Super Sixteen build support thread

Creator of of the Super Sixteen Sequencer and based in San Francisco. This is a DIY and Finished Good product for Eurorack.

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extralifedisco
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:30 pm

yodog wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:55 pm
Image
Texy wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:23 am
Not worth the risk if you have already soldered them in, but ideally sockets should of been used. Did it work is the main question though ;-)
Texy
Thanks. I've left them in place. Currently working on building the control board and installed the sockets on it. The next problem I've encountered is the pots. Both Matthew and this thread mentioned that 50K pots would work (since the ones on the BOM were sold out). I *thought* I ordered the 50K versions of the ones on the BOM, but I seem to have ordered a version that has 2 gangs instead of 1. Is there any chance that these will work if I trim the outer gang?
Yep I think that should be fine, internally it's just 2 separate identical potentiometers so the pinout should be the same if you lop off the outer pins, though you may find it has more friction than your average pot.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by yodog » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:27 pm

Thanks for the help, everyone! I just finished my build with the W25Q80DVSSIG chip by bending the legs in (I have extras if anyone needs any) and 50K pots. Everything seems to be working well!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:10 pm

Can I ask, as I'm very new to all this, my S16 clock o/p level is 5V relative to GND and the gate o/p 3.3v - is that expected?
I have nothing to compare it too, so not sure.
Thanks
Texy

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by pjbulls » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:44 am

They both come directly from a digital pin on the MCU so should be providing whatever the supply voltage is, but the Gate Out also seems to be driving the LED directly. I'd have put a transistor driver there.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:12 am

pjbulls wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:44 am
They both come directly from a digital pin on the MCU so should be providing whatever the supply voltage is, but the Gate Out also seems to be driving the LED directly. I'd have put a transistor driver there.
That might explain it. It is driving my Prok base drum module OK, but I think I need a different setup to sequence by percussion modules, as the S16 only has the one gate out.
Cheers,
Texy

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by My_one_opus » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:07 am

Texy wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:12 am
pjbulls wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:44 am
They both come directly from a digital pin on the MCU so should be providing whatever the supply voltage is, but the Gate Out also seems to be driving the LED directly. I'd have put a transistor driver there.
That might explain it. It is driving my Prok base drum module OK, but I think I need a different setup to sequence by percussion modules, as the S16 only has the one gate out.
Cheers,
Texy
Yes, I’ve got a Robaux SWT16+ which is alright if you want to DIY, otherwise you’ve got options like TipTop Circadian Rhythms, Bastl knit rider, MI marbles or something external like a Squarp Pyramid and a midi cv converter. You can go into modules like Cellular Automata and 1/n by nonlinearcircuits for drum sequencing too, which is fun. Of course there’s loads of other options too, but you’ll definitely need something different that S16 as the gate put is really intended to drive VCO/VCA either directly or via an envelope.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:35 am

My_one_opus wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:07 am
Texy wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:12 am
pjbulls wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:44 am
They both come directly from a digital pin on the MCU so should be providing whatever the supply voltage is, but the Gate Out also seems to be driving the LED directly. I'd have put a transistor driver there.
That might explain it. It is driving my Prok base drum module OK, but I think I need a different setup to sequence by percussion modules, as the S16 only has the one gate out.
Cheers,
Texy
Yes, I’ve got a Robaux SWT16+ which is alright if you want to DIY, otherwise you’ve got options like TipTop Circadian Rhythms, Bastl knit rider, MI marbles or something external like a Squarp Pyramid and a midi cv converter. You can go into modules like Cellular Automata and 1/n by nonlinearcircuits for drum sequencing too, which is fun. Of course there’s loads of other options too, but you’ll definitely need something different that S16 as the gate put is really intended to drive VCO/VCA either directly or via an envelope.
Thanks, this is as I thought. And it wouldn't be easy to modify the S16 for adding more gates. I'm thinking of a little bit of my own design work, nothing too fancy.....researching.....
Texy

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by timtango » Mon May 03, 2021 4:59 am

Texy wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:35 am
Thanks, this is as I thought. And it wouldn't be easy to modify the S16 for adding more gates. I'm thinking of a little bit of my own design work, nothing too fancy.....researching.....
Texy
I ordered a built Super Sixteen this weekend as I don't think I have the skills for this build yet, but this was a thought that occurred to me when looking at the capabilities... how hard would it be to support additional triggers out from the Super Sixteen?
I could imagine a 2hp expansion with 4x triggers out, if the Super Sixteen has a connection point to support additional triggers.
If this could be done, then something like a Steppy could be offered using the same programming interface on the Super Sixteen.
Would be a magical device if it allowed not only the melodic sequencing but a couple of drum tracks too!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Fri May 07, 2021 2:48 am

timtango wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 4:59 am
I ordered a built Super Sixteen this weekend as I don't think I have the skills for this build yet, but this was a thought that occurred to me when looking at the capabilities... how hard would it be to support additional triggers out from the Super Sixteen?
I could imagine a 2hp expansion with 4x triggers out, if the Super Sixteen has a connection point to support additional triggers.
If this could be done, then something like a Steppy could be offered using the same programming interface on the Super Sixteen.
Would be a magical device if it allowed not only the melodic sequencing but a couple of drum tracks too!

