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Building the MB-6582 Control Surface - Photo Tutorial


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the MBSID is such a great project, that i wanted to contribute and share insights of how to build the control surface.

I think that names, part-numbers and supplier links of used components and photos taken of every relevant construction step will be a nice reference for you.

Be warned, this construction guide will be for frontpanels with drilled holes in the four corners. It should be adjustable for frontpanels without corner holes, but I will not cover this.

The chosen steps may not be the ideal solution for everyone, please don´t blame me if something does not work for you, just blame nILS ;-).

And - this is a live feed. If something goes utterly wrong, I expect your compassion ;-)

Also, big thanks to orange_hand, who provided additional illustrations/photos for this tutorial.

So, lets go.

Have fun!


Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 1: Prepare Control Surface PCB

Parts used:

MB-6582 CS PCB (AVI Showtech)


* Have a nice drink. Have a look at the PCB. Looks yummy :-).

* Now turn it over (we will work on the front side of the PCB in the next step) and get ready for action.

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 2: Drop Diodes

Parts used:

45pcs 1N4148_T50A Diodes (buy a pack of 100) (Mouser P/N 512-1N4148T50A)


* Lift the PCB up a few centimeters by placing it on spacer objects (look at the photo, i used a roll of solder wire at the top and a meterstab :-) at the bottom), so that you have enough space below for the uncut diode wires.

* Bend the wires of the diodes at a 90 degree angle directly at the diodes.

* Drop the diodes into the diode holes, aligning the marked side of the diode (usually a dot or line) with the arrowhead on the PCB. If correctly bent, they will fall in automatically, no pressure necessary.

Do not drop the five diodes below the LCD window yet! We need to solder them directly to the front side later.

* Double-check for correct alignment and right diode count (45 pcs).

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 3: Cut Diode Wires and Solder Diodes

Parts used:

A sheet of cardboard carton

Your favorite wire cutter

Your favorite soldering iron, I use a 25 watts version with a big tip


* Secure the diodes by putting a cardboard carton on top of the PCB.

* Holding the cardboard carton in place, flip over the PCB and place it bottom-up on the table.

* Cut the diode wires. Just press the wirecutter flat on the PCB and cut quickly, it is not necessary to control every cut (see photo). There will be enough wire showing out for soldering and doing it this way makes sure that all pins are of the same length.

* Solder. Do it in an ergonomic way, work in "rows", like a robot :-). I work top to bottom, right to left. Apply the iron to one side of the diode wire tip, heat up for a sec. Apply solder wire to the other side and it will automatically solder perfect.

Have proper lighting when soldering, so you can instantly control for good solder connections. Soldering can be done really quick and needs no more than 2 seconds per solder connection. Count the pins when soldering. When you have reached 90, you are in deep meditation mode and know you are done :-). Do not inhale too many fumes ;-).

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 4: Surface-Solder Diodes

Parts used:

5 more diodes (1N4148_T50A)

a few centimeters of tape


Now , lets solder the five diodes below the LCD window to the PCB front side. This is necessary, because the LCD will be attached to the back side where those diodes are, and we want the LCD to be as close as possible to the PCB. So we do not waste millimeters of precious space and solder directly to the surface. You have to get used to it anyways, when you will need to learn SMD-soldering in a later project ;-). It is a little bit tricky, but it is not as hard as it seems. Just have your daily dose of caffeine AFTER the surface soldering steps :-). Maybe you want to use an iron with a smaller tip this time, but it is not really necessary.

* Turn the PCB over to the front side.

* Bend 5 diodes like you did before.

* Cut the wires really short (see photo), so that when you insert the diodes, no wire peeks out at the back side.

* Insert the diodes, check for polarity (line/mark goes to the bottom). Pray for no earthquake in the next seconds... ;-)

* Temporarily attach the top of the diodes with tape (see photo - use tesa tape or something similar). If attaching the whole strip is too difficult (other diodes are being pulled out), you can attach 5 small strips. Attaching the tape works best if you keep it very tense, next to tearing it, while moving down vertically on the diodes.

* Solder the non-masked part of the diodes as before but now from the front side. Do not apply too much solder, because we do not want drops/bubbles on the back side of the pcb in this area.

* Remove the tape.

* Solder the top of the diodes (see photo), only using a minimum of solder, as before.

Photo four shows how the corresponding backside should look after finishing this step. Like a virgin! Ok ok, a virgin looks better, usually ;-).

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 5: Place Hex Spacers, check LCD alignment

Parts used:

24pcs M3 x 6.0mm Screw (Mouser P/N 534-29311)

24pcs M3 x 10mm Thread Hex (Mouser P/N 855-R30-1001002)

24pcs Washer Nylon (Mouser P/N 534-3202)

Backlit 20x4 LCD (for alignment testing only) I used: Satistronics HD44780 red (Satistronics RT204-1R), very cheap for 8.90 USD :)


* Install the spacers like this: put a nylon washer on a M3 screw, put the screw through the PCB from the bottom side, then put the hex spacer on the top side and tighten the screw. Do not put the washer on the top side! (See first photo)

* If a nylon washer extends over a solder point, use a knife to cut away a part of the spacer, so that it is aligned flat to the pcb (see second photo).

* Install spacers in the positions shown in the third photo.

