Sonic Potions - Penrose Quantizer DIY Kit

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:57 am

BRNDSCHTZN wrote:Any ideas how I could go on troubleshooting this strange problem?
To me it sounds like the power plug is shifted 1 pin, not aligning correctly +/GND/-
As you moved modules, the issue is maybe coming from the power connection of the Penrose. The way your power cable is plugged, I mean. Pers. I'd check again that the socket is correctly plugged on your module and in your case, aligning correctly the power pins. Sorry I can't find right now the correct english terms and need to go, but I hope you understand what I mean.

Or there's a bad power connection. It's a shame I can't remember how we call this grey band and the black plastic which connect module to bus in the case!

Check that the module does not touch the metal parts on your case too (ground issue).
I know it sounds silly, but it's worth a check before going deeper.
So I go now.

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BRNDSCHTZN
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Post by BRNDSCHTZN » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:11 am

Thanks batchas for giving me this hint!

Looking for a potential problem within the module I would have never thought about looking on this "other side"...

Unfortunately it doesn't fix my problem as there's everything fine with the connection. I also tried connecting the module to another ribbon cable and tested it with blank space on both sides to make sure there's no touching of the modules beneath it - all the time I get the same result (today the OUT was always near 10V no matter if a cable was connected to the IN)...

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:41 pm

BRNDSCHTZN wrote:ribbon cable
Ribbon cable :doh:
Now I remember!

Hmmm... So it's not the power connection. S***
Was worth a check I think, but sorry it did not help much then.
I hope now someone who knows this module can help you fix it :tu:

basicbasic
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Post by basicbasic » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:13 pm

BRNDSCHTZN wrote:(today the OUT was always near 10V no matter if a cable was connected to the IN)...
I had this particular symptom, and it was only resolved when I flashed a new Atmega with the firmware. Where did you get the kit from?

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BRNDSCHTZN
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Post by BRNDSCHTZN » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:05 pm

Thanks for this information basicbasic!

I ordered the kit directly from Sonic Potions.

So maybe my next step will be to try flashing the firmware on this chip first and see what happens...

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Post by basicbasic » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:45 pm

I ended up flashing a fresh chip and it worked. Was a huge pain in the arse getting the software set up but got there in the end. Perhaps SP could send you a new one?

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BRNDSCHTZN
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Post by BRNDSCHTZN » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:53 pm

Hey basicbasic,

just a question to maybe clearify if we're really talking about the same issue here...

Did you read my earlier post about measuring a negative voltage in a similar range on the input?
BRNDSCHTZN wrote: I then measured the voltage on the OUT and measured 9,84 V there constantly. I also measured the IN and surprisingly got a voltage of -8,83 V there.
Was this the case with your module aswell?

In my limitated beginner's understanding I was just wondering wether this negative-voltage-on-the-input-thing could really be because of the chip and the firmware?

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Post by basicbasic » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:57 pm

I don't think I ever measured the input voltage but I was getting a steady ~10v on the output, but I did have other issues where plugging anything into IN or TRIG the module would seem to power off so it could be a different root issue.

Good luck, it's frustrating to be sure.

Maybe post clear photos of the top and bottom of the boards to see if we can help you spot anything.

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Post by Bottle » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:37 pm

lisa wrote:Are there any Penrose user who hasn't experienced any issues? Who just built it and uses it with great success and happiness? :party:
Yup, worked first time for me. Kit was purchased a couple of months ago from Thonk with (I assume) the latest firmware already flashed. Assembly wasn't difficult but then I've had plenty of kit-building and soldering experience so can't really comment on other users experiences. I'd say it was about as difficult as the Turing Machine. Maybe not suitable for a complete beginner as there are some fiddly bits but nothing major really.

I'm fairly fortunate that I have access to a well-equipped R&D lab at work so I had the use of a precision voltage source and a good quality scope, making the output calibration relatively painless (assuming the VCO on my 0-coast tracks 1V/oct accurately). Haven't put it though my various tuners yet for comparison, but seems to track well by ear, and that's the important bit TBH.