This would be quite tricky on the hardware as the CPU chip is pretty much maxed out on I/O pins. You could theoretically add up another couple of MCP23S17 I/O expanders on a daughterboard, since they have externally biased address pins they can share a chip select serial line with the one on the control board. Conceivably you could tap the serial lines, GND and +5V from the ICSP header port, but you'd also need to get the right CS (chip select) line, which is on one of the board-to-board pin headers. It's doable, but it would be a tricky mod.

Software-wise, I'm not really sure if you'd run into issues trying this. Each patch is 4kb so there's room to add trigger sequences to the stored patches. However the 328p only has 2kb of RAM, so storing the active sequence as 64 steps of pitch/gate/cv2/mutate is already eating a lot of that. Iterating the gate sequences as arrays would cost 1 byte per entry, or 64*4 = 256bytes of RAM, probably nearing the limit and causing weird bugs. Of course 64 triggers could be compressed into 8 bytes if you don't mind doing some manual bitmasking/binary arithmetic.

This whole project has been a pretty interesting exercise in squeezing performance out of the 328p, so there's a lot of code in the repo already that does stuff like this already (LED multiplexing, patch storage, calibration, etc).

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by cold.solder » Sun May 09, 2021 1:48 am

Hi folks, super beginner here - sorry in advance for the basic questions incoming. Just finished building this guy and once connected to power nothing happens. I've double checked all my soldering, gone through with the multimeter on continuity and everything is apparently looking good. Not sure how to troubleshoot further. Is it possible the IC isn't pre-programmed?

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy » Sun May 09, 2021 2:23 am

cold.solder wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 1:48 am
Hi folks, super beginner here - sorry in advance for the basic questions incoming. Just finished building this guy and once connected to power nothing happens. I've double checked all my soldering, gone through with the multimeter on continuity and everything is apparently looking good. Not sure how to troubleshoot further. Is it possible the IC isn't pre-programmed?
Hi,
it is possible, but it could be a number of things not causing the atmel chip to run. You've used your meter to check continuity, but have you checked voltages, especially the rails ?
You can (re)program the atmel chip using techniques outlined in this thread : viewtopic.php?f=97&t=245798
Texy

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sun May 09, 2021 2:51 pm

cold.solder wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 1:48 am
Hi folks, super beginner here - sorry in advance for the basic questions incoming. Just finished building this guy and once connected to power nothing happens. I've double checked all my soldering, gone through with the multimeter on continuity and everything is apparently looking good. Not sure how to troubleshoot further. Is it possible the IC isn't pre-programmed?
Hey, thanks for building! It's possible that your IC needs programming, but of a few hundred built so far I've only confirmed one un-flashed IC. More likely you have a soldering or part orientation issue. If your can post some clear photos of each board (both sides) here on the forum, I'd be happy to inspect and see if I can spot anything amiss.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by cold.solder » Tue May 11, 2021 3:12 am

Texy wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 2:23 am
have you checked voltages, especially the rails ?
Thanks Texy, checking over thoroughly now.
extralifedisco wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 2:51 pm
More likely you have a soldering or part orientation issue. If your can post some clear photos of each board (both sides) here on the forum, I'd be happy to inspect and see if I can spot anything amiss.
Thanks extralifedisco, can't wait to get it up and running! (The three transistors next to the display are a bit hidden, but all in correct orientation.)
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Wed May 12, 2021 10:44 pm

cold.solder wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 3:12 am
extralifedisco wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 2:51 pm
More likely you have a soldering or part orientation issue. If your can post some clear photos of each board (both sides) here on the forum, I'd be happy to inspect and see if I can spot anything amiss.
Thanks extralifedisco, can't wait to get it up and running! (The three transistors next to the display are a bit hidden, but all in correct orientation.)
Your soldering looks very clean and I can't see any components misplaced or reversed! However I do notice that the CPU chip (Atmega328P) doesn't bear the 1.0 or 1.1 mark I usually put on there in silver sharpie. The parts look the same as the ones I have on hand, so apologies if that came from one of the BOM kits! Looks like the CPU most likely needs to be programmed. It's a pretty simple operation if you've used Arduino, you just need a USB avr programmer like this one:
https://www.pololu.com/product/3172

I would offer to send you a pre-programmed IC to replace that one, but it looks like your IC isn't socketed so it would probably be a pain to desolder - it will be easier to program in-place. Instead I will offer to order you the avr programmer - send me an email at extralifedisco@gmail.com or a DM on this forum with your info so I can have one sent to your address from a nearby retailer.

