Something New from Doc Sketchy

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Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:35 pm

JakoGreyshire wrote:You think this would cost more than 399.00$?
I could build this, I’m not a noob.
No, it would not cost more than $399. According to my "BOM" the parts should cost about... $190, not counting what I would charge for the board set. That would include all the electronic components and all the panel components. I'm thinking I would probably charge about $80 (US) for the board set, so that would put the cost up to about $270, then you'd have to work out a panel. I could make a Lazertran panel, for which I'd probably charge $30. That puts the cost up to $300.

I have calculated the cost of all the components based on their price for a single unit from Small Bear. Hence, if you buy in bulk, the cost probably comes down by 15 to 20%. For example, the Switchcraft 112AX jacks I use are $2.55 for one, but if you buy 100 or more, the price goes down to $2.15 (these have actually gone up recently by a fair little bit, I think... I don't remember paying that much for them the last time I bought them). I tried to use mostly 100k and 30k resistors in this build, so if you buy those by the 1000 (as I do) then you will pay about 1.7 cents per resistor -- I budgeted 5 cents. Et cetera.

There are some components that I haven't put in my BOM, like the pin connectors on the Connector boards and the pin headers on the Panel board. For that stuff, I generally just tack on 25% to the total cost (which also includes things like Lazertran, PnP Blue, solder, etc.). I keep piles of these connectors in my workbench -- my BOMs are a little bit sketchy, because they are mostly for my own use, and for stuff like pin headers I tend to improvise at the bench a bit. I haven't added the 25% to my $190 estimate.
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Post by JakoGreyshire » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:25 pm

Yeah I guess it adds up pretty quick... I do have some parts already. I guess it really boils down to if I want to use it faster than I could build it... I do like building these projects, but I do already have a queue of projects and one on the back burner. I guess, in my mind, I should complete what I have started, then I’ll throw you a PM... :mrgreen:

As other people have said, this is one of the best threads on the forum. Keep up the good work, and I’ll try to control the DIY GAS over here. :hihi:
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:49 pm

With my board set, you could build this project in an intense weekend, if you got up early and worked late. :hihi:

Remember, I install all the jumpers, including that damned Translator board, so that saves quite a bit of labor.
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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:26 pm

Here's the dumb question of the month ....

What does the Rubicon do anyway? :hmm:
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Post by SphericalSound » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:43 pm

It does pretty much all but the laundry

https://intellijel.com/shop/eurorack/rubicon-2/

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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:23 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:Here's the dumb question of the month ....

What does the Rubicon do anyway? :hmm:
It's a through-zero frequency modulation (TZFM) VCO with a ton of waveforms (about 11, I think) and a pile of cool modulation options. It's like the Zeroscillator, except that it does more, works better, costs way less, and the company that makes it won't take your money and then not deliver you a product for 6 or 12 months or ever.

I'm going to make a video this weekend. I didn't have time earlier this week, but I'm going to do it tomorrow for sure. And I'll be sure to work the famous line into the video somewhere (many will know the line of which I speak).

In the meantime, you can always watch this:

[video][/video]
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:43 pm

Hi Team!

I just wanted to bump this thread, and to apologize for not producing either a Rubicon 2 video or a scanner tutorial. The reason is that I have suddenly become extremely busy with my day job. However, I have worked through most of that, so I should be able to do something over the next day or two.

Please be patient!
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Post by wsy » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:57 am

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:Here's the dumb question of the month ....

What does the Rubicon do anyway? :hmm:
It's a through-zero frequency modulation (TZFM) VCO with a ton of waveforms (about 11, I think) and a pile of cool modulation options. It's like the Zeroscillator, except that it does more, works better, costs way less, and the company that makes it won't take your money and then not deliver you a product for 6 or 12 months or ever. {....}
Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

Shameless Plug: There's also the FM Ogre. TZFM (thru zero FM) and simultaneously
TZPM (thru zero phase modulation) One built-in waveform, but has realtime sample
where it TZFM / TZPMs any waveform (TZFM your voice. TZPM your dog.). Buiilt-in
feedback loop for TZPM (b/c feedback of TZFM has a math singularity that causes
lockup; Rubicon does TZFM 'right' and follows the math correctly so it will lock up
if you feedback on TZFM). TZPM has no feedback singularity, so FMOgre does that.
FM Ogre is 1/3 the HP of a Rubicon. Digital DSP heart.

All circuitry and code is open source and free. GPLed in fact. Send beer money
if that makes you feel guilty.

Downside: you pretty much have to build it yourself, or have someone build it for you.
PCBs and front panels *are* available, though.

