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Wilba

8xSID MB-SID PCB (aka. MB-6582) - request for comments

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Hi there!

This is exactly what I need!! Count me in on those PCB's and group-orders!!!

I also want a MIDIbox SID, but I want the professional look. Sadly, I don't have much time to design the PCB's, so this is perfect! ;)

Where did you get the work on the faceplate done? And is the design available somewhere?

Also, since we all need to do the soldering on our own.... Do you have schematics for what parts are needed and where they go on the PCB? would certainly make it alot easier! :)

And if I've understood it correct... are we able to use all kinds of SID's mixed together (in pairs..)?

I have 4x8580 and 2x6581.. Just need to know if I can use 4 of each to get both filter-sounds, or if it's best

to use 8 similar ones... I'm aware of the voltage-difference, but didn't you mention something about fixing this on the PCB?

In that case, how will it be done... some sort of auto-recognition, software programming or jumpers on DIL pin headers?

Thanks,

Lars

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Frontpanel was by Front Panel Express. You could get it made by Schaeffer like a lot of other MIDIboxers. I haven't released the FPD files yet, I really should upload them somewhere for people to start playing with them...

For MB-SID V2, you can control two SIDs per PIC, ideally these should be the same kind of SID, so for stereo, they'll sound the same. So it's probably best to put same SIDs together in pairs, but you are not restricted to this on the revised PCB. Each SID can connect to 12v or 9v. It was easier to use two separate headers with jumper.

I am very busy making the revisions now, once they are done I can get some made and then build up a list of parts (i.e. C1 = 2200 uF electro, etc.)  The schematics are a bit of a mess actually, but you won't need schematics, in most cases it all matches the MIDIbox module schematics and port pinouts.

I have 4x8580 and 2x6581.. Just need to know if I can use 4 of each to get both filter-sounds, or if it's best

to use 8 similar ones... I'm aware of the voltage-difference, but didn't you mention something about fixing this on the PCB?

In that case, how will it be done... some sort of auto-recognition, software programming or jumpers on DIL pin headers?

It's not "best" to use 8 similar ones. It's "best" to use similar ones in pairs. Jumpers control the different voltage, you can use machine pin sockets for swappable filter capacitors, and the firmware can be recompiled for 8580 or 6581 (and possibly will not need this in V2, just change in config).

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I'm not an expert either, but I thought overdrive was just amplifying the signal until it clips, and distortion uses diodes for creating clipping. I think the way you wired it up is standard overdrive, and because it is so simple - requires only a potmeter - it is brilliant in its way. Distortion units often work by loading an op-amp and clipping with diodes, I think the EXT-IN of the SID uses an op-amp to mix the signals together, so that's how your distortion is generated. It would be great if one could also add diodes for the distortion, but on the other hand that is probably a lot of designing work for something very few people would want. In any case that could be done on a separate board (audio-out -> clipping -> audio in) so it won't interfere with your current design. If on the other hand you would like to examine the diode clipping thing, that could probably be done by just adding 2 diodes per SID near the audio-out, either with a connection to ground (so called "hard" clipping) or a connection to the SID audio-in ("soft" clipping).

Everything you ever wanted to know about distortion can probably be found here: http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/richardo/distortion/

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Are you guys still looking for PLED displays?

found this company located in the Netherlands

http://www.htvision.com/

The 20x4 aren't in stock, so I don't know if they still make them, but they at least have

smaller ones. (does the software support larger then two rows?) I also checked out the forums,

and they experimented with the same PIC's (?) that we're using for the MIDIbox's, so I assume they'll work...

Can anyone confirm this? Wilba?

They only ship to EU (got a Dutch friend of min to translate..), but if we are able to use them, I'll be happy to order a bunch and ship them out to

anyone who's building the MB-6582... ;)

Lars

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found a dealer located in Norway.. (actually, it's almost a walking distance away from me ;))

http://www.elfa.se/elfa-bin/dyndok.pl?lang=no&vat=0&dok=9855.htm

They don't have 20x4 either, but they have 20x2 also (it says their out, and don't know when they'll have it back in... get's it from Taiwan).

This one's a bit thinner (9.6mm to be exact), so that's the way to go if there's only a 10mm gap.

the one at htvision.com was 13.5mm....

I don't know if it works on the similar system though, so if you could check out the product data chart, Wilba, I'm sure you'll figure it out... (press the "sheet"-button next to the "i"-button)

If these are still available, and can be used, I can ship them to whoever's building the MB-6582.

I don't think ELFA ships internationally... 271 NOK is about €25 / $45 US.

