The VCS3 Card : Every 208 / Easel needs a SYNTHI !

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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weedywhizz
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Post by weedywhizz » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:37 am

Great stuff as always :sb:

People request kit options for this card Constantin mentioned and as much as I'd love to proceed with "my one-stop-shop" idea it just don't make sense for me.
Looking at the prices from Tayda I will not be able to make kits at a price people can understand I'm afraid. For example: How can I offer a parts kit for 20€ when the parts from Tayda only cost 1€ ? Will people understand a price difference at that level so I'm able to offer kits in an economical way for my shop ? I don't think so but may be wrong so feel free to throw in your thoughts if you like, maybe better via PM as I don't like to hijack this thread on that matter.

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Buchla format cases & parts - www.samodular.com

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papz
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Post by papz » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:32 am

Thanks Steffen, I understand your point of view.
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papz
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Post by papz » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:59 am

It should work with a 208r rev1 if its useless card connector is rewired, I'll do some test but don't see why it wouldn't work. If ok instructions will be in the build notes.

Now available http://www.portabellabz.be/vcs3.html
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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papz
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Post by papz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:09 am

I just modified the card edge connector of Jerome's 208r rev1 to fit in the VCS3 Card and it works perfect. :nana:
I'll post the modification details soon.
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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mbroers
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Post by mbroers » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:54 am

papz wrote:I just modified the card edge connector of Jerome's 208r rev1 to fit in the VCS3 Card and it works perfect. :nana:
I'll post the modification details soon.
uh thats awesome! i'll be placing an order then :) any chance these mods will also allow the utility box to work with rev1?

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Jerome
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Post by Jerome » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:48 pm

OK, it works perfectly on the Rev1. :sb:
Papz did a great job again.
I'm at the beginning of course but, damn, this thing sounds really really huge.
Can't believe what's blazing out of my speakers right now.
Thanks Papz for this amazing upgrade.

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papz
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Post by papz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:04 pm

Thanks Jerome, looking forward to get your next vinyl, with the card ;)

The VCS3 Card only needs power, keyboard CV and random clock connections, that are not related to the 208's modules, unlike the ToolBox, BOB expander or iProgram card. These won't work properly with the rev1 because they use many connections to the sliders and switches CV input, in the rev1 the pinout is different and I'm not sure the circuit is meant to support these inputs and outputs.
Maybe the Buchla Expander or cOC would work on the rev1 with a modified connector, this should be checked with the manufacturer, i don't know to which point they use the card slot connections.
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Fuzz
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Post by Fuzz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:50 pm

How much power can you extract from the card slot? Could you theoretically power another Buchla module if you had the right connection?

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papz
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Post by papz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:26 pm

The available extra power depends on the PSU, the manufacturer should be able to tell you, but it's probably enough to power a single module regardless of the PSU used.

We've connected up to 4 cards together (ToolBox, VCS3 Card, iProgram card and cOC) to a friend's BEMI Easel with the Hub and it worked.
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by papz » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:36 am

I updated the build notes with
208r rev1 program card slot modification
CO dedicated output modification (the CO is a great master for the VCS3 Card oscillator sync input)

http://www.portabellabz.be/images/vcs3/ ... _notes.pdf
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Jerome
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Post by Jerome » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:03 am

The Rev1 and Papz EMS VCS3 card ready for the gig.

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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 pm

The sync on this card is awesome.

Can't quite work out what its doing when the sync pot is set CCW but I know it took some of the skin off my face.

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papz
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Post by papz » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully you'll post another nice video soon with the card.
The sync on EMS oscillators is quite unique indeed, very versatile and harmonic. I know no other oscillator with a similar sync.

I guess you mean the pot set CW, because CCW the sync input should be muted. ;)

Here's the feedback that another happy user wrote :
The card works perfect... hours just past while improvising with this wonderful setup. It is like having an additional synth attached to my very familiar sounding easel - familiar controls, same familiar patching, but new sound... The card has a SOUND in it, it is a great voice. very easy to get familiar with - it compliments easels own... and that noise source works great... everything was so easy to get familiar with... i think i go back to it now, sorry... just letting you to know my first impressions...
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:28 pm

papz wrote:
I guess you mean the pot set CW, because CCW the sync input should be muted. ;)
What I meant was that with the pot set somewhere between fully CCW and noon the sync gets *really* weird with it locking on and off so quickly I get split notes/diadic chords and other oddities.

