DIY or not DIY?

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ricko
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by ricko » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:04 am

I like reading the academic papers on new discoveries in the physics of instruments: a lot if this is digital physical modeling. But when I read about some insight or technique and there are no modules that allow it in analog, I try to design some circuit to implement or fake it. I have several notebooks of ideas. Some of them I build, some I simulate, but most stay on the page. DIY (or programming) is the only way to do this.

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artilect99
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by artilect99 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:55 am

Something that wasn't apparent at first with DIY is how the hardware makes up 90% of the cost. The cost of the component circuitry might be a few dollars but pots, switches, jacks and especially panels adds up real fast. Now when I see a module I mostly drool over the pots and knobs they used instead of the circuits.

After building a few circuits from scratch though it becomes impossible to pay $300-400 for basic analog circuits unless there is something very special about them. The only stuff I want to buy now is like stuff with microprocessors and firmware that needs to be flashed. Gotta say I'm not liking how so many modules are basically a computer under voltage control now tho, even though you can do some amazing things... the more it goes to that I can't help but just think why not just use Pure Data and not be limited by patch cables?

I would also say don't be afraid of SMD, 0805 is not hard at all. 0603 is pushing it for me though. I wanted to build a Jove but that 0603 pcb looks so cramped....

When I first got into DIY it was because I wanted to build a serge system, but ended up frustrated with the lack of options for panels at that time. I did NOT want to get into Eurorack because of the ergonomics but that's where all the exciting new modules were... I still hate 3.5mm jacks with my whole being and hate digging through piles of spaghetti to try and finesse a trimmer pot the size of a match head. MU/5u is really where it's at for user experience but it just takes up too much real estate, and again everything is in euro these days...

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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by transistorresistor » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:35 pm

Pelsea wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:29 pm
I don't have a good way to cut slots in panels, so filter banks are out.
for the odd time that you need to do this it would be easy to justify spending on front panel express. the software is really easy to use now.

I started DIY amplifiers years ago. Now I have a pro audio manufacturing firm. While its nice to build modules, its also nice to buy preassembled products just to see how other firms are doing it. Most people understandably wont have that perspective.

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TVNoel
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by TVNoel » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:53 pm

I have recently started building kits again, having dabbled in it as a teenager (my first big build was a Theremin that featured in Everyday Practical Electronics magazine).

I find it a really good way to unwind. There is something so satisfying about a good solder joint and the neatness of a finished PCB. The satisfaction of the thing actually working is such a high.

I have a reasonable understanding of what resistors, capacitors, op-amps etc. do, but I wish I knew more about what I was putting together so that I could learn from it and maybe one day design something myself.

Am not remotely tempted to learn to solder SMDs though!

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wuff_miggler
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by wuff_miggler » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:08 pm

transistorresistor wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:35 pm
Pelsea wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:29 pm
I don't have a good way to cut slots in panels, so filter banks are out.
careful straight cuts with dremel grinder wheels followed by some patient filing could get you some fine slots? :-)

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Pelsea
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by Pelsea » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:15 pm

wuff_miggler wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:08 pm
transistorresistor wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:35 pm
Pelsea wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:29 pm
I don't have a good way to cut slots in panels, so filter banks are out.
careful straight cuts with dremel grinder wheels followed by some patient filing could get you some fine slots? :-)
Been there, done that, don't care to do it again. What I'm really doing is lobbying for a Sherline.
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wuff_miggler
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by wuff_miggler » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:26 pm

^ lol - its not the most fun ive ever had..i agree

stepvhen
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by stepvhen » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:13 pm

1) Yep, simple stuff so far, but I have a Rampage and the Bindubba on the way.

2) Sometimes its cheaper if you're willing to put in the work. The Rampage was like $100 cheaper to get the kit, which also makes it cheaper than Maths (if it was in stock anywhere right now). And things like simple mixers, LPGs, etc why not do them as DIY?

Also weird stuff is usually easier to get as a kit or panel/pcb. The Bindubba will not be the last NLC module I buy.

3) If something is too complex, or too critical to get right (e.g. I probably won't build an analog VCO that I want to track over 5+ octaves). I also don't tend to buid anything that requires woodworking or drills. I've tried that before, and though I still have all my digits, I don't think I'll try again.

4) So far just module kits. ~10 years ago I built a Bazz-Fuss stompbox that was poorly shielded, maybe wired backwards, and cobbled together into an old DOD shell. It worked for what I needed it to do, and had a great bug feature where it would pick up radio stations if you moved the input cable in the right way. That said, I don't think I'll try from-scratch stuff again for a while.

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stoiker
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by stoiker » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:33 am

1 Yeah, I build some of my stuff. I started building pedals some years ago and got into synth stuff last year.

2 I usually enjoy the building process. I'm learning a lot about electronics and audio. It may save some money, too.

3 I'm not to confident with my skills/tools, so SMD is a no go so far. So is etching PCBs.

4 I did some kits and also some basic stuff on perf. There's tons of stuff out there I want to build.

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hautlle
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by hautlle » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:02 pm

A lot of my studio is DIY. It all started with a Mutable Instruments Shruthi about 10 years ago. Now I've got 2 Shruthis, a Sonic Potions LXR, and 12U x 104hp of eurorack that's almost all DIY with more projects waiting in queue.

I first started building because after being completely ITB for 15+ years I wanted to expand into hardware but it's so expensive. There's certainly a "cost of entry" with needed equipment and such but once you move away from kits you can increase savings with bulk purchases of common components.

I refuse to DIY any SMD smaller than 0603 after learning a hard lesson with an 0402 board - never again!

Haven't messed with any breadboard or anything like that, but have been tempted lately as I learn more about the ciat-lonbarde stuff.

stepvhen
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by stepvhen » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:48 pm

stepvhen wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:13 pm
1) Yep, simple stuff so far, but I have a Rampage and the Bindubba on the way.
Update: Built both. Rampage works, Bindubba is like, mostly working.

I never really considered that analog circuits could be in a state of mostly working, which actually gives me hope for fixing it.

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krisamadhi
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Re: DIY or not DIY?

Post by krisamadhi » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:09 am

I started building to slow down my Euro addiction.
It didnt work....
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