* To do some alignment-testing, put your LCD in place. The solder connection points should point upwards. The four 2.5mm holes for screws used to fasten the LCD on the PCB should not be obliterated by nylon washers. If they are in the way, trim them with a knife. My LCD fits nicely without cutting washers (see fourth photo). For now, stash the LCD away, it will be fastened to the PCB later on.

Not all holes must be populated with spacers, I "left out" three holes, which I thought were quite redundant (with another spacer within ~2cm). You can populate all of them, of course.

We are also putting screws, washers and spacers in the four corners. They will not be used in the final assembly in the PT-10 case, but they are necessary for properly aligning the front panel with the control surface PCB.

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 6: Surface-Solder and Align Tactile Switches

Parts used:

13pcs ALPS 6x6x13mm tactile switches 100gf (Mouser P/N 688-SKHHDT)

1.5mm aluminum frontpanel *with holes in the corners* (Wilba´s Panel Blog Page or use my custom .fpd for Schaeffer AG/FrontPanel Express, that I used and that I can confirm works fine. But it contains a manga and a commodore logo :). I have attached it to this post for your convenience. Please just drop me a message, when you build one of those, i am interested :))


* First of all, perfectly align the four corner standoff hexes with the four corner holes in your front panel. You can do this by slightly loosening a screw of the standoff hex and moving it around by fractions of millimeters within the hole. Yes, there is a little room to move the standoff hexes around when they are loose, utilize it for perfect alignment! After that secure the corner hexes tightly, so that you can use them for alignment checks in the later steps.

* We now surface-solder the tactile switches close to the LCD. The process is identical with surface-soldering the diodes (step 4), but easier, as the four pins help keep the switch better in place.

* Have a look at photo one to see how short the switches´ connection pins should be just before soldering. Make sure that when the switches are inserted, no wire peeks through at the back side.

* Solder the switches one by one and align each one with the frontpanel prior to soldering. This is done as follows:

1) Place a single tactile switch on the PCB (do not solder yet). It should "click in", sit flat on the pcb base and be already in the right position. But to make sure...

2) ...test-attach front panel (perfectly align corner holes and corner hex standoffs, no need for screws, just check visually) to see, if the switch fits into the corresponding panel hole. If it does not, slightly bend the legs or alter the switches´ position.

3) Remove frontpanel and solder the component using as little solder as possible. Make sure that it does not move before soldering.

This process is a little time-intensive, as you have to check the alignment thirteen times, but it pays off, when everything fits neatly (photo three).

If you want to speed things up, you can just click in all thirteen surface-mounted switches, control their position with the frontpanel temporarily attached and then surface-solder them all in one run.

Photo four shows the backside section, where the LCD will be mounted. Very little solder blobs coming through are inevitable and it really depends on how little solder you use on the frontside how fine this will look. But as you will see, placing the LCD will now be very satisfying, as its PCB will be very close to the CS PCB :)

Surface soldering finished. You may now enjoy your caffeinated beverage :-)

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 7: Solder the Remaining Tactile Switches

Parts used:

35pcs ALPS 6x6x13mm tactile switches 100gf (see step 6)

4pcs M3 short countersunk screws (6mm). You can order them on ebay, in english search for "M3 countersunk", in german search for "M3 Senkkopfschraube". These short screws are only used during assembly time, not for the final synth, so you can in fact use any short m3 screws, but i recommend countersunk ones, so that you do not ruin the frontpanel countersunk drilling. I used some ugly ones i found in my box-o-screws :).


* Now we solder the rest of the tactile switches in one solder run. No need for the wire-cutter this time :-).

* Insert all remaining tactile switches (35 pieces). The ALPS switches have nice "spring type" pins, which will hold them in place. It might be necessary to trim a nylon washer or two, if the switches´ solder pins are very close to the hex spacers.

* Double-check, that all switches are pushed firmly to the PCB and sit flat on the PCB (check by looking from the side - photo one). Check for the typical "click" sound when triggering each switch (all ALPS switches worked fine for me, there is no quality problem).

* Now, put on the frontpanel. It is quite normal if its hard to attach the frontpanel at first, look for the problem-causing switches and adjust them - you can move them by fractions of a millimeter "horizontally on the pcb" by adjusting the bending of all legs.

Please, make really sure, that you can easily and quickly put the frontpanel on without fraction from tactile switches. It will be crucial to do this without hassle in the glueing phase.

* Now, screw the frontpanel to the surface pcb by using four short countersunk screws in the edge holes (photo two). This will make sure, that they remain in place, when soldering.

* Now, turn the frontpanel-surface-pcb assembly over and lay it flat on a soft surface (e.g. a thick piece of cloth, or soft packaging material as I did) to avoid scratches.

* Solder all pins. Again, try to work quickly and in "rows" and count the connections you have soldered. When you have reached 140... smile, one step closer to finishing the CS (photo three).

* To prepare for the glueing step, make sure that the screwheads on the washers are the deepest part on the bottom side of the PCB (no soldered tip should be longer than the depth of screwhead plus washer). Cut solder tips if necessary (photo three). We need a stable base for putting pressure on this baby :-).

