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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Making the Cascade
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Making the Cascade
raccoonboy
Hi all

Going to attempt to make my first module.

Cascade by Thonk/Fonitronik

I've only soldered once. I made a little arpeggiator called the Arpie, a few years ago. I suspected this will be a little harder for me as the Arpie had step by step instructions, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I have two questions.

1. Is there a quick guide anywhere for installing different components? As far as I remember for example, with resistors it doesn't matter which they go in, but diodes or something it does. I'd like a quick reference guide if there is one with this kinda stuff, a brief explanation of common parts and how to install them, roughly what they do.

Maybe a list of common pitfalls to avoid when making stuff to make sure everything is grounded etc. Which things are fragile, yada yada.

In the past when I've asked for help for basic electronics I've been directed (kindly) to the utter basics of electronics. While granted, I really should know this stuff and I don't, there is only so long I can look at diagrams of electrons flowing through wires, I kinda just wanna make stuff and I'll get to that perhaps a little later.

I know I'll probably get slated for this, but sometimes I learn more from a practical perspective and I can embellish it with theory later on, if I just get bogged down in theory I just get bored and never progress.

2. I'm wanting to change one of the 3 knobs to Unity gain. Does anybody know how I'd do this? Which one would be most useful to change, given the cascading thing. I can't figure it out very frustrating
I'm thinking for some reason changing output 3 to unity would be most useful, but maybe 1. haha.

thanks in advance
batchas
raccoonboy wrote:
I suspected this will be a little harder for me as the Arpie had step by step instructions, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I read your question and I googled "Cascade Fonitronik" and found this which seems very well documented. Might help you:
https://www.thonk.co.uk/documents/fonitronik/cascade/MA_CASCADE_Build_ Doc_v1.0.pdf
And this:
https://www.thonk.co.uk/documents/fonitronik/cascade/Fonitronik%20Casc ade%20Manual.pdf
Both on Muffwiggler forum.
raccoonboy
batchas wrote:
raccoonboy wrote:
I suspected this will be a little harder for me as the Arpie had step by step instructions, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I read your question and I googled "Cascade Fonitronik" and found this which seems very well documented. Might help you:
https://www.thonk.co.uk/documents/fonitronik/cascade/MA_CASCADE_Build_ Doc_v1.0.pdf
And this:
https://www.thonk.co.uk/documents/fonitronik/cascade/Fonitronik%20Casc ade%20Manual.pdf
Both on Muffwiggler forum.


Nice one.. Thanks for that.. I only found the manual which wasn't much detail for me.. Glad to see there is a build instruction too. cool

grin

Still would like to get some general build info if anyone has any.

thanks again
joem
raccoonboy wrote:
Is there a quick guide anywhere for installing different components? As far as I remember for example, with resistors it doesn't matter which they go in, but diodes or something it does. I'd like a quick reference guide if there is one with this kinda stuff, a brief explanation of common parts and how to install them, roughly what they do.


This is a little hard to answer since a lot of it can depend on the specific circuit and the specific PCB in question. The markings on a PCB for a simple component like a resistor can look different depending on what software the PCB designer used, what footprint library they used, and whether or not they decided to put anything on the silkscreen layer at all. The Cascade seems to have a decent silkscreen layer (at least on the boards I've seen), so that's good, but there is no universal guide since the designer can literally put anything they want (or leave off anything they want) at their whims. I think the best thing to do is seek out more thorough illustrated guides like the one batchas linked to, and just look at them and see what different things look like. Try to get ones from different designers too so you can see the variety of symbols. I think 4ms has decent guides (if I'm remembering correctly), and Music Think Modular does too, AI Synthesis also.... and more I'm forgetting right now.

A really really quick answer would be: pretty much everything that has an asymmetric symbol on the PCB has a specific orientation. But even that's not always true, though, since it depends on the PCB designer. (Some people indicate polarity just with the pad shapes, while others do so with a dot or a line, while some don't indicate polarity at all and just tell you which way to put something in the build guide.)

As to what the components do, I could tell you something like "a resistor limits the electric current that flows through a circuit" or "a capacitor stores electric energy" but I don't know if that means anything significant to you if you don't know the basics of electronics. (Both of those were the first sentences of those components entries in the Simple English Wikipedia, in case you want to look up more.) But more importantly, while those definitions are a very basic description of what the components themselves do, it does not necessarily explain what the component does in terms of a specific circuit. Take for instance the resistor... yes, it limits the current flowing through a circuit, but you can arrange two of them to act as a voltage divider (a fairly a common use) which does as the name says: divides the voltage. Or you can use one resistor as pulldown resistor which means when there's no other voltage/current going to the same junction, it'll pull down the floating pin to ground so it's in a known default state. There's loads of other things that resistors can do, but they all stem from the basics of how it works and how it interacts with everything else. The same goes for every other component.

