Super Sixteen build support thread

Creator of of the Super Sixteen Sequencer and based in San Francisco. This is a DIY and Finished Good product for Eurorack.

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extralifedisco
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Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:34 pm

super-sixteen-module-med.jpg

Hello friends! This an official thread to post questions, troubleshooting requests, and tips on building the Super Sixteen eurorack sequencer. If you are just starting your build, please refer to the official build guide and walkthrough video




When posting help requests, please include the following:
  • A detailed description of the issue or question
  • The status of your board - what you've assembled so far
  • What tests you have performed
  • Clear, high-res photos of both sides of your PCB (if applicable)
Happy soldering!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Polysilicon » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:08 pm

Just got my board in last week and have had the parts lying around for a bit. I'll probably start the build sometime later this month and I'll make sure to post any questions here.

Thanks!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by AndrewM » Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:39 pm

So I was following the build guide, which seems to agree with the video, when I got to the LEDs. I followed the directions in the written guide about putting the hex nuts on the top & bottom potentiometer, left and right CV jacks, and the screw into the standoff, and then put tape over the LED holes.

Unfortunately, after soldering all of the LEDs, when I went to seat the panel, it turns out that the 3mm LEDs from the BOM don't fit fully through the holes (meaning the tape for the 3mm LEDs wasn't necessary), and even worse, the panel is now permanently offset further from the board. As a result, the nuts on the pots and jacks barely have any purchase on the threads, there's now a gap between the the 7-segment display and the panel, (which came at an early stage in the build guide PDF), and the jacks are also no longer flush against the panel, which was called out in step 2.7 of the guide as being important.

I think the idea was good for the 5mm LEDs, but I won't know until I desolder and clean up all 16 of the 3mm LEDs so I can get the panel to sit at the correct height again. (EDIT: yeah, it worked out well for the 5mms at least; thankfully I could just heat+loosen the 3mms and push them back towards the board, then was able to install the panel and then heat+adjust them flush with the panel before soldering them into place again)

I'm not sure if the 3mm LEDs from the BOM on Digikey are slightly too big, or why this didn't work as planned, but I wouldn't recommend offsetting the panel while installing the 3mm LEDs (section 2.10, steps 3, 4 and 5).

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extralifedisco
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:55 am

Woah, thanks for the thorough report! I think you're right. On my previous panel prototypes the fit was quite loose, and there is probably a bit of variance from panel to panel but on looking at them again this evening I'm finding that the black panels seem to have a very slightly larger cutout for the 3mm LEDs. When placed in without tape they sit proud about 1-2mm. On the metal panels it's much tighter, and the LEDs sit almost flush with the panel. I'll update the build guide to reflect that the spacer trick is not necessary - I had intended it to counteract the slight inset caused by using the tape, but if the fit is that snug then the spacer will only cause the issue you describe and the tape is not needed.

Many thanks for the tip!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by AndrewM » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:46 pm

extralifedisco wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:55 am
I'm finding that the black panels seem to have a very slightly larger cutout for the 3mm LEDs.
Aha, that would do it - I'm using one of the metal panels. Otherwise everything came together really well - it was a really well-written and detailed guide!

Two other very minor things:
  1. on section 2.2, step 1 of the build guide, it mentions that the 100 pF capacitors have a capacitor code of 100, but I believe that should be 101
  2. the end of the video says to stay tuned for a video on calibration, though there's no mention of that in the build guide - is there anything that still needs to be done after assembly & functional testing?

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by maglab » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:15 am

AndrewM wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:46 pm
extralifedisco wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:55 am
I'm finding that the black panels seem to have a very slightly larger cutout for the 3mm LEDs.
Aha, that would do it - I'm using one of the metal panels. Otherwise everything came together really well - it was a really well-written and detailed guide!

Two other very minor things:
  1. on section 2.2, step 1 of the build guide, it mentions that the 100 pF capacitors have a capacitor code of 100, but I believe that should be 101
  2. the end of the video says to stay tuned for a video on calibration, though there's no mention of that in the build guide - is there anything that still needs to be done after assembly & functional testing?
I have also completed the build. From what I understand there is a calibation video on its way but this was in one of the earlier videos. The voltage seems to jump about on the higher octaves for me so working on that

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:57 pm

Hello! I've just uploaded the calibration tutorial video - check it out here. A tuner or a multimeter are required for the most accurate result.


