Official sources of information:
- Project site: http://thehumancomparator.net/
- FAQ: http://thehumancomparator.net/faq/
- Official build docs, BOM and Mouser cart: http://thehumancomparator.net/building/
- Original project thread: viewtopic.php?t=82997
- Discussion about transistor matching (you'll need to do matching for the project): viewtopic.php?t=81990
- I can't solder to save my life, who will build me one? See here: viewtopic.php?t=96003
- DSL-man's building and testing tips (incl. some BOM errors found): http://www.dsl-man.de/display/DSO/TTSH+ ... umentation
- DSL-man's list of known issues with fix suggestions: http://www.dsl-man.de/display/DSO/TTSH+known+issues
- High resolution PCB scans by sduck (?), useful for troubleshooting component placement etc: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/121 ... images.zip
This should be a close to complete list but may still be missing some bits and pieces. when in doubt, consult the BOM at http://thehumancomparator.net/TTSH/BOM.pdf or ask a question in the thread.
- PCB + panel kit from zthee, available via official project site
- Case: buy a steel case from zthee, build it yourself, or ask someone to build one. Several people here have expressed interest at building cases for others.
- Mouser BOM: contains bulk of the components. There may be wait time on some of the components in case a lot of people are ordering at once and deplete Mouser stocks.
- "Rare Parts": this includes a couple of transistors + transistor arrays, speaker amps, jacks and tempcos. You can source them yourself (eBay & specialist stores) or buy from Thonk: http://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/ttsh-rpk/ (jacks & tempcos individually: http://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/pj301bm-3-5 ... ckets-x50/ + http://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/tempco-resi ... 500ppm-x2/). You can also get the jacks from Erthenvar "locally" if you're in the US.
- DC-DC converter and wall wart for power. +-15V, use your own linear power supply if you want. See BOM for rough power requirements and suggested parts.
- Speakers: Peerless 3" full range 830986 - 1509
- Reverb Tank: see BOM
- Mounting Hardware and PCB connectors: see BOM
- Power switch. It wasn't included in the original Mouser BOM at least. Possible options are Marquardt 1901, NKK CWT12AAS1 and others with the same mounting hole / footprint.
How hard is it to build? "The TTSH is a [difficulty level] 7-8 because it's a big project. The circuitry ranges from dead easy (preamp) to fairly complex (oscillator boards), and everything in between. Component selection is also fairly straight forward, practically everything is standard stuff. It's the part where you'll have to get some parts yourself, and match a dozen transistors. And then there's the mechanical stuff, you'll have to attach the big board to a panel. It's not THAT difficult, but still it's a bit tricky. So I think it's like building a x0xb0x, but there's a few obstacles thrown into the course, plus the track is much longer." (zthee)
What tools do I need? "As with all projects you can manage with just the basics. But having an oscilloscope is always good help if something doesn't work." (zthee)
How long does it take to build? Your mileage may obviously vary but "(The beta builder Kroffe) estimates it to ~20h." (zthee)
How much will it cost me? It's a DIY project so exact estimate is impossible to make. It looks like the total cost of all parts (including PCB + panel, excluding case, tools and naturally your precious time) to build one might be somewhere around 1000 USD / 1000 EUR depending where you live.
Do I really need to match transistors? "Matching transistors isn't hard, so I'd recommend you to get down and dirty with it." "For the VCA I would recommend matching the transistors - Otherwise there will be a bit of a thump when the envelope hits it. In the first prototype I built I didn't match anything, and except for the thump in the VCA everything worked flawlessly. In the other prototypes I built I've matched them, and I can't tell the difference with the rest of the stuff but the thump is gone." (zthee) "you could probably even get away without matching, just by using transistors from the same batch. modern manufacturing tolerances are far tighter than back in the 70s..." (roglok)
How can I control it? Use the voltage, Luke! You can also employ a MIDI to CV converter to hook up a keyboard / other control source. Just bear in mind the ADSRs require +10V triggers, everything else is OK with 0-5V. Kenton Pro Solo II is confirmed to work fine by zthee. If you want to integrate a MIDI interface to your build, look into projects such as the Oakley MidiDAC, MidiImplant or HexInverter MIDI2CV.