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BRNDSCHTZN
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Post by BRNDSCHTZN » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:40 pm

OK - thanks again!

Think I will go on inspecting the module within the next days (as soon as I find motivation again)...

Maybe also looking at the schematic and mesuring for continuity between points. If anyone got some tipps what would be good to test beside power and ground connections (and in between for sure) - I really appreciate your help!
basicbasic wrote:Maybe post clear photos of the top and bottom of the boards to see if we can help you spot anything.
...maybe I will do this - but first I have to find a decent camera and a place with enough light...

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:28 am

lisa wrote:Are there any Penrose user who hasn't experienced any issues?
No issue as far as I can remember. It's in use in my Serge/BugBrand system.

EDIT: unfortunately it is now not true anymore since the last kit I bought a couple of weeks ago.
Last edited by batchas on Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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BRNDSCHTZN
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Post by BRNDSCHTZN » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:46 pm

...I continued in trying to troubleshoot my faulty module today.

I inspected the boards again especially checking for shorts in between solder joints and also measured cables plugged to the jacks for shorts. I also checked the power connector again. With all these test I got no unexpected results or found something looking suspicious...

Looking at the schematics didn't help me as an electronic noob to find other things I could measure.

Again I made some measurments with the module plugged into the rack. With nothing plugged into the input I got 9,8 Volts at the output and again a negative voltage of 8,8 Volts at the input. This measurements were made with all notes selected and the lowest one highligted in red as active. Then I found out that by disabling the active note the following note got active with the voltage at the output rising about 0.8 V whilst the negatve voltage at the Input was not affected. I could continue doing this for 8 notes with the voltage rising alway about approximately 0,8 volts but when I did the next step (from G to G#) the voltage at the output dropped to 0 volt. Continuing disabling notes from there again raised the voltage on the output for about 0.8 Volts but starting from 0V. All the time the mysterios voltage of 8,8 volts on the input was not affected. Putting a CV to the input didn't change anything at all...

Directly after building the module I had a strange behaviour similar to this. That time I also had a high voltage (about 7 V) at the output for the first 8 notes followed by a drop to zero with the next step. I didn't measure the input at that time but I think it was allright then as I could change the active note with CV. Troubleshooting the module I found that the Atmega chip was not pushed completely in its socket and by doing so it solved the problem and I had a working module which I could calibrate and use as expected...

So I removed the Chip again today and put it back making sure it is pushed into the socket correctly. I also measured continuity from the solder joints of the socket on the PCB to the legs of the pin and everything was allright there. Nevertheless powering up the module again gives me the same strange results. I'm really stuck here at the moment and have no idea what I could do as a next step to continue troubleshooting - so if there are any ideas concernig this I would be really happy!

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Can't turn off certain buttons

Post by workingklass0 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:07 pm

Hello.

So, I recently finished building a DIY Penrose quantizer. Everything seems to be working fine, but there are three buttons that I am unable to switch off to change the pattern. The other buttons I am able to turn on and off with no problem just by pushing them.

I have calibrated the module and updated the firmware, but the problem still remains. Is there something I am missing?

Thanks.

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deformative
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Re: Can't turn off certain buttons

Post by deformative » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:09 pm

workingklass0 wrote:Hello.

So, I recently finished building a DIY Penrose quantizer. Everything seems to be working fine, but there are three buttons that I am unable to switch off to change the pattern. The other buttons I am able to turn on and off with no problem just by pushing them.

I have calibrated the module and updated the firmware, but the problem still remains. Is there something I am missing?

Thanks.
I had that same problem and the issue was the chip wasn't fully seated in the DIP socket. I felt like I was going to break something shoving it in all the way, but if you're using a socket that could be it.

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Re: Can't turn off certain buttons

Post by AntonWoldhek » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:09 am

workingklass0 wrote:Hello.

