DIY Mutable successfull builds hall of fame

From circuitbending to homebrew stompboxes & synths, keep the DIY spirit alive!

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Hossymandias
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Post by Hossymandias » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:53 pm

I have successfully built a Tides and a Clouds! I am super proud and excited, especially because my first two attempts ended in heartbreak. I installed the STM of a Rings in upside-down (I intend to fix it) and I pulled a pad off of a Kinks board.

Some things I learned in the process:

-a very narrow iron tip is very helpful with 0603 size components
-a syringe of flux was 100% essential to soldering the STM. I imagine a flux pen would have been even more convenient, but the syringe was super helpful.
-fine gauge solder made all the difference. I was trying to solder 0603 components and STM with thick gauge solder and it was a nightmare.
-a hot air gun is not essential at all. Once I had the above tools, the assembly was very enjoyable.
-I preferred using an ST-Link/v2 (from Mouser) and Olimex JTAG adapter with the ST-Link Utility software from their website. I used the pre-compiled .hex files from Pusherman's Eurorack DIY Noobs Facebook group. The mutable development environment that Olivier provides was above my head.

I hope more people are encouraged to begin building these excellent modules. Thanks to Muff Wiggler and the Facebook group for providing such extensive help and resources.
merf wergler

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synthcube
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Post by synthcube » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:52 am

congrats-- thats a great story!!

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igowen
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Post by igowen » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:57 am

Hossymandias wrote: -a syringe of flux was 100% essential to soldering the STM. I imagine a flux pen would have been even more convenient, but the syringe was super helpful.
i think the syringe is the way to go, personally -- it's much more viscous than the flux they put in pens, so it's easier to put it exactly where you need it, especially when dealing with tiny smt parts. flux pens tend to just dump liquid flux all over everything.

i also suggest getting some 99.9% isopropyl for cleaning it up after you're done (even if it's no-clean flux you end up with a sticky mess all over your pcb). it's much more effective than drug store rubbing alcohol.

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wavedepletion
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Post by wavedepletion » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:28 am

Finished a MI Edges and made a little build video about the process:

[video][/video]

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NeolithicElectrophones
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Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:20 am

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Finished my first mutable build a few weeks ago. Nothing fancy but links is quite useful so it found its way into my rack right away. I know its been said before but Holy S#$% 0603 are tiny!

Also, many props to Oscillosaurus. Loving the black and gold panel.

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roya
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Post by roya » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:57 am

Guess was asked in the past, but can't find it. Where do you guys buy the large knobs for Frames/Warps? Haven't built neither yet as I'm looking for a "transparent" large knob...

Thanks!

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search64
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Post by search64 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:49 am

roya wrote:Guess was asked in the past, but can't find it. Where do you guys buy the large knobs for Frames/Warps? Haven't built neither yet as I'm looking for a "transparent" large knob...

Thanks!
https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/make-noise ... yle-knobs/

jimfowler
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Post by jimfowler » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:51 am

Synthcube if you’re in the states. But they aren’t transparent; rather white but you can still see the Warps led color.

elodin
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Post by elodin » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:43 am

Successfully completed my first MI project: Links! It took 4 hours of debugging to make everything work. I do not recommend this as an intro to SMD.

If you are building it, learn from my mistake and do not solder in the jacks before you test it. They are a pain to take off.

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wavedepletion
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Post by wavedepletion » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:50 pm

Finished a Blinds!

I've built 10 MI modules so far and this one actually ended up giving me the most trouble out of all of them, despite having no microcontroller. The pads on the PCB for the 8 Op-Amps seemed abnormally tiny, and there's really no room for the solder to flow around the pins. After finishing the build I discovered lots of problems which, after several hours of reflowing and troubleshooting, ended up being caused entirely by these pads just not taking enough solder. I had to remove the trimpots to access the problem areas. Then I had to physically check each pin on every op-amp for any flex with my tweezers, and carefully flux and reflow many of them that were still loose. I also had to replace several resistors that I had ruined during my troubleshooting/reflowing (always buy extras!). And I couldn't just drag-reflow all of the Op-Amp pins because that was fixing some while causing some others to come loose.

I thought it was going to be my first DIY failure but after some refusal to give up and a bit of surgery it works great.

Image

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:52 am

I finished my Grids version (a private project - not commercial). It was a great project to learn a lot of different things (really a lot).
I was a bit too afraid to make my own layout, as many factors in this project were totally new to me, but seing how it went I could have go for it.

Image

I see now on the photo that I have a small error on the first pot marking.
But the module works great :guinness:
[video][/video]
Link:

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TheMentat
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Post by TheMentat » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:59 pm

wavedepletion wrote:Finished a Blinds!

I've built 10 MI modules so far and this one actually ended up giving me the most trouble out of all of them, despite having no microcontroller. The pads on the PCB for the 8 Op-Amps seemed abnormally tiny, and there's really no room for the solder to flow around the pins. After finishing the build I discovered lots of problems which, after several hours of reflowing and troubleshooting, ended up being caused entirely by these pads just not taking enough solder. I had to remove the trimpots to access the problem areas. Then I had to physically check each pin on every op-amp for any flex with my tweezers, and carefully flux and reflow many of them that were still loose. I also had to replace several resistors that I had ruined during my troubleshooting/reflowing (always buy extras!). And I couldn't just drag-reflow all of the Op-Amp pins because that was fixing some while causing some others to come loose.