It's a different game than the Rubicon. Get both; Rubicon for smooth analog, FM Ogre
for precise digital edge.

- Bill ( created the original FM Ogre, and Timo R. respun it for easy building. )
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:26 pm

Confession: I haven't been able to figure out how to do analog phase modulation. I can do it over a limited phase angle, but not the +/-360 degrees or more that is evidently easy to do with digital.

In any case, I'm never gonna design digital stuff, so yeah, whatever. I have to write computer code for my day job. I'm not gonna do it in my free time.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:43 pm

Hey Team!

I know, it's been a while. Still no Rubicon video or scanner tutorial (although I worked on the latter a little bit today, actually).

But, I did do something sorta cool over the weekend. I had this triple LFO that I had built over 10 years ago -- indeed, it was one of my very first modules. I think I rebuilt it maybe 7 or 8 years ago. It generates triangles and pulse waves, has shape control (saw-tri-ramp, or pulse width) and has range switches and polarity switches for the pulse outputs (positive only, full, or negative only). It also has Sync inputs, but these never really worked, because I didn't really know what the hell I was doing.

Anyway, I decided that I really wanted to rebuild this triple LFO again, and put in proper sync circuits, better jacks, etc. I also wanted to build it in my new style, with PCB-mounted panel controls. However, I didn't want to make a new panel. So, I took the old module (with its massive tangle of panel wiring) apart and recovered the panel (which has a few battle scars, but is in pretty good shape). To get the panel PCB layout right, I found the FPD file I used to make it, converted it to a PDF, imported it into Excel, and used it as a template for the panel PCB. This worked extremely well and was pretty easy to do. I made a new PCB for the circuit, a panel PCB for all the pots and switches and LEDs, and a tiny little PCB for the polarity switches (which also includes pin headers for all of the jacks). It works perfectly, the sync is awesome (the triangles restart at 0V and always go upward from reset). Here is the result -- panel wiring was a breeze because I just had to cut a bunch of wires to equal lengths, put crimp pins on both ends and snap it all together -- I'm on a mission to rebuild all of my modules this way:

ImageImage

ImageImage
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Post by wsy » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:04 am

I'm gonna be a mean tease on Dr. Sketchy..... and say there *IS* a way to do TZPM in
analog, and it uses less than 5 chip packages.

:hmm: :hmm: :hmm:

At least, so sez theory. SPICE confirmation to come when a round tuit rolls in.

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Funch

Post by Funch » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:39 pm

Looks to be a quality build. I like where you take the time to use nuts on the jacks and use quality jacks.

As opposed to just soldering two extra pins to a PCB board for stability, but those wobble so bad on my Behringer Model D that sometimes I miss the jack and the plug hit's the panel.
Ha!

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Post by Moog$FooL$ » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:53 pm

Funch wrote:Looks to be a quality build. I like where you take the time to use nuts on the jacks and use quality jacks.

As opposed to just soldering two extra pins to a PCB board for stability, but those wobble so bad on my Behringer Model D that sometimes I miss the jack and the plug hit's the panel.
Ha!
that's interesting about the Behr. mD...... i figure at that price there must be some serious corners cut. :hmm:
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:22 pm

Funch wrote:Looks to be a quality build. I like where you take the time to use nuts on the jacks and use quality jacks.

As opposed to just soldering two extra pins to a PCB board for stability, but those wobble so bad on my Behringer Model D that sometimes I miss the jack and the plug hit's the panel.
Ha!
I would use PCB-mounted jacks if I had any, and the only reason I don't have any is because (last time I checked) Small Bear doesn't stock the PCB-mounted version of these jacks (I really wish they would, Small Bear, if you're listening). However, I would still attach them to the panel with a nut. I really like firm attachments to the panel. The only exception is when I use minipots (always for CV and attenuators). These I just put through a hole with no panel connection. However, these are soldered by five points onto the PCB, so they are very solid, and the PCB is always firmly attached to the panel, either by a bunch of other components or with screws and hex spacers.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:57 am

Today I rebuilt my dual VCA into a 1U panel. Here are some pix. I made a few small changes to the PCB layout as well, so I built an entirely new module. It worked the very first time! I ran out of minipots with long shafts, so I had to use ones with relatively short shafts, but I'll swap them out when I get some more. I also added LEDs to this build (just above the word IN).

Here's the front:
Image

Here's the back:
Image

Here's the side:
Image

This is a prototype, and I made a few tiny mistakes. I put the pads for the big pots in the wrong place (0.1" too far out, again!). I was still able to use the PCB because all I had to do was push down on the pots to bend the leads a bit and they fit fine. Also, I forgot to put a "panel ground" connector on the panel PCB for the jacks, so I had to kludge that on (it was very easy). Finally, I don't like the placement of the words "CV" and "MODE" on the panel, so I want to move those closer to their pot shafts. I have made all these changes in the files, and so they will be on the next build.

