Blacet modifications

Blacet, Metalbox, Synthasonic, PAiA and the rest.... a frac frenzy!

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Muff Wiggler
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Blacet modifications

Post by Muff Wiggler » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:33 am

NOTE: I've edited this first post to provide links to the different modifications which 'have their own threads'. Be sure to check the links as more information will get posted in these threads, including photos and more detailed instructions (which I've just put up for a couple of them....more coming soon!).

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I really like doing mods to my modules. Since I don't have time to build most myself, this at least gets me tinkering. All of the mods I've done are pretty easy, definately good for someone pretty new to this stuff, and they all add cool extra functionality to the modules.

I've got the info for a bunch of mods to a bunch of different Blacet modules, however there's a few mods I haven't done, either haven't had the time or decided not to do it

but there's a few that I think are pretty cool, some even essential, for Blacet modules

1 - VCO: FM Coupling switch mod. In the factory configuration of the Blacet VCO, the FM input is AC coupled. However, the circuitry for the DC coupling already exists on the board, and is ready to go! You simply need to wire it up. There's two hookup pads on the pcb, labelled "OPT". Attach a wire to each, connect a SPST switch between the wires, and presto - Selectable AC/DC coupling for your FM input. Big difference when using CV's instead of audio into the FM in. I consider this one absolutely essential, for ease of install vs. utility gained. Check this thread out as I've just added photos and more detailed information.

2 - Mini Wave: As you probably know, the Hylander expander board, which lets you address 10 ROMs in total. Plus the addon board for it that gives it CV control over ROM selection, as well as a standalone inverter unit. Pretty major and costly upgrade, however well well worth it for those addicted to wavetable scanning mayhem or slowly clocked evolving CV or any other magic of the miniwave.... Click here for a dedicated thread about the expander including some photos.

3 - Dark Star Chaos: If you do not have a Rev. 'B' unit, (you'll know because you don't have a 'noise filter - out' jack, you can increase the output from 1v to 5v, add a output for the pure noise right after the noise filter, and add a 3-way gate switch for on/ext/momentary. All three of these upgrades have already been added by Blacet to the Rev. 'B'.

In either case however, there's another mod you can perform, that gives you CV inputs for both the attack and the decay settings. Again (thanks John!) this circuitry is all built up, one only needs to hook up each jack to the PCB using two wires, and of course drill holes in the faceplate to add the jacks.

4 - Improbability Drive - There's a mod for the ID that allows you to input any external signal into the S&H processor, and a switch to select between the external input and the default internal white noise. I believe it is fairly straightforward, the installation of a jack and a switch, and the cutting of a trace, however I don't have the full details and haven't performed it, so I cannot say for sure. I would really like to add this to my ID's. Update: Check out this thread with more detailed info and photos courtesy of BananaPlug.

There's also a DIP package on the PCB of the ID that could possibly be replaced with a panel-mounted switch, however I also haven't looked into this one yet either. I believe the DIP is to select some various quantization modes, and I think you may have to get a little fancy on switches if you wanted to panel mount the options.

5 - LFO - The LFO has a DIP switch on the PCB to select between two different cycle lengths, short mode and long mode. This one is dead simple to replace with a panel mounted SPDT switch. Check out this thread as I've just posted some photos and more detailed information.

6 - EG1 - (Detailed modding threads found here and here) As if the EG1 wasn't crazy powerful enough (seriously can you believe envelope generators are made this flexible??), it is mod central. More mods for this puppy than anything else.

There's pad on the board, again ready-to-go-thanks-john-blacet, for a second, unattenuated output.

You can add an End-Of-Cycle Pulse jack, which keeps a low voltage during the entire ADSR cycle, and then goes high when the cycle ends. This one is a bit tricky, i would say it's the next step up in complexity from the simple 'pre-wired pad' install.

Also, when using the EG1, i usually patch the inv_out jack back into the decay_cv_in jack, this gives an exponential response to the decay phase. the decay phase is the one phase in the ADSR cycle that the ear responds most strongly to, so this causes the entire envelope to 'feel' more exponential and 'snappy'. The decay knob setting itself gives you a lot of control over how much of this effect is balanced with a natural decay. Anyway I like it enough that I wired the inv-out jack directly to the decay-cv-in jack, through a panel mounted switch to turn it on and off. now I can use this without wasting a cable, and i can still use the inv out jack for something else.

There's currently two other dedicated threads with more detailed info on performing these mods, which can be found here and here.

