Deckards Dream General Build Thread

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by sduck » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:09 pm

Yes, the main thing is the sheer quantity of solders you have to do. Especially the voice cards - they can get soul crushing before you're done. But if you're rigorous about getting the parts in the right places, and can do consistently good solders, there's no real tricks to building this, besides dealing with the time suck.

What also might be good to know is that there's a very active DDRM build group on facebook - there's more support available for building this there than here.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by hox3d » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:52 am

BTW, has anyone heard about the new Mark II DIY kit?
It should be different PCBs since it won't fit the slimmer enclosure...

Or is it still the same build?
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by LED-man » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:38 am

the new MK2 is only available as preassambled !!
I asked Black Corp, because the flat Desktop Version can`t hold 8 THT Voicecards.
Its not clear described on the website, because the DIY option is on the same page with the new MK2.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by hox3d » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:55 am

Yeah, that's what I thought.
Ok then, I just hope they won't drop support/supply of DIY kits.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by four_corners » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:53 pm

LED-man wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:38 am
the new MK2 is only available as preassambled !!
I asked Black Corp, because the flat Desktop Version can`t hold 8 THT Voicecards.
Its not clear described on the website, because the DIY option is on the same page with the new MK2.

The Mk2 has a DIY kit option though so it isn't only available preassembled. Are you saying that some of the pcb's may be repopulated with some smaller smd components?

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by sduck » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:10 pm

four_corners wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:53 pm
LED-man wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:38 am
the new MK2 is only available as preassambled !!
I asked Black Corp, because the flat Desktop Version can`t hold 8 THT Voicecards.
Its not clear described on the website, because the DIY option is on the same page with the new MK2.

The Mk2 has a DIY kit option though so it isn't only available preassembled. Are you saying that some of the pcb's may be repopulated with some smaller smd components?
Yes, the site is a bit confusing currently. They've publicly stated that there won't be a DIY version of the new tabletop version, but that the current 2.1 version of the DIY kit would continue to be available. But the site seems to indicate otherwise. There's certainly no way of getting 8 TH voice cards in that tiny case, and I doubt they would release an all smt version (although they could).
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by LED-man » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:44 am

i was hoping that someone from Black Corp. give an official Statement here.

Thats what Black corp wrote me:

"no more DIY, of DD and Kijimi"
"we have stock remaining if anyone wants to but them all"


I´m sure some of the reasons are:
- its a problem to share schematics for the DIY builds (DDRM rev.2, Kijimi) - because its normal for THE Big company to copy other circuits and ideas and we know the plans .. CS80, UBX etc.
- the development fees, suppport costs against the ROI. (especially for the Kijimi)
- the Deckardsdream Hardware Architecture - they started with a Mainboard and Voicecards in THT and SMT with nearly the same architecture.
The new MK2 vs. the old architecture is much different - more functions and for sure other parts, so a new DIY version needs again a complete new mainboard, voiceboard development.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by Pando » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:55 pm

LED-man wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:44 am
The new MK2 vs. the old architecture is much different - more functions and for sure other parts
I doubt anything has changed with the architecture itself. They just crammed the SMDs into a smaller space. The only thing that's different is the added Sustain switch/slider on the panel, and that's just a function in software. Unused Expander port has also been removed.

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by LED-man » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:51 am

Pando wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:55 pm
LED-man wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:44 am
The new MK2 vs. the old architecture is much different - more functions and for sure other parts
I doubt anything has changed with the architecture itself. They just crammed the SMDs into a smaller space. The only thing that's different is the added Sustain switch/slider on the panel, and that's just a function in software. Unused Expander port has also been removed.
Re-routing and placement of different connectors and changing the part locations its not funny.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by Pando » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:33 am

LED-man wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:51 am
Pando wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:55 pm
LED-man wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:44 am
The new MK2 vs. the old architecture is much different - more functions and for sure other parts
I doubt anything has changed with the architecture itself. They just crammed the SMDs into a smaller space. The only thing that's different is the added Sustain switch/slider on the panel, and that's just a function in software. Unused Expander port has also been removed.
Re-routing and placement of different connectors and changing the part locations its not funny.
Yes of course when you're talking about physical component changes. New boards and all component placement / routing is redone. But the circuit itself and its operation probably remains mostly the same.

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more of the same

Post by spacecadet » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:15 pm

I for one won't be buying anything else from these guys until they start behaving like a professional company and not a bunch of nerds indulging themselves in their own projects that happens to result in some products they can just so happen to sell.

While the DDRM was available as a kit, many of their foibles can be forgiven - it is a different sort of business with different expectations from the punters. But now they see selling multiple types of finished products, then its no longer acceptable.

Clearly they are living day to day, living the dream (excuse the pun) , and using money made from DDRM to fund whatever exciting thing comes next of their development bucket list - without getting the business basics right first.

