Drop-in modules for Serge M-obelisk

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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gddfp
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Drop-in modules for Serge M-obelisk

Post by gddfp » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:17 am

Would there be any interest in simple modules to replace the black middle-section of M-boats ?

The intention is to produce a series of add-ons and utility modules which are currently not available in the STS range. Though I try to avoid duplicating existing functionality, there's bound to be some overlap; small mixers spring to mind here.

The panels are laser-cut, and silk-screened (I will consider a black version, though that depends mostly on demand). PCB's contain both the power bus distribution (with three Molex headers), power LEDs, and the module's components (they will be small), and are manufactured professionally.

All modules confirm to Serge electrical and mechanical standards, with accurate panel graphics.

Right now I'm just gauging possible demand. If there's enough interest, expect the first products in a few months...

Here's a few examples of what I had in mind:
(most of these have been done and tested already, but need to be reworked to fit the physical constraints of the panel)

Image

Future designs may be a Rectifier module, simple LFO, some Gate/Trigger stuff, and possibly even a LPG.


Remarks welcome !

cheers,
_g

harolddonnelly
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Post by harolddonnelly » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:49 am

These look rad! would it be one module to replace one M- obelisk?


I'd be really keen to see a LPG

what about maybe a headphone out or something like http://www.ear-group.net/model_40.html ????

Great ideas!

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Kent
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Post by Kent » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:11 am

Lovely.

I'd really like to see the DC Meter developed for the Eardrill ModuleModule format. Chris Muir (Mr. Eardrill) does have a dev doc for it. Click the picture to go there.


Image

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Post by amnesia » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:18 am

Just bought a Serge Creature/ WAD. What exactly does the black center strip do? I hope to have my Serge Creature/WAD in the mail anyday now.

I like the look of your ideas and would be interested.

Also a great stereo in out would be great, with pan, crossfade and headphone out.

oh and do mention this on Quadslope

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Post by gddfp » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:02 am

harolddonnelly wrote:These look rad! would it be one module to replace one M- obelisk?

I'd be really keen to see a LPG

what about maybe a headphone out or something like http://www.ear-group.net/model_40.html ????

Great ideas!
Yes, one M-ini M-odule per M-boat.

I'd like to see a Serge-style LPG too -- and I'm sure we're not alone here -- but that might be a bit over my head. I'll look into it, and see what's possible.
The headphone m-odule is a great idea. Thanks !
amnesia wrote:Just bought a Serge Creature/ WAD. What exactly does the black center strip do?
The black center strip -- or M-obelisk as I obliquely like to call it -- doesn't do all that much (hence my idea for replacements). It holds the power distribution headers underneath (I'm a bit puzzled why there's 5 headers on the PCB, whilst an M-boat only holds two modules), and also has a tiny sub-PCB to drive the blue LED. Inserting a signal in the black socket under that LED will show you its strength. And that's it. :cry:
amnesia wrote:Also a great stereo in out would be great, with pan, crossfade and headphone out.

oh and do mention this on Quadslope
Panning/X-Fading is not going to happen, I'm afraid. First off, that's clearly STS territory (which I do not want to step into), and secondly that would need to be Equal Power stuff in order to match the expected Serge quality. Waayyyy above my head, that.

The M-ini M-odules (anyone has a better name?) have been mentioned on Quadslope, yes, though I'm not sure it was in the right directory.


-- thanks, all
_g

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Post by bluedonkey » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:26 am

:tu: :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu:

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Post by Ulven » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:36 am

bluedonkey wrote::tu: :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu:

+1

:tu: :tu: :tu:

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Seracs
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Post by Seracs » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:29 am

The black obliesk is a power distributor and voltage guage that also reduces crosstalk and helps things like the VC Timegen Osc function/track properly.

Why anyone would want moderately lower the performance quality of their M-Boats is beyond me.

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Post by dougcl » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:32 am

Seracs wrote:The black obliesk is a power distributor and voltage guage that also reduces crosstalk and helps things like the VC Timegen Osc function/track properly.

Why anyone would want moderately lower the performance quality of their M-Boats is beyond me.
Can this functionality be retained without bringing it to the front panel?

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Post by bwhittington » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:34 am

dougcl wrote:Can this functionality be retained without bringing it to the front panel?
I *think* that physical space between the circuits was much of the math for some of that thinking. Obviously, shop panels don't have that, so I might be wrong. If so, you might be able to preserve that by selecting a passive replacement module if one was made.

