Vortex Generator Build Thread

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SphericalSound
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Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:42 am

This thread is for helping users with the building of the DIY versions.

The main thread in the eurorack room
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=225558

The BOM and schematics are available here:
https://github.com/spherical-sound-soci ... ree/master


For PCBs+Panel sets, Partial and Full kits and built modules here:

https://www.tindie.com/stores/jc2046/
Last edited by SphericalSound on Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:04 pm

So, the next revision of the module is here. It has a redesign of the graphics on the panel and has some jumpers in the backside. With the jumpers on you get the previous 0-5v envelope outs, and with the jumpers off you get 0 to 8V envelopes. The shift register/rungler out keeps the output at 0-5v

This is rev 2.02 and is the one that is shipping now. Note that it has a slightly different BOM and build guide, so take a look at the number or revision of your PCB and follow that guide/BOM.

In case of any doubth just post it here. Im happy to help with your builds. Anyway they are dead easy. I did the PCBs with giant pads and tons of space for super easy builds, aimed to pretty inexperienced users too.
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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by rytamura » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:47 am

Hi
Thanks so much for this very interesting module!
In this weekend I enjoyed building the full kit I bought at Tindle, and learned how to use the module. In doing so, I have got the following questions. I'm afraid that I made some mistakes in building, which I would like to clarify here.
  • Switch position for looping: My unit loops when the switches are on their left positions. Is that correct? In particular, "LOOP B" is printed on the right side of Channel B, which confused me at the first time.
  • Firing up the loops again: Both switches being at the left position, my unit start looping on the power up. However, Once they are on the right, the loop will not start again until single trigger or gate is supplied to the GATE A/B inputs. Is that a supposed behavior?
  • CLCK OUT: my unit won't emit any clock signal for whatever settings. How can I investigate this issue?
  • The instruction manual "Rev 2.02 BOM and Build.pdf" obtained at Github has several pictures, which helped me a lot during the building, but I noticed that they were for the PCB rev2, not rev2.2. So I left JP1 and JP2 which are not in the pictures(rev2) unsoldered. Also, I soldered the IC chip at U1 just as in the picture which is for the rev2 board.
Thanks in advance!

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:55 pm

rytamura wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:47 am

  • Switch position for looping: My unit loops when the switches are on their left positions. Is that correct? In particular, "LOOP B" is printed on the right side of Channel B, which confused me at the first time.
  • Firing up the loops again: Both switches being at the left position, my unit start looping on the power up. However, Once they are on the right, the loop will not start again until single trigger or gate is supplied to the GATE A/B inputs. Is that a supposed behavior?
  • CLCK OUT: my unit won't emit any clock signal for whatever settings. How can I investigate this issue?
  • The instruction manual "Rev 2.02 BOM and Build.pdf" obtained at Github has several pictures, which helped me a lot during the building, but I noticed that they were for the PCB rev2, not rev2.2. So I left JP1 and JP2 which are not in the pictures(rev2) unsoldered. Also, I soldered the IC chip at U1 just as in the picture which is for the rev2 board.
Thanks in advance!
Loop position is left on both channels. And it need a gate to start looping, but it will autostart looping on power on so all that is CORRECT in your module ;)

(EDIT: See edit 2 at the end of the document!)
The clock signal is generated by pin D1/TX on the arduino. You should trace it to find where it stops. I will upload the schematic to the github so it can help you debugging it. If you dont have experience debugging, just tell me so I give you more specific instruction to what to look. We will get it to work

The 2 jumpers are undocumented. You normally solder it in the backside (same as the power connector and arduino). When you put the jumpers the envelope outs volts are 0-4v. Without the jumpers, as your module is now, the envelopes are 0 to 8 volts. I will specify it in the next revision of the document.

The rest of your build is OK. Thank you for the feedback!

Edit: schematic are up in the github

I have been revising the tracks. There´s one bridge that you need for the clock to work. It´s at the end of the document. If you have multimeter, check continuity, I would say that you forgot that bridge or it needs a reflow. It´s the one that goes from pin3 of the header that sandwicht both PCBs

EDIT 2: My bad! It seems it was ME that forgot to document that bridge.

