Deckards Dream General Build Thread

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FrogStar
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Post by FrogStar » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:29 pm

May I ask why you’d want to make this substitution?

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Post by gadgadasvara » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:22 pm

its because of the cost. as3340 is half the price of cem3340.

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Post by LED-man » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:05 am

I left 16 new AS3340 for sale
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TTSH Support Page and other DIY Projects:
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campacasa
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Finished the Expander

Post by campacasa » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:34 pm

Finally back again. With some larger interruption, meanwhile I have finished the Expander. Now continuing with the actual DDRM (today I finished the hardware board; output and PSU boards were done earlier already).

I was able to try out the Expander with my TTSH (also having a MIDI interface), although I'm not sure if I can really test every aspect without DDRM. The reverb really sounds good. The delay, mmmh, I don't know yet. The ring modulator also works nice, but maybe better with the DDRM.

Does anyone know how the sustain slider on the right-hand side is supposed to work? I understand that it only works when playing through MIDI. I hook up my TTSH through the Expander MIDI-wise (and audio, of course, also through the Expander), but can't hear any difference when moving that sustain slider/switch. Does this require the DDRM?

Following a tip from LED-man, I've installed one of the power LEDs behind the front panel. That allows to see that the unit is switched on. Here are two pictures: Thanks and regards,
Peter

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Post by sduck » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:30 pm

The sustain slider affects the sustain of the selected channel of the DDRM - normally you'd have it turned off, down, for normal use, but then you can crank it up if you want some extra sustain for whatever nefarious musical reason you might have. It's kind of a cool effect. And yes, it won't work with the TTSH.
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Post by campacasa » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:59 pm

Thanks, sduck, that explains.
So, the sooner my DDRM is running, the sooner I can try out…

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Post by Pando » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:08 am

The Sustain slider is a CS-80 feature. It increases the *release* tails of each note. This is especially useful when used together with the Sustain-II mode, another CS-80 feature, which allows the lengthened envelope (increased by the Sustain slider) for disconnected notes to "sustain" from note to note without a full EG retrigger.

This video by Vangelis demonstrates this pretty clearly. It's a distinct tone with note transitions that is hard to replicate with any other synth without this feature. Deckard's Dream, Kijimi and Xerxes all have that feature. When used with Midiboard (for poly aftertouch) and with a ribbon controller, the main performance features of CS-80 can be replicated.


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cloudscapes
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Post by cloudscapes » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:20 pm

Hey all,

Just got my PCBs, and the synthcube kit, so pretty stoked to finally do this thing. I've already done most of the passives on the main PCB. I have a couple questions though.

1. This is probably a dumb question. Where is the user manual? Most of the front panel controls seems straightforward enough, but for stuff like the presets and MIDI, I'll have to refer the the manual.

2. Where is the build manual? On the official DD website, the build tab brings me to a kind of wiki:
"For detailed built and firmware flash instructions please visit dsl-man.de."
On there, if I follow the DDRM build doc link, it brings me to this:
https://www.dsl-man.de/display/DDRM/DDRM+rev.2+guide
Then if I follow "official build guide", it just brings me BACK to the official store. I'm not sure I understand where the build guide is. I'm pretty comfortable with DIY (have build and designed many effects, modules and sound generators) but I would be more at ease if I had the guide at hand.

3. On the main board PCB as well as the BOM,, there are footprints for these three diodes. Z1, Z2 and Z3. But in the synthcube kit, there is one bag with 3x 1N5817 labeled "Z1 to Z3", as well as a bag of 5x BAT85 labeled "Z1, Z2, Z3, D1, D2". Both bags are labeled for the main PCB. Is this a mislabeling? Which type of diode do I use?

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Post by captnapalm » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:58 pm

cloudscapes wrote:Hey all,
2. Where is the build manual? On the official DD website, the build tab brings me to a kind of wiki:
"For detailed built and firmware flash instructions please visit dsl-man.de."
On there, if I follow the DDRM build doc link, it brings me to this:
https://www.dsl-man.de/display/DDRM/DDRM+rev.2+guide
Then if I follow "official build guide", it just brings me BACK to the official store. I'm not sure I understand where the build guide is. I'm pretty comfortable with DIY (have build and designed many effects, modules and sound generators) but I would be more at ease if I had the guide at hand.
The build guide is no longer on the DD site for some reason, but one kind user copied the entire thing here. It was always pretty much just photos:

https://ffont.github.io/ddrm-tools/inte ... ild-guide/

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cloudscapes
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Post by cloudscapes » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:24 pm

captnapalm wrote: The build guide is no longer on the DD site for some reason, but one kind user copied the entire thing here. It was always pretty much just photos:

https://ffont.github.io/ddrm-tools/inte ... ild-guide/
It's something, thank you!