The PSD function itself (also obviously) doesn't need to be mounted to the front panel. Some m-cases seem to have a PSD in the empty space as well as behind two "obelisk" strips. That would seem to be lots of power connectors for four modules, unless maybe they are electrically isolating the modules somehow?

Cheers,
Brian
Last edited by bwhittington on Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by zyathus » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:58 am

i might be interested in one as well - but would prefer a black version.
and i really would like clearity about the crosstalk/shielding issue.


i don't get, why one would need a headphone output - the x-fade's output is good enough for my dt990.

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Seracs
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Post by Seracs » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:14 am

I'd really advise consulting Rex before doing any of this.

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Post by mono-poly » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:18 am

Lol nothing special about Serge power distribution.
It's the most primitive in the world imo.
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Post by BananaPlug » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:28 am

Seracs wrote:The black obliesk is a power distributor and voltage guage that also reduces crosstalk and helps things like the VC Timegen Osc function/track properly.

Why anyone would want moderately lower the performance quality of their M-Boats is beyond me.
Try to have an open mind about this.
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Misconstrued comments taken out of context may offend some readers

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gddfp
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Post by gddfp » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:47 am

Seracs wrote:The black obliesk is a power distributor and voltage guage that also reduces crosstalk and helps things like the VC Timegen Osc function/track properly.

Why anyone would want moderately lower the performance quality of their M-Boats is beyond me.
Hi Seracs,

I don't see how the obelisk stuff helps reducing xtalk, let alone help a VC-slew generator "track" properly (not to mention "function properly" : I can make any DSG-derivative run very nicely off anything that feeds it +/-12V and GND, even from a switched supply).

The DSG and all of its derivatives (VCTG etc) are not even supposed to track properly. The DSG's 1V/Oct input tracks more or less over a limited range, yes, but it's the "less" part which keeps it from being a proper oscillator.

Some modules need very clean & stable power rails, indeed. Some need more (VCO's), some couldn't care less.
Most modules are not sources of possible crosstalk (again, with the exception of VCO's and some VCA/Mixer applications). A power distribution bus does NOT prevent crosstalk. All it does is distributing power to modules (duh), whilst trying to keep the power rails as clean as possible. That's what we use caps between the rails for; to smooth out possible (but unlikely with a decent PSU) fluctuations of power, and to keep the current flow as steady as possible (that's what the separate grounds are for).

My power distribution bus for the M-boats is build the same way as the STS one (as are most power busses). Perhaps, dare I say it, I build it a bit more professionaly. Its behaviour will be exactly the same as the original one, and will have no negative effect whatsoever on nearby M-odules.

The Voltage Gauge, as you call it, is nothing more than a very simple <cough>circuit</cough> with 3 resistors, 1 diode, 1 tranny and 1 LED, which has completely and utterly nothing to do with the distribution bus. Nothing.


So, please, clarify why my M-ini M-odules would jeopardize or lower the "performance" of your Serge M-class system ? It's a power bus, FCS, with an additional PCB piggybacked to it.


Furthermore, to throw some more oil on the burner, I have to agree with Mono-poly saying that "the Serge power distro is nothing special"... It really is not. In fact, it is one of the most primitive and crude systems I've ever layed eyes on. As is the whole Serge power system, BTW. It works, and let's leave it at that.


kind regards,
_g

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Post by djs » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:56 am

I'd be interested- depending on the price...

Quick question for those of us who are stupid- what would you use the schmitt trigger module (#4) for?
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Post by gddfp » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:55 am

djs wrote:Quick question for those of us who are stupid- what would you use the schmitt trigger module (#4) for?
Not knowing what a Dual Hysteresis Schmitt Trigger does, doesn't make you stupid. :mrgreen:

It functions somewhat like a Window Comparator.

Simply put, it allows you to convert any signal to a gate train, whereby you can set the "ON" level as well as the "OFF" level. In other words, you can define where the gate will go high, and independently where it will go down (low).

A small diagram will clear some things up:
Image

It can be a bit tricky to use IRL, since both OFF and ON levels can be set independently, this in contrast to single-hysteresis ST's (as in the top section of the m-odule).

