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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.

Moderators: Kent, extralifedisco

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Kelaifu
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Kelaifu » Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:19 am

skimmed through the whole thread and I don't think this has been covered...

Is it possible to program a new brain PCB without building the rest of the module? I have a couple of sets of partially populated SMT boards and I need to send one set to a friend who's getting into DIY. I need to place a couple of parts the PCB house didnt fit, and ideally program the chip so my friend just needs to do the through hole parts and hopefully it'll be good to go.

So, since the power socket is on the same board, can I just power that single PCB from my rack and program it as normal?

Texy
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy » Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:28 am

Kelaifu wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:19 am
skimmed through the whole thread and I don't think this has been covered...

Is it possible to program a new brain PCB without building the rest of the module? I have a couple of sets of partially populated SMT boards and I need to send one set to a friend who's getting into DIY. I need to place a couple of parts the PCB house didnt fit, and ideally program the chip so my friend just needs to do the through hole parts and hopefully it'll be good to go.

So, since the power socket is on the same board, can I just power that single PCB from my rack and program it as normal?
I programmed a spare Atmel chip I had even before I received the kit. So if you have the ability to program chips, it can be done via various means. I used an Arduino Uno.
Texy

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Kelaifu
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Kelaifu » Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:51 am

Texy wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:28 am
I programmed a spare Atmel chip I had even before I received the kit. So if you have the ability to program chips, it can be done via various means. I used an Arduino Uno.
Texy
Do you mean the through hole DIP chip? I am using the SMT board with the little quad sided package.

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extralifedisco
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:34 pm

Kelaifu wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:19 am
skimmed through the whole thread and I don't think this has been covered...

Is it possible to program a new brain PCB without building the rest of the module? I have a couple of sets of partially populated SMT boards and I need to send one set to a friend who's getting into DIY. I need to place a couple of parts the PCB house didnt fit, and ideally program the chip so my friend just needs to do the through hole parts and hopefully it'll be good to go.

So, since the power socket is on the same board, can I just power that single PCB from my rack and program it as normal?
Yes, you can program the chip in-situ on just the the brain PCB. However a partially populated board may not have all the necessary connections. The same is true for either THT or SMT boards. You will need the following components at minumum (part numbers below are for the SMT board, should be the same though):

- power connector
- ICSP connector
- 5v voltage regulator
- 16khz crystal
- crystal capacitor network (2x 22pf - C7/C8)
- clock and reset resistors (R1 - 1M / R2 - 10k)
- power protection diodes (D3/D4)
- power filter chokes (L1, L2, L3)
- power filter caps (C1, C2, preferably C11)

If necessary, you could bridge the chokes and diodes with jumpers for the purpose of programming but then you'd have a desoldering job on your hands as well.

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Kelaifu
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Kelaifu » Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:01 pm

extralifedisco wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:34 pm
Yes, you can program the chip in-situ on just the the brain PCB. However a partially populated board may not have all the necessary connections. The same is true for either THT or SMT boards. You will need the following components at minumum (part numbers below are for the SMT board, should be the same though):
Brilliant!, when i said partially populated, it's only missing 3 parts on the brain PCB, I placed them already so we should be good to go. Now to try follow the youtube videos on flashing.

Thanks for the awesome module and the feedback extralifedisco!

jonnyjupiter
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jonnyjupiter » Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:54 am

Hi Matthew.
I'm having trouble trying to install 1.1a firmware via terminal commands on Mac and Arduino.
Error message on terminal:
avrdude: error reading system wide configuration file "/Users/jenkins/jenkins/workspace/avrdude-staging/label/mac-mini/objdir/etc/avrdude.conf"

I don't know who jenkins is and my Mac is an iMac, not a mac-mini, so all very confusing.

The command I ran which got this message was:
/Applications/Arduino.app/Contents/Java/hardware/tools/avr/bin/avrdude -P COM5 -p m328p -c stk500v1 -b19200 -U flash:w:firmware.hex

The path was the one I got from the verbose output in the Arduino IDE and checks out as being correct.
I tried changing the COM5 to the port as shown in the Arduino IDE and stk500v1 to arduino, but the error message was the same. I was definitely in the same folder as the firmware hex file when executing the command.
The module didn't turn off the way it did on your video. Is this because it was powered from a eurorack case? I don't know how to power it from the same source as the Arduino so that there is a shared ground.

Texy
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy » Sat Nov 13, 2021 12:10 pm

jonnyjupiter wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:54 am
Hi Matthew.
I'm having trouble trying to install 1.1a firmware via terminal commands on Mac and Arduino.
Error message on terminal:
avrdude: error reading system wide configuration file "/Users/jenkins/jenkins/workspace/avrdude-staging/label/mac-mini/objdir/etc/avrdude.conf"

I don't know who jenkins is and my Mac is an iMac, not a mac-mini, so all very confusing.

The command I ran which got this message was:
/Applications/Arduino.app/Contents/Java/hardware/tools/avr/bin/avrdude -P COM5 -p m328p -c stk500v1 -b19200 -U flash:w:firmware.hex

The path was the one I got from the verbose output in the Arduino IDE and checks out as being correct.
I tried changing the COM5 to the port as shown in the Arduino IDE and stk500v1 to arduino, but the error message was the same. I was definitely in the same folder as the firmware hex file when executing the command.
The module didn't turn off the way it did on your video. Is this because it was powered from a eurorack case? I don't know how to power it from the same source as the Arduino so that there is a shared ground.
Hi,
have you seen the notes in this thread : https://modwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 7&t=245798

...might help.
Texy

jonnyjupiter
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jonnyjupiter » Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:15 pm

Thanks, Texy.
I'll give that thread a good read.

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extralifedisco
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:22 pm

jonnyjupiter wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:54 am
Hi Matthew.
I'm having trouble trying to install 1.1a firmware via terminal commands on Mac and Arduino.
Error message on terminal:
avrdude: error reading system wide configuration file "/Users/jenkins/jenkins/workspace/avrdude-staging/label/mac-mini/objdir/etc/avrdude.conf"

I don't know who jenkins is and my Mac is an iMac, not a mac-mini, so all very confusing.

The command I ran which got this message was:
/Applications/Arduino.app/Contents/Java/hardware/tools/avr/bin/avrdude -P COM5 -p m328p -c stk500v1 -b19200 -U flash:w:firmware.hex

The path was the one I got from the verbose output in the Arduino IDE and checks out as being correct.
I tried changing the COM5 to the port as shown in the Arduino IDE and stk500v1 to arduino, but the error message was the same. I was definitely in the same folder as the firmware hex file when executing the command.
The module didn't turn off the way it did on your video. Is this because it was powered from a eurorack case? I don't know how to power it from the same source as the Arduino so that there is a shared ground.
Interesting, I know there is a jenkins software package used for continuous integration testing but I don't know why avrdude would be looking at that. A couple things you could try:

1. Run the command with sudo in front of it. You will be asked to enter your user password the first time you use sudo. If it's a directory permissions issue this should fix it when running from the terminal.

2. Check to see if that conf file exists. Try using cat to inspect the file, eg.
cat /Users/jenkins/jenkins/workspace/avrdude-staging/label/mac-mini/objdir/etc/avrdude.conf
You should see the contents of your arduino configuration. If you get a permissions error, you could use "sudo cat" to override. If you get nothing, or a "file not found" error, that config file doesn't exist.

3. There is a mention on the arduino github issues page of a similar error - the user found uninstalling the core library and reinstalling fixed the bug for them. You could try that: https://github.com/arduino/Arduino/issues/10379

jonnyjupiter
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jonnyjupiter » Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:39 am

Thanks, Matthew.
I'll give that a go today and let you know how I get on.

jamos
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Location: Eugene Oregon

Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jamos » Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:37 pm

I've been looking at this project... probably won't dive in for other reasons, but I have to say it's a shame that this does not have an option to be powered from the +5 v rail. Next rev?
Nord Modular G2 & G2X, Emulator X, MPC Live, and a growing Euro system.