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Post by JanneI » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:53 pm

cloudscapes wrote:
captnapalm wrote: The build guide is no longer on the DD site for some reason, but one kind user copied the entire thing here. It was always pretty much just photos:

https://ffont.github.io/ddrm-tools/inte ... ild-guide/
It's something, thank you!
Those pics are from REV1 I think, you have REV2? And please compare every part in Synthcube parts kit to official BOM. There's been some mix up's with the parts kit lately.

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Post by sduck » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:48 pm

It's not unusual for synthcube to make small mistakes with parts, especially with kits of this size. The good thing is that they're great about fixing the problems, just email them.
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Post by campacasa » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:56 am

@Pando - Thanks for the explanation on the Expander sustain and the link to the Vangelis video. I think I had seen and heard it already a while ago, but would not have known about the effects used. Still difficult to recognize what it is exactly.

@cloudscapes - I've read somewhere earlier that an old CS-80 manual might help for the synth part. Indeed you'd be missing docs on the modern digital part. Possibly the Facebook group provides information. (No FB for me, so I don't know.)

Concerning the diodes, indeed no 1N5817 seem to be needed. As with all components you'll find the same labels on the different boards. Just carefully follow the BOM. The BAT85S I find back as:

Hardware board: D1, D2.
Main board: D1, D2 & Z1, Z2, Z3.
Voice board (8x): Z3, Z6, Z9, Z12.

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Post by cloudscapes » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:59 am

campacasa wrote: @cloudscapes - I've read somewhere earlier that an old CS-80 manual might help for the synth part. Indeed you'd be missing docs on the modern digital part. Possibly the Facebook group provides information. (No FB for me, so I don't know.)

Concerning the diodes, indeed no 1N5817 seem to be needed. As with all components you'll find the same labels on the different boards. Just carefully follow the BOM. The BAT85S I find back as:

Hardware board: D1, D2.
Main board: D1, D2 & Z1, Z2, Z3.
Voice board (8x): Z3, Z6, Z9, Z12.
Thanks for the reply!

I'm less worried about a guide for the synth part. I watched a ton of DD videos before ordering the kit and it seems more-or-less straightforward. Also, I've played around a little with the Arturia CS80 VST. But as you said, the original CS80 manual makes a lot of sense. I'll try and find it. Thanks!

For the diodes, last night I went ahead installing the 1N5817. Because I found the rev 2 schematics (at least for the main board) here:
https://www.dsl-man.de/display/DDRM/Schematics+here
And found the Z1, Z2, Z3 diodes referenced on pages 24, 25 and 26. All labeled as 1N5817. After seeing that I felt pretty confident about using those. Especially since they are connected to the same chips. Was I wrong?

I did join the FB group last week but membership hasn't been approved by the mods yet.

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Post by cloudscapes » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:50 pm

I would like some clarification for something else if someone's got info (FB group approval still pending). On the rev 2.1 PSU card, there are footprints for 6 electrolytic caps.

C7, C9, C10, C11, C12 are small footprint
C8 is a large footprint

The caps that are listed in the official BOM (and that came with the synthcube kit) are:

C7, C9, C10, C11, C12 are small (same as above)
C10 is large footprint

I'm assuming that last C10 is a typo in the official BOM?

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Post by cloudscapes » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:47 am

Are the top and bottom edges of the main board meant to be cut off to fit in the case?

If so, this is a seriously poor design choice. I don't think it's for a jig since there are screw holes.

I'll have to return the case I ordered and design my own. I'm not taking pliers to a completely populated board this size. It's a sure way to snap traces at their weak points.

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Post by Pando » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:52 am

cloudscapes wrote:Are the top and bottom edges of the main board meant to be cut off to fit in the case?

