The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

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

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NeolithicElectrophones
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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:23 am

kedowe wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:11 am
Oooh, cool on the ports!! I'm thinking about dipping my toes into the 4U water...I'd love to see some pics if you have the time
Will post here when everything is finalized. For a rough one module shot check out my post in this thread.
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1872&p=3454611#p3454611

Bottom center module is a cellular automata with a temporary panel. The CLEE quantizer will eventually be replaced with a cv controllable divine cmos and giant bono at 2 inches each when they are working well consistently. Hopefully more time to add another tier to the setup and port more of my favorite NLC over like let's splosh and beat freq.

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by kedowe » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:27 am

NeolithicElectrophones wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:55 am
Edit: what color LEDs are you using? I'm always intrigued by water clear.
I'm a classic red LED kinda guy...all of the ones I picked up second hand had red so I carried on the tradition (notable exception beings blue for the Bong0 and bicolor where specified). Also using red inside the vactrols and have been rather pleased with them all, but I would love to build a second Spasm that has one of those flickering candle LEDs in it.

I think water clear looks nice and clean but I'm not sure what it'd look like staring at 100 of them! 8-)

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by prphnc » Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:20 am

Bendet Ibanez FL5 Flanger

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by mikefiction » Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:42 pm

It's been a while since I've done some synth diy, was lost in pro-audio world for a while!

I'm cloning the System 700 for myself this year (in the original size, using the original parts). I've completed the 703E VCF (this is the cascaded OTA filter) and mounted on it's subpanel.

I also have tested for functionality (but not completed panels) the 705A Dual ADSR and the 703B Multimode VCF (which is an early and kind of odd State Variable Filter design)

The 709A Sample and Hold and 716A Mixer are mostly done awaiting some NOS "rare parts". These two modules use the same PCB just populated differently.

703E COTA VCF in subpanel - the printed panel is on it's way and will be mounted on top of this subpanel with spacers much like the original.
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These are the 703B Multimode VCF and the Sample and Hold/Mixer PCBs
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This is going to take a while but it's been a lot of fun so far!

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by analogmonster » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:45 am

Cool project!

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:27 pm

Nice build, mikefiction!

How did you get such clean slots in your panel? I've been drilling many holes in a line and then ratting it out with a file. This works better for me than a milling bit, but I'm always looking for better ways to do it.
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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by devinw1 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:37 pm

That's a purdy board mikefiction! :)

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mutronic
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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by mutronic » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:19 am

Just finished a modded Lyra 8 with PCBs and Panel provided by Flundertron. Great project and a very fun synth.

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Here's what it sounds like:

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by sduck » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:16 am

Here's one I started ages ago, and got 95% done back in November, but then spent Much of December and January moving, and it only got finished last night. And yes, the right knob is crooked - I got sloppy with whiile soldering it in, but it works, and isn't bad enough to bother fixing.
IMG_3206.JPG
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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by mikefiction » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:33 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:27 pm
Nice build, mikefiction!

How did you get such clean slots in your panel? I've been drilling many holes in a line and then ratting it out with a file. This works better for me than a milling bit, but I'm always looking for better ways to do it.
I can't get good slots either, I cheated and used front panel express!

Here's the final finished version - I got the outer panel in today.

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devinw1 wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:37 pm
That's a purdy board mikefiction! :)
Thank you!

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by mikefiction » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:37 pm

prphnc wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:20 am
Bendet Ibanez FL5 Flanger

That PCB and the enclosure look great!

Edit: does this handle synth/line levels?

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by devinw1 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:09 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:27 pm
Nice build, mikefiction!

How did you get such clean slots in your panel? I've been drilling many holes in a line and then ratting it out with a file. This works better for me than a milling bit, but I'm always looking for better ways to do it.
Blind slotting is one of the least favorite things for an endmill to do. It makes them unhappy. One of the problems is that chip evacuation is really really crummy, since you are burying half the diameter of the tool.

Really, your only choice is to take quite small depth passes and then do a cleanup pass around, or the better way of course is to use a smaller tool than the slot and use an adaptive clearing strategy on a CNC machine. The only other "manual" ways I know of to make a slot is punching it, but this requires having the puch and die, and a press powerful enough to punch 2mm thick aluminum. Well, there is chem etching too, but I'm not sure that is in the realm of a home job for material that thick.

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by prphnc » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:52 pm

mikefiction wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:37 pm
prphnc wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:20 am
Bendet Ibanez FL5 Flanger

That PCB and the enclosure look great!

Edit: does this handle synth/line levels?
yes, it does.
I have it behind an intellijel palette that outputs line level.
From pot position 12 o'clock you get nice distortion.

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:51 pm

So, mikefiction cheated and went to FPE. It looks very nice.
devinw1 wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:09 pm
Blind slotting is one of the least favorite things for an endmill to do. It makes them unhappy. One of the problems is that chip evacuation is really really crummy, since you are burying half the diameter of the tool.