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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by greenalien » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:56 pm

IMG_20201012_224812_compress45.jpg
Finished and working!
A few changes from standard spec :
The 17 black push buttons are 5.9mm x 10mm items from Ebay, because Mouser were out of stock, and Digikey etc are v. expensive for small orders. Panel holes enlarged to 6mm, buttons modified by drilling out to 3.3mm dia, and are a nice enough fit that panel can be inverted without them falling out, which is more than I can say for the grey ones, ordered as specified, which each needed a small blob of blu-tak to keep them secure.
I also changed the 16 leds from orange to green, as the bag of orange 3mm ones from Mouser had a split in the bottom and was 5 items short, the missing leds are probably somewhere on the floor of Mouser's distribution centre. I had the green ones in stock, so used them, and they look fine. The fitting tip of using nut spacers and tape to get the leds at the correct level worked well for me.
Very helpful and well thought out build manual, sequencer worked first time. Now looking forward to exploring its possibilities, the online video tutorials are already proving helpful.
Thanks Matthew for a great project!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:15 pm

A few changes from standard spec :
The 17 black push buttons are 5.9mm x 10mm items from Ebay, because Mouser were out of stock, and Digikey etc are v. expensive for small orders. Panel holes enlarged to 6mm, buttons modified by drilling out to 3.3mm dia, and are a nice enough fit that panel can be inverted without them falling out, which is more than I can say for the grey ones, ordered as specified, which each needed a small blob of blu-tak to keep them secure.
I also changed the 16 leds from orange to green, as the bag of orange 3mm ones from Mouser had a split in the bottom and was 5 items short, the missing leds are probably somewhere on the floor of Mouser's distribution centre. I had the green ones in stock, so used them, and they look fine. The fitting tip of using nut spacers and tape to get the leds at the correct level worked well for me.
That looks great in green! You could probably swap out the glide and gate LEDs with green 5mm if you have them laying around for a nice monochrome module. I originally spec'd it for an amber display module to match the LEDs but I found out later that Kingbright's 3-digit displays are not super-common so getting any quantity in yellow/amber was going to be tricky and I went with green instead.

Are you using some other round-plunger tact switches (not the e-switch ones)? I've never tried drilling out the switch caps to work on other switches, that's a clever hack!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by greenalien » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:56 am

I'm happy to have the 5mm leds in amber, it makes them stand out when they are on, so no plans to change them. Having the 16 sequence leds matching the digital display is nice though.
The tact switches are the standard 6mm x 6mm devices. The square switch post measures 3.4 mm diagonally, while the circular collar under it measures 3.5mm diagonally, so using a 3.3mm drill bit works well to enlarge the square holes in the caps, a 3.2 would probably be as good. The caps push on, rather than clicking into place, but seem to hold well enough.
Just watched the 2 programming videos, they are very helpful, thanks.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by autodafe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:19 am

just got my PCB/Panel yesterday, starting sourcing components and building this! ;-)

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by mightycoco » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:19 am

Just built the little guy.

I first went to calibration and found that each step only gives 0.5-0.6v/oct...
Step 1: ~0V
Step 2: ~0.5V
Step 3: ~1.1V
Step 4: ~1.6V
...

Should CV output something? Because, thats plain 0V.

Any ideas?

-------

EDIT: OK: I screwed up R113/R114. No CV is OK?
Nice, glad you found the culprit. The CV output is uncalibrated. It should have a linear range from 0-8v, but as the control resolution is not fine enough to require calibration it's not on in calibrate mode. You can just test it sequence mode by hooking it up to any CV input and recording in some sequence data for it.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Gleekzorp » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:14 am

Hi folks, kind of a modular newbie here, building this puppy as well. Bought a Behringer 19" eurorack with power supply to house it (it is my first eurorack build), only to find out the Behringer powercable doesn't match the one on the processor board (16 pin instead of 10). Matthew says: "You can just use a standard 16-pin to 10-pin cable (with 6 pins unconnected). Make sure you put the red stripe on the -12v side", so that is what I'll do tonight.

Very anxious to find out if it works first time, but even if not, it has been a hugely enjoyable and very well documented built; thanks Matthew!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Gleekzorp » Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:51 am

Gleekzorp wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:14 am
Very anxious to find out if it works first time, but even if not, it has been a hugely enjoyable and very well documented built; thanks Matthew!
And yes! It did work first time :yay:
Next: Eurorack VCO etc. (I started my modular adventure with the Super Sixteen!)

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by autodafe » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:22 am

Are the B100K potentiometers so crucial? Or given it's a microcontroller who reads them, would some B10K do the job? I only have 3 B100K lefet and I would need 4.... :doh:

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Gleekzorp » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:31 am

Looking at the schematics, I don't see any reason why B10K wouldn't do the job..