You can find the tutorial for flashing the firmware over in the 1.1 firmware thread:
viewtopic.php?f=97&t=245798

You should be able to follow the tutorial pretty much as-is for the AVR programmer version (the arduino version is a little more complicated bc you have to use jumper wires), however since the IC is probably totally un-programmed you'll just need to set the fuses to get the clock speed running at 16mHz instead of the internal default clock of 4mHz. Fortunately, that's just one extra terminal command you can run at the same time, as detailed here:
viewtopic.php?f=97&t=245798#p3504885

Apologies again for the oversight! Let me know if you find any other issues or need help with the re-flashing process.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by cold.solder » Fri May 14, 2021 10:08 pm

Thanks extralifedisco, no need to order an avr programmer, just picked one up from my local - appreciate the offer. I probably will have some firmware flash queries (because, well, it's all a first for me) but I'll try and make sense of everything first. Tutorials here we go..

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sat May 22, 2021 5:57 pm

Just a quick update to let people following know about 2 things:

1. I tested the memory chip alternate today (Winbond W25Q40CLSNIG) and it works perfectly. It has the correct narrow SOIC footprint and stores 99 patches without a problem (it could store 128 I believe). The original W25Q80DV could technically store 256, but that makes scrolling to the upper patches quite tedious, so limiting to 99 conveniently lets us substitute another IC. I will update the BOM to indicate this substitution. Mouser currently has about 6000 in stock so shouldn't be hard to source this one:
https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/454-W25Q40CLSNIG

2. I discovered a big error in my PCB design which makes the display much less bright than it could be. The 3 2N3906 transistors near the seven-segment display module should be installed *in reverse* to the indicated silkscreen on PCBs version 2.2 and prior. In the indicated orientation, the display still turns on but is powered directly from the CPU outputs rather than the transistor doing the switching, so each digit is current limited to 20mA or so. Reversing the transistors fixes this and makes the display *much* brighter, while also increasing the maximum current draw on the 12v rail from about 90mA to about 160mA.

I have started implementing this fix on my assembled modules (it is quite tricky as they use SMT transistors and they have to be flipped over and soldered upside-down and sideways) but on the DIY version it's as easy as flipping the transistors 180 degrees (see photo). The official build guide has been updated to reflect this.
transistorientation.jpg
transistorientation.jpg (43.62 KiB) Viewed 331 times
The resulting display brightness is quite high (as is the current draw), and I think in the next firmware update I will try to include an adjustment to allow you to dim the display a bit and get a nice medium brightness, just by using longer PWM timing.

Hope that's helpful to some of you who patch in bright light!

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by yodog » Sat May 22, 2021 7:27 pm

Would you recommend those of us who have already built it to try to swap those transistors?

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sat May 22, 2021 8:17 pm

yodog wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 7:27 pm
Would you recommend those of us who have already built it to try to swap those transistors?
Only if you find the display isn't bright enough! Desoldering stuff isn't very fun, I try to avoid it unless necessary. Also, the display module is plastic and will melt if you get the soldering iron close to it, so put some aluminum foil over the display if you need to put your iron on that side of the board.

If you do go try it, I recommend getting a couple extra 2n3906 transistors and then just clipping the old ones out - desoldering one loose component lead at a time is easier than trying to get a whole part out cleanly.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by My_one_opus » Sun May 23, 2021 7:40 am

Oh whoops! I have plenty of BC547, but not 2N3904, however I think they should be fine (but orientation matching the silkscreen) but happy to be corrected! Do you have a rough estimate when you might do a new firmware?

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Thu May 27, 2021 2:32 am

My_one_opus wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 7:40 am
Oh whoops! I have plenty of BC547, but not 2N3904, however I think they should be fine (but orientation matching the silkscreen) but happy to be corrected! Do you have a rough estimate when you might do a new firmware?
BC547 is NPN, you need a PNP to replace the 2N3906. BC557 will probably work, pin out is reversed yes so you'll match the silkscreen rather than reverse it.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by My_one_opus » Thu May 27, 2021 3:02 am

Ha, yes, helps if I could read ‘3906’ properly.

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by migueldetrool » Sun May 30, 2021 4:49 pm

Hello,
Quick question for anyone with time to answer.
Has anyone tried replacing the LP2950-33 with a L78L33? I am having trouble sourcing the original part and the other one seems very close.
Thanks in advance for any info

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy » Mon May 31, 2021 4:05 am

migueldetrool wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 4:49 pm
Hello,
Quick question for anyone with time to answer.
Has anyone tried replacing the LP2950-33 with a L78L33? I am having trouble sourcing the original part and the other one seems very close.
Thanks in advance for any info
I have a LP2950-33 spare, if you are in the UK ?
Texy

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by migueldetrool » Mon May 31, 2021 5:23 am

I will send you a PM, that is very kind

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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by pjbulls » Mon May 31, 2021 6:21 am

You should be able to use the L78L33 just fine, it has the same pinout so can just be dropped in. While LP2950 definitely has better specs they're all just regulators in the end, as long as they provide sufficient current at the correct voltage it should be OK, and most of it can be fixed with some bulk power bypassing.

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