I still have to decide whether I will make both OFF and ON bipolar (more flexible, more difficult to set), or keep the ON level in the positive domain only, and the OFF level in the negative domain.

I use a bipolar dual-hysteresis ST in my system, and I have to admit it sometimes can be hard to find the sweet spots, especially with wildly fluctuating voltages. But once you get that going, it can produce some really neat pseudo-random gate trains...

A dual-hysteresis Schmitt Trigger is often used in conjuction with an Envelope Follower, to produce gates or triggers where the envelope goes up or down. For instance, it is entirely possible to have a "noise floor" with the envelope follower (its lowest point sits above 0V, aka DC Offset), so with the DHST you could set the OFF level above 0V, resulting in gates only when the signal exceeds that DC offset.



_g

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Post by FrankV » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:27 am

Have to say these seem like great ideas for modules. My second thought when getting my Creature* was:

"look, a whole column of panel space pretty much wasted. Hmmm." :sadbanana:

I'd agree on the 'nothing at all special' in the power distribution aspect, having taken a quick look at mine when adding a second [DIY] panel to the boat. I was expecting something, but discovered only a bog-standard power distro board and the 'gauge' circuit.

Quick question - so I guess I understand that your modules would have both the module itself and the power distribution together. Would the power distribution board be any further away from the front panel than on a "standard Obelisk" module? I have a 2.5" deep boat, and the power cables with their Molex plugs pretty much just barely fit between the underside of the distribution board and the bottom of the boat.

Just wondering.

F

-- -- --
* my first thought was something like "holy shit, what have I gotten myself into?!?"

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Post by gddfp » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:41 am

FrankV wrote:Have to say these seem like great ideas for modules. My second thought when getting my Creature* was:
"look, a whole column of panel space pretty much wasted. Hmmm."
That was my first thought. :eek:
FrankV wrote:I'd agree on the 'nothing at all special' in the power distribution aspect, having taken a quick look at mine when adding a second [DIY] panel to the boat. I was expecting something, but discovered only a bog-standard power distro board and the 'gauge' circuit.
Indeed.
FrankV wrote:Quick question - so I guess I understand that your modules would have both the module itself and the power distribution together. Would the power distribution board be any further away from the front panel than on a "standard Obelisk" module? I have a 2.5" deep boat, and the power cables with their Molex plugs pretty much just barely fit between the underside of the distribution board and the bottom of the boat.
Hmm, yes, something to consider. I only have a deep boat here (which I don't use), so I forgot about the shallower boats. :doh:

I'm currently designing the basic form factor of the PCB's, and looking at all possible Molex configurations. I'm sure I can come up with something.

Thanks for reminding me !

_g

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Post by Seracs » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:43 am

gddfp wrote:
Seracs wrote: Most modules are not sources of possible crosstalk (again, with the exception of VCO's and some VCA/Mixer applications).

kind regards,
_g
Even a SSG can induce crosstalk on a Creature's X-FAD if you load it up with hot enough cross-modulating signals.

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Post by gddfp » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:05 pm

Seracs wrote:
gddfp wrote:
Seracs wrote: Most modules are not sources of possible crosstalk (again, with the exception of VCO's and some VCA/Mixer applications).
Even a SSG can induce crosstalk on a Creature's X-FAD if you load it up with hot enough cross-modulating signals.
As I said: in some VCA applications as well. The XF has two, and they're not shielded. STS must have been aware of that, because there's two huge 100uF caps kludged onto the VCAs (which don't help much). To shield the XF from crosstalk would require some serious hacking.

That said: this has nothing to do with the power distro board.

Crosstalk is a product from high-frequency radiation. Except for proper shielding, there's not much to do about it. Even HF suppressing beads on the rails of each separate board won't help there.

_g

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Post by Fnord » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:01 pm

I don't own any serge (yet) but these look like fantastic additions. I for one, see third party development of products with features that aren't present in an existing format as a very good thing.
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Post by fluxmonkey » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:38 pm

good stuff, but why limit this to replacements for the center strip? kind of opens the door for a truly modular approach for expanding the serge platform.
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Post by mono-poly » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Yeah a whole m-odule might be a good offer to.
Last edited by mono-poly on Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by MechaSeb » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:57 pm

mono-poly wrote:Yeah a whole m-odule might ben a good offer to.
+ 100 !

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