Sunday 31 December 2017

King Of The Beets

Still 'ere...

...I've run out of panel blanks though

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Lowe Rider

I took a punt on a Lowe SRX-30 short wave receiver that was listed as not working. Well it needs a little clean, but it does work. With four levels of tuning control it certainly drives a little slower...

Thursday 9 November 2017

This Could Be The Start Of A Beautiful Relationship

I found this Variera cutlery box in Ikea and realised it was damn close to fitting 5U panels, so I bought one. It has a sloping profile so you can recess the panels to get an exact fit. The width is just over 7U so it should make a little satellite case with the minimum of fuss. If it works this will be case number 23 - watch this space...

Saturday 4 November 2017

Chua Chups

Buoyed by the success of the Accutronics reverb I decided to revisit one of my earliest DIY experiments.  This is a Chua oscillator that I started playing with back in April 1999. I rebuilt the original circuit substituting a TL072 for the two LM741s, then added some voltage control elements from a second version I started in 2000/2001. I'm quite happy with this version, so it's finally going to get a panel...

Saturday 28 October 2017

Acc Your Ankle (Part Two)

It lives !
There seems to be a minor phase issue at some settings, and I need to decide whether to add the filters and mono switch.

And I'm tempted to see if I can get any more reverb time...

At the moment it's on soak test

Friday 27 October 2017

It's Black Cat Day...

...doesn't time fly..?

Sunday 22 October 2017

Acc Your Ankle (Part One)

I set myself the task of building a stereo reverb from the Accutronics BTDR-3H. There are a lot of mods out there to play with the stereoness and add things like EQ. The base circuit is pretty simple and I'm just waiting on some proto board...

Wednesday 20 September 2017

It Lives...

...The Powertran is back. It needs a bit of a clean, but I also finally tracked down the documentation for the mysterious trigger mod which at the time claimed to turn the Powertran into a £10 Emulator

Saturday 16 September 2017

1803 Overture

As I've been playing around with electro-acoustics a little more recently, I decided to upgrade my Velleman K1803 amplifiers into a pair of triple amplifier modules. This gives me more opportunity to set up multiple gain stages or wire up stereo devices. The K1803 kits are really simple and work well with piezo elements. Plus you can get them for around a fiver each, which is nice. Here's one wired up to the Potatoverb...

Thursday 7 September 2017

Tin Man

I've been building this on and off for a couple weeks, but was held up by the fact that the one ideal compression spring was being used in the Tudor3 experiments. Let's call it a Potatoverb owing to the fact that the case is an empty tin of potatoes...

Tuesday 29 August 2017


Hundreds of them
Cleaned and sorted

Sunday 27 August 2017


I just finished my expanded MFOS Stereo Mixer last night. Over the last month that was a lot of drilling and soldering. I'm happy to say that it pretty much worked first time. Now I need to sort out the case...

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Sunday 20 August 2017

The Smallest 5U Cabinet Ever ?

Well on the basis that you can't get any smaller than 1U in a 5U system, then here it is...

I find it's really handy to have a set of mults in a portable format like this

Wednesday 16 August 2017

A Hoarder Vindicated (Part Two)

I collect springs. It's what I do. When my gel pen runs out I remove the spring before chucking the barrel into the recycling basket (oh yes we have baskets for recycling don't you know). Sooner or later I'm going to need a spring, for say a little spring reverb...

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Of Mixers & Men

I finally plucked up the courage to make the panel for the expanded MFOS Stereo Mixer. Now All I need to do is wire it up and figure out the modifications I started. This is a 6U (x5U) beast, it's going to take forever...

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that in terms of modules I've ever owned, this is module 200

Sunday 9 July 2017

Saturday 8 July 2017

It Begins...

I finished setting up my second PG52B. Well it's actually my third, but that's a long story. The PG52 system is pretty close in many respects to a traditional modular synthesiser. I bought my first one years before I started building my 5U modular. You could say that the PG52B kicked all that off...

Thursday 6 July 2017


The Patch Buddy
(also available in 5U Black)

Coming Soon: 1/8" Euro version in a dizzying array of colours

Sunday 2 July 2017

Them's Yer Onions

Now my Senshyu Onions are pretty much dry I was trying to plait them. Help arrived in the shape of Eccles. I finished the plait later...

Saturday 24 June 2017

Fnords Of A Thousand Men

I've recently been experimenting with the fairly obscure Tudor 3 phase shifter. It works. Time to put it into a proper module.

