[Project] Turing Machine Expander 3: Vactrol Mix Expander

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wired
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Post by wired » Fri May 29, 2015 6:23 am

Looking forward to a DIY-kit from Thonk :guinness:
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phidelity
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Post by phidelity » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:19 pm

I've built my Vactrol mixer and it's awesome! I've had a lot of fun using the vactrols to rhythmically chop up automation in feedback loops as well as audio. A fine addition to the Turing machine line up.

Here's what I can report back
-You can use it with a fully loaded Turing Machine provided you replace the fuse on the backpack per Circuit Shamans BOM for Bytes. I'm currently running Bytes, Pulses, Voltages and the Vactrol mixer without any problems. (edit: decided to not be lazy - here is a link to the Fuse.)

-I have a few extra Oshpark PCBs if anyone wants one - 12 + shipping.

-I just sent the dimensional drawings for the panel off to fabrication so I will have laser cut panels for this expander soon - Let me know if you are interested. Panel can be finished or unfinished. I can also provide a drill template if that's your speed.

- I am building two of these modules for the non DIY inclined.

- I would love to hear of anyones experience using vactrols other than the ones recommended.

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woodster
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Post by woodster » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:16 pm

I recently built one of these fine Vactrol Mixer Expanders for the Turing Machine -

Image

It's a really quick build.
I'm having lots of fun indeed with it, no issues with running all the Turing Expanders together.
I had previously upgraded the fuse as part of the Bytes build.
The BOM on Tom's GitHub page was out of date compared to the pcb I have, different Jacks and quantities, and some Resistor values etc.
It's all standard parts, nothing esoteric or obscure.

Here is the BOM in the order I installed the components -

2x 47k Resistors (r14 & r15)
4x 10k Resistors (r5, r6, r13 & r16)
2x 1k Resistors (r7 & r8)
8x 2k Resistors (r1, r2, r3, r4, r9, r10, r11 & r12)

1x 8 Pin IC Socket
1x 14 Pin IC Socket

2x 100nF Caps

2x 2x8 Headers (on Vactrol Side of PCB)

8x Thonkiconn Jacks (PJ301M-12)

4x B50k 9mm Alpha Pots

8x 3mm LED

8x VTL5C3 Vactrol

1x TL072
1x TL074
Last edited by woodster on Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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windspirit
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Post by windspirit » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:37 pm

Thanks for the verified BOM, can't wait to build mine up!

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woodster
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Post by woodster » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:54 am

PCB -

Image

Image

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sempervirent
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Post by sempervirent » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:23 am

Is there an updated panel layout file somewhere? The most recent panel template on Github does not seem to match the most recent board layout (compared to woodster's build above, for example).
Last edited by sempervirent on Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tombola
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Post by Tombola » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:03 pm

sempervirent wrote:Is there an updated panel layout file somewhere? The most recent panel template on Github does not seem to match the most recent board layout (compared to woodster's build above, for example).
Sorry about that - I've just added the artwork I used to cut my prototype panels for you.

It has simple laser-scribed labels. If you want to do a panel to match the other Turing lasercut panels, you'll need to mash the two together in illustrator.

https://github.com/TomWhitwell/TuringMi ... %20Artwork

Image
Last edited by Tombola on Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by NS4W » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:26 am

Will there be a think kit for this eventually?

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Post by woodster » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:13 am

I'd think there would be a Thonk kit eventually.

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Post by wired » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:05 am

Thonk replied late summer 2015 :bananaguitar:
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NS4W
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Post by NS4W » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:13 am

Will DIY vactrols be OK for this project? What is a suitable range on the LDRs?

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sempervirent
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Post by sempervirent » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:54 am

Tombola wrote:Sorry about that - I've just added the artwork I used to cut my prototype panels for you.
Thanks! That seems like the right one.

I noticed that the Gerbers are still at Rev3 though, will there be Rev4 PCB files with the cut/boost functionality mentioned earlier?

I can do panel/PCB bundles but I want to make sure that the PCBs I get are the latest and greatest!

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Post by Tombola » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:03 am

sempervirent wrote:
Tombola wrote:Sorry about that - I've just added the artwork I used to cut my prototype panels for you.
Thanks! That seems like the right one.

I noticed that the Gerbers are still at Rev3 though, will there be Rev4 PCB files with the cut/boost functionality mentioned earlier?

I can do panel/PCB bundles but I want to make sure that the PCBs I get are the latest and greatest!
Since I've been using Github I've been even more vague with rev numbers!