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Jan Ickx
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Jan Ickx » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:32 pm

Hey Matthew!
I got my build via Exploding Shed in Leipzig/Germany and finished it today. I'm more of a beginner/intermediate solderer, but had a great time putting it together and it seems to work flawlessly on the first attempt (spent the last hours testing it). So, thanks for all the time and effort you put in the design, as far as I can tell, you did a great job! The manual in combination with the video was very helpful too. :)

The only problem I've encountered so far is the LEDs' brightness, especially on the sequencer steps. They are much too bright, blinding me when looking directly at the super sixteen's front panel, so I can't even read the printings anymore. Brighter than any other LEDs in my synth. Also they appear to be flickering at a pretty high rate.

Unfortunately I don't have that much of a clue when it comes to electronics, so could you point me in any direction? Thanks so much!

Cheers,
Jan

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extralifedisco
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Mon Nov 29, 2021 11:09 pm

jamos wrote:
Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:37 pm
I've been looking at this project... probably won't dive in for other reasons, but I have to say it's a shame that this does not have an option to be powered from the +5 v rail. Next rev?
That's an interesting thought! I haven't looked into it because my main case doesn't have a 5V rail. My initial impression is that local linear regulation is substantially more stable and reliable, voltage-wise, and definitely better for noise rejection. A major consideration is that the display and LEDs are multiplexed, causing significant ripple current on the power supply. If this was drawn from the 5V rail it would cause substantial noise there. If other modules are using the 5V for digital operations, no problem. If they're using it for analog signal processing it would be audible. I know most modules use the +/-12V lines for audio stuff but I can't really be certain so it wasn't something I looked into.

The modification is theoretically possible but would require substantial changes to the board as the connector is quite close to the board edge. If you are spinning up some PCBs yourself you could just make the board a bit larger to accommodate the extra pins then add a jumper to select local regulation or line supply for 5V. That way you could test it with the line supply and then change to local if you have noise issues.

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extralifedisco
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco » Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:35 am

Jan Ickx wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:32 pm
Hey Matthew!
I got my build via Exploding Shed in Leipzig/Germany and finished it today. I'm more of a beginner/intermediate solderer, but had a great time putting it together and it seems to work flawlessly on the first attempt (spent the last hours testing it). So, thanks for all the time and effort you put in the design, as far as I can tell, you did a great job! The manual in combination with the video was very helpful too. :)

The only problem I've encountered so far is the LEDs' brightness, especially on the sequencer steps. They are much too bright, blinding me when looking directly at the super sixteen's front panel, so I can't even read the printings anymore. Brighter than any other LEDs in my synth. Also they appear to be flickering at a pretty high rate.

Unfortunately I don't have that much of a clue when it comes to electronics, so could you point me in any direction? Thanks so much!

Cheers,
Jan
Hi Jan,
Thanks for the kind words. Glad to hear it's working first try!

Sorry to hear about the LED issue! Exploding shed are putting together their own kits so I haven't seen them myself. My guess is that they are using LEDs with clear lenses instead of diffuse lenses. If that's the case, that's something I would change out for sure! ( I will email E-S to ask them about that.) I always use amber diffuse lens LEDs on my builds, but of course any color will work. Desoldering stuff can be a big pain but fortunately the LEDs are pretty easy to get out if you have a big chisel tip on your iron as the terminals are right next to each other. Getting the solder out can be a real pain but if you have a desoldering pump it's doable. Otherwise you can heat up both vias and install the new LED while it's liquid, although getting them all to the right height will take a lot of fiddling as you can imagine (I have had to do this on one or two boards).

Another option is to simply roughen up the surface of the LEDs to make them less clear. You can hit them with sandpaper, about 200-800 grit should work. This video demonstrates doing it with a drill, but obviously if they're already soldered you'll have to do it by hand, or maybe chuck up a cone of sandpaper in the drill somehow.


Another option is to swap out the current limiting resistors to make the LEDs dimmer. There are four 100-ohm resistors on the control PCB that limit the for each group of LEDs - swap them out for a higher value, say, 330 ohms, and you'll reduce the brightness substantially. Again, desoldering stuff is a pain but if you just cut resistor in half near the body, then you can remove it one leg at a time. Below is a diagram showing the location of the resistors, R1 R2 R3 and R4:
current-limiting.jpg

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