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 8: Prepare for Glueing

Parts used:

A piece of clean cardboard carton, ca 5mm thickness

A cutting knife

A heavy hardcover book

A hot glue gun (cheapest is sufficient) or your favorite chewing gum

K180 grade sanding paper

Lens cleaning wipes, or alcohol and a cotton towel


* To prepare for glueing, we first build a weight spreader to make sure the weights (in form of heavy books) do not press on the tactile switches, but on the aluminum panel.

* Draw the measurments of the frontpanel on the cardboard carton (photo 1)

* Guess where the tactile switches are :-) (photo 2)

* Correct your guesstimates and cut the carton (photo 3). Needs not be perfect.

* Put a heavy book on the weight spreader to test that no tactile switch "clicks". If this works, its perfect, the weight is evenly distributed among the aluminum panel.

* Unscrew and take off the aluminum panel

* Unscrew the inner hex spacers *not the corners* from the CS PCB.

* Prepare your glue gun or your favorite chewing gum ;). Now press the hot glue or the chewing gum into one side of the hex screw (photo 4) by pressing the glue gun shaft right against the hex standoff opening and pull the hot glue gun trigger :-). A little bit of glue is sufficient.

* Now, look at this mess (photo 5), hot glue guns are messy beasts, dunno if your chewing gum handling is better :-). Now lets clean that up.

* Lay the sanding paper flat on the table. Press the "glued" end of the hex spacer on the sanding paper and roughen it up in linear movements. Sand off a very little bit of metal (cleaning off grease and increase glueing surface area by scratching it), but do not take away too much metal! You want your standoffs still to be around 10mm!

* The result after sanding. Smile! (photo 6). They look like... you know the drill :-) Avoid touching their tops with your fingertips to avoid greasing them... just like... scnr :-)

* Now reattach the standoffs back to the CS PCB. Take care that the washers you cut out (overlapping solder points) are at the correct places.

* The result should look like this (photo 7).

* Now clean the backside of your frontpanel with lens cleaning wipes or alcohol and a cotton towel, to remove any grease/oil residue from your fingers. Don´t touch afterwards. It would be really optimal to sand the backside where the hex standoffs are to be glued as this will increase the surface area where the glue can attach to. The backside will be invisible later on, so you can generously sand with K180.

Please, control again, that you did not fill the corner hex standoffs with a glue plug and that your frontpanel slides on easily and is not obscured by any tactile switch button.

Now we´re ready for glueing!


See image 8 for an overview showing the connection between the aluminum frontpanel and the cs pcb - thanks for the illustration, orange_hand!

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 9: Embrace the Glue (or nah, rather not :-))

Parts used:

JB-Weld two-component glue (i got mine off ebay, should be around 10 EURs)

A screwdriver with a small flat blade

The weight spreader you built in step 8

More heavy books, at least one hardcover book the size of your weight spreader. 5kgs of books are enough :-)


* Mix some JB-Weld according to the instructions, ratio 1:1 in a small bowl. You can use the screwdriver to mix it (photo 1).

* Use the screwdriver top to apply a little blob of glue to the top of the inner standoffs you prepared in the last step, not to the corner standoffs (photo 2). Make sure you do not mess around with the glue. It is quite sluggish, so it is easy to apply. It also stays nicely in place, so don´t worry too much.

* Slowly put the frontpanel on, just using vertical movement. Attach the frontpanel with the four corner screws, do not overtighten them, it is not necessary. Photo 3 depicts a proper glue connection.

* Put the weight spreader on the frontpanel.

* Now add some weights. A few thick books are enough, make sure the bottom book is a hardcover book (photo 4). Also, make sure, that no tactile switch clicks.

* Don´t touch for 24 hours (you can continue with the "...while the glue cures..." steps right now).

* Clean your screwdriver blade with a piece of paper towel.


* Using JB-Weld is highly recommended. I did some tests with standard epoxy glue, which does not properly attach to the used metals. Also, other forms of quick-curing glues have been reported to not work well (JB-Kwik for example).

* Make sure, that you really wait for 24 hours, being anxious to finish the project is understandable, but it is not worth risking your expensive frontpanel.

* All books in photo 4 are highly recommended ;-)

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 10: (Optional) Remove Detention of your Rotary Encoders (...while the glue cures...)

Parts used:

14pcs alpha 16mm rotary encoders (make sure you order 15!) (Mouser P/N 318-ENC160F-24P)

A standard electronics caliper (flat bed)


The alpha rotary encoders may not be the cheapest, but they are certainly worth their money. Solid quality, good feeling, and thats what we aim for in a superior control surface, right? So, buy them and be happy ;-).

They come with a detention "dent", which means. that they will click into positions when you turn them. We want most of them to have linear, quite click-free movement, so we remove the detention of 14 of them like this:

* Open the rotary encoder by pulling away the four metal clips with a flatbed screwdriver. Be careful to not overbend or break them.

* The detention "dent" is in the middle of the metal tongue (sharp section of photo 1).

* Use your caliper to flatten the dent as much as possible - just push hard enough (photo 2).

* If you changed the angle of the metal tongue while flattening the dent with your caliper, push back the metal tongue to an angle as it had before (photo 1).

* Reassemble (make sure you put it back together in the same way and that you do not accidentally turn the head 180 degrees) and push back the metal clips to secure the encoder top.

* After reassembling an encoder, naggle a little bit on the encoder axis. If it moves too much, you have not reattached the metal clips properly. Reopen them, bend the top of the clip down a little bit and use a caliper to firmly press them together.