Lars

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ok, final post for today....

http://www.matrixorbital.ca/Members/Nick/pled

I've checked around, and everything leads to this information...

PLED technology will be discontinued all over the globe (don't ask why).

So I guess the question is.. can the PSU handle a backlit LCD in addition to the 8xSID configuration?

are there any other cool displays we can use instead?

If Wilba is going to change the layout etc. anyway, it might be an idea to find a replacement-display

so everything will fit nicely together...

Any ideas/thoughts/comments?

Lars

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I found a Los Alamos paper, that suggests a failure mode of delamination of one of the 'back' contact films occurring at around 1000 hours. Other papers suggest main failure in the blue PLED systems. There is little on the web, so I'm beginning to worry that there might be some as yet unreported toxicity in the chemicals used - a picture from one of the PLED printer makers shows an operative in a full suit, though this may be for clean room reasons.

My view is to go for one of the newer transmissive LCD's with the latest backlighting.

Mike

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If a groupbuy is needed for schaeffer i will organise this. I know a neat trick to lower the cost of schaeffer panels. And we get a discount on 5 or more panels!

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As far as I'm aware, a C64 PSU "brick" should deliver enough 5V current to power an LCD backlight. Also, those "edge-lit" ones (anything with white LEDs) use much less current.

Since a standard LCD with backlight is >10mm thick, it won't fit in a 10mm gap like I use, so the easiest solution is just mount it behind the control surface PCB. This means the display will be a little further behind the panel than on mine, but you won't have to deal with those two little PCBs that I use. So I've changed the PCB so that those switches and LEDs which were on separate PCBs are now on the CS PCB, and users are expected to cut a hole in the PCB with a rotary tool (Dremel) so their display fits through. (If this is a problem for some people then I'll do it for you!)

If you really don't like a few millimeters of gap between the panel and the display, then you can possibly reduce the gap with shorter threaded spacers, but then the rotary encoders might poke through more than you want, this can offset this by using a thicker panel, but then you might need longer tactile switches, etc...  ;)

It's hard to get display, switches, LEDs and encoders all to fit into a single-PCB design... so I'm catering for most people by "supporting" a standard thickness 4x20 backlit LCD and not requiring those extra PCBs.

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I found a Los Alamos paper, that suggests a failure mode of delamination of one of the 'back' contact films occurring at around 1000 hours.

Right, that means that the spec's I've been given are false, I'll be taking mine back for a refund... Damn!! I've got 100's of dollars in these things :-\

My view is to go for one of the newer transmissive LCD's with the latest backlighting.

More reason for me to look at those tasty optrex displays (they do CLCDs too)... Anyone else have a source for high contrast LCD's?

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If a groupbuy is needed for schaeffer i will organise this. I know a neat trick to lower the cost of schaeffer panels. And we get a discount on 5 or more panels!

Count me in sir!

you can email me at sdclements(at)gmail(dot)com

I'm game!!

Steve  :)

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I'm down for group buy faceplates, components, cases etc...

ceedub <dot> industries <at> gmail <dot> com

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I'm down for the front panel as well...!

larssa (at) gmail (dot) com

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I would also be interested in the PCB and the faceplate. Do you mind giving me a round about figure on these? Dude i want one just like the one you built. AMAZING!

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ok, final post for today....

http://www.matrixorbital.ca/Members/Nick/pled

I've checked around, and everything leads to this information...

PLED technology will be discontinued all over the globe (don't ask why).

So I guess the question is.. can the PSU handle a backlit LCD in addition to the 8xSID configuration?

are there any other cool displays we can use instead?

If Wilba is going to change the layout etc. anyway, it might be an idea to find a replacement-display

so everything will fit nicely together...

Any ideas/thoughts/comments?

Lars

I'm no PLED guru... but does Crystalfontz's PLED fit the bill?  These are backlit as well.

Would any of these work and not leave a gab, keep the PSU happy, or not alter Wilba's most excellent layout?

http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/634/index.html

By the way... I don't think the end of the OLED/PLED is near....  Soon they will be your TV

http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20070524/133073/

but like I said I'm no OLED/PLED guru

Steve

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Those ones aren't PLED, and they've got different dimensions anyway.

Basically there are PLEDs, and then there are LCD with different kinds of backlight (edge-lit, LED array behind, EL, etc). With PLEDs, each pixel is an LED. With LCD, each pixel is a little black square of LCD (or the absence of a little black square in inverted displays).

The control surface PCB will suit an "industry standard" 20x4 (4x20) character display.

