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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Holy hell!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Holy hell!
msegarra
Hello everyone my name is Mike and I’ve been into eurorack for maybe four years and I had a stroke in May of 2017 causing me hemiparesis in my left side but since then I’ve been blessed to be able to enjoy modular synth still and have decided I want to go to school for electronic engineering with the hope of making modules one day it would be much appreciated if you guys and girls could point me in the direction of what to focus on going in I’m buying a solder feeder iron gun that I can use with just my right hand so I don’t need to hold the solder in my left and iron with the right
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
-mike
jersupereq
I get a ton of use out of my Aven 17010 adjustable circuit board holder. If you need a one handed solution to desoldering you can look up a Desoldering Iron Pump. I haven't used one myself but might be a good option.
unrecordings
I've a similar situation going on with a brain tumour - for some years, but the last new growth affected my left arm/hand considerably. I wouldn't dare to presume what you can/can't do or what you have/have not tried in the last couple of years, but this is where I am, hopefully something might help:

Before the tumour I was left handed with very nimble fingers - I could solder and feed solder (or hold wire) with one hand. But I couldn't solder with my right hand. Last October I lost the ability to write/solder etc, but I'm clawing my way back (despite chemo numbness). You might be able to retrain that left side - it's a long road, but you're starting from a point where hopefully things are only going to get better even with the complication of seizures (if you have them). In terms of the soldering, maybe some mini clamps or vices. I think that you can break down each problem and figure out how to overcome it with either practice, exercises or physical aids. Start slow and focus on little victories

(you wouldn't believe how long it took me to type that...)
msegarra
It’ sounds like you’re not letting it get in your way though so that’s good stories like yours give me a lot of motivation especially on crappy days like today at least for me because it’s gross outside here lol
guest
solder paste and reflow oven can be done with one hand. not as useful for through-hole components, but there are smt kits out there.
msegarra
Jesus I never knew that was how you did smt lol I thought people were just gods at soldering lol
electricanada
msegarra wrote:
Hello everyone my name is Mike and I’ve been into eurorack for maybe four years and I had a stroke in May of 2017 causing me hemiparesis in my left side but since then I’ve been blessed to be able to enjoy modular synth still and have decided I want to go to school for electronic engineering with the hope of making modules one day it would be much appreciated if you guys and girls could point me in the direction of what to focus on going in I’m buying a solder feeder iron gun that I can use with just my right hand so I don’t need to hold the solder in my left and iron with the right
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
-mike


You don't need to go to engineering school to make modules. Buy a cheapo soldering practice kit or two on ebay and learn to solder. Figure out what tools you need to work around your disability. I have one of these and it's excellent:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C1T3BMS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_titl e_o05__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Then get some simple, well-documented module kits. Good luck with your recovery.
NV
I'll give high recommendations for solder paste and reflow with SMT components. A bit more of a process to get it all set up, but once you do it's dramatically faster and easier than through hole and could be quite easily managed with one hand.

Solder paste is applied either by a stencil, in which case you squeegee it on all at once, or by applying the paste to each pad with a syringe or foot-operated pump dispenser. Then you place the components onto the board with tweezers and run the board through your oven to reflow the paste. If it's a one-sided board you can also throw it onto a hot plate and heat the paste that way, which is cheaper but less reliable than a more traditional oven. There are a lot of DIY options for building reflow ovens out of converted toaster ovens - the best ones use microcontrollers and a bit of additional heating/insulation to bring them up to SMT standards, and once set up they run automatically with the press of a button. I've flowed TSSOP, BGA, and 0402 component boards with a Black & Decker toaster oven I converted with a ControLeo kit and they've come out perfectly.

The only time I really use my other hand when doing this is for opening the component packaging or steadying the stencil, which could just as easily be done with scissors and tape.
latigid on
In the past days I've been looking at replacement parts for my Goot iron.

They make this:
http://www.goot.jp/en/handakote/fd-100/




The only problem seems to be getting it shipped out of Japan (Zenmarket can help). Or maybe there's something similar by another brand?
unrecordings
msegarra wrote:
It’ sounds like you’re not letting it get in your way though so that’s good stories like yours give me a lot of motivation especially on crappy days like today at least for me because it’s gross outside here lol


I tend to alternate between gardening for all round exercise and soldering for relaxation (when I can). The trick is not to expect too much too quickly and to try not to get frustrated

When your bread goes stale, make toast

BTW - When you say 'make' modules you mean design rather than simply assembling boards ?