* Do not remove the detention of your fifteenth rotary encoder. It is used for menu dialog switching and is fine as-is.


* This step is optional. Some people may even prefer the feeling of detented "clicky" encoders - they give more feedback.

* For even smoother operation you can push down all metal lips a little bit more than before. Be careful though, that there is still contact. You can test proper operation after reassembling the encoder with a multimeter. Set mode to "measure resistance" and connect test probes to the middle and right/left pins (test both). When you turn the knob very slowly, the resistance should go from infinity (no contact) to zero, back to infinity and so on... it is a pulse encoder. If you always measure infinite resistance (no contact), then you have pushed down the metal lips too far, in this case re-open the encoder and pull the metal lips up a bit and retest. This method is worth spending an hour or so, as you will use your encoders a lot and smooth feeling is of utmost priority :-).

* Sometimes I get shivers when reviewing some engineers´ works in close detail. Whoever is responsible for a piece of art like this deserves massive applause - don´t you wanna grab and turn it? I certainly do ;-). (photo 3 - alpha rotary encoder with an attached chrome knob, will introduce this one later).

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 11 (optional): Add some Air Vents to the PT-10 (...while the glue cures...)

Parts used:

PacTec PT-10 (Mouser P/N 616-82404-510-000)

A sheet of quadrill paper (german: Karopapier)

A bit of tape (e.g. tesa tape)

A 3.5mm drill (if not available, 3mm will be fine)

A drilling machine/better: a vertical drilling machine/drill press


You should increase the chances of airflow within your synthesizer case. The PT10 is nice for its price but quite hermetically sealed.

Lower temperatures are always better, no matter how well the SIDs can endure heat, so I would do it even when using a fan. I don´t know the temperatures within the case, when fully loaded with SIDs and with active LED backlight... But if a fan really is necessary (i´d rather go without one), I do not want cold air to be pulled in too close to the fan and out of the case again, so the case vents were drilled at the bottom of the case. Also, the vents are left and right of the base PCB, so that air can flow more freely.

If you do not like holes in the floor, you also have the possibility to mill slits in the side wall of the PT10. It is up to you :-).

* Cut out a piece of quadrill paper. I used 7.5cm x 1.5cm at a raster of 5 millimeters and drilled the upper 7 centimeters.

* Stick the paper to the bottom of the PT-10, align it with the lower case screw hole (photo 1). Make sure that your tape goes over the full length and width of the quadrill paper. This will ensure, that the drill doesn´t frazzle the paper.

* Drill at every intersection of the quadrill paper (not the lowest ones, they are too close to the case screw hole). It´s only 84 holes, a matter of minutes ;-). A vertical drilling machine would be fine, but you can do it with a hand drill, if necessary.

* When finished, the quadrill paper is quite messed up (photo 2).

* Even when you did not manage to 100% hit the drill hole target spots, it won´t matter, because it´s on the underside and you won´t see it (except as in photo 3, where I lighted from below to expose my inaccurate drilling skills :-)). That was the reason why I chose this method and not the side-wall milling method, where errors are extremely exposed and can ruin the looks of your synth.

* The PT-10 comes with supplied rubber feet. Make sure you stick them to the feet holders, so you have a little air below the holes.

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 12: Create the Display Cable (...while the glue cures...)

Parts used:

Your backlit 20x4 LCD display (see Step 5 for the one I used) with a proper datasheet.

16 pin flat ribbon cable (e.g. from AVI Showtech, but every electronics shop should carry this)

16 pin female IDC connector (buy two or three to be on the safe side, e.g. from AVI Showtech, but every electronics shop should carry this)

A screw clamp, a bench vise or a pipe wrench

A cutting knife

16 pin DIL-header or 2x8 pin SIL-header for connection testing (e.g. from AVI Showtech, but every electronics shop should carry this)

A multimeter/conductivity beeper for connection testing

A piece of transparent tape (e.g. tesa tape)

A few small cable binders

Electric isolation tape (standard material, at least 1cm width)


* Press the IDC connector onto the end of the ribbon cable as follows (if you have never done this before, it is good to have a few spare connectors, so you can experiment):

* Disconnect the top part of the connector.

* Align the ribbon cable, so that every lead is cladded by one press-to-cut connector (photo 1)

* The connector has an arrow or a marking for the first pin, make sure it is the aligned to the right, while the cable points upwards (photo 2). This is how it will be connected to the base board.

* Reattach the connector top. Now apply gentle but increasing parallel pressure to the top and bottom of the connector until it is fastened. It is easiest to do this with a screw clamp or a bench vise, but you can also use a pipe wrench (photo 3).

* After you have pressed the connector, cut off the remainig cable with a knife, straight at the connector (photo 4).

* Let´s test the connector by using your multimeter (set mode to "resistance", when the displayed value is zero, there is a valid electrical connection) or your connection beeper. Insert the connector to a spare piece of DIL header (or two SIL headers). Now press one probe of your multimeter/connection tester to the cable end at the connector and the other probe to the corresponding DIL Header pin (photo 5). Check for connectivity. Now move the probe, that is pressed to the leads at the connector to the two neighboring leads (left and right) to check, that there is NO connectivity. Test all connector pins. If your connectivity is not well, just cut the cable end including the damaged connector off and try again with a new connector.

