this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

x0xb0x Etudes - pt 1

Howdy everyone
Do you know the 303?
It's a bassline synth made in the early 80s, vaulted to cult status via acid house, and now firmly seated in the uber-expensive realm of high profile gear lust.

Well if you can't afford one, why not build one from scratch?

Having finally exhausted my excuses to procrastinate (no oscilloscope, no iron, no sockets), I have recently begun doing just this using a kit I bought years ago from Ladyada's site above.

Tonight I did the power supply.
The fabrication guide was immensely helpful, if you are going to do this yourself, READ THE MANUAL AS YOU GO!!! It provides all sorts of insight into which resistor is what, what color codes you are looking for, and common mistakes.

So these posts pertaining to my progress will be more about my personal mistakes.

First, I think sockets are a must. You don't want to fry the ICs with your shitty soldering hand, so just spend the 50cents and get sockets (you need 1 6pin, 3 8pin, 2 14pin, and 9 16pin).
Second, test as often as the manual suggests; no fun flipping the switch and no boomboom.
Third, the only mistake I made on the power supply, check your connection names! I soldered some jumper wires to the wrong set of three jumper holes (j6 vs j4 I believe) and really had a hell of a time desoldering and removing those hos. In hindsight, I probably should have chilled and just left them because I will probably end up needing to put them back anyway.

I only did one modification to the power supply and that is adding a power switch. It is a real PITA to 'cut the trace' between the bottom most pin on the power jack and where it connects to, but anyway thats where you put the two wires which will eventually go to a spst switch. For now, I just twisted them back together. If you know a good way to 'cut the trace' on a pcb, please comment and let me know. I just used a dull knife tip and scraped the shit out of it repeatedly (not recommended, but doable).

I will return, hopefully sooner rather than later, with pt 2 on building the VCO (I will need to set up my huge scope for this, so that's a reason to procrastinate).


let's hope it goes something like this -

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