The Eagle files in the repo are the latest files!

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Post by sempervirent » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:06 am

Ah, OK. So is Rev 3.1 the latest?

Meaning that the Gerber files here:
https://github.com/TomWhitwell/TuringMi ... %20Gerbers

Are from the Eagle files here?
https://github.com/TomWhitwell/TuringMi ... gle%20Docs

Looks like they're from the same commit, just wanted to be sure.

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Post by Tombola » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:18 am

sempervirent wrote:Ah, OK. So is Rev 3.1 the latest?

Meaning that the Gerber files here:
https://github.com/TomWhitwell/TuringMi ... %20Gerbers

Are from the Eagle files here?
https://github.com/TomWhitwell/TuringMi ... gle%20Docs

Looks like they're from the same commit, just wanted to be sure.
Yes - just went to check - for once I have actually labelled the boards correctly.

3.1 is the latest version
3.1 is the eagle files
3.1 is the gerbers

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sempervirent
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Post by sempervirent » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:07 pm

That makes sense, thanks for confirming.

I'll look into doing a small batch of panels and PCBs in the near future.

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Post by co87lab » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:40 pm

How does a vactrol mixer sound? For a noob?

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Post by sempervirent » Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:00 pm

Anyone running the VMX with a single Turing Machine and no other expanders? Is the backpack PCB needed?

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Post by Tombola » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:11 am

co87lab wrote:How does a vactrol mixer sound? For a noob?
This one doesn't sound especially different from any other mixer - apart from the crazy rhythmic switching in and out of channels

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Post by Tombola » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:13 am

sempervirent wrote:Anyone running the VMX with a single Turing Machine and no other expanders? Is the backpack PCB needed?
You'd still need the backpack, but wouldn't need to modify the fuses to run 1 or 2 expanders. I have pulses + VMX in my rack at the moment.

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Post by toneburst » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:28 am

Apologies if this has been covered before, but the VTL5C3 vactrol seems to be hard to find now, and very expensive. Can anyone confirm that the Silonex NSL32SR3 would be a workable alternative?

Checking the data sheets here and here
it looks like the NSL32SR3 has a longer Rise time (10ms, against 2.5ms for the VTL), but a much shorter Decay time (10ms compared to 35ms for the VTL5C3). Is the different response likely to cause problems?

I'd love to hear from someone why has used the Silonex vactrol with the Vactrol Mix Expander, before I go ahead and order, since these are such expansive parts.

Cheers,

a|x

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Tombola
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Post by Tombola » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:33 am

toneburst wrote:Apologies if this has been covered before, but the VTL5C3 vactrol seems to be hard to find now, and very expensive. Can anyone confirm that the Silonex NSL32SR3 would be a workable alternative?
No problems at all - here are two of my prototypes with SR3s in place

Image

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Post by toneburst » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:41 am

Great, that's put my mind at rest. Thanks very much, Tombola!

Onecall/Farnell have NSL32SR3 UK stock, so I'll add 8 to my next order.

Cheers,

a|x

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chinese vactrols

Post by APETECH!P » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:18 am

has anyone tried these?
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/10PCSFre ... 22530.html
vactrols from aliexpress, they are vtl5c1.
how much performance difference is there between a vtl5c1 and a vtl5c3?
$1.40 is pretty cheap, but is it worth it?
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Post by thresholdpeople » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:42 am

J3RK prefers using VTL5C1s in his LPGs.

I asked him about swapping 5C3s and 5C1s in a different thread here is his response:
J3RK wrote: The cool thing about the 5C1s is that with the extra dynamic range, you can actually open them up a bit (allowing for longer trailing decay) without audio just pouring through. So as you turn the offset knob, the trail will get longer and longer (when it's struck/plucked/whatever...) until it gets high enough for audio to continuously pass. So it's kind of adjustable in that way. Plus they respond a lot faster to modulation, so you can get up into audio ranges with them. One last thing is that I've found the 5C1s to be the most consistent couplers that I've worked with as far as response. I occasionally see one that's a little different, but they've been pretty uniform overall.

5C3s would be next choice, will respond a little slower, and not quite have the same dynamic range. They will still work as expected, maybe with a few small tweaks as I mentioned above.
:
From: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... &start=100

Seems like the extra speed won't make a difference for this application?

I'm probably going to use these: http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/p ... er=G15396C. I got a bag of 50 of them when they were on sale.. speaking of which these are on sale right now $4.75 for a pack of 10. They're knockoff NSL32SR3s.

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