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by MarkSinister » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:42 am

Successfully built the Super Sixteen sequencer which worked first time. It was straightforward to build from the Kickstarter PCB, panel and chip set. The build notes and the video build guide are both excellent. Using the BOM I got the other parts from Digi-Key who I had never used before but were great. The PCBs are nicely laid out although I found that spacing of some holes for the 100 Ohm resistors on the Control Board was tight (maybe the 100 Ohm resistors from Digi-Key were more "chunky" than the others) and the holes on the CPU board were a bit closer together than ideal for the "Fat" 330 uF electrolytic capacitor (C109) that came from Digi-Key. I elected to use sockets for the integrated circuits with the obvious exception of the surface mounted flash memory chip. First impressions of playability are good but now I need to delve deeper to learn more of the sequencing features. Thank you Matthew for a great project.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by MrSteve81 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:19 am

I'm getting "nen" on the display when I boot up which I'm guessing is a memory issue. A turn on the encoder crashes the board.
I can't see any shorts or obvious unsoldered joints on either board.
Has anyone else had this issue, and where should I be focusing my attention to get it working?

Fantastic build instructions btw Matthew. Dare I say, even better than Befaco instructions!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by autodafe » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:12 am

I have seen the "NEN" message yesterdy, the "daughterboard" was probably having bad contact with the main board. Then after tightening the daughterboard it disappeared

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by autodafe » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:09 am

Is there some kind of manual? Mine is always in a "play" state, if I press the various buttons to create steps, nothing seems to happen (built from CB/Panel kit and preprogrammed Atmega...)

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:55 pm

MrSteve81 wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:19 am
I'm getting "nen" on the display when I boot up which I'm guessing is a memory issue. A turn on the encoder crashes the board.
I can't see any shorts or obvious unsoldered joints on either board.
Has anyone else had this issue, and where should I be focusing my attention to get it working?

Fantastic build instructions btw Matthew. Dare I say, even better than Befaco instructions!
The "MEM" code (looks like "nen" on the display) at startup indicates an error initializing the memory chip. When you rotate the encoder, the default behavior is to enter "LOAD" mode and check to see if there's a patch saved in the selected slot, so it's probably crashing while trying to do that. I expect your encoder works fine, but you probably have a short circuit or missing solder joint on the memory IC, the 3.3v power supply, or the transistor level shifters (the 2N7000s and nearby resistors). It usually helps to apply flux and reflow the SMT solder joints if they look at all unfinished. Besides that you could also test for 3.3v and 5V on the resistors nearby.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:00 pm

autodafe wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:09 am
I have seen the "NEN" message yesterdy, the "daughterboard" was probably having bad contact with the main board. Then after tightening the daughterboard it disappeared

Is there some kind of manual? Mine is always in a "play" state, if I press the various buttons to create steps, nothing seems to happen (built from CB/Panel kit and preprogrammed Atmega...)
You can find the manual online here:
http://extralifeinstruments.com/docs/su ... manual.pdf

As you said, some issues can be traced to bad connections with the front PCB. If you have a fiddly or intermittent connection between them, typically this happens if the header pins are incompletely soldered. It's easy to see on the CPU board, but it's best to remove the front panel if you've installed it and check that each solder joint looks good on the front board connectors. Use bright light and magnification as it's a tight space once the other components are installed.

As mentioned in the previous comment, the "MEM" code shows up if the CPU has trouble initializing the memory IC (the SMT package Winbond W25Q80DV). Check the soldering on that IC and on the 3.3v regulator and nearby 2N7000 transistors, as something there is likely amiss. Be sure to clean your board of flux residue with isopropyl and a toothbrush, as it can be hard to see joint quality if you have some leftover flux on it. If you're still at a loss, take some photos of the boards and post them here so we can help you look.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by autodafe » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:35 pm

Thanks for the manual!!!
And about my issue...it was just a wrongly orientated MCP23S17 :doh:
I feel sorry for my dumbness :-)
luckily I used a socket ...
working perfectly right now :sb:

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by MrSteve81 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:32 pm

extralifedisco wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:55 pm
It usually helps to apply flux and reflow the SMT solder joints if they look at all unfinished.
All working perfectly now!
Sometimes all it takes is 1 idea I haven't thought of myself to get things working.

Thanks for taking the time to troubleshoot my board. 😀

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by titl » Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:55 am

Hi
The pdf and the video are very clear thanks for that.
I just finish the build, but i have two problems :
-The second number in the screen doesn't work.
-no gate on output.

I think soldering points are all ok, all ics are well powered, all the ground i can check are ok.
Do you have an idea to fix that?
Thanks

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