* Do not attach the connector strain relief, which we would normally use, if there was more space within the case.

* Cut the ribbon cable to 25 centimeters of length. You can use old scissors to obtain a straight cut.

* Test-insert the connector to your base board. Now attach a piece of transparent tape to the ribbon wire just above the bank stick ics. We will splice the cable to a round cable up to this point. The tape prevents further accidental splicing (photo 6).

- phase one completed, lets connect that thing... :)

* Obtain the datasheet of your LCD. A google search for "<lcdname> datasheet" is helpful if you do not have a printed one. And your vendor should have one, for sure.

* Turn the LCD over, so that you can solder on the pads on the backside. Do not solder through the provided holes, but solder flat to the surface of the pads. Make sure, that you do not use too much solder to avoid solder bubbles on the frontside of the pads. This part of the LCD PCB will need to be as close as possible to the CS PCB, every millimeter counts. Pre-solder the pads with a bit of solder. Also, notice that the wires should arrive from the top (photo 7 shows the first connection).

* From right to left, which is equivalent to starting from pin 1 on the base board, we will splice away leads of the ribbon cable up to the tape connection and solder the lead ends to the LCD connection pads.

* In the right-to-left order, the leads of your ribbon cable provide you with these pins:

D7, B+/LCD+, D6, B-/LCD-, D5, Vss, D4, Vdd, D3, V0, D2, RS, D1, R/W, D0, E

* Matching this to the datasheet for my LCD, i derived the following solder order to the numbered pads on the LCD (soldering the ribbon cable from right to left):

first (right) ribbon lead	<--->  Pin 14 (LCD)

second ribbon lead   		<--->  Pin 16 (LCD)

third ribbon lead        	<--->  Pin 13 (LCD)

fourth ribbon lead   		<--->  Pin 15 (LCD)

fifth ribbon lead        	<--->  Pin 12 (LCD) 

sixth ribbon lead        	<--->  Pin  1 (LCD)

seventh ribbon lead      	<--->  Pin 11 (LCD)

eighth ribbon lead   		<--->  Pin  2 (LCD)

ninth ribbon lead        	<--->  Pin 10 (LCD)

tenth ribbon lead        	<--->  Pin  3 (LCD)

eleventh ribbon lead 		<--->  Pin  9 (LCD)

twelveth ribbon lead 		<--->  Pin  4 (LCD)

thirteenth ribbon lead   	<--->  Pin  8 (LCD)

fourteenth ribbon lead   	<--->  Pin  5 (LCD)

fifteenth ribbon lead    	<--->  Pin  7 (LCD)

sixteenth (left) ribbon lead    <--->  Pin  6 (LCD)

Please do the same for your LCD and do not rely on my solder order, especially regarding LCD pins 16 and 15, also read the note below.

* The solder result should look like photo 8.

* Now turn over the LCD to its display side and mask the frontside LCD PCB and pad-area with electric isolation tape (photo 9). This is important, if the front side pad area is not properly masked and touches the CS PCB...

* Using small cable binders, create a round cable out of the section of spliced wires. You can also twist it a little bit to increase stability (photo 10).

* Install and test (photo 11). You can adjust the LCDs contrast by trimming the potentiometer P2_CORE1, so if you see nothing at first, adjust here.


* The datasheet for the LCD, that I bought cheap from china was wrong regarding the backlight polarity. Not too difficult to find out, but... never trust anyone :).

* As we have not attached the connectors strain relief, make sure, when you pull the display cable out of the base board DIL header, that you grab it by the connector case, not by the cable itself.

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 13: Solder the LEDs

Parts used:

112 flat head LEDs (Reichelt Kingbright L-424HDT) (also see notes for instructions for standard round head LEDs)

A roll of 3M Scotch tape (leaves next to no glue residues when pulled off) (only necessary, if you have flat head LEDs)

Your favorite solder equipment


* After the glue has cured, it is time to remove all screws and take off the front panel. JB-Weld worked great (photo 1).

* Now temporarily lay the CS PCB on your PT-10 top to create some room below for the LED wires (photo 2).

* LEDs do have a polarity, make sure you get it right. The shorter leads of the LEDs go into the flat-marked sides of the symbols on the PCB.

* Now drop in all LEDs (photo 3) short leg->flat marked side.

* Mask the frontpanel LED holes flat with scotch tape (photo 4). Scotch tape does not leave any glue marks when removed. If you have another brand, test this property on the backside of the panel first.

* Slide on the frontpanel (the leds are flat to the pcb, so only slide over the tactile switches), turn over the assembly and place it on a soft surface (to avoid scratches). The LEDs cannot fall out, as the leads are too long. Now screw it with all but the corner screws, tightening the screws in the center first, then working towards the edges. You may need to trim some washers again to make room for the LED pins.

* Now turn the panel sideways at a 90 degree angle so that you can look in the gap and with one hand gently apply pressure to the tape from the front side, where the next LED should be stuck in place. Use your other hand to grab the wires and push the LED in place, pressing it against the tape and your finger (photo 5). After that, control, that all LEDs are taped properly and are evenly aligned to the surface. Look at the frontpanel from the side to see possible height differences. The tape holds them really well, so you can turn the whole assembly over (photo 6 was taken before soldering). Make sure you do not touch the pins, though.