Really, your only choice is to take quite small depth passes and then do a cleanup pass around, or the better way of course is to use a smaller tool than the slot and use an adaptive clearing strategy on a CNC machine. The only other "manual" ways I know of to make a slot is punching it, but this requires having the puch and die, and a press powerful enough to punch 2mm thick aluminum. Well, there is chem etching too, but I'm not sure that is in the realm of a home job for material that thick.
I don't completely understand what you are talking about. I bought a 1/8" endmilling bit and I just use it on my drill press. (I know, that's a big no-no, but it's all I've got.) I bought an X-Y table which I can bolt to the table of my drill press. I just put the bit down at the end of the slot and take very small bites, slowly cranking the X-Y crank to move the piece under the bit. If I take small enough bites, it works reasonably well. However, I can still get cleaner slots by centre-punching carefully and drilling holes in a line, then filing.
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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by mikefiction » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:27 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:51 pm
So, mikefiction cheated and went to FPE. It looks very nice.
devinw1 wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:09 pm
Blind slotting is one of the least favorite things for an endmill to do. It makes them unhappy. One of the problems is that chip evacuation is really really crummy, since you are burying half the diameter of the tool.

Really, your only choice is to take quite small depth passes and then do a cleanup pass around, or the better way of course is to use a smaller tool than the slot and use an adaptive clearing strategy on a CNC machine. The only other "manual" ways I know of to make a slot is punching it, but this requires having the puch and die, and a press powerful enough to punch 2mm thick aluminum. Well, there is chem etching too, but I'm not sure that is in the realm of a home job for material that thick.
I don't completely understand what you are talking about. I bought a 1/8" endmilling bit and I just use it on my drill press. (I know, that's a big no-no, but it's all I've got.) I bought an X-Y table which I can bolt to the table of my drill press. I just put the bit down at the end of the slot and take very small bites, slowly cranking the X-Y crank to move the piece under the bit. If I take small enough bites, it works reasonably well. However, I can still get cleaner slots by centre-punching carefully and drilling holes in a line, then filing.
I've tried the drill a hole in a line method and dremel as well (and various combinations) and I make a mess of it every time. If it's a hole that has the edges covered up it's usually good enough (like power IEC entry) but slots for sliders would look just terrible. I wish I could find a way. A punch/die would be nice but I'm not sure it would go through this thick aluminum easily. I wish I was better at metalwork, I would like to be able to make better custom panels on my own.

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by Flounderguts » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:40 pm

Chemical etching is not the answer...when you go that thick, the corrosive element begins to eat sideways into the metal under the masking.

The main problems with using hand tools is the hands. Before I got into milling and CNC, I would cut slots for mod and pitch wheels using a dremel, but I had it hard mounted in a jig, and the panel I was cutting held down really well. After drilling the corners, I'd take really light cuts with the thinnest cutting wheel I could find...to get through 2 mm aluminum would take about 15 passes. I always had to finish the last little bit of the tabs with a riffler (tiny file). A fader slot would probably take me a half hour to set up and cut, but 6 slots would take an hour...the setup being the time part.

Having a mill makes all the difference. Well, once you've tried a bunch of bone-headed approaches and broken a bunch of endmills and ruined a bunch of material!
Slots are still tough, because as devinw1 pointed out, using a full-width end mill means a lot of bit engagement, and using an adaptive path or similar means a smaller endmill, which means more deflection. My current method is to make a series of very shallow cuts with a single flute V bit, and then a clean up pass with a 3mm straight flute mill. It's an extra tool change per slot, but they turn out nice, and no heat warping!

The absolute hardest thing about all of it is to have the patience and take the time to do it well.
----------------------

Flounderguts

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by devinw1 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:04 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:51 pm
So, mikefiction cheated and went to FPE. It looks very nice.
devinw1 wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:09 pm
Blind slotting is one of the least favorite things for an endmill to do. It makes them unhappy. One of the problems is that chip evacuation is really really crummy, since you are burying half the diameter of the tool.

Really, your only choice is to take quite small depth passes and then do a cleanup pass around, or the better way of course is to use a smaller tool than the slot and use an adaptive clearing strategy on a CNC machine. The only other "manual" ways I know of to make a slot is punching it, but this requires having the puch and die, and a press powerful enough to punch 2mm thick aluminum. Well, there is chem etching too, but I'm not sure that is in the realm of a home job for material that thick.
I don't completely understand what you are talking about. I bought a 1/8" endmilling bit and I just use it on my drill press. (I know, that's a big no-no, but it's all I've got.) I bought an X-Y table which I can bolt to the table of my drill press. I just put the bit down at the end of the slot and take very small bites, slowly cranking the X-Y crank to move the piece under the bit. If I take small enough bites, it works reasonably well. However, I can still get cleaner slots by centre-punching carefully and drilling holes in a line, then filing.
It's all because of tool engagement and chip evacuation. Imagine the flutes on a milling bit like a shovel. They really do work just like one. They like to come in, take a manageable scoop and throw it out the side. If you are say cleaning up the side of a rectangle, the tool is just taking a scoop the size of your pass (let's say maybe .05" or something). If you are cutting in a slot, you are engaging the entire diameter of the tool. It has a TON of work to do, and the chips don't easily evacuate. Chatter occurs, heat builds up, etc..