You have to bridge the pin3 of the header with R16 right leg as shown in the photo. I totally forgot to document it. Sorry!. In any case, it seems it´s all your module need for the clock gate to work!!

Edit 3: Bridge and explanation about the jumpers added to the build document ;)
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Last edited by SphericalSound on Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:42 pm

So... the last post was WRONG. Im editing it.

Also there was a bug in the 2.02 building document. If you have a 2.02 PCB to build, please get the new build pdf:

https://github.com/spherical-sound-soci ... -generator

It was messing with the Gate A and Clock Out.

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by Noodle Twister » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:53 pm

Here's some pics of my build. It's fully working. :party:
Complete.jpg
Complete(side).jpg
Control_board(back).jpg
Control_board(front).jpg
Main_board(back).jpg
Main_board(front).jpg
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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by rytamura » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:21 am

SphericalSound wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:55 pm

You have to bridge the pin3 of the header with R16 right leg as shown in the photo. I totally forgot to document it. Sorry!. In any case, it seems it´s all your module need for the clock gate to work!!
Yes, FINALLY my unit is working as is supposed! I've found that the 4th clock gate can bring some "regularity" when the loops exhibits complex patterns, which I found is useful.

Still I am learning what the SHIFT REG out is; it just seems a S&H'ed sequence to me. Maybe I need more exploration.

Anyway, thank you so much for your support :tu:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:35 pm

rytamura wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:21 am
SphericalSound wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:55 pm

You have to bridge the pin3 of the header with R16 right leg as shown in the photo. I totally forgot to document it. Sorry!. In any case, it seems it´s all your module need for the clock gate to work!!
Yes, FINALLY my unit is working as is supposed! I've found that the 4th clock gate can bring some "regularity" when the loops exhibits complex patterns, which I found is useful.

Still I am learning what the SHIFT REG out is; it just seems a S&H'ed sequence to me. Maybe I need more exploration.

Anyway, thank you so much for your support :tu:
So happy for your build to be working 100% :party:

Yep indeed a shift register/rungler is apparently similar to an S/H sequence, but its not aleatoric, but math based in the other two voices. It´s also synced to channel A tempo... so its way beyond a S/H.

Also, I have some ideas on how to improve the module. I should be releasing an update soon.

Do you know how to load an .hex file, guys?

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by Noodle Twister » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:04 pm

Glad it's working rytamura

This document is about shift registers

https://www.hobbyelectronics.net/upload ... sters2.pdf



SphericalSound wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:35 pm
rytamura wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:21 am
SphericalSound wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:55 pm

You have to bridge the pin3 of the header with R16 right leg as shown in the photo. I totally forgot to document it. Sorry!. In any case, it seems it´s all your module need for the clock gate to work!!
Yes, FINALLY my unit is working as is supposed! I've found that the 4th clock gate can bring some "regularity" when the loops exhibits complex patterns, which I found is useful.

Still I am learning what the SHIFT REG out is; it just seems a S&H'ed sequence to me. Maybe I need more exploration.

Anyway, thank you so much for your support :tu:
So happy for your build to be working 100% :party:

Yep indeed a shift register/rungler is apparently similar to an S/H sequence, but its not aleatoric, but math based in the other two voices. It´s also synced to channel A tempo... so its way beyond a S/H.

Also, I have some ideas on how to improve the module. I should be releasing an update soon.

Do you know how to load an .hex file, guys?
I think with xloader and a usb data cable is probably the easiest ? Haven't used it before though :mrgreen:

https://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/arduino-xloader

Also yes thanks very much for your support SphericalSound :goo:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by rytamura » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:58 pm

Noodle Twister wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:04 pm
Glad it's working rytamura

This document is about shift registers

https://www.hobbyelectronics.net/upload ... sters2.pdf
Thank you very much for the information. Now it is becoming clear to me.
Also, thanks for uploading your pics, which I used for the final check!

Regarding the upload process, it would be great if the procedure is similar to the one in the teensy-based O&C (transferring .hex file via USB cable with a simple loader). I'm looking forward to trying the new firmware :hyper:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by Noodle Twister » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:04 am

rytamura wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:58 pm
Noodle Twister wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:04 pm
Glad it's working rytamura

This document is about shift registers

https://www.hobbyelectronics.net/upload ... sters2.pdf
Thank you very much for the information. Now it is becoming clear to me.
Also, thanks for uploading your pics, which I used for the final check!