I thought it was going to be my first DIY failure but after some refusal to give up and a bit of surgery it works great.

Image
This was the most troublesome one for me as well... something is still amiss with my 2nd channel, but it otherwise works great.

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TheMentat
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Post by TheMentat » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:01 pm

KLANG!

Just completed Elements! Can't wait to dive into this seemingly deep module. Initial impressions suggest I'll be building a second!

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wavedepletion
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Post by wavedepletion » Fri May 11, 2018 5:07 pm

Another Elements!

Initially reversed the LED switch (green mark needs to point down and NOT to pin 1 as I had assumed - oops) and under-soldered a few IC pins, but got those fixed up last night. Otherwise it was leisurely build despite it's size.

Image
Image

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lrclazer
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Post by lrclazer » Mon May 14, 2018 2:02 pm

Thinking of building my first Mutable Rings. Is the kit on Synthcube a decent deal? Everything for $195 including a flashed ARM. Imagine it would be cheaper sourcing everything myself, but looking for feedback on how much cheaper ... :hihi:

adam
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Post by adam » Mon May 14, 2018 3:49 pm

much cheaper...

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forestcaver
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Post by forestcaver » Mon May 14, 2018 5:08 pm

That’s a lot of money - about 2.5-3x the cost of sourcing it yourself. Sourcing the parts is much simpler with the mouser carts already available... The flashing is not the hard part either.... if this is a first smt or 0603 build there are easier and cheaper builds to learn the techniques before trying on the (relatively) more difficult and expensive stm32 and dac chips. Ripples and branches are good ones to try first.... as well as o+c which is much easier being 0805 (if you’ve built them before just ignore me!)

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forestcaver
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Post by forestcaver » Mon May 14, 2018 5:13 pm

(should note - if you factor in your time sorting and ordering the parts, it’s not unreasonable - but to me it’s all part of diy. If I was going to factor in my time the factory built MI modules are *very* cheap compared to my diy! But I really like using modules,guitars, pedals and amps that I have made. The other invaluable part of the mi modules is how much you learn about electronic design and development which is just amazing).

largemouthbass
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Post by largemouthbass » Tue May 15, 2018 5:01 am

This was helpful ! I upgraded the firmware with the wav file and the sheep started to work, but it would be good to know why the build version does not work because I am not able to upload firmware on the other sheep.. Upgrade stops after 10 sec or so..
fuzzbass wrote:I built two Tides and compiled Tides and Sheep for them. Both of them run Tides without issue but the firmware I compiled for Sheep had issues. Clicky outputs, lockups, crashes, stepping on the frequency control, etc. Sheep was horked on both of my builds.

I performed the sheep.wav firmware upload and problems vanished, everything works. My dev environment is straight up vagrant using ST-Link V2 and so far no issues with other builds (Clouds, Elements, Braids, Warps). Hmm maybe some the libraries changed since Oliver compiled Sheep.

Anyway, my Tides and Sheep join the pantheon!

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batchas
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Post by batchas » Wed May 16, 2018 3:38 am

For the next projects in the future, I'd like to be sure how you did.
I put these 22uF caps on the PCB for Grids (which works fine) I did.

Image

Image

It was a pain to solder them. The pins are quite difficult to solder, being below plastic can (could not bend them as they would not fit anymore on the traces of my PCB).
Do you know any 22uF which fit better on traces for Panasonic Electrolytic Capacitors VS-Serie Package C?

I don't see VS-Serie package C, I see S Serie:
https://www.mouser.fr/Panasonic/Passive ... j0Z1z0rxa7

If I choose 35 VDC and 4 or 5mm diameter I get 1 result:
https://www.mouser.fr/ProductDetail/Pan ... dqug%3d%3d

EDIT: but current is 36mA, not 240mA like the ones in the MI BOM...
Anyway. Maybe you know a better package. Or a way to solder these in a clean way without pain.

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pixelforest
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Post by pixelforest » Thu May 24, 2018 4:51 am

built a clouds and a ripples, both worked first try. excited to build more.

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GSE
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Post by GSE » Sun May 27, 2018 10:47 pm

It LIVES!
Image

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consumed
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Post by consumed » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:11 pm

my first diy mutable, ripples, worked straight out of the gate today.
next up: rings!
:wookie:

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wavedepletion
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Post by wavedepletion » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:07 pm

Knocked out a Grids and Shelves yesterday:

Image

Image

There is also an output expander for Shelves, but I don't have a panel solution for it yet. It seems like there aren't many options out there. Probably will just make one myself out of a blank.

Grids was super easy, spacious straight forward PCB. Highly recommend it for an early SMD w/microcontroller project.

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wavedepletion
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Post by wavedepletion » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:05 pm

wavedepletion wrote:There is also an output expander for Shelves, but I don't have a panel solution for it yet. It seems like there aren't many options out there.
After I posted this to Instagram, Oscillosaurus said he'd design a matching panel for the expander. :tu:

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