Its slow googling everything every step of the way. Polarities of all the components. How to use a multi meter etc. I really know nothing but i am enjoying the learning.
abelovesfun
My site has some guides for tools (good and bad) and guides for other things - https://aisynthesis.com/diy-electronics-tools-you-need/
Jaytee
Adafruit sells a really good beginner’s soldering toolkit for $99. It seems to be pretty much the best value for this sort of thing. Inexpensive, but all the included items are good quality. Includes everything you need to get started short of an oscilloscope and maybe some stranded hook-up wife (it comes with solid core). It’s what I started with eight years ago, and tbh I’m still using most of the tools it came with—I only just upgraded my multimeter last year because I needed one with a frequency counter, and the flush cutter needed replacing last week but only because I abused the shit out of my original pair (new ones will be used for snipping leads and wires only). I’m even still using the cheap soldering iron because unlike every other cheap iron I’ve ever used, this one actually works really well.
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