* Quick-check the pin patterns for errors. The long/short leg patterns should be uniform (photo 7). If there is a pattern error, correct the LED polarity and redo the last steps. Better now than after soldering ;-).

* Cut the wires short (as shown in the "diode soldering step" at the beginning of this tutorial).

* Quick-check again, that all LEDs are still held inplace by the tape and are even to the surface.

* Solder all pins, without pushing them down. The tape will help too, do not worry too much.

* When finished, it should look like photo 8. Hope you like the flat head LEDs as much as I do ;-).

Congratulations! Most of your control surface is finished by now. :-)


* Regarding the LEDs, don´t buy anything too fancy or too bright (or you will have to use big resistors on the base board to dim that brightness). Cheap standard "wide-beam" (60 degrees) LEDs for 5-8 cents a piece will work fine. Also, stay clear from blue, purple and all other colors with a wavelength too annoying. Blue may look cool first, but is really distracting after some time. "The LEDs are indicators, not a means to illuminate your room", to quote someone famous here :).

* The flat head LEDs look awesome, as they fit perfectly into the 3mm drill holes and offer a really flat frontpanel surface on the matrix area. I would totally recommend them to you.

* If you cannot obtain them, and use round head LEDs, the above steps are slightly different: do not use tape, but put your frontpanel on a clean (to avoid scratches) flat surface and let the LEDs drop into the holdes, using the surface to stop them at the correct, slightly elevated depth. Cut the wires to 5mm before soldering. Then only solder one pin side of the LEDs first, as you might have to correct for depth-alignment errors. After aligning the LEDs depths, solder the other pins. After that, cut all tips. This process may take slightly longer, but is recommended if you have round head LEDs.

* You can clean potentially remaining glue residues/edges with lens wipes

* For the given LEDs, I found out, that "brightness reduction" resistors of 1k ohm work well (solder them to the baseboard at connection points R40-R55).

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 14: Solder the Connector Headers and the Rotary Encoders, Attach the LCD

Parts Used:

66 pins of SIL right-angle headers (Mouser P/N 230-5111TG, buy two)

14 rotary encoders with removed detention, 1 rotary encoder with detention (from step 10)

The LCD you prepared in step 12

4pcs M2.5 x 10mm screws (Reichelt SZK M2,5x10)

8pcs M2.5 nuts (Reichelt M2,5 screw nuts)

A bit of tape, e.g. tesa tape


* Unscrew the frontpanel from the CS PCB.

* Insert the SIL right-angle headers as shown in photo 1. Temporarily "tack" them with a piece of tape. Note, that the headers are attached to the upper side of the CS PCB (due to space limitations in the PT-10 case).

* Turn over the PCB and solder all 66 connection pins.

* Turn over to the frontside again and insert all 14 rotary encoders, from which you have removed the detention in step 10 into the lower encoder fittings on the PCB. Insert the still detented "menu dial" encoder in the upper right encoder fitting.

* Turn over again and solder the encoders, including the encoder clamp bases.

* Check again, that the isolation tape you put on the LCD PCB covers all electrical connections like pads and test pins.

* Using short 2.5mm screws, nuts and counter-fastened nuts, attach the LCD to the CS PCB, so that the screws point upwards towards the frontpanel. You can also use nylon or metal washers on the front and back, of course.

* Remove the thin LCD screen protection film.

* Well done, you have just finished your work on the control surface PCB (photo 2).


* There are some occasional reports of encoders not working as they should (especially when turning them slow) - it might be because of general encoder quality, because of a mistake when removing the detention (step 10) or simply just a monday-encoder, which misbehaves :-)

* I´d therefore recommend to use high-quality encoders such as the referenced Alpha type, which work flawlessly for me since 2 years now (Updated November 2012)

* Also, you can at first only solder the three connection pins, test if the encoders work (with your assembled baseboard) and afterwards solder the big tabs - once these are soldered it gets a bit more difficult to remove/desolder an encoder.

* If you ever need to remove/desolder an encoder, cut all pins directly above the baseboard, heat every pin from below with your soldering iron, and use a vacuum desoldering pump from the upper side of the PCB to suck through all solder and pin remains - this way works without much effort. Never try to desolder a defective encoder "in one piece" - it may damage your CS PCB, because you have to apply much heat to all pins to wiggle it out... it is defective anyways, so you can also cut the pins...

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 15: Install the Control Surface in the upper PT-10 Case

Parts Used:

PacTec PT-10 case top

4pcs black countersunk M3x20mm (optimal) or M3x25mm (not longer!) allen screws (i got mine from ebay, search for "countersunk M3" or "Senkkopfschraube M3" and get black allen/inbus-type screws)

4pcs M3 nylon washers (the ones you used for securing the corner hex standoffs during construction)

12pcs M3 nuts (Reichelt M3 screw nuts)

A cutting knife

A 3.5mm metal drill or a dremel with a grinding tool


* Your PT-10 came with four metal clamps for the four corner frontpanel screws. Unfortunately, these metal clamps are too small for M3 screws, because they have a 2.5mm screw thread on their bottom side. Use a 3.5mm drill or your dremel tool to remove that screw thread and check that your countersunk screws fit (photo 1).

* Attach the metal clamps to the four corners.

