AC Encoder active prototype/DC coupled booster update

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os
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AC Encoder active prototype/DC coupled booster update

Post by os » Sat May 08, 2010 5:13 am

Just wanted to give an update and share my plans.

The previously published circuit, while it works, has some drawbacks. Mostly these come down to the need for rewiring to cope best with various possible inputs e.g. balanced, ground-referenced balanced, unbalanced, DC-coupled balanced etc.

I'm working on a much improved version, which has none of these drawbacks. All that will be required is a jumper to select between DC-coupled and AC-coupled - all other input types will be handled with no changes.

My plan is to build an 8-way version of this, and make it available in various versions e.g.
- PCB only
- assembled PCB to be inserted in your choice of module
- fully assembled module with TRS jack inputs
- fully assembled module with D Sub input

Largely because of the turnaround times on PCB manufacture, this is all a good number of weeks away. I'll post again nearer the time to gauge interest. The more I make, the cheaper it will be, but I don't want to be left with a lot of inventory.

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bsmith
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Post by bsmith » Sat May 08, 2010 8:14 am

This sounds so great, I'll go for the assembled D Sub myself. Got any panel design ideas to show us?

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os
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Post by os » Sat May 08, 2010 11:30 am

The panels won't be anything much - 8 3.5mm jack sockets and a D Sub socket. And a nice logo. And it'll be translucent orange :)

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Post by os » Sat May 08, 2010 11:44 am

OK, a question for you then. First, two points:

- This module will do away with the need for special 'floating ring' cables, will work with the AC Encoder, and will give you a much greater voltage output than an audio interface by itself.

- 8 custom made 'Volta cables' from Sly Goose will cost you about $100.

So the question is, how much would you pay for the module?

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Post by baltimoroder » Sat May 08, 2010 3:15 pm

It seems $200 is the upper limit people are willing to pay for "utility" modules. But it's hard to say how much an AC Encoder module is actually _worth_ as there really isn't anything like this out there... Anything that makes noise is a potential CV source. No special hardware, no special cables, output voltages biased to Doepfer standards. The mind wiggles with possibilities.

FWIW: Expert Sleepers pricing in general is a great value. Am sure you'll sell a ton. :tu:

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Post by Analog>Plugins » Sun May 09, 2010 10:49 am

I personally would pay £100 for a finished ready to go module.

Does this new system cause any lag in the voltage change or is it just as instant as a normal dc coupled device?

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Post by mono-poly » Sun May 09, 2010 10:59 am

Are you gonna do versions for with the iphone to?
Love to see a standalone little box.
The farad is the captain of my print.

http://www.mono-poly.nl
http://www.noodlebar.org

WTB blue lantern purple vco

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os
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Post by os » Sun May 09, 2010 1:23 pm

@Analog>Plugins - I've been doing the sums, and £100/$160 is a realistic price, if I'm doing these in quite short batches initially.

There's no lag in the module when DC-coupled - when AC-coupled, it's the usual extremely small slew.

@mono-poly - Not initially. The trouble with standalone boxes is power. It's one more complication to worry about. With Eurorack I can relax in the knowledge that it's +/-12V wherever in the world the module is used.

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Post by os » Sun May 09, 2010 1:25 pm

Btw here are some useful links for buying D Sub and jack looms in the UK/EU:

http://proleads.co.uk/shop/audio-leads-c-51.html
http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_sssnake_sk ... steste.htm

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Post by mr chombee » Mon May 10, 2010 6:43 am

Nice! I'd pay £100 for a finished module, too.

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Post by bsmith » Mon May 10, 2010 6:53 am

Has anybody seen D Sub snake that is angled (elbow) on the 25 pin end? May be nice for tidiness if that thick cable wasn't coming straight out of the rack - only drawback i see to the d sub route. I guess if there is such a thing as a D Sub with an elbow there'd be 2 versions of it, angled this way or that way since the pinout is asymmetrical 12 13...

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Post by os » Mon May 10, 2010 6:56 am

The neatest option, if this was going to be installed long-term in a rack, would be to run the D Sub connector out the back - leaving just a small panel with 8x 3.5mm jacks on the front.

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Post by bsmith » Mon May 10, 2010 7:14 am

os wrote:The neatest option, if this was going to be installed long-term in a rack, would be to run the D Sub connector out the back - leaving just a small panel with 8x 3.5mm jacks on the front.
Totally. But aren't many (most?) manufactured racks closed up with no access for running cable in this manner? My rack which is being built can have access through the rack rear, but seems like you'd want a version that did have the D Sub cnnection on the front for those that don't, like the monorocket stuff, etc...

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Post by os » Mon May 10, 2010 10:28 am

I was thinking that it would be easy enough to cut a suitable hole in the back of most cases (e.g. standard Doepfer or ASys cases).

But yes, for the DIY-phobic, a front mounting DSub, or jacks, would be the option.

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Arnoid
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Post by Arnoid » Mon May 10, 2010 1:29 pm

good news :sb:

I'm certainly in for a pcb the parts & case I'll search myself

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Post by goiks » Mon May 10, 2010 1:35 pm

os wrote:£100/$160 is a realistic price, if I'm doing these in quite short batches initially.
this sounds fair to me.

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Post by bsmith » Mon May 10, 2010 1:39 pm

goiks wrote:
os wrote:£100/$160 is a realistic price, if I'm doing these in quite short batches initially.
this sounds fair to me.

+1 :tu:

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Post by os » Tue May 11, 2010 11:27 am

Some panel designs - not the most exciting panels you'll ever see, but you get the idea.

Image
Image

Note that I've named this thing the "ES-1", optimistically assuming that I might one day make the "ES-2" etc.

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wxyz
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Post by wxyz » Wed May 12, 2010 8:33 pm

i'm up for one

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Post by suthnear » Thu May 13, 2010 3:14 pm

os, a question: is there any possibility that some of the connections could be dc and some ac? I'm mostly interested in AC, but I wouldn't mind just connecting 2 of my nord g2's ac coupled outs to the same board. Obviously, this is a ridiculously specific requirement, but it never hurts to ask :)

I'm interested in this regardless, though.

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Post by os » Thu May 13, 2010 5:31 pm

There's going to be a jumper per channel for AC/DC coupling.

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Post by franzschuier » Fri May 14, 2010 8:05 am

Im upp for one if it doesnt exceed the 160$ Barrier.
Could get rid of my motu then...

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Post by os » Fri May 14, 2010 3:21 pm

Update: I think I've finalised the PCB. All being well I'll get one built next week.

Just for laughs I've also got a Behringer ADA8000 on its way, for testing purposes. That plus my module should make a nice ADAT lightpipe expander for CV control.

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Post by suthnear » Fri May 14, 2010 5:55 pm

os wrote:There's going to be a jumper per channel for AC/DC coupling.
excellent news. thanks

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Post by toothless_wonder » Sat May 15, 2010 12:27 pm

I am really looking forward for this !!!

When will this be available for the masses ! or did you mention this already , ???

Great stuff !

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