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diy on the low..eurorack format??
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author diy on the low..eurorack format??


So I'm new to diy. Trying to build my first modular. Wanted to know where I could get cheap components and boards..Also is it a better idea to start with bread boards or pre made pcb boards. Also is their a site for how to read schematics? Haha I'm really new to this, I understand how eurorack works but not too much about circuitry. Help! I wanna wiggle my own muffs!


You should really read something like electronics for dummies, no kidding. Read it front to back and then get at it.
Breadboard is nice if you want to build something quick but you don't build modules from it. Veroboard or stripboard is cool stuff to build something with today but I really can't do big projects on it myself. Ordering PCBs takes more time but it is hardly more expensive than veroboard. Chances you get a working module with a tested and tried PCB are much better than with veroboard.


Sounds like you should start with some PCB plus parts type kits. This eliminates the need to source parts which can be kind of expensive starting from scratch. Due to mandatory minimums and price breaks, people just don't order just the individual parts for a single kit. They order dozens of resistors, capacitors, beads etc at a time. So a PCB may only be $12, but the order for parts at Tayda and Digikey can run to $70 no problem.
No biggie if you plan on building up a stockpile of parts for future builds though!
As far as breadboarding/veroboarding. I gave that a shot when I got into SDIY and quickly figured out that reading one Forest Mims book did not make me an EE. PCB's are really the way to go for anything more complicated than a discrete op amp. There are plenty of other difficult tasks in DIY land that will require your finesse and elbow grease. Best to pick your battles, point to point wiring should be reserved for pots and switches.


Be warned that building your own modules is not necessarily cheaper than buying them. You save the labour cost if you don't put a price on your time, but that's not such a large fraction of the price of a module, and commercial manufacturers have opportunities to save money in ways you can't as a home builder.


I applaud you for wanting to learn this. I wish I knew more. But if building kits and/or PCB/Panel sets is your goal you don't necessarily need to wait until you can read a schematic, but it can be helpful and will come naturally after a while I think.

One thing about diy is that things don't really get cheap and easy until you have a stockpile of parts. Since I have been doing this for a while I can now buy a pcb/panel from someone and only need a few parts if anything. So instead of buying a ton of resistors, pots, knobs op amps, and caps, for one project I can just buy the not so common parts for a lot of projects.

So if this is going to be a serious hobby for you buy your resistors in the hundreds learn about the different capacitor types commonly used in euro. You will waste a lot of time and money if you try and buy the exact part number a designer specified because chances are one supply won't carry everything. So learn when the exact part is necessary and when it is not.


For learning the basics of electronics, I would highly recommend books by Forrest Mims. He is very good at explaining things in very understandable terms. He has many books out. These two are a good start: 053282/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426624993&sr=8-1&keywords=forrest+mims f=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1426624993&sr=8-3&keywords=forrest+mims


it's going to be really easy to get flustered, nervous etc- but after your first project it's no deal at all... i got started with MFOS stuff because the documentation is phenomenal and ray wilson is really approachable with questions. i moved on to CGS and then got carried away like crazy...

tayda electronics/ebay is good for bulk cheap parts (packs of every resistor values, etc), erthenvar is good for jacks/nice pots - i made the mistake of using bargain bin jacks on my first euro stuff and every time a cable gets stuck i kick myself


Started in Euro DIY earlier this year and have done it about as budget as it comes - doing my own veroboard layouts for freely available schematics, Tayda for parts, pot mounting the boards to Lexan panels, DIY case out of Pine from Lowe's and powered with a MFOS Wall Wart PSU on perfboard.

Doing EVERYTHING yourself can be rewarding, but holy shit, does it take time. A LOT of time. I recently decided that doing the veroboard layouts, drilling,and having to place components by referencing a picture was just not worth it. The chance of making a mistake are much higher than when simply populating a PCB with a silkscreen of the components.

Anyways, I dont regret a second though, and as for how to read schematics, this article is GREAT:


Be warned that building your own modules is not necessarily cheaper than buying them.
I don't think DIY makes sense if it's only done as a way to save money. It's kind of a hobby in itself. Buying a small kit with parts is a good way to get a taste of synth DIY. Figuring out how to buy parts is pretty annoying and there is a steep initial learning curve. Postage adds up pretty quickly if you need to buy parts from multiple vendors as well.

To offset any discouragement, playing music on stuff you've designed is really rewarding. I've made a few bits of home brew music software and it's a completely different experience using it. I'm not at that level with hardware but I imagine it's the same.


Raytracer wrote:
To offset any discouragement, playing music on stuff you've designed is really rewarding. I've made a few bits of home brew music software and it's a completely different experience using it. I'm not at that level with hardware but I imagine it's the same.

Yes - that's why I do it. It's worth the money to me. I just don't want anyone to go into this activity with unrealistic expectations and be disappointed.


My take in starting SDIY is to go for the kits- those that come with all components, PCB, panels etc. this way, you can just "dive in" and start making and "figure" things out as you go along.

Isn't this the way most of us learn in the Internet age? YouTube has been such a great resource for me to watch something until I think I'm almost ready to do it myself, and I just go right ahead and do it. If it fails, there are places like here that you could ask for help where the good people of MW do actually offer their experience and assistance, suggestions.

So just ask away (but in the right forums!!) and you should get someone answering you! thumbs up

Enjoy your journey here!!


Another vote for buying full kits for the first kit or two.

Since I had not done any electronics before, I actually started with a "Elenco Practical Soldering Project Kit" to work on my soldering skills before building my first module.

Turns out that it is more about the fun of building something rather than the money saved... at least for me...


The internet has sparked a renaissance in electronic DIY smile

After doing a full kit or so, you should start to get a 'feel' for how deep down the rabbithole you want to go, and whether you should start stocking up on common parts values (as opposed to ordering only exactly what you need for the current project.)

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