It's lovely. Quite different from most other flavours of soft sync I've encountered.

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Minimoog56
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Post by Minimoog56 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:31 pm

Papz, does the random CV output on the Synthi card rely on the random generated by the 208 itself? Mine is intermittent so wondering if the card outputs a full separate random voltage when selected for that mode. Same question regarding the card’s switched noise output.
Beatniks and Bongos/Bagels and Bongos/Buchlas and Bongos...

de gustibus....

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Post by papz » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:43 pm

The card's random has nothing to do with the 208's random. It's a sample & hold that uses the card's own noise generator (an exact replica of the VCS3's noise generator) as a sample source. It's thus a true random, unlike the 208's random that is rather some kind of patternizer with long cycles.
The switch selects if the white banana socket outputs noise or random voltage as a modulation source.
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Minimoog56
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Post by Minimoog56 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:27 pm

Great! So is the Noise always available in the mix on the Tinijax audio out while switched in S/H on the white banana out? Well thought out as usual.
Beatniks and Bongos/Bagels and Bongos/Buchlas and Bongos...

de gustibus....

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papz
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Post by papz » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:58 am

Yes the noise is always available at the mixer outputs.
Cheers !
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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slam
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Post by slam » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:50 am

papz wrote: The VCS3 Card only needs power, keyboard CV and random clock connections, that are not related to the 208's modules,
Can you please clarify that statement? It seems like you are saying I can't use the CV from the easel to control the VCS3 card? Is that correct?

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papz
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Post by papz » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:04 pm

No, that is not correct.
You can use any CV of your Easel to control the VCS3 Card thanks to the 3 patchable inputs (black banana sockets) for oscillator frequency, sync and shape.
The key switch connects the oscillator internally to the keyboard voltage input of the 208, like the 208's CO or MO keyboard switch does.
More details in the users manual : http://www.portabellabz.be/images/vcs3/VCS3_Card.pdf

Btw, here's a new pics gallery : http://www.portabellabz.be/images/vcs3/ ... /index.php
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:52 am

Probably worth mentioning here that the PSU on my early BEMI Easel wasn't powerful enough to power both the VCS3 card and the 208 Toolbox at the same time. (No problem powering either one or the other)

Resolved the issue by adding the power option to my Easel Hub (it chains off the same power brick as the Easel.

I think later versions have a better PSU?

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bcomnes
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Post by bcomnes » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:05 am

Umcorps can you elaborate on that? How does the problem with the toolbox and vcs3 card together manifest itself when plugged in?


I have a very early BEMI and toolbox and I want to plug in a vcs3 to that, but what goes wrong?
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:18 am

In my case the looping envelope of the 208 Toolbox wouldn't work. The led would blink once on power up and then nothing. Also after attaching both the Toolbox and the VCS3 card I noticed that the tuning of the complex and modulation oscillators in the 208 was affected/flattened.

Powering the Hub fixed all of that.

Edit:- Had the same issue if I attached the VCS3 card to the rear edge connector of the Toolbox which confirmed it was a power issue rather than something related to the use of the Hub.

So, if you've got a very early BEMI Easel, its better to pony up for a powered hub to be certain everything will work ok.

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bcomnes
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Post by bcomnes » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:02 am

Maybe papz could weigh in on this, the power block on my early Easel is rated at 5.5 AMPS .I'm not an EE engineer but I find it hard to believe that this would come up short...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Too Loud?

Too Bad
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:10 am

The power brick and the PSU are two different things.

My brick is also 5+ amps but that doesn't reflect the output of the internal Easel PSU. It does however, mean that there is plenty of headroom to power both the Hub and the Easel from the Easel power brick. So the powered Hub option includes a male to male DC cable to daisy-chain the two together.

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