The VCO subboards contain SMD caps, I'm scared! Here's a quick video guide on how to easily solder SMD capacitors with normal soldering iron and a pair of tweezers: http://www.cs80.com/crowbx/SMTSolder.mp4 ... Several people on this thread have succeeded with no problems with that method. Or use a dedicated SMD hot air soldering station if you have one, probably not worth buying just for six SMD caps.
I built VCO2/VCO3 and they don't work as VCO1 does! You will need to apply +15V to the equivalent place in VCO2 and VCO3 when testing them as well, otherwise you'll end up with a very low frequency waveform at outputs.
Component discussion & known issues
Please also look at official build docs and DSL-man's list of known issues with fix suggestions: http://www.dsl-man.de/display/DSO/TTSH+known+issues
There are news of new PCB revisions coming (as of July 2014) - just in case there are going to be new ones, these fixes apply directly the first revision black PCB.
POWER SUPPLY POLARITY IS REVERSED ON PCB, SEE OFFICIAL BUILD DOCS! What's + is - and - is +. Crossing the beads will fix this issue. Always consult the build docs, this is not a conclusive list of what must be changed.
Help! I completed the build and some of my slider LEDs are dim / off! due to the uneven length of the LED chains there is only one dimmer setting possible, where all are equally bright (Nordcore). The unlabeled trimmer hole for LED brightness is found in the far left side of the panel between envelope follower input jacks. Adjust the trimmer with a small screwdriver so that you get even brightness on all LEDs. Also make sure you've hooked up power to all the submodules (including speaker amplifiers) because otherwise some of the LEDs may simply not get power at all.
Clock / clock LED bleed most builders have issues to some degree with either the clock LED driver or the clock circuit itself causing audible modulation in VCO pitch due to non-constant current use. See DSL-man's wiki page above and check out the thread for suggestions.
Noise bleeding to one of the speakers several builders have had issues with the noise from the noise circuit bleeding to one of the speakers. This can be mitigated at least by using a shielded wire in the speaker amp <-> headphone wiring, and tying the shield braid to the headphone output jack's ground pin. Correct routing of the cable will minimize the noise amount as well - experiment with running the cable further from the noise gen.
Wrong capacitor polarity in RINGMOD section reverse C20 in RINGMOD section from what it is in the silkscreen (see DSL-man's page above). The silkscreen shows it wrong way around, the two electrolytics are supposed to form a bipolar cap type pair for the AC input of ring mod.
Prototype power requirement: "If the speakers are off and the LEDs are on, the draw is about V+ 300mA, V- 250mA. Once the speakers start pumping I'm expecting it to go up quite a bit. (...) If you're not using the LEDs or the speakers I guess the whole thing will run on much much less." (zthee)
2N3954/58 footprint on the PCB is TO-71 (zthee)
Sliders: "If you're using any other slider than the PTL it has to be dual. I've got an old ALPS slider (no LED) at home which fit nice, but it's dual. Don't have the parts number for it though!" (zthee)
Possible Slider replacement: Alpha RA4545F series. Center detent but that is apparently really easy to change. Mouser has B100K in stock in several colours. Mouser code 312-4545-R100K, Alpha code RA4545F-20A-15LC-B100k-C. (diablojoy)
The TDA2030 can be replaced with LM1875 (zthee)
There are 30pF and 50pF cap values marked on the PCB. Just use 33pF and 47pF for those.
Additional jacks: The Panel needs 5 additional jacks for multiples, they are not listed in BOM. (LED-man)
Speaker mounting Since the speaker cones protrude the speaker body, you'll need standoffs or some kind of mounting gaskets to mount the speakers some mm away from the panel. There are some options discussed in the thread.
Speaker amps The speaker amp power is tapped directly from the input voltage before the DC-DC converter. The TDA chips should (and is reported to) run fine on pretty much anything from 12 to 30+ V (see datasheet) in case you are using something else than a 12V DC wall wart to power the thing.
Connectors"There are no 3 pin female MTA connectors on the BOM [if you aren't using ready-made power distribution cables, you'll need them] and you will also need a couple RCA cables [for the spring reverb]." (tojpeters).
Cap types / substitutions"the 10nF in the 4027 submodule was a ceramic disc in the original. the only critical cap in the VCO is the 680p.
the four 10nF in the ladder filter should be quality caps, though. polypropylene, polystyrene or C0G/NP0... i think zthee listed C0G/NP0 for some values because they aren't that much more expensive and to keep the BOM simple..." (roglok)
(Sorry for any missing attributions, I suck)