Regarding the upload process, it would be great if the procedure is similar to the one in the teensy-based O&C (transferring .hex file via USB cable with a simple loader). I'm looking forward to trying the new firmware :hyper:
Glad the pics were useful :) . Tried the shift register out into pulse width modulation and also into FM input on the VCO. This while Pinging the Aperture LPG with Out A. I was very impressed with the new palette of sounds this module delivers. :tu:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:17 pm

Noodle Twister wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:04 am
shift register out into pulse width modulation and also into FM input on the VCO. This while Pinging the Aperture LPG with Out A. I was very impressed with the new palette of sounds this module delivers. :tu:
shift register out into pulse width modulation> cool idea!! Trying :D

Also, uploading the firmaware is exactly as you say: conect to to USB and upload a file with a freeware called xloader. As easy as it can get.

Right now Im ultra busy with the next project... but I will find time soon(™) to write the new firmware. :miley:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by Noodle Twister » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:54 pm

SphericalSound wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:17 pm
Noodle Twister wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:04 am
shift register out into pulse width modulation and also into FM input on the VCO. This while Pinging the Aperture LPG with Out A. I was very impressed with the new palette of sounds this module delivers. :tu:
shift register out into pulse width modulation> cool idea!! Trying :D

Also, uploading the firmaware is exactly as you say: conect to to USB and upload a file with a freeware called xloader. As easy as it can get.

Right now Im ultra busy with the next project... but I will find time soon(™) to write the new firmware. :miley:
Good to know the firmware update process is straight forward. Does this approach work with all projects that mention Arduino IDE as an alternative then ?

Got any hints about your new project 8-) ?

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:39 am

Noodle Twister wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:54 pm

Does this approach work with all projects that mention Arduino IDE as an alternative then ?

Got any hints about your new project 8-) ?
Not all projects will. It needs to have some port to upload it, In the vortex it is just an mini usb, but other atmega328 based could not be updatable... So it depends on the project!

Regarding the new project I can´t say too much for not jinx it, only that is a hell of addiction... and that you will the first to know as I have an alpha prototype :cloud:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by Noodle Twister » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:43 pm

:cat2: Alpha prototype ? 8-) look forward to it

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by tele_player » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:10 pm

Im ready to order boards+panel on eBay, BOM is ready to order on Tayda, now I’m wondering -
Where is the Arduino code? Is source code available, or only a hex file?

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:38 pm

tele_player wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:10 pm
Im ready to order boards+panel on eBay, BOM is ready to order on Tayda, now I’m wondering -
Where is the Arduino code? Is source code available, or only a hex file?
I send you the .hex file. Currently is closed source, but I will open it one day. In the meanwhile, I can send you the source in petit comitè as long as you dont share it until it goes open :cloud:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by tele_player » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:51 pm

Excellent. I will not share it.

Are the boards on eBay the newest revision?

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:26 pm

tele_player wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:51 pm
Excellent. I will not share it.

Are the boards on eBay the newest revision?
Yepp :tu:

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by tele_player » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:55 pm

OK, I ordered the partial kit (boards + panel) on eBay.

Parts from Tayda are on the way...
Arduino nano (clones) ordered.
Arduino code compiles here.

Now I wait.

Which is OK, since I don’t even have a EuroRack... (I do have an Anushri and a Behringer Model D)...and four Serge panels waiting to be assembled.

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by tele_player » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:23 am

Almost two weeks, and I am still waiting for boards!

Ok, maybe I should be patient :)

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by SphericalSound » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:03 pm

Pretty sure the boards will be there before the lockdown.

Happy euro quarantine :D

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by tele_player » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:20 pm

Yes, the boards arrived today. Beautiful.

What is the meaning of the small numbers on the panel?

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by bawbag » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:52 am

That's from the fab house. They annoyingly stick them on the front if you don't specify a place for them to be.

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Re: Vortex Generator Build Thread

Post by tele_player » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:38 pm

Completed assembly.

From what I can see, everything is working. Lights flash, rise and fall knobs work as expected.

Now I need to learn how to use it.

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