I gotta say, I really love making these panel PCBs. They make assembling the module so easy. All the wiring is just crimp pins (except for the jacks). I did all the wiring for this module in about one hour. I listened to Jakszyk Fripp and Collins "A Scarcity of Miracles" while I was doing the wiring, and I did almost all of it in the time it took to listen to the album.
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Post by indigoid » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:04 am

Love your build of Ray's LFO. Is a bit weird seeing you build something without 2164s! I miss his YouTube updates. Have you built his Noise Cornucopia? It is one of my favourites.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:30 pm

indigoid wrote:Love your build of Ray's LFO. Is a bit weird seeing you build something without 2164s! I miss his YouTube updates. Have you built his Noise Cornucopia? It is one of my favourites.
No, I haven't actually built much of Ray's stuff. I spent a lot of time on MFOS when I was starting out (2008/9) but once I started designing my own circuits I visited his site less and less.
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Post by Moog$FooL$ » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:44 pm

that's an awfully big looking Stooge bracket...... i guess you just used what you had?? :hmm:
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:03 pm

Moog$FooL$ wrote:that's an awfully big looking Stooge bracket...... i guess you just used what you had?? :hmm:
No, I cut that from a larger piece of aluminum. It is 4.5" wide (the same as the PCB) and about 3" tall to the bend (giving about 1" of transition for the gentle bending of the wires). I could have made it slightly shorter, but I was just in a hurry to get the thing put together. The bend is about 1/2" wide and accommodates two mounting holes. I had to cut away chunks of the bend to accommodate the wires. I did all the cutting pretty roughly on my band saw and then filed the edges. I need to find a better way to cut aluminum. I bent it on my crappy handmade bending jig, which works well.
Last edited by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch on Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:42 am

OK, faithful followers, I need some advice.

I am contemplating building a handmade "Polaris" filter. Now, I have made the Polaris core already. However, now, I'm thinking about building the multimode part. The thing is, I don't do microcontrollers, so I won't simply be reproducing what was done with the Intellijel version. (Plus, full disclosure, I was never all that entralled with the push-button approach.) What I'm envisaging is a 32-channel scanner for accessing the various modes. The thing is, I know exactly how to do it -- I have essentially designed it already. It will require an 8-channel scanner and a 4-channel scanner, with the 4-channel acting as a "bank" selector and the 8-channel acting as a channel selector. There will be just two faders, one for each scanner.

Also, the ordering of the (up to 8) modes within the (4) banks will be up to the user. Today I laid out a 16-mode generator board -- this is a fairly simple thing, with 16 opamps (as 4 quads), 16 30.1k feedback resistors, 16 1k output resistors, four 4-pin output headers, and a 5-pin input header for the five Polaris outputs which feed the modes. (I will require two of these boards to get all the modes.) The modes are determined by defining up to five input resistors for each opamp to create each mode. For instance, the gain ratios of the five input sources for the famous "double notch" mode are {1,4,12,16,8}, so the input resistors (given the 30.1k feedback resistor) will have to be {30.1k, 7.5k, 2.49k, 1.82k, 3.74k} -- these are the closest 1% resistor values to give the correct gain ratios. Each of the 16 gain resistor sets for the 16 modes will be installed on little "chiclets" which are only 0.7" square, which will plug into the main mode board. Hence, the user will be able to plug these chiclets in in any order. What I need to do is to figure out a "rational" order for the modes so that they morph from one to another in either a pleasing aural way or a logical way (or, optimally, both at the same time).

So, the bottom line is, this is going to be a significant undertaking, involving about a week's work and a bunch of chips and shit. My question to y'all is: should I do it?

On the assumption that I'm gonna do it anyway, the second question is, are you at all interested in it? Do you think that a two-fader scanner matrix will be a viable way to select filter modes? If so, do you fear that the alteribility of the mode order is going to break people's brains?
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Post by cygmu » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:11 am

Obviously I think you should do this. Why would we DIY if not to make the somewhat over the top designs that occur to us? This is GREAT!

I think that leaving the order of the modes up to the builder is kind of cool but it would be good to work out the "right" order so that the crossfading is interesting / useful. Hmmm, can some of the filter modes be recovered by summing other ones? Not that saving a slot in your 32 way scan is much of a big deal. Actually could you save several slots and perhaps even a bank, by having a "dry blend" function, to obtain the phaser modes from the all pass?
The controls for this are going to be complicated however you stack it up.