* Trim the screw holder in the upper right corner of the PT-10 case top. It collides with the "SID R" LED. Cut out a corner with your cutting knife, use the metal clamp as a guide and "cut stopper" (photo 2).

* Lay the frontpanel on the PT-10 case top.

* Insert the countersunk screws.

* Turn over the assembly, holding the screws in place. Put it on a soft surface, to avoid scratches.

* Secure the screws with one layer of M3 nuts. Only hand-tighten them at first.

* Now try to attach the CS PCB. You will need to adjust the "angles" of the four corner screws by loosening the M3 nuts, changing the angle and fastening the M3 nuts again until you achive a nice fit, so that the PCB slides down the screws without any force. Peek through the hex standoff holes to get an idea in which direction you must adjust. After the PCB slides down the corner screws nicely, take off the PCB again, tighten the corner screws lightly without changing the angle and secure the corner screws with a second layer of counter-tightened nuts (photo 3).

* Finally, gently slide on the PCB, make sure that it lays flat on all spacer hex standoffs. If you have flat-head LEDs, this process can take a little, but it will work in the end. Make sure you don´t apply much pressure, it will bend your LEDs. If it does not fit, try to adjust the corner screws in the proper direction.

* When everything is in place, put on washers and screws in the middle area and washers and nuts on the corner screws. Tighten the inner screws first and work towards the edges. Tighten the screw nuts in the edges at last (photo 4).

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 16: Create the Detachable Base Board <-> Control Surface Connection Cables and Connect

Parts Used:

1pcs 2-pin board connector plug and cable (Reichelt PS 252G WS)

8pcs 8-pin board connector plug and cable (Reichelt PS 258G WS)

Some tape (e.g. tesa tape)

The base board with SIL connectors at the board interconnection pins

Short cable binders

A flat bed caliper

Control knobs (I used 14pcs Mouser Neutrik P670S-02-D6N which are nice and soft and 1 pcs Musikding chrome knob, which is nice and heavy and good as a menu dial, but a little bit shiny. These knobs may not be final for me :-))


* I don´t like to solder wires directly to the PCB, there is always the danger of a solder pad coming off, if you are resoldering new wire.

* If you are like me, you can prepare the base board with 1x2 and 8x8 SIL pin headers as depicted in photo 1.

* We will solder the cable ends of the board connectors to these SIL headers, create a 90 degree cable turn upwards towards the middle of the base PCB, where we will create a 180 degree cable turn going downwards to the CS PCB connectors. The advantage of this "long" cabling strategy is, that you have more "room to play". Also the stress on the cable is minimized. There have been a lot of reports coming in lately, where people had "broken" interconnection cables. Another big advantage is the ability to disconnect the control surface from the base PCB which will be very handy.

* Let´s prepare the interconnector cables. Cut off all board connector cables at 19 centimeters length and mark them at 10 centimeters as shown in photo 2. Use some tape to bundle the cable together nicely, just above and below the 10cm mark, and near the 19cm end.

* Now lets create the CS PCB end plug cable turn by using short cable binders. Fasten them with a flat bed caliper, so that they are really tight (photo 3). The cable binder also serves as a "grip handle" for plugging in or pulling out the connectors from the CS PCB.

* Remove 5 millimeters of isolation at the cable ends and apply solder to the ends.

* Apply solder to the baseboard SIL connectors to allow for easier soldering.

* Solder the cables straight on (photo 4). Make sure, that the plug end is aligned right (see next photos to understand). Start soldering the middle pins, then move to the edges.

* Directly at the solder point, bend the cables flat to the PCB (photo 5).

* Bend connection cables at the marked 10cm point, just below the SIDs (photo 6)

* You can test, if there is enough room in the case by closing it with just one cable installed (photo 7). There is.

* Repeat with all board connector cables. Photo 8 shows the end result of this step (I did not have a 2-pin board connector and cable, that is why I used another connector. When you order parts, you should use one like the 8-pin board connectors for uniformity.

* Close the case and power up ;-). Voila! Have fun! (photo 9). Attach your knobs :). My chrome "menu dial" knob at the upper right will be darkened by some method yet to be tested, it is too shiny.

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Step 17: Assemble the Back Panel (+Feedback Mod) and Passively Cool the SIDs (optional)

Parts used:

1.5mm aluminum backpanel created by FPE/Schaeffer (.fpd is attached)

Two component thermal compound glue (Reichelt Arctic Silver Thermal Compound) (optional)

Low-profile passive heat sinks (Reichelt V 5619C 28pin low profile ic cooler) (optional)

Fan wire guard (to close the fan opening) (Mouser P/N 562-08149)

4 pcs M2.5 screws (from step 14)

8 pcs M2.5 nuts (from step 14)

a length of ribbon wire (at least 3 pins)

8pcs 3-pin SIL housing (feedback connectors) (Mouser P/N 855-M20-1060300)

1pcs 2-pin SIL housing (power led connector) (Mouser P/N 855-M20-1060200)

26pcs SIL housing crimp terminals (Mouser P/N 855-M20-1180042 (a pack contains 100))

4pcs feedback potentiometers (Mouser P/N 313-1250F-100K) 4pcs small rubber rings or washers fitting the feedback potentiometer shafts.

