Also, people are asking SmashTV and myself about when MB-6582 PCBs and/or base PCB parts kits will be ready, often accompanied by subtle complaints about how they've waited months already.
Here's the status of the situation:
SmashTV is working flat out making, packing and shipping "base PCB parts kits", the kit of parts that go on the base PCB.
Meanwhile, he is also arranging the fabrication of a new batch of MB-6582 base and control surface PCBs.
So, here's a handy guide about buying the things you need to build an MB-6582:
- Scenario 1: I have PCBs from Wilba's PCB bulk order and need a "base PCB parts kit".
If you have already posted a "Count me in for a kit!" in the parts kit thread, then SmashTV will contact you via PM when it's your turn to buy a kit. If you have not posted in that thread, and are one of the rare few who have PCBs from Wilba's bulk order and didn't post a "Count me in for a kit!" in the parts kit thread, then just send me a PM or email. Basically, you put your name on the list and then wait. SmashTV and I do not have time answering requests from impatient people, this only takes time away from doing real work. You have the PCBs already, so you are lucky. Plenty of other people have built their MB-6582 base PCB without SmashTV's parts kits. If you are tired of waiting, go and buy the parts elsewhere, like many others did. The only things you might have some trouble with are the stereo sockets, the power socket and power switch, and I can sell you the power socket and power switch. SmashTV's base PCB parts kits are a convenient and cheaper option than finding and buying the parts from multiple places but he is not selling anything you can't buy elsewhere, he's buying them in bulk from somewhere and reselling to you at a very affordable price. If making it sooner is more important than making it cheaper then go and buy parts now from wherever you can find them, pay more and build it sooner. I say again, SmashTV's base PCB parts kits are just the cheaper, convenient option, you already have the critical piece of the puzzle (the PCBs).
- Scenario 2: I have panels from Altitude's panels bulk order, assuming that the PCBs would be available soon after, and I'm still waiting for months for PCBs.
At the time of Altitude's panel bulk order, I did tell people that it was a good price for panels and people waiting for PCBs could go ahead and buy panels knowing that the PCBs would match. Obviously, the next run of PCBs has taken much longer than expected, but that doesn't change the fact that you have panels at a bargain price, that go with PCBs that are now in production. You are in a better position than someone who has no PCBs and no panels, so please wait like everyone else. If you feel you've waited too long then sell your panels to someone with more patience than you, I'm sure you can get your money back.
- Scenario 3: I have spent heaps of money on parts (6582 SIDs/knobs/encoders/case/panels) to build an MB-6582, assuming that the PCBs would be available soon, and I'm still waiting for months for PCBs (and a base PCB parts kit)
It sucks to have to wait so long for the PCBs, which are the things you can't buy elsewhere. Some of you have waited since September 2007. There was a combination of things that caused the delays, the details of which are irrelevant, because when all things are considered, it could not have happened any sooner without adding delays for people who already have PCBs, and quite frankly, if you were around last May through August and got PCBs from Wilba's PCB bulk order, then getting a SmashTV base parts kit in your hands had higher priority than creating even more PCBs for people and even more demand for base parts kits. Unless you have every single other item you need (unlikely), then it really doesn't matter that you're still waiting for PCBs, because you couldn't finish it before now anyway. Go and buy more parts while you wait. Or go build something else while you wait.
- Scenario 4: I have recently discovered the MB-6582 project and have no parts for it at all. Where do I start?
You can get in on bulk orders for parts now and wait for the PCBs and base PCB parts kits. You're in a good position, because you will wait far less time than some other people, who unfortunately just missed out on the PCB bulk order and have waited since then for the PCBs, and a new bulk order for panels is being arranged also, and by the time PCBs become available, you could probably get PCBs shipped with a base PCB parts kit, and wait less time for those kits than other people have waited already.
SmashTV works damn hard and very long hours putting together all the MIDIbox kits, not just MB-6582 base PCB kits. He's doing everything he can to deliver any of his kits to you as soon as possible, it's just that there are lots of people wanting for base PCB parts kits. Similarly, the fabrication of new MB-6582 PCBs is taking as long as it takes to get it right. He does all this using his own cash to buy parts and PCBs before selling them to you cheaper than you could buy them anywhere else. People know all this, and yet still feel like they need an individual response to their question "I've waited months, when can I buy X?", as if waiting longer than someone else entitles them to some special treatment, or as if knowing exactly when something will be available makes any difference. You probably expected to have PCBs and/or parts kits before now, and so did SmashTV and I. However, when people start complaining in messages about waiting months and needing to finish it soon, I have no more sympathy for them. You could have taken the schematics and parts lists and done it all yourself, done it exactly the way you wanted, and not be locked in to the timing of MB-6582 PCBs and parts availability.
MIDIbox is all about DIY - Do It Yourself. It doesn't mean it's going to be cheaper, easier or quicker.
People generally build a MIDIbox SID synth not because it's going to be cheaper, easier or quicker than buying something off the shelf.
They build it because it's going to be the best SID synth ever.
If you want a SID synth cheaper, easier and quicker, then go buy a SidStation, HardSID, Prophet64 or a VST emulator.
Likewise, MB-6582 is not about making it so easy to build that you don't have to think.
It's just a little more convenient than building the same thing with SmashTV's Core and SID modules, designing and constructing a control surface, finding a case to fit it all in, etc.
It still requires a commitment to DIY, electronics, learning how it works, etc.
I do not want people who know nothing about electronics and soldering to expect MB-6582 to be something they can just put together like a Lego kit.
You will still need some experience with basic electronics and soldering.
Building an MB-6582 is like a scavenger hunt followed by a jigsaw puzzle, and if you finish one, you will earn my utmost respect because you didn't design it and know how it goes together like I do, so you solved your own puzzle and worked it out.
If you are still waiting for MB-6582 PCBs or parts, your patience will be rewarded with the best SID synth ever and possibly the best DIY synth ever, evolved collaboratively by a dedicated community of SID and synth lovers.