If so, this is a seriously poor design choice. I don't think it's for a jig since there are screw holes.

I'll have to return the case I ordered and design my own. I'm not taking pliers to a completely populated board this size. It's a sure way to snap traces at their weak points.
It's fine, just use pliers and start working (bend up/down carefully) each strip from one end, it will come off easily. Everyone who has built the DIY has done so without issues. It's best to do that before populating the board of course, but it can be done after as well.

I agree that factory should have removed them before shipping, they are a leftover from manufacturing.
Last edited by Pando on Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cloudscapes
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Post by cloudscapes » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:58 am

Pando wrote: It's fine, just use pliers and start working each strip from one end, it will come off easily. Everyone who has built the DIY has done so without issues. It's best to do that before populating the board of course, but it can be done after as well.

I agree that factory should have removed them before shipping, they are a leftover from manufacturing.
The thought of this makes me extremely uncomfortable, but I'll take your (and every successful build's) word on it.

Think I'll weaken the seam with an extremely sharp knife first.

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Post by Pando » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:01 am

cloudscapes wrote:Think I'll weaken the seam with an extremely sharp knife first.
That's risky. One slip and it can cut a trace. Knife isn't really helping as it's a pretty hard material.

Just use pliers and start with one end. Start bending slowly back and forth. Then work your way across. It will come off.
Last edited by Pando on Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Pando » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:02 am

Also, here's a tip how to solder the SMD caps:

Image

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Post by campacasa » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:04 pm

cloudscapes wrote:I would like some clarification for something else if someone's got info (FB group approval still pending). On the rev 2.1 PSU card, there are footprints for 6 electrolytic caps.

C7, C9, C10, C11, C12 are small footprint
C8 is a large footprint

The caps that are listed in the official BOM (and that came with the synthcube kit) are:

C7, C9, C10, C11, C12 are small (same as above)
C10 is large footprint

I'm assuming that last C10 is a typo in the official BOM?
Correct, the larger 330uF is listed as C10 in the BOM, but actually is C8 on the PSU board. The real (smaller) C10 is 100uF.

Also IC4 on the PSU board is listed as IC3 in the BOM.

Nobody is perfect. I'm using a printed copy of the v2.1.3 BOM and was missing the correction of v2.1.4 for the 560pF capacitors on the main board (C22, C292, ... are supposed to be C24, C236, ...).

Concerning those diodes on the main board, please be aware that the schematics on LED-man's pages belong to REV1.0. But then, the there available BOM v1.1.0 also doesn't list 1N5817. I guess some changes happened over time. I'd stick to the latest BOM. I haven't finished yet, so I can't say if something wouldn't be working. Others probably would have complained.

Regards,
Peter

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by B-ry » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:54 pm

Hey all.

So glad I found this thread.

I have a question.

Maybe I’ve overlooked something (or maybe underlooked is the better term), I am looking for the build docs for the DERM expander.

Any suggestions?


Thank you all!

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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by sduck » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:05 pm

There's not much really available in the way of build guides. I'm not sure where I got this stuff, maybe DSL-man's site? Should be enough to get it up and running.

(P.S. Yay Ithaca! I grew up there, and still visit there when I can.)

edit: where's my attachment? Maybe it's too big. Trying alternative means - seems to be a problem with attaching larger files - I'll see about bumping up the size limit. I've got a few other things here, I'll get them attached eventually
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by sduck » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:16 pm

OK I try again

Yay! Large attachments are working again!
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Re: Deckards Dream General Build Thread

Post by four_corners » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:11 pm

I have a quick question for everyone who has successfully built the Deckard's Dream.

I've built loads and loads of smaller synths, and every time I start thinking I can built the Deckard's Dream, I talk myself out of it...

The largest synth I've successfully built is the Mutable Ambika, which is 6 voices, so a fairly substantial build, and I didn't run into any issues. Has anyone built both the Deckard's Dream and an Ambika? Any thoughts on skill level comparison?

Is the Deckard's Dream mostly just time consuming? I feel like if the difficult part is just building voice cards over and over again, then I'd be fine if I run into any issues. So long as I can successfully built the main boards and a single voicecard, I should be good with the rest.

Any advice would be great!!!

-Josh

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