7 - Frequency Divider - All 12 individual divisions of the second-line divider (the big rotary switch) are available on the same time, each on their own dedicated output jack, if you just wire them up. They fit perfectly on a half-panel. I made a FD Expander this way, and it turns this module into a clocking and sequencing powerhouse.

Also, there's another PCB mounted DIP switch, this one controls the state of the built-in LPF, either off, mild slope, or steep slope. This can be replaced with a panel mounted 3-way switch.

There's currently two other dedicated threads with more detailed info on performing these mods, which can be found here and here.

8 - I/O - Again a PCB mounted dip switch, which could be replaced by panel-mounted switches (plural this time). This one controls a few things, the presence of +5v aux power out the 1/4 jack, the module's input impedance, and the behaviour of the automatic AC/DC coupling detection. All these functions are obscure enough to my own uses for this module that I will most likely not ever perform this mod.

9 - Time Machine - You can add a bypass switch to your Time Machine, just drill a hole in the front panel for the switch, and hookup a couple of wires. Check out this thread for more details on this mod.

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I know there's more Blacet modifications, so if you know of any, please post them!

Also, if you want to perform any of these mods you'll want more detailed information than this .... just let me know

have fun & don't burn your fingers
Last edited by Muff Wiggler on Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:26 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Post by zerosum » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:54 pm

KICK ASS!!!!
Right on man! I was hoping you would make a thread like this after hearing you explain some of these over the phone and such..
Good stuff :)

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:55 pm

yeah i can post pics and stuff if people are interested in doing any of these mods. none of them are very hard.

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Post by kryptic » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:27 pm

Wow. :) I just saw this thread and I gotta agree with zerosum. This thread is ace! If you could post pics, diagrams, detailed instructions, it would be awesome and most appreciated. :D

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:30 pm

sure, i won't be able to take pics and write them up all at once, so let me know what modules you have that you want to mod and i'll photograph and describe them for you one at a time whever one of you guys is ready to do one

i won't be able to photography the disassembly of things, as all my mods are already done, but none are hard and I'll provide photos and good enough descriptions you'll have no problems

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:37 am

just a quick reminder about these - i've created threads here in the Blacet forum for each of the mods I know how to do, describing the process in a pretty basic form that probably assumes you know a lot about what you are doing.

If any of you are jumping into performing any of these, and want more detailed instructions, or photographs, please just let me know in the appropriate thread, I'll be happy to take some shots of my work so you'll know exactly where to solder and what to do...

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Post by BananaPlug » Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:42 am

Here's what I do to all my Frac rack and Euro rack gear. Bananafy!
Image

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Post by Kwote » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:20 am

BananaPlug wrote:Here's what I do to all my Frac rack and Euro rack gear. Bananafy!
Image
good choice of colors.
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Hex Zone

Post by nathankirchner » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:54 pm

The Hex Zone can store 32 Sequences and 60 Chains (Patterns of sequences). If this is not enough for you go to

http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSea ... C16LI-G-ND

and buy a hand full of these. ALL of the song/sequence/user data is stored on this chip. So if you have finished a song and want to keep it pull out this chip and put in a replacement. TURN THE POWER OFF FIRST obviously.

When the HZ is booted with a new chip in you will get a message saying that there is "Nothing to Load" and the HZ will format the new chip for you. If you put a chip in that has been used in the past this will not happen, rather, all of your old sequences/settings/etc will return.

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:51 pm

That is awesome Nathan, and very good to know 8) I think I'll have to order up of those once I get my HZ module!

More Blacet Mod news! One of our members, BananaPlug, sent me a PM detailing Improbability Drive modifications that he posted at the Electro-Music forum here.

I knew there were mods out there for the ID - just reading the manual it's apparent that it should be easy to inject an external source into the S&H engine. Anyway BananaPlug has done all the hard work and written up all the info, which I'll copy/paste into the next post.

Thanks very much BananaPlug for giving me the heads-up and the OK to repost his work here! Super cool.

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:52 pm

BananaPlug wrote:Hi Folks,

The Blacet ID2510 (fancy noise source) has a lot of blocks in its block diagram. These simple mods give you a little more access. The usual disclaimers apply: don't get in over your head, forget about your warranty, etc. Also, I made mine with banana plugs so where I've added a jack and a switch you would probably use a switching mini-jack. I used very stubby switches so they don't crowd the knobs.

