19 May 2008

Yusynth (Part 1)

Today I started yet another DIