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General-parts list for DIY Arduino eurorack module/input dev
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author General-parts list for DIY Arduino eurorack module/input dev
Besides knowing I need multiple types of buttons, potentiometers, switched, inputs/outputs, wires, solder set, etc I don't know what exactly to buy.

I usually find ebay or aliexpress to have the best deals. Any other places to buy from?

I am buying 50-100 arduino nano's, so what would I need for 75 projects?

Do brands matter?

A big THANK YOU in advance!
I'd probably start with just eg. 1-5 Arduino boards:

- You can always re-use them when you've learnt something and don't want to keep eg. a project that just blinks a LED permanently around
- It will take quite a while until you'll have designed and built 50 to 100 projects, none of which you can borrow an Arduino board for prototyping from, and
- Before that you might have decided you need more pins, more power, a different architecture or something else.

If you buy 50 to 100 at once before knowing what to exactly do with them, there's a chance that you end up having 45 or 95 that you have no use for anymore - either because you end up realizing your focus is on somewhere else, or because you want eg. one of the bigger Arduinos, a Teensy or something similar for some specific project. Then again, if you buy one or a couple for learning and prototyping, you can always get more easily when you run out.

As for the parts question, "75 projects" is a pretty wide specification. What exactly are those projects going to be? Every project will require different amounts and types of parts based on what it should do and how it should work.

Even though it's not the best bang for buck, there are "Arduino Starter Kit" type packages that include an Arduino and a bunch of most used components for learning - a solderless breadboard, standard LEDs, common resistor and capacitor values, diodes, some kind of LCD et cetera. It might be worth looking for something like that so you first get an idea of what you want to do and learn stuff, and then, when you have some kind of idea on specific things you want to build, buy more parts for those projects accordingly.

Edit: To add to the previous paragraph: if you don't want to spend money on a pre-built "beginner starter kit" package (they do cost quite a bit if you just want an Arduino and some standard parts), you can always check out what they contain and then buy similar parts yourself.

If you just want to start learning simple stuff, it's best not to worry about brand names etc. too much when buying basic parts. There are quality, size etc. differences that matter a lot in many cases, but before you know what you need for a certain case, if the project calls for eg. a 10k linear potentiometer or a 1N4148 diode, any will do.
Thanks for replying. My wife and I watch Look Mum No Computer and plan to make our own custom eurorack modules (we have a couple modules already). We also plan on making some input controls, something with a hundred or so buttons, also maybe an arcade-button piano (midi-fighter style). Stuff like that.

I was hoping there were some decent sites with bulk order options for parts. The starter kits look atrociously priced, from where I was looking, getting each arduino for $2, looking at those starter kit prices, I can get 50 arduinos for 2 1/2 starter kits (seem to be about $20). Spending another $100 or so on parts seem to be the best bet, getting 50 sets of of the starter kits for what ends up being $150 was the plan, are the non-board parts cost going to be higher than expected?

We have about 15 modules planned and 10 input devices. I'm glad brand names don't matter, one less thing to worry about.|

Edit: So is Aliexpress and Alibaba the best price around? I can't seem to find anything lower.
well, you could by 10-20 arduinos and you can easily start with them...
prices for a clone is about 1.5-2$ so you can start small...

I would add some B10K pots, some Jacks, TL072 some 1N1418 diodes, some common value resitors, some capacior maybe. Except jacks and pots all other parts are relatively cheap an you can buy bundles of 100s for pennies...

15 modules planned? would you share some ideas or schematics?
I am also planning some modules, I only have a semi-decent VCO made (check if you wish)
Ya, the place on aliexpess was 50 for $99 (including ship). If there is a place I can get fewer arduinos for less money, that would be awesome. Thanks for the general list, will definitely add each and every thing you put to our list and use your suggestions to find even more of what we want.

Eveything is in my diary and is sketched in a way nobody would understand. I can give you a link to a youtube channel which features tutorials on several of the modules we are going to be copying off of.

Look Mum No Computer: ""

Going to reverse engineer some of his things like the robot face and turn it into a dancing singer. He also features more reasonable projects like voltage controlled oscillators (and then he made 100 on a single module) lol.
Since you're just starting out, take note: straight-from-the-Arduino signals aren't always the best if you want to integrate with existing modular gear (like Eurorack stuff). I'm not sure if that's what you're going for or not, but if so, Arduinos can only handle 0V-5V, while modular synths often deal with -12V - +12V or -15V - +15V. Depending on what you're doing and how you're doing it, an Arduino's 0V-5V could be enough, for instance if you're making something that outputs an envelope or triggers you don't always need more than 5V and you probably want your signals always positive. (Though even then, a few modules respond better to envelopes and triggers that go a bit over 5V, so it's not 100% perfect.) There are ways to scale the voltages output by an Arduino to better match the +-12V or +-15V range (or the +-5V range common for Eurorack oscillators), but you'll need external components like transistors and/or opamps and/or DACs.

Similarly, sending voltages outside of the 0V-5V range straight to the pins on an Arduino may damage the microcontroller, so if you're planning to let it take modular signals into it, it's good to have scaling/protection on your inputs, which means more external components like transistors and/or opamps and/or ADCs (instead of DACs).

Even if you're not looking to interface with other systems, it's a good idea to look into transistors/opamps/DACs if you're looking to generate audio. If used correctly, they'll help you get full +/- waves instead of only-positive.

If you are in fact interested in interfacing with Eurorack or another modular system, there are some pretty good modules existing based on Arduinos or similar microcontrollers, so checking their schematics can show you how they handle things in relatively safe and good ways. I'm drawing a complete blank right now about what ones, though. Sorry. d'oh!
look into the attiny85 it's got some interesting options for audio due to PWM output
I'll make sure that it can interface with euroracks, thanks for bringing the possible problem of connection arduino to eurorack. I'm researching into transisters opamps and DACs.

Defintely bookmarked the attiny85.

I'm planning on making all the modules connectable to eurorack modules or at least be able to interface in a chain eventually hitting the eurorack.
I just spent a bunch of time figuring this out to put together the DU-INO. Check out the schematic for some ideas; it's reasonably neatly partitioned into digital and analog input and output conversion, plus some other goodies. PM me for details, I'd be happy to help with the BOM for whatever parts you're interested in putting together.

Of course, and at the risk of saying this too many times on this forum, you could also support our Kickstarter and get the whole thing ready-made in module form, and spend your time writing code. smile
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