Regarding protecting their I/P =- its too late for the DDRM - the rev 1 is out there. Rev 2 is out there minus the voicecard schematic (the rest is basically the same anyway) and the rev2 voice card can be reverse engineered very quickly and easily if needed. I am sure its been done already.

If they sell kits, then they need to provide schematics. They also need to actually respond to for requests for help on their closed F/B page, Rather than being preoccupied with new stuff. They have relied on the community, and backed away from their responsibilities.

So, OK, don't sell kits anymore - fine. But then its really no longer a business you can run from your kitchen and get away with it.

So then sell properly developed, finished and supported products - with manuals etc.
At these price points, its criminal really, and I have heard that panel quality and build finish is not in keeping with the cost of these products.
Effectively they are like kits, but they are all just pre-built kits using smt.

Yes, I hear you - to do all those things properly needs time, money, resources and investment - something they don't have right? So chicken and egg situation.



And if the BS-80 or whatever it is called sees the light of day, it will be game over for DDRM sales - at least for pre-built. Ironically there would still likely be a niche market remaining for kits IMHO.

They will not survive if they continue to run their business in the way are are currently. Nor do they have the resources to behave in the way the market demands. This will come back to bite them - just like it did for Moog and ARP and many other companies in this game (and who ran their businesses better than BC from the outset)

IMHO, unless they get into bed with an established partner where they are allowed to continue to develop new stuff, but the volume manufacturing and business side is handled by the pros then I don't see these guys being around in a few years from now - after they have run out of ideas and milked it for all they can with the die hard fans with too much money to burn and happy to take the risks.

OK, rant over :-)
Last edited by spacecadet on Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by sduck » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:59 pm

I thought you were going to get around to mentioning the complete lack of any kind of documentation for anything.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by spacecadet » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:49 am

Haha - yes - I see what you did there - and that too :)

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by campacasa » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:01 pm

So now I have finished the DDRM (v2.1) hardware, main, PSU and output boards. I'm wondering if before continuing with the voice boards I can test anything already. Could I even try to install the bootloader (and firmware) already without one or more voice cards installed? That would help to see if all is fine so far. I did read a few hints by wohali a few pages back here (was that meant without the hardware board?). I really want to go very careful and avoid "destroying" everything, should anything be wrong. Any hints?

Furthermore, somewhere here I've also read to go with a lower fuse value than the 5A from the BOM. Any recommendation? Once I plug in the power, I could measure the power dissipation without and once adding voice cards. That should help to estimate the fuse value. But again, I want to start carefully.

Thanks and best regards,
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by LED-man » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:13 pm

Peter, yes without voiceboards is the Programming possible.
The safest method to test the device is to use a bench powersupply with current limits.
And when you attach the voices you get an idea how much each card need, it was around 250mA per voice.
That helps you in case you installed a diode or IC in wrong orientation and protect your ICs for too much current.
An rev.1 ask around 3Ampere with 8 cards installed.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by campacasa » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:06 pm

Thanks LED-man! I know (would know) now how to continue. I don't have a bench power supply, however.

It looks like I have a problem. I'm really careful here, with soldering, double checking all components and their orientation, etc. The PSU board alone does deliver the right voltages. After connecting the system without voice cards, not much happened (of course). That the display stays black I assume is normal, I'd first need to install the bootloader I guess. But then I noticed that the R-78E5.0 on the PSU board got very hot. So I immediately unplugged power.

Trying to find out if there is any short, I have been measuring over each SMD capacitor on the main board (after removing all ICs from their sockets). I measured about just 9 ohms between +5 and ground of the pentanoise IC. So I've desoldered that SMD cap to see if it's defect, but after I still measure the same on the board. Now I'm also measuring about 8 to 9 ohms over all 12 SMD caps that are more or less behind the 12 MAX5* DACs. Can this be? Would they all be "blown"? Across all other SMD caps I don't measure any short. Basically I measure a short between ground and the +5V pins 31/32 of the power slot (not to the other +5V pins 13-16).

Another thing is that I don't measure a connection between the +3.3V on the PSU connector and pin 1 of the PBD1 connector to the hardware board. How can that be? The connection is there to the other PDB2 connector.

I'd appreciate if anyone could give me some more tips on debugging. It's difficult to find out between which pins of the DACs exactly the mentioned SMD caps are connected. According to the schematics there are multiple per DAC. If there was a short already, could the DACs break from that? The electrolytic C2 (between the affected +5V and ground) is correctly oriented. Should I desolder to see if it's defect? What more could cause this short?

It might not be a disaster if I would need to replace all DACs, but that's not going to be easy. I do hope there's something else to be fixed.

Thanks!
Peter

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by LED-man » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:11 am

check the voicecard edge connectors too, sometimes is inside a short of the pins (it’s happen when you press the edge connector in the pcb)
Use the DDRM Rev1 schematics (rev2 isn’t released completely)
Or ask Steve Summers for a repair.
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Deckard’s Dream Build Troubleshoot!!

