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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Kelaifu
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Kelaifu »

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?
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy »

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.
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Kelaifu »

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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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco »

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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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Kelaifu »

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!
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jonnyjupiter »

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.
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Texy »

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
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jonnyjupiter »

Thanks, Texy.
I'll give that thread a good read.
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco »

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
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jonnyjupiter »

Thanks, Matthew.
I'll give that a go today and let you know how I get on.
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by jamos »

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?
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Jan Ickx »

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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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco »

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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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco »

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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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Jan Ickx »

extralifedisco wrote: 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
Hey Matthew,
thank you so much for the detailed support, great work once again. :) As you suspected it's the clear LEDs giving me a headache. Changing the resistors seems the easiest way to me, thanks for poinging out the exact locations. Or sanding the LEDs. I will see what works best for me.

Have a great weekend, cheers,
Jan
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Super Sixteen build problems with the B100K

Post by gajol »

I am currently trying to assemble a Super Sixteen. But in the moment I have a problem that I can not solve by myself.
Instead of described in the build manual and seen in the build video the B100K potentiometers I found in my DIY kit do not have mounting tabs.
So it looks quite difficult to get them in the correct upward position to solder them. I wonder if I would be able to get the soldered in the right position, is it stable enough because only the three contacts will hold the potentiometers.

So my question is are these potentiometers accidentally part of my kit or has someone put them into it by purpose?
And if so what is the best way to solder them?
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by angia »

extralifedisco wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:38 pm
EDIT: actually now that I think of it the inverted firmware may also flip the display register so it can use a common anode unit - if you have display issues with it or the LEDs don't start working let me know and I'll recompile a build for you.
Hey! So I spent my NYE putting together an S16, and once I turned it on, it... didn't work. The LEDs and buttons are behaving as expected, I can play/pause and such, but the display was completely dead.

You mentioned a check with the diode test mode, I did that, it didn't work, was ready to call it a bad display until I remembered that I got it from a local webstore and its not the one in the BOM. Sure enough, flipping the polarity on the diode test and the display lights up just fine.

I don't know a lick of code and I can't find the inverted firmware anywhere, and even if I could I guess it'd screw with my LEDs since those are the right way round... What do you advise doing outside of desoldering the display?
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Re: Super Sixteen build problems with the B100K

Post by extralifedisco »

gajol wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:27 am I am currently trying to assemble a Super Sixteen. But in the moment I have a problem that I can not solve by myself.
Instead of described in the build manual and seen in the build video the B100K potentiometers I found in my DIY kit do not have mounting tabs.
So it looks quite difficult to get them in the correct upward position to solder them. I wonder if I would be able to get the soldered in the right position, is it stable enough because only the three contacts will hold the potentiometers.

So my question is are these potentiometers accidentally part of my kit or has someone put them into it by purpose?
And if so what is the best way to solder them?
Hi, that's interesting! The easiest way to solder them in the right position is simply to install them in the pcb, install the front panel over it, and tighten the nuts on the pots. Install the hex standoff near the encoder for proper angle, flip the whole assembly over and solder. You shouldn't need mounting tabs - those are mostly for reducing horizontal play, which in this case is taken up by the panel. But you'll definitely want that threaded part to attach to the panel.

Where did you get the kit from, btw?
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by extralifedisco »

angia wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 10:13 am
extralifedisco wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:38 pm
EDIT: actually now that I think of it the inverted firmware may also flip the display register so it can use a common anode unit - if you have display issues with it or the LEDs don't start working let me know and I'll recompile a build for you.
Hey! So I spent my NYE putting together an S16, and once I turned it on, it... didn't work. The LEDs and buttons are behaving as expected, I can play/pause and such, but the display was completely dead.

You mentioned a check with the diode test mode, I did that, it didn't work, was ready to call it a bad display until I remembered that I got it from a local webstore and its not the one in the BOM. Sure enough, flipping the polarity on the diode test and the display lights up just fine.

I don't know a lick of code and I can't find the inverted firmware anywhere, and even if I could I guess it'd screw with my LEDs since those are the right way round... What do you advise doing outside of desoldering the display?
Ahhh you probably got a common cathode display instead of a common-anode one. I can compile an inverted firmware for you (and point out the lines changed if you want to have the source). However you would also need to do some modding of the board to fix the transistor drivers. Per the schematic, they are 3 PNP 2n3906 transistors next to the display which source current for the display. With a common cathode display, they will need to be swapped for 2n3904 transistors used to sink current for the display.

The tricky part is that you will need to disconnect the transistors from the 5V line by cutting a trace on the board, and then install a mod wire to connect the same floating trace on those transistors to a nearby ground (nearest one is on the center pin of the encoder (or the top pins of the nearby switch S20/S17 also work). I made a little MS Paint drawing demonstrating this. I think you'll also need to install the 2n3904 transistors in reverse orientation, so flat side facing towards the top of the board. Maybe start with just one first and test!

I had to do this fix on one of my first ever boards I built, so took a little of a flashback to working out that fix!

Let me know if you want to go forward with the mod and I'll upload the adjusted firmware for you. (It will not change your other LEDs - two separate inverted firmwares lol)
s16 bodge.png
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by angia »

extralifedisco wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 12:12 pm
Ahhh you probably got a common cathode display instead of a common-anode one. I can compile an inverted firmware for you (and point out the lines changed if you want to have the source). However you would also need to do some modding of the board to fix the transistor drivers. Per the schematic, they are 3 PNP 2n3906 transistors next to the display which source current for the display. With a common cathode display, they will need to be swapped for 2n3904 transistors used to sink current for the display.

The tricky part is that you will need to disconnect the transistors from the 5V line by cutting a trace on the board, and then install a mod wire to connect the same floating trace on those transistors to a nearby ground (nearest one is on the center pin of the encoder (or the top pins of the nearby switch S20/S17 also work). I made a little MS Paint drawing demonstrating this. I think you'll also need to install the 2n3904 transistors in reverse orientation, so flat side facing towards the top of the board. Maybe start with just one first and test!

I had to do this fix on one of my first ever boards I built, so took a little of a flashback to working out that fix!

Let me know if you want to go forward with the mod and I'll upload the adjusted firmware for you. (It will not change your other LEDs - two separate inverted firmwares lol)

s16 bodge.png
Hey, so a friend made the change in display.cpp and made me a compiled file, I made the hardware changes you described, and it works! Thanks for your super quick and immensely helpful response! Really excited to play around with it now. Cheers!! :D

For anyone wondering, the part no. of my display is SH5361AS. It was just whatever I could get locally. :P And now, for proof of life!
ad3605b5-5f2b-46e3-b68f-aa25b0516bb7.jpg
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Re: Super Sixteen build problems with the B100K

Post by gajol »

extralifedisco wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 11:56 am
gajol wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:27 am I am currently trying to assemble a Super Sixteen. But in the moment I have a problem that I can not solve by myself.
Instead of described in the build manual and seen in the build video the B100K potentiometers I found in my DIY kit do not have mounting tabs.
So it looks quite difficult to get them in the correct upward position to solder them. I wonder if I would be able to get the soldered in the right position, is it stable enough because only the three contacts will hold the potentiometers.

So my question is are these potentiometers accidentally part of my kit or has someone put them into it by purpose?
And if so what is the best way to solder them?
Hi, that's interesting! The easiest way to solder them in the right position is simply to install them in the pcb, install the front panel over it, and tighten the nuts on the pots. Install the hex standoff near the encoder for proper angle, flip the whole assembly over and solder. You shouldn't need mounting tabs - those are mostly for reducing horizontal play, which in this case is taken up by the panel. But you'll definitely want that threaded part to attach to the panel.

Where did you get the kit from, btw?
I bought the kit at exploding shed. I now have decided to try to order potentiometers with the mounting tabs.
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Re: Super Sixteen build support thread

Post by Tnunnery »

Hi. This is a follow-up from the firmware thread. I just finished my build and I'm not getting anything when I provide power. The ATMega is new, so I'm assuming I just need to upload the firmware. With everything connected to the programmer, it cannot detect or read the chip. I am using AVR Studio and a USB AVRISP XPII programmer that I have used on other builds. I have ordered a Pololu programmer to see if that behaves any differently.Photos of the build are below in case I missed something obvious.

Any help is appreciated!
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