Something like this one is as close as you can get to the PLED I used:

http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/2004a-color/index.html#CFAH2004AYTIJP

You need one with mounting holes that match the PCB, i.e. 93mm horizontal, 55mm vertical, 2.5mm diameter, and the "Active Area (AA)" where the character pixels are is a rectangle of 70.4mm x 20.8mm which is centred.

eBay will have plenty if you can't afford Crystalfontz, and there's nothing wrong with using a common black-on-green LCD like many other people, with red LEDs this will look hot with a white-on-black panel, much like this one:

tino6.jpg

http://www.midibox.org/forum/index.php?topic=7438.0

I will adjust the size of the hole in the panel so that if the display is a few millimeters behind the panel then you don't cover up the bottom edge if viewed from a low angle. It really shouldn't make any difference then whether the display was flush with the panel or not, and might even look cool.

If you mount the display behind the PCB, the top of the display will be 9mm - 1.6mm = 7.4mm above the PCB. The gap between PCB and front panel is 10mm, so the top of the display is 2.6mm behind the front panel. The front panel is 1.5mm thick, so it's 4.1mm behind the front panel's front surface.

So... to make the "View Area (VA)" entirely visible at 45 degrees, you just use a hole with the same dimensions as the view area, plus 4.1mm around the edge. eg. the "View Area (VA)" is 75mm x 24.2mm, so make it 83.2mm x 32.4mm

***

I'm not sure whether it's a good idea to start ordering panels yet, because MB-SID V2 is not finished and I made my panel knowing it wouldn't be perfect... already some of my "extras" are wrong... so while I can understand everyone is eager to get started, what I might suggest is we arrange a control surface PCB order a bit later, and get the base PCB order started very soon so those people wanting just the base PCB don't have to wait around for me to tinker with the control surface design or wait until MB-SID V2 is nearly released. The base PCB is compatible with the MB-SID v1.74685 release and people can hack together a "step A" or "step B" control surface to play with it, or just use JSynthLib.

People wanting both PCBs can get both delivered later to save postage if they really want, or get their base PCB now and start soldering. I'm just saying that it's probably a good idea to wait a little longer before ordering panels and matching control surface PCB.

BTW the base PCB revisions are complete, I just have to get some quotes.

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Wilba,

I'm certain we all want to do this correctly.  You design looks fantastic and indeed there's a number of us eager to have this bleeping box on the desk in front of us and midied up to the rig.

I'll be happy to order the base PCB with the initial group order and will hold off on the control PCB until you have it all in order, and a corrected faceplate as well.

With regard to the PLED.  Have you found any on eBay recently?  I bought a 2x20 a while back when I was collecting bits for a midiboxSID project... but haven't got any hits recently.

sdclements(at)gmail(dot)com

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I said you won't find PLEDs anymore.

You will find LCDs on eBay. Search for "20x4 LCD"

Something like this

***

Sorry this is taking so long, I discovered last night that SmashTV uses 6-pin resistor networks in his DIN module and I used 5-pin. So I made changes to support both 5-pin and 6-pin (mainly because SmashTV has 6-pin, and might offer a "bag of bits" to go with the PCB), and then discovered I was missing those resistors that hold the signal high if you don't stuff all the shift registers... i.e. they make a DINx4 board work with only one shift register, so for completeness I've put those resistors in.

And to annoy you even more with delays, I'm going on a business trip next week and won't be doing anything for two weeks. So I wouldn't be expecting delivery of any PCBs until mid-July at the earliest.

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No worries, I am still in for one base PCB, no matter when it comes ;D

ilmenator

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We'll be happy when it comes, no rush!

cheers

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Hello.  I've got 4 SID chips waiting to be put to good use.  I'd really like to get in on the group buy when it happens.  I'd like to build one just like yours (Wilba) so I'm interested in all the panels and pcbs.  It's a beautiful design.

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Hey Wilba,

I'm keen for a base PCB that can handle both SIDs.. In in .au

I was going to do it from scratch, but I've got my first baby due in 8 weeks and my time is going to be even more busy than it already is. I still have my nice enclosure for my control surface.. implementation is another thing though! I also need more C64s to cannibalise. :) Lucky there are still plenty going down here in melbourne. hoorah :)

cya mate

k

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Wilba! Take your time. If you say december i am happy with that too.

Do not let people put pressure on you!

If they want it fast let them build their own box.

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down here in melbourne. hoorah :)

Hah another Melburnian sweet! I think we have the highest population of midiboxers in any city :D

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It's a possibility, though I think it's unlikely ;)

US/UK have the higher percentage of C64's, so I'd guess somewhere like NYC, simply for the size.

Check the Frappr map though, maybe that would tell you.

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