This is why I say if you're not on a CNC it's actually easy to do full length slot passes but divide up into many DEPTH passes. It's a PITA but in the end will work nicer (but wear out the tip of the tool quicker). This is why CNCs with adaptive clearing strategies win by a long shot in being able to mill a slot.

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by twigathy » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:27 pm

Another tool missing from my modular was a slew limiter, so armed with the D107 schematic (http://www.dintree.com/#D107), I went ahead and made up a PCB and panel. I diverged from the schematics a bit to add in (buffered) red-green bi-colour LEDs for both the input and output which actually worked really well - visual feedback on what's happening to a signal is something I like to have :).

PCB assembly was all done at JLCPCB, minus the through hole bits which I did myself. There's no way I could've fit 2 TL074s and a bunch of capacitors and resistors into 4hp otherwise - I'm sold on SMT now, just not on soldering it myself. If I were to knock JLC at all it'd be that the quality of their silkscreening doesn't seem to be as good as Oshpark where I got many of my previous PCBs made.

...and please excuse the mess. My "workbench" (Kitchen table...) is a graveyard of lead-ends that needs tidying up :)
PXL_20210212_224005794.jpg
PXL_20210212_223946868.jpg

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by NeolithicElectrophones » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:52 pm

^ Nice and simple with a great graphic. Love it!

Seeing a pile of snipped leads like that makes my feet hurt.

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by joeSeggiola » Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:40 am

twigathy wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:27 pm
I went ahead and made up a PCB and panel.
Panel looks great! I see JLCPCB doesn't do aluminum, so I guess this is FR-4. I'm doing a similar panel with single layer black 2mm PCBs, but it came out pricier than I expected (around 40 EUR). Am I doing something wrong? What are the specs you chose? Also, is it sturdy enough, doesn't it bend? It looks like it's fixed only by the plugs' nuts, right?

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by neutronarmy » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:37 am

Flounderguts wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:40 pm
Chemical etching is not the answer...when you go that thick, the corrosive element begins to eat sideways into the metal under the masking.

The main problems with using hand tools is the hands. Before I got into milling and CNC, I would cut slots for mod and pitch wheels using a dremel, but I had it hard mounted in a jig, and the panel I was cutting held down really well. After drilling the corners, I'd take really light cuts with the thinnest cutting wheel I could find...to get through 2 mm aluminum would take about 15 passes. I always had to finish the last little bit of the tabs with a riffler (tiny file). A fader slot would probably take me a half hour to set up and cut, but 6 slots would take an hour...the setup being the time part.

Having a mill makes all the difference. Well, once you've tried a bunch of bone-headed approaches and broken a bunch of endmills and ruined a bunch of material!
Slots are still tough, because as devinw1 pointed out, using a full-width end mill means a lot of bit engagement, and using an adaptive path or similar means a smaller endmill, which means more deflection. My current method is to make a series of very shallow cuts with a single flute V bit, and then a clean up pass with a 3mm straight flute mill. It's an extra tool change per slot, but they turn out nice, and no heat warping!

The absolute hardest thing about all of it is to have the patience and take the time to do it well.
Would you mind discussing your Dremel jig? I wish I had the space for a mill, but the garage is very small (just the walls of a one car garage) and pretty wood-centered currently. I'm very interested in your approach for the occasional fader slot.

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by sduck » Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:47 am

Maybe the slot milling discussion merits its own thread? It's worthy!
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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by hox3d » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:22 pm

Oh, realized I forgot to show it here: a J. Haible Tau Phaser with a custom panel.
Graphics are more or less a rip-off of Random*Source graphics... But it's functional.
DSC_0042.JPG
It was built a long time ago but could not mount it in my 4U case!

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by twigathy » Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:11 pm

joeSeggiola wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:40 am
twigathy wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:27 pm
I went ahead and made up a PCB and panel.
Panel looks great! I see JLCPCB doesn't do aluminum, so I guess this is FR-4. I'm doing a similar panel with single layer black 2mm PCBs, but it came out pricier than I expected (around 40 EUR). Am I doing something wrong? What are the specs you chose? Also, is it sturdy enough, doesn't it bend? It looks like it's fixed only by the plugs' nuts, right?
Yep, this is just FR-4. I used the standard 1.6mm thickness, HASL (ROHS) process for the panel and ENIG for the control board. It does give a little if you really try to bend it, but with the jacks down at the bottom this isn't really a problem. I think if the jacks were in the middle it might start to become an issue. For me it's not an issue, I guess if you were patching away with some ... vigour... then maybe it would be :)

You're also right in that the panel is only secured with the nuts and washers on the audio jacks and the potentiometers. This design wouldn't work with trimmer pots too well I don't think...

You can also make FR-4 front panels a little bit stronger by adding a copper layer on the front and back!

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Re: The 2021 Show Us Your DIY Builds Thread!

Post by Picard » Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:07 pm

BA662DIY.jpg
My build of a BA662 clone based on the remarkable work of user @guest documented here.
A tiny pcb embedded in transparent epoxy resin. To be used in my 303 clone.

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