In the meantime here's some further information about the wonderful David Tudor

Friday 26 May 2017

Vactrol Folks (Part Two)

The vactrol project mutated into a triple passive VCA/Low Pass Gate with selectable filters on each LPG. On top of that I seem to have developed a taste for point to point wiring...

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Hello Friend

I built this module back in (I think) 2003, it's the CatGirlSynth CGS30 Band Pass Filter. Based on the Roland SH5 it's a simple little circuit so I built two. Unfortunately it fell victim to a ruthless pruning of the modular when I moved house so I sold it via VEMIA in 2008. It's one of those modules I kind of regret selling, so I was on the verge of buying a couple of boards and building another one when it popped up again at VEMIA more recently. I missed buying it back that time, but it has popped up again on eBay here

I love these sightings of my modules in the wild

Fly little one, fly !

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Vactrol Folks..!

I'd been making vactrols, but it turns out managed to kill most of the LEDs with my heat gun. After hours of messing around with heatshrink, LEDs, LDRs, superglue and plastic foam wadding I gave up and just ordered some Xvive vactrols from Thonk...

Monday 8 May 2017

Dalek Table II

I decided to rebuild the passive ring modulator properly with matched transistors and the correct kind of transformer. Not surprisingly these changes made all the difference with a more defined 'ring mod' sound and much much better carrier suppression. In this version I used Triad TY141P transformers (10K:10K) and BAT48 diodes

Thursday 13 April 2017

VC Oh..!

I was just waiting on my Half Wave Rectifier panel drying and thought I'd try out a CD40106 VCO design using (since it's simple enough) the old croc clips and gravity prototyping method. I'm going to have to build yet another case now.

And so it begins again...

Monday 10 April 2017


Here's another thing I've had hanging around unfinished for far too many years, the Highly Liquid MD24 - a MIDI to gate converter. I finally wired this up last week and used a 3mm plywood offcut for the panel. The case has also been hanging around for a while, it's an ex BBC desktop case probably used to house a reverb remote - more recently it housed my Bat Detector...

Saturday 8 April 2017

Want Some Candy ?

I checked my trailcam for the first time in ages and found the cat had managed to trigger it just as the light was fading enough for infra-red mode

Monday 27 March 2017

Cabinet Fever

Got another one on the way. It's going to be another slim 11U case powered from one of the main supplies. As always this is built around ISEP rails that take M3.5 machine screws to mount the modules. The extrusion takes Plastite screws to attach the end plates. I think this cabinet is Number 17

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Testing Testing

Not that I had run out of things to solder, but I picked up a couple of cheap Velleman amplifier kits recently. The K1803 has around 40dB of gain and is quite handy for those quick and dirty jobs that are beneath the Calrecs

Tuesday 28 February 2017

Scheme Antics

I've been trying to get my head around Kicad this week which has also involved building a custom library of components (and deleting everything else). Who knows where this will lead...

Saturday 25 February 2017


My wild garlic has started to pop up and might be ready to start picking in a couple of weeks

Thursday 16 February 2017

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Super Warp Generator (Part Two)

When all the parts arrived not only did I build a quad Super Warp Generator, I added centre off switches to select fast or slow LEDs (or nothing) for each stage. The inputs are normalled to the first input and the LEDs ended up being mounted in nice little chrome bezels.

Saturday 11 February 2017


Still here...

Tuesday 7 February 2017

A Hoarder Vindicated

I was looking for some japanned woodscrews for the rear panel on my latest cabinet...   ...and I found these, unopened, that must have been squirrelled away over thirty years ago. Perfect.

Sunday 22 January 2017

Sir Dibalot

I was having a major clear out of the garage and found this dibber. It looks like it's made from some kind of phenolic and judging by the font it's probably sixty or so years old, maybe more. Anyway I prefer individual pots for my seedlings, so I never use it. Off to the charity shop then...

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Monday 16 January 2017

Dalek Table

I found some old transformers that have been floating around in my parts drawer for over twenty years, so I decided to whip up a passive ring modulator. The diodes are 1N60P

Friday 13 January 2017

Super Warp Generator

This is the most fun I've ever had with a resistor, a capacitor and an LED (didn't I say something similar last year ?) so I built a battery of four of them. The Razmasynth Super Warp Generator, a completely passive device that utilises a two pin RGB LED to generator sound (and light). More information on the circuit can be found here

Saturday 7 January 2017


Still got a few tomatoes left...