Post by cnelson » Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:53 pm

Hi. My boyfriend has just finished all the soldering etc and installed the software on his Deckard’s Dream build and the micro chip part that comes factory soldered to the board... like the processor chip... is getting extremely hot as soon as he powers up !! He’s panicked as am I. So much work of it goes down the tubes. Could something have happened with the software install? He downloaded windows XP to his Mac and j stalked it that way. Anyhow I’m not sure where to begin to help problem solve this. He’s checked all connections etc and some of the botched black pieces were backwards so he reset those correctly but now this problem...
Thanks for any help!! And sorry to be so new and ridiculous.
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Re: Deckard’s Dream Build Troubleshoot!!

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:23 pm

I'll offer some advice but first just wanted to say don't panic. Take a deep breath and a small break- like 20 minutes, maybe grab some herbal tea. Thats what I do at least. Everyone who has DIYed has had problems and they are never easier to sort while panicking.

I'm assuming your partner has some basic electronic DiY knowledge, otherwise he is in for a crash course for sure!

The entire build is definitely NOT ruined. At worst from what I'm assuming you're calling the black botched parts that he installed some ICs backwards. That can create a short. Shorts can destroy active components like transistors, diodes, ICs, microcontrollers etc, but the bulk of the resistors should in most cases be fine.

If ICs were backwards then it isn't wrong programming, just a careless mistake I'm sure every DIYer has made in their time.

Next question dId any ICs smoke?
If they did then he shorted power together and will most likely need to get some new ICs possibly all of them, maybe even the Microcontroller. Take it as an expensive mistake, but I urge not to give up because the feeling of getting things working is way worth it IMO.

For more in depth troubleshooting I would recommend the facebook group. But if you do want get opinions here, some clear photos of the build would help. Additionally, although i'm sure theres a good reason he can't make this post himself, but If he did the soldering it might be a good idea to have him involved directly.

Cheers to being a supportive partner as well!

No need to apologize, although I would recommend you both engage in some other parts of the forum so if people do help it can be more give and take, like any healthy community.

And of course... Welcome!

Hoping soon to see a working DD picture in the DIY subforum.

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Re: Deckard’s Dream Build Troubleshoot!!

Post by Pando » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:47 pm

cnelson wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:53 pm
like the processor chip... is getting extremely hot as soon as he powers up !!
Is this REV1 or REV2?

I've seen it happen when a chip is accidentally reversed on a hardware board, or there is a short across one of the SMD caps, which causes analog and digital ground rails to separate too much, partially blowing up the ARM (processor) chip. The unit appears to work to some degree, but the ARM chip gets hot and some functions don't work (like sliders, etc.).
cnelson wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:53 pm
some of the botched black pieces were backwards so he reset those correctly but now this problem...
If any of the chips (?) were backwards when you powered it up, and the processor chip is getting hot, this means that the processor chip is toast. I'd suggest getting in touch with a tech who can troubleshoot this. Steve Sommers @needspeed may be able to help with the ARM chip replacement, but the cause must be found and fixed first. If any chips were reversed when you powered it up, they are probably blown as well, so replace them, don't just put them back the right way as they may be still shorted internally.

Installing power rail protection diodes on REV1 is highly recommended before powering up the unit for the first time, this can help protect the ARM chip and the DACs.

I'd also recommend joining the Deckard's Dream Build Group in Facebook, where there is more help available.

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by cnelson » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:55 pm

Thanks so much. I’ve now been in touch with the Facebook group and getting some help from there. Fingers crossed!

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by synthnl » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:38 am

Hi, I'm new to this forum so I hope I do this right. I did search the forum and this thread for the part number. I'm currently building my Deckard's Dream v1. I have some trouble determining if I have the orientation right of my STMPS2171MTR on the output PCB. I attached a picture. Image

Can someone tell me if it's orientation is right or wrong?

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by sduck » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:10 am

It's hard to tell from that picture, but the beveled side (if there is one) should be on the bottom in that picture.
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by estin » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:16 am

synthnl wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:38 am
Hi, I'm new to this forum so I hope I do this right. I did search the forum and this thread for the part number. I'm currently building my Deckard's Dream v1. I have some trouble determining if I have the orientation right of my STMPS2171MTR on the output PCB. I attached a picture. Image

Can someone tell me if it's orientation is right or wrong?

looks like it needs to be rotated 180 degrees as well. The small notch should likely line up with the notched screen printing on the board. Also, the component itself looks pretty rough and might be better to just replace it.

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by Chrutil » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:09 am

Hmm I'm not in a position to open mine up to check, but looking online there are photos, at least one of which looks to be the same orientation as yours.

https://sixbyseven.ca/wp-content/upload ... 8x1037.jpg

The key is, as sduck says, find the beveled side, and orient it down.

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