HSBNE god-synth

I am starting a new thread for Sven’s synth idea as it has moved from expressions of interest to actual project.

I have spoken with @Svenska about the project, he originally intended it as a community project and I agree whole heatedly, I think this is a project that could really showcase what HSBNE can do, incorporating areas such as electronics, digital fabrication, metal working, woodworking, chem lab, and even the Creatatorium.

After @riumplus mentioned we were #2 Hackerspace in Australia after Perth’s Artifactory I thought I’d check out what sort of stuff they do, and it turns out they’re big into modular synthesizers. This is a good chance to beat them at their own game.

What are we building? Well, to start we are going old skool and replicating a 70’s synth, the Elektor Formant(Link to .pdf), after that though, if someone wants to build more modules, great!

So, I am looking for people to help make this happen. I have a 3 octave keyboard gutted at the space, and am in the process of converting it to a 1v/octave CV/Gate keyboard. I need help with an enclosure for it, if you look at the PDF there are some instructions you can draw inspiration from. It is sitting in my tub if you need to measure it.

We also need a rack for the modules, pcb’s created (however you want, I am going down the etching path because there are mask images in the PDF, but if you want to mill it, go ahead), front panels cut and silkscreened/engraved, components sourced (some of them are hard to come by).

I’d also like to integrate the module rack and the keyboard interface in the one unit, perhaps as a floor standing tower, complete with built in amp and subs, woofers and tweeters from the donated audio kit, so it can be plugged in, and anyone can just flick the on switch and crank out the noize.

So, anyone who wants to be a part, just let me know who you are, what you can do, and what you want to do, so I can help co-ordinate efforts and make sure two people aren’t working on the same thing, and also replace any licked cookies to make sure it keeps ticking along. Any ideas and suggestions/improvements etc. are always welcome, this is a group project after all, all I want is to see it succeed.

Here is a photo of my attempts so far at etching one of the PCB’s, the first one sucked, the second is usable though.

And here is the keyboard I salvaged from the boneyard.

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Mr Addict, I can assist in making PCBs for you if needed.

I can reliably do smaller than 8/8 (0.2mm features), though looking at your first PCB there you aren’t looking to make anything in need of that (DIP8 op-amps by the look of it)

That would be wonderful, I’m pretty happy making the PCB’s for the keyboard interface (It’s a good learning experience for me), but if you were up to handling the actual modules that would be great.

Is probably along the lines of what we’d aim to start with, and grow it from there, so…

5 x VCO
5 x ADSR
2 x Dual VCA
2 x VCF
2 x VCF 24dB
1 x LFO
1 x COM
1 x RFM

To begin with though, we need at the very least 1 VCO, 1 ADSR, 1 VCF, 1 VCA, 1 NOISE and 1 COM.

The .pdf contains schematics and PCB designs of all the modules, but the images need to be extracted from it and touched up before they’re suited for etching, or if you want to go the engraving route, vectorized.

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I make my PCBs photographically - so just the images from the PDF should do.

OK - they is some pretty awful images in the PDF.

Has anyone on the interwebs already redrawn them? Did the hackerspace in Perth already do this?

I haven’t found any images on the interwebs, not to say they’re not their, but I haven’t found them. Not sure if Perth got into the Elektor tbh, might be worth asking though.

OK. I have plenty spare time I am now unemployed. I’ll draw them up if you don’t get a positive response from Perth.

Only other thing I am doing is working on that Uzebox DTV I brought in to show people last teusday night.

Awesome, but please make sure to clean up any toner transfer paper/magazine. I found a bunch of scrumped up gloss paper with this etching mask in the digifab room.

Oh, I’m sorry Jace, that was me, I was sure I cleaned up everything, I’ll try pay better attention next time.

I’ve contacted Perth about the Formant, will let you know if I hear anything, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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@andrew1973 I got a workflow that should digitize then real fast. Hit me up if you need info.

I think I will redraw the schematics and PCB in gEDA using a bitmap of the original as an overlay in PCB.

If it’s worth doing - it’s worth doing right.

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Here we go, the Keyboard Interface and Power Supply PCB’s all etched. They still need to be drilled, and some of the traces touched up, but, progress!


Nearly finished mine… :stuck_out_tongue: