Rogue Befaco DIY

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DEEMARKAY
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Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:11 am

First of all: Thanks Befaco for making their designs availiable to look at in depth! It really is a great learning resource.

After reading a long time on all sorts of how not to be a douche threads, I decided it was alright as long as there is no trading-profit involved.
The files I used are availiable at https://www.befaco.org/# and https://www.befaco.org/docs
Licensing is regulated here http://www.befaco.org/licensign/

Since I make all my own front-panels for a consistent look - I find the panels provided with kits just cumbersome.
But foremost, I am in it for the learning experience and have made quite a few layouts on proto-board, etched other's and my own layouts. Now that ordering prototype PCBs from China has become so cheap, I decided to give that one a try.
So I downloaded the .brd and .sch files of a Even VCO, converted them to Gerbers and ordered from JLC PCB.
I copied the schematics - component by component of a A*B+C and a HexMixVCA, made my own layouts and ordered PCBs.

Somehow the long holes for the jacks and pots didn't translate to the gerbers and I had to redrill them.
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Didn't order the right size resistors, so it became quite a tight build.
Will post a picture of the panel and other PCBs later.
Last edited by DEEMARKAY on Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

DEEMARKAY
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Post by DEEMARKAY » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:14 am

This one I did a while ago. Just made a layout on perf-board.
The large jacks were taken from scavanged audio equipment.
I couldn't make the panel out of perspex as usual because it would break while drilling the big holes. Also my first attempt at laserprint transfer of the graphics. Still prefer the acrylic with typewriter labels though...

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DEEMARKAY
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Post by DEEMARKAY » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:26 am

For this A*B+C I made a board layout from the schematics PDF.
Unfortunately I was too cheap to buy the proper AD633 multiplyer ICs and got burned (on both instances I bought one, each by different sellers) on fake chips. So the price really was too good to be true.
Also I haven't wired that one up completely yet.

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DEEMARKAY
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Post by DEEMARKAY » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:37 am

Will update on this one soon as well:
Again I made a layout from the schematics PDF, but figured it is the same circuit six times over. So I only made one board with two VCA circuits plus one mix-circuit.
The boards can be stacked and the connector-pads for pots, in- and outputs are labeled accordingly:
Out 135 Out 246 etc.
I wend a little over-board with all the mounting holes and the two at the power header might be too close.
Since you get 5 PCBs as minimum order per layout it's still all there.
Also now there's the possibility for just a dual or quad VCA etc.
Of course the PCB could also have been shrunk down even more by making it all SMD parts, but that'll be a lesson for future projects.
Image

DEEMARKAY
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:46 am

This one bit me quite badly. Six months later I got it working though.
Due to a mistake in the schematic the module didn‘t work. After trying various botch fixes I corrected the board layout and reordered pcbs. Stupidly I assumed my first pcb to be good and soldered all the parts up. So I had to desolder all components and resolder them on the new board. :doh:
Also: Troubleshooting with only parts values on a pcb is a real pain, so in the second iteration I used part-values as designators.
Now I have two spare PCBs for VCA modules.



Also so much wiring. I need to learn to make a seperate pcb for the panel components. But in this case that was the only viable option it seems.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by DEEMARKAY on Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SphericalSound
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by SphericalSound » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:15 am

Awesome reverse ingeneering that you did here.

DEEMARKAY
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:56 am

Thanks ;), but it is not so much reverse engineering - that would mean tracing the circuit from an original board and deducing a schematic from that. I used the schematic from their site and made a new pcb layout. Still it took a pretty big amount of time. :ripbanana:
This is the site where all the files are available to download: https://www.befaco.org/docs/
Some modules also have the brd files, which is what I used for the oscillator.
Just in case of the hexmix vca, I added possibilities by splitting it into sets of two vca circuits instead of all 6 on the same board.
They are licensed under Creative Commons, so one can use them privately under attribution of the author and source and must be licensed in the same way if redistributed.
Even though I am not sure if a board layout based on a schematic licensed this way falls in the same category. I read that you can copyright a specific schematic of a circuit as in a picture, but not the circuit itself. Since I didn't copy the file (the Vco is a different case), but redrew the schematic and made my own layout from it, it doesn't count as redistribution, but is it's own work?
But I guess this is more of a question of moral compass and avoiding douchebaggery.
Last edited by DEEMARKAY on Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

DEEMARKAY
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:00 am

SphericalSound wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:15 am
Awesome reverse ingeneering that you did here.
Just stumbled over another of your posts researching some benjolin things (since I just finished building an adaption into my own pcb layout) So I checked out your work! Awesome stuff! :sb:
I think that's the direction I'm going. First I only copied other people's circuit designs, now I started modifying them. Next step would be merging partial circuits into new ones and then making own designs which probably ist just a more granular version of the step before.
I'm just in the process of adapting a RYO VC sequencer and making two seperate PCBs with one carrying the front panel parts, like your modules do. Do you just overlay the two pcbs and align the interboard connectors that way in the software? In a graphics software that would be easy with layers, but I don't know this option exists in pcb layout software.