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Post by Moog$FooL$ » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:51 am

well...... u know me, i say give it a go. :party:
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Post by Eric the Red » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:13 pm

Yes. You should totally do it.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:28 pm

cygmu wrote:Obviously I think you should do this. Why would we DIY if not to make the somewhat over the top designs that occur to us? This is GREAT!

I think that leaving the order of the modes up to the builder is kind of cool but it would be good to work out the "right" order so that the crossfading is interesting / useful. Hmmm, can some of the filter modes be recovered by summing other ones? Not that saving a slot in your 32 way scan is much of a big deal. Actually could you save several slots and perhaps even a bank, by having a "dry blend" function, to obtain the phaser modes from the all pass?
The controls for this are going to be complicated however you stack it up.
Yes, the phaser modes on the Polaris are created by having an extra input which is the dry input to the filter summed with the output. It is engaged only when the allpass modes are engaged (based on the logic programmed into the microcontroller -- an 18-bit word, IIRC). I have to do some experimentation with this, but I will probably put either a pot or a switch for blending in the input to get phasing. It would be a simple matter to customize the mode selection board to include the blend from the pot or switch only on the allpass modes. The simplest thing would be to add another resistor to the chiclet for those modes to add the input signal, and just have a wire from those "special" chiclets going to the pot or switch (although this doesn't seem very elegant). I have to think about what the best method might be.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:46 pm

So, I've been working on how to order the filter modes. Not counting the phaser modes (which are just modified allpass modes), there are 28 separate modes. If I do a 32-channel scanner, then there will be four spare places -- I'm going to put the dry/wet mix for the phaser mode on the front panel as a pot, so that this feature will be available for all of the modes. The reasons for this are threefold: 1) I won't have to use up 4 spaces on the mode generator and the scanner for the phaser modes, 2) the scanning of other modes into the phaser modes will sound more organic, and 3) there will be one more possibly cool thing to tweak.

So, I was originally thinking that the 4-channel fader would be like the "banks" and the 8-channel fader would be like the selections within those banks. However, I'm seeing it now in the opposite way. It turns out that the filter modes fall mostly into groups of four: four LP modes, four HP modes, four AP modes. There are six BP modes and 10 Notch modes, but the notch modes fall into two groups of four and one group of two.

With the four extra scanner and mode generator positions, I'll be able to double up selected modes on the field of 32. This is good, because those BP and Notch modes can be more rationally approached from other modes.

So, if all of the LP modes are on, say, Channel 1/8, then the 4-channel scanner will smoothly morph from 6dB to 12dB to 18dB to 24dB lowpass modes. This will give a varislope filter. It won't be smooth scanning, because my scanner has plateaus at each channel, but with carefully scanning, it will be possible to get a 9dB or a 21dB filter. This will be true for the HP and AP modes as well.

For the BP modes, I have defined them in terms of their slopes up to the peak on the left and down from the peak on the right. So, the six BP modes are:

1/1 BP, 1/2 BP, 1/3 BP, 2/1 BP, 2/2 BP, 3/1 BP

So, for example, 1/3 BP has 6dB/octave below the peak and -18dB/octave above the peak.

With this scheme, the LP and HP modes can also be defined the same way. Hence,

12dB LP = 0/2 BP (but I'll still call it 0/2 LP)

18dB HP = 3/0 BP (but I'll still call it 3/0 HP), etc.

The notches can also be defined this way. Hence, if there is a notch in the centre and the amplitudes approach 0dB at the low and high frequencies, then this is:

0/0 NC

If the notch occurs to the right of the centre frequency, and the amplitudes approach 0dB at low frequencies but fall at a slope of 12dB at high frequencies, then this is:

0/2 NR

The double notch is simply:

0/0 N2

All of the Allpass modes are 0/0, and they only differ in the extent of their phase shifts.

So, with all that, the 24 non-allpass modes are as follows:

0/1 LP, 0/2 LP, 0/3 LP, 0/4 LP
1/0 HP, 1/2 HP, 1/3 HP, 1/4 HP
1/1 BP, 1/2 BP, 1/3 BP, 2/1 BP, 2/2 BP, 3/1 BP
0/0 NC, 0/1 NC, 0/2 NC, 1/0 NC, 1/1 NC
0/1 NL, 1/0 NR, 0/2 NL, 1/1 NR, 0/0 N2

If you go to the Intellijel website and look at the Polaris modes (which don't include all of these), you should be able to quickly identify which mode is which from this new descriptive system. Also, you should start seeing a rational way to organize the modes on an 8x4 scanner grid for most rational scanning/morphing potential.

I'll be back with more developments as they occur.
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