#1 There's a multi-mode filter with a switch that lets you select band pass or low passed noise as an input to a sample and hold. The output of the S&H feeds a quantizer and both outputs are available at the panel. Mod #1 lets you feed the S&H / quantizer with an external signal.

Add the jack & SPDT switch. Wire the jack to one side of the new switch. Take the wire off the center lug of the existing switch (Filter LP/BP) and move it to the center lug of the new switch. Run a new wire between the two remaining switch lugs.

#2 That quantizer is a nice piece of work. Good Mister Blacet even provided a choice of four scales using a little trim pot on the PCB. This mod simply remotes it to the front panel.

Remove RT2. Install a 50K linear pot on the panel. Hook up the three wires. Piece-o-cake.

#3 This one doesn't really count. A choice of internal or external S&H clock is a standard feature accomplished with a switching jack. When I bananafied this module I needed to add a switch.

That's enough for me but if you like drilling holes I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to provide patch points for the in and out of the filter.

Enjoy!
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Post by Kwote » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:21 pm

that was awesome seeing the finished work.

if you can find the time Muff, could you post closeups of your Blacet mods too?

thanks!
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:13 pm

i will do so as soon as i get a chance - there's a bunch though! which ones would you like to see first?

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Post by Kwote » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:25 pm

Muff Wiggler wrote:i will do so as soon as i get a chance - there's a bunch though! which ones would you like to see first?
so far the VCO and the LFO are of most interest.
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:12 am

Kwote wrote:
Muff Wiggler wrote:i will do so as soon as i get a chance - there's a bunch though! which ones would you like to see first?
so far the VCO and the LFO are of most interest.
ok, done! check 'em out 8)

I also updated the first post in this thread with links to the threads detailing the info on each mod. I'll try to keep that updated with the new links as more info and more mods are added.

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Post by J.w.M. » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:12 pm

Wow-- thanks for this wealth of modification info. I haven't modded anything yet, but when I do, this will be the first place I check for pics, etc.

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Post by haricots » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:51 am

how hard would it be to add CV to the Dual Filter?

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Yet another bananafication

Post by BananaPlug » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:16 pm

Binary Zone usually has two normal through jacks. To make up for that I added a switch to select the external clock and a fairly large pullup resistor (220K) on the line from the Gate jack.
Image

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Post by Reese P. Dubin » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:44 pm

OOOoooOO was gonna finish my Binary tonite.

Whats the theory on the added resistor on the gate jack if ya dont mind me asking?

Thanks for all the hints Banana, great help on this evil new path of mine.

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Post by BananaPlug » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:03 pm

Whats the theory on the added resistor on the gate jack if ya dont mind me asking?
The standard BZ has a switching jack that makes a connection when nothing is patched in. I found that a high value pull up resistor worked fine with a banana jack. Any signal I plug into the jack is much lower impedance and effectively takes over.

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Post by Reese P. Dubin » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:27 pm

Brilliant!

Saves me drilling a second hole. Many thanks.

Oops, so wait the extra 200k is in line after the jack on the way back to the PCB? Sorry, just did some reading about pull ups and couldnt exactly make it gel with this situation...plus Im pretty much a dumbass!

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Post by BananaPlug » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:32 pm

You know, I'll have to look at it and get back to you tomorrow. It's similar to something I did on another module and I don't want to get my stories mixed up.

EDIT: Sorry for the delay. Here's a picture of what I did. Very simple.Image

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Post by D/A A/D » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:37 pm

Anyone know how to mod the DSC to hold open?

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Post by Reese P. Dubin » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:22 pm

Oh just upload the schematic for us, we'll figure it out for you!!!!!

I KEED

Yeh, I foolishy did not buy any of the 3 dark stars that popped up on ebay in one week like a fool sucker. Man that was dumb, i love this bacet stuff. I want to build ones that i dont even need cuz it is such a fucking pleasure.

Thanks for updating with the pic BP, thats how i did it and it worked a charm. I really need to get some serious time to spend with my Hex now...

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Post by D/A A/D » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:46 pm

Reese P. Dubin wrote:Oh just upload the schematic for us, we'll figure it out for you!!!!!

I KEED

Yeh, I foolishy did not buy any of the 3 dark stars that popped up on ebay in one week like a fool sucker. Man that was dumb, i love this bacet stuff. I want to build ones that i dont even need cuz it is such a fucking pleasure.

Thanks for updating with the pic BP, thats how i did it and it worked a charm. I really need to get some serious time to spend with my Hex now...
Ta Da:
http://www.hotrodmotm.com/ds_mods.htm

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