So, I recently finished building a DIY Penrose quantizer. Everything seems to be working fine, but there are three buttons that I am unable to switch off to change the pattern. The other buttons I am able to turn on and off with no problem just by pushing them.
check the soldering, reflow the points. I had a few that on first attempt didnt always react instantly, then when i just reflowed the solder a bit they worked fine.

Pretty easy build. My full kit from Thonk came with blue caps for the 18pF's instead of the ones marked with a red dot as indicated by the manual.
The manual suggests to solder the buttons before mounting the panel, I would humbly suggest the other way around.

workingklass0
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Re: Can't turn off certain buttons

Post by workingklass0 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:07 pm

deformative wrote:I had that same problem and the issue was the chip wasn't fully seated in the DIP socket. I felt like I was going to break something shoving it in all the way, but if you're using a socket that could be it.
Which chip are you referring to? I know the long one (I forget the exact name of it) was difficult to get into the socket.

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Problem solved

Post by workingklass0 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:16 pm

Alright, I finally got my Penrose working correctly. The problem: I forgot to solder one pin of the 2x8 female connector. :bang:

Thanks for the help!

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Post by gnomenthusiast » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:51 am

Does anyone have a kit they'd be interested in selling?

There seems to be no option to get one at the moment, kits sold out, PCB + Panel sets are available, but the specific buttons used are not going to be available till June at least.

TIA

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:16 pm

BRNDSCHTZN wrote:I'm really stuck here at the moment and have no idea what I could do as a next step to continue troubleshooting - so if there are any ideas concernig this I would be really happy!
I had huge issues with the last kit I bought. Some components simply did not want to solder. Never seen this in all these years. I know you did already, but my advice is to check again every joint with magnifying glass and reflow if any doubt before you invest more time in troubleshooting the circuit and the different parts.
Check also the 2 electrolytic caps (100uF). In despite of my experience with soldering, I could not solder mine, and discorvered they had some kind of brown stuff on the legs, looked more like glue than corrosion, but no solder of any type wanted to take on these. So if you have a DWM check these first at their output.
Chek also the output of the 78L05. This one was also nearly impossible to solder on mine (nearly impossible means cold joint guaranteed because not enough surface for the solder to take).

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:30 pm

gnomenthusiast wrote:There seems to be no option to get one at the moment, kits sold out
I would wait a bit with this if I were you :tu:

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Post by Silver » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:59 am

Hey Gang, I'm having a very weird problem with my Penrose. It seems to drop every fifth trigger or so. I tried to update the firmware last night, but kept getting a read error (I suspect because there is a problem with the trigger input). Any ideas what might be going on?

I can't imagine what sort of hardware issue would cause 4 triggers to work and then one not to register, so I assume it's a software issue, but I'm open to any ideas!!!

Thanks!

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Post by Silver » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:39 am

So I think I may have figured my issue out. I was using Batumi to drive the input and it seems that it's LFO range (0-10V) is hitting outside of some amount the Penrose can register, so when it's outside that range, the triggers don't work. That also explains why it was so consistent (LFO). When I tried a smaller and offset voltage range into the input, the triggers worked consistently.

I guess my "problem" is fixed now, but I'd be curious if anyone has the same problem using batumi with penrose, and also why exactly this is happening? The manual says Penrose should be able to take 0-10V in.

Thanks

guestt

Post by guestt » Tue May 08, 2018 12:44 pm

Attempting to build one of these in Frac format, I tend to prefer visual instructions rather than text, so I worked out what I think the clues mean and made these photos, would someone be so kind as to confirm I have the wiring correct:

Image

Image

Thank you very much for your assistance :)

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Tue May 08, 2018 2:12 pm

@Baddcr: I'll be able to help with the switch wiring and the rest in a few days when I'm back if nobody did earlier :tu:

guestt

Post by guestt » Tue May 08, 2018 2:15 pm

That would be very helpful batchas - thank you!

I am fairly confident, but confirmation from someone like yourself who has already done it would be very good.

In return and in the community spirit I will prepare documentation for the mod in full and share everything here so it is 100% clear and will help others doing this.

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