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SphericalSound
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by SphericalSound » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:33 am

DEEMARKAY wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:00 am
SphericalSound wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:15 am
Awesome reverse ingeneering that you did here.
Just stumbled over another of your posts researching some benjolin things (since I just finished building an adaption into my own pcb layout) So I checked out your work! Awesome stuff! :sb:
I think that's the direction I'm going. First I only copied other people's circuit designs, now I started modifying them. Next step would be merging partial circuits into new ones and then making own designs which probably ist just a more granular version of the step before.
I'm just in the process of adapting a RYO VC sequencer and making two seperate PCBs with one carrying the front panel parts, like your modules do. Do you just overlay the two pcbs and align the interboard connectors that way in the software? In a graphics software that would be easy with layers, but I don't know this option exists in pcb layout software.
Im quite a newbie too, but a newbie with ideas... :twisted:

For the panels what I do is I just do the top pcb and route it. Then I save a copy. Once routed I draw over the dimensions of the panel, delete all the traces/components except the hardware ones and align the holes with the hardware footprints. Then I delente the footprints too and I add the texts/graphics.

I do all this directly in Kicad. There´s the option to use some graphics importers too.

You are doing a great work parting with the Befaco designs. You´ll get proper designs in no time. Following!

:D

DEEMARKAY
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:41 am

SphericalSound wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:33 am
DEEMARKAY wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:00 am
SphericalSound wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:15 am
Awesome reverse ingeneering that you did here.
Just stumbled over another of your posts researching some benjolin things (since I just finished building an adaption into my own pcb layout) So I checked out your work! Awesome stuff! :sb:
I think that's the direction I'm going. First I only copied other people's circuit designs, now I started modifying them. Next step would be merging partial circuits into new ones and then making own designs which probably ist just a more granular version of the step before.
I'm just in the process of adapting a RYO VC sequencer and making two seperate PCBs with one carrying the front panel parts, like your modules do. Do you just overlay the two pcbs and align the interboard connectors that way in the software? In a graphics software that would be easy with layers, but I don't know this option exists in pcb layout software.
Im quite a newbie too, but a newbie with ideas... :twisted:

For the panels what I do is I just do the top pcb and route it. Then I save a copy. Once routed I draw over the dimensions of the panel, delete all the traces/components except the hardware ones and align the holes with the hardware footprints. Then I delente the footprints too and I add the texts/graphics.

I do all this directly in Kicad. There´s the option to use some graphics importers too.

You are doing a great work parting with the Befaco designs. You´ll get proper designs in no time. Following!

:D
Ah, yes, that process makes sense. Thanks for the explanation! :tu:
Now with all the isolation time and jobs dwindling it even may become a small source of income.

KSS
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by KSS » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:10 am

DEEMARKAY wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:11 am
First of all: Thanks Befaco for making their designs availiable to look at in depth! It really is a great learning resource.

After reading a long time on all sorts of how not to be a douche threads, I decided it was alright as long as there is no trading-profit involved.
Unfortunately that's not your decision to make. You have to ask them. Only their older designs were released to public domain. Sucks, but true.
Until you get their permission.

Otherwise, it looks like you're doing some nice work.

But talk to Befaco.

DEEMARKAY
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:49 am

KSS wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:10 am
DEEMARKAY wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:11 am
First of all: Thanks Befaco for making their designs availiable to look at in depth! It really is a great learning resource.

After reading a long time on all sorts of how not to be a douche threads, I decided it was alright as long as there is no trading-profit involved.
Unfortunately that's not your decision to make. You have to ask them. Only their older designs were released to public domain. Sucks, but true.
Until you get their permission.

Otherwise, it looks like you're doing some nice work.

But talk to Befaco.
You are right, it is not my decision to make - in a certain regard that was poor wording on my behalf, but there's a section on their website that clarifies the legal issue:
https://www.befaco.org/licensign/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license

So I understand that I don't need to ask befaco for what I am doing, since I'm acting within their licensing.
Also I don't think it is particularly douchy to not ask in this case, or do you think otherwise?

I will update my original post to include the link to the licensing page of their website though, so thanks for pointing that out.

DEEMARKAY
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:21 am

In fact I just checked, that the even vco does not have the CC marks on its schematics and also the brd files are not availiable on their website anymore. since tere's conflicting information on the licensing now, I will in fact check back with befaco over this issue and update here once I have the info.

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Befacosynth
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by Befacosynth » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:15 am

Replied to your mail. ;)
In short: All that you are doing here is AWESOME! Keep on soldering and stay creative.

About licenses, just use common sense and don't be a jerk, as many people out there are being lately :foul:
www.befaco.org
support((at))befaco.org

DEEMARKAY
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by DEEMARKAY » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:14 am

Befacosynth wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:15 am
Replied to your mail. ;)
In short: All that you are doing here is AWESOME! Keep on soldering and stay creative.

About licenses, just use common sense and don't be a jerk, as many people out there are being lately :foul:
Hey,

Thanks so much for the taking the time to reply!
Totally understand the decision to withdraw eagle files.

Building kits is one thing once you have a little soldering and troubleshooting skills. Just an afternoon and a little money in tools. Laying out a pcb and troubleshooting that yourself takes an order of magnitude more time and effort and developing, promoting and distributing product is far far beyond that.
Having access to the BOM and schematics enabled me to this realisation and I found myself a few times thinking "why didn't I just order the PCB from Befaco? It would have been so much easier, in some cases even cheaper", but then remembered how central the learning aspect really is for me. Also I learned the most from building and failing on the VCA. Just ordering a board also was an experience worth having as a reference. So it was worth the time and effort plus I have an awesome modules!
Thank you for encouraging that! :mrgreen:

KSS
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Re: Rogue Befaco DIY

Post by KSS » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:24 pm

:tu: All good.

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