In a way, electronics is kind of like programming, but not in Javascript or even C, but in Assembler. You have all these really basic parts that do really basic (and boring!) things, but the interesting stuff only happens when you combine them in more complex ways. In Assembler, you don't have functions like "console.log()" that you would in Javascript... Instead, you have to put certain bytes in certain memory locations and tell the processor to do very basic actions with those bytes. Not sure if this analogy helps at all, but I'm kind of proud of thinking of it. smile
raccoonboy
joem wrote:
raccoonboy wrote:
Is there a quick guide anywhere for installing different components? As far as I remember for example, with resistors it doesn't matter which they go in, but diodes or something it does. I'd like a quick reference guide if there is one with this kinda stuff, a brief explanation of common parts and how to install them, roughly what they do.


This is a little hard to answer since a lot of it can depend on the specific circuit and the specific PCB in question. The markings on a PCB for a simple component like a resistor can look different depending on what software the PCB designer used, what footprint library they used, and whether or not they decided to put anything on the silkscreen layer at all. The Cascade seems to have a decent silkscreen layer (at least on the boards I've seen), so that's good, but there is no universal guide since the designer can literally put anything they want (or leave off anything they want) at their whims. I think the best thing to do is seek out more thorough illustrated guides like the one batchas linked to, and just look at them and see what different things look like. Try to get ones from different designers too so you can see the variety of symbols. I think 4ms has decent guides (if I'm remembering correctly), and Music Think Modular does too, AI Synthesis also.... and more I'm forgetting right now.

A really really quick answer would be: pretty much everything that has an asymmetric symbol on the PCB has a specific orientation. But even that's not always true, though, since it depends on the PCB designer. (Some people indicate polarity just with the pad shapes, while others do so with a dot or a line, while some don't indicate polarity at all and just tell you which way to put something in the build guide.)

As to what the components do, I could tell you something like "a resistor limits the electric current that flows through a circuit" or "a capacitor stores electric energy" but I don't know if that means anything significant to you if you don't know the basics of electronics. (Both of those were the first sentences of those components entries in the Simple English Wikipedia, in case you want to look up more.) But more importantly, while those definitions are a very basic description of what the components themselves do, it does not necessarily explain what the component does in terms of a specific circuit. Take for instance the resistor... yes, it limits the current flowing through a circuit, but you can arrange two of them to act as a voltage divider (a fairly a common use) which does as the name says: divides the voltage. Or you can use one resistor as pulldown resistor which means when there's no other voltage/current going to the same junction, it'll pull down the floating pin to ground so it's in a known default state. There's loads of other things that resistors can do, but they all stem from the basics of how it works and how it interacts with everything else. The same goes for every other component.

In a way, electronics is kind of like programming, but not in Javascript or even C, but in Assembler. You have all these really basic parts that do really basic (and boring!) things, but the interesting stuff only happens when you combine them in more complex ways. In Assembler, you don't have functions like "console.log()" that you would in Javascript... Instead, you have to put certain bytes in certain memory locations and tell the processor to do very basic actions with those bytes. Not sure if this analogy helps at all, but I'm kind of proud of thinking of it. smile


Thanks for the post. In terms of things that can only be installed one way, I was more thinking what components they are rather than what it will say on the board, so I'll always know to be aware of which direction they go in.

I guess I understand the basics of resistor and capacitor, but that's about it. hahha, and as you said they can be used for different functions.. hmmm. :\

All I really want to be able to do is make a module based on a diagram, so if it doesn't have a good guide and I really want to add a couple of mods to my MS20m.

The mods on the MS20m look easy, but I'm not going to risk it until I have a better understanding. For example years ago I contacted Doepfer about modding something and he suggested that if I output a wire to a new socket I should add a resistor to the wire to stop any potential problems. But other people said this is completely unnecessary and grounding shouldn't be an issue.

Stuff like this annoys me, there cannot be two answers. Surely one way is better or maybe folk see it as 'overkill' but overkill is fine by me if it protects my gear.

Anyway thanks for the ideas/links etc, I'll have a look through.

thanks
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