4pcs 6mm shaft potentiometer knobs - i used the "Musikding" chrome control knobs from step 16. They may be too large for your taste, though. But they feel nice and heavy.

a 25-pin connector terminal (Reichelt 25-pin sub-d connector - I ripped mine from an old computer motherboard.

one more LED (from step 13) as a power indicator - i ordered a green one

one drop of superglue

a 3.5mm stereo out connector (Reichelt EBS35 connector) - if you buy a different one, make sure it is very short, otherwise it will collide with the control surface PCB.


* (Optional) Being a fan of passive cooling (fans always fail when it is most inappropriate), I have glued heatsinks to the 8580s, as mine get a little warm. I know, that the SIDs can stand a lot of heat (and do so without a heat sink or ventilation in the C64-II), but cooler is always better and if it prolongs the life of your soundchips for a few more years, it is all the better. I estimate, that they will become very rare in 25 years or so :-). Using two-component thermal compound glue (i used arctic silver thermal compound), stick the aluminum heatsinks to the SIDs (photo 1). Make sure, the heat sinks are low-profile enough, close the PT-10 top to test before glueing.

* Install the fan mesh wire guard using four M2.5 screws and eight M2.5 nuts, counter-fastening the nuts (photo 2).

* Now cut eight pieces of 3-pin ribbon wire (length 8 cm) (photo 3).

* Using a flat bed caliper, crimp the terminals to one end of the eight pieces of ribbon wire (photo 4). Before crimping, I twist and tin the wire ends to provide for a better contact.

* Now install the 3-pin SIL housings (photo 5). Make sure you push the terminals into the housings until you hear two clicks.

* Solder the other ends of the cables to the potentiometers, two cables to each potentiometer. The potentiometers have 2x3 connectors, looking at the potentiometer shaft, pins pointing downwards, GND is the left, AUDIO IN the middle, AUDIO OUT is the right pin - look at photo 6 for the proper wiring. You can also look at the base board J[2]3-SID[1..4] jumpers to see which pin is which (IN/GND/OUT).

* Put a fitting washer or a rubber ring on the potentiometer axis to buffer against unwanted axial movement when turning the knobs hard :). Install the potentiometers, connectors facing downward. Install the knobs (photo 7 - note in this photo the wiring is wrong, refer to photo 6 or 11 for correct wiring).

* Install the 25-pin sub-d connector terminal. It is not wired yet, as we do not use CV-outs yet and is there just to "close" the back panel. But it will be very handy, if you want to get some control voltages out of the MB-6582 (photo 8), need a new one, the color sucks :-).

* Install the LED, just glue it with a small drop of superglue from the backside of the panel. Build a cable with a 2-pin SIL-housing. Connect to J2 (photo 9).

* Install the stereo out connector. Mine offered a transparent "view window" to see which pins are what. Build another 3-pin cable with SIL-housing and connect to J70 so, that the tip=LEFT, middle=RIGHT, bottom/ring=GND (photo 10).

Done! Your back panel should now look like photo 11. Enjoy your fantastic new synth. The feedback mod is really nice. Try it when "filter ext in" is active in conjunction with a sid bandpass filter!

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Edited by Hawkeye
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It is a great project and everything worked at once (the same with the base board). It is a really gratifying moment to see all those LEDs fire up at the first (ok, second, after resistor testing) time, and have all switches and knobs working instantly. Cool thing!

It is a complex synth, it appears, that not the SIDs create the sound, but T.K.s magic ;-). Be prepared for some totally un-SID-ish sounds, because of the added features like LFOs, wavetable... I will need SOME time to explore all features, there is a lot more than expected ;-).

The bassline mode and the cutoff filters of the 8580/6582 are fantastic. I´d like to have some more screaming resonance, but it is easy to connect a CV-controlled external filter to the MBSID (you already have the headers on the base board and CV-control is integrated into the user interface), also there is a filter project floating around in the forums here ;-). A fine new project, or don´t eat for the next year and get a Sherman Filterbank or a Schipmann Ebbe und Flut... Hmmm... ;-).

And I would be very interested in your feedback regarding this tutorial. Did you like it? Comments and discussions regarding the proposed building steps are very welcome.

UPDATE: The tutorial does not end here - I added some steps for nice optional Mods

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Edited by Hawkeye
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Congratulations Hawkeye!

I soldered the new cables, and everything is fine except for 3 LEDs not lighting.

Im not too worried about them now though, im having too much fun!

Your tutorial is excellent, its extremely well written, to the point, and step by step.

You cannot ask for better really.

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Thanks, dude :)

Just wanted to tell everyone, that the tutorial is now officially complete, just added step 17 "Building the back panel".

The feedback mod really screams ;-)

nILS, if you read this, could you please delete the empty postings #9 and #10 of this thread? Thanks, man!

Hope you enjoyed it. I really love the MB-6582. 8-SID polyphony with slightly different overdrive/feedback settings sounds really, really awesome!

And I want to recommend Smithys real cool knob removal tool. Comes in handy, if you had shaky hands soldering the CS: :-)

Edited by Hawkeye
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Congratulations Hawkeye!

I soldered the new cables, and everything is fine except for 3 LEDs not lighting.

Im not too worried about them now though, im having too much fun!

Your tutorial is excellent, its extremely well written, to the point, and step by step.

You cannot ask for better really.

Great walk-through - would have made my build go a lot faster. I nominate this for a sticky in the MB Sid section. Not everyone will find it over here.

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