PM me if you want to talk specific medical details. I'm finally getting to see a specialist this morning on the subject of paresthesia/seizures/peripheral neuropathy and all points in between

Meanwhile - I might post a photo later of the aids I find useful - all engineering tools that you might find cheap on ebay
msegarra
unrecordings wrote:
msegarra wrote:
It’ sounds like you’re not letting it get in your way though so that’s good stories like yours give me a lot of motivation especially on crappy days like today at least for me because it’s gross outside here lol


I tend to alternate between gardening for all round exercise and soldering for relaxation (when I can). The trick is not to expect too much too quickly and to try not to get frustrated

When your bread goes stale, make toast

BTW - When you say 'make' modules you mean design rather than simply assembling boards ?

PM me if you want to talk specific medical details. I'm finally getting to see a specialist this morning on the subject of paresthesia/seizures/peripheral neuropathy and all points in between

Meanwhile - I might post a photo later of the aids I find useful - all engineering tools that you might find cheap on ebay

Thank you for the help and when i say make modules I mean I want to be able to design them myself and create new ones any direction as how to go about learning this would be great
Dave Kendall
msegarra - for learning about designing your own modules, as well as online tutorials and books (e.g. Horowitz and Hill the art of electronics) one good way is to study and "soak up" existing designs via schematics.

Two good starting points are;
MFOS and
CGS

The latter is a web archive, as the original site is no longer going, but most of the CGS PCBs are still available at ELBY - CGS PCBs.
Both provide schematics for all the designs. You can learn a tremendous amount just by studying them - patterns emerge, and the same or similar "building blocks" as parts of circuits show up often.

I'd also recommend starting with some simple DIY kits - there are several vendors out there - in the USA, Synthcube is a good place.

Good luck, and welcome to a thoroughly enjoyable rabbit hole smile
Ayab
Hi Mike

I can only add that with a little patience (er..hmm.. quite alot was needed in my case) but don't worry....you will enjoy as the language of schematics reveals itself to you. It seems confusing at first then the types of capacitors and all that jazz which seemed confusing becomes clearer.

Great advice above and I second Dave Kendall on recommending looking at the building blocks, often op-amps, in MFOS (great site) and CGS (also some interesting slightly more unusual modules like the "modulo magic" and "bintic").

There is also the programming and digital side of modular with Raspberry Pi or Arm processors used by Mutable Instruments: Check out mutable instruments for some great ideas for modules and the various alternative firmwares - alternative operating systems for the modules. There are very interesting and exciting possibilities in digital synthesis. Obviously for digital modular you can prototype ideas on a pc/mac with something like Pure Data.

I think the academic route via learning electronics is probably a great idea too. Must be fascinating. Looking forward to hearing what route you take and where your interests go.

There are some really helpful and very smart people around here and am sure they will answer any questions you have.
msegarra
Really want to thank everyone for all the suggestions and support you guys have really given me some great ideas for making it work with my disability thanks for the Support and keep on killing it!
cygmu
I second the recommendation to dig through the CGS pages, check out the schematics and figure out how things are working. The Serge designs are perhaps a bit tricky to understand but in general Ken Stone's CGS pages did a great job of giving you just enough information to learn what is going on in the circuits.

In addition to the archive.org copy linked above, you can find the CGS material on the Elby web site here:
http://www.elby-designs.com/webtek/cgs/cgs.htm
jorg
I endorse all the suggestions above and I got some great tips from my fellow wigglers today (despite 40 years in the electronics biz!)

One more: Get Tina TI and start simulating some of the schematics you see online. You will very quickly get an intuitive feeling for how the electrons flow. It's a wonderful experience.
Ayab
Jorge that Tina TI looks really excellent. Essential for someone who wants to look at designing their own modules.

I am only into getting schematics found on web going, maybe some mods, but think I need to use it too. Wonder if anyone uses it on a mac or if there is a good OS X equivalent? Maybe I should run it in emulation or bootcamp.
honeyb
The academic route is a great way to formalize and structure what you've learned, and (assuming a good school/teacher) gives you confidence that you've actually covered the topic.

It also gives you credentials, which would make it easier to find a regular job using the skills/knowledge.

And it is a good way to find friends/people in your area with the same interests.

But school isn't the only way to learn a subject. And you'll be much better off in school if you already have some background knowledge of the topic. Building some modules, reading schematics, learning how to design your own--- all of that can be done via the resources mentioned above. I'd start with that.

And I'd then only look into getting academic coursework if the reasons above were of interest to me.

We're all in a different place in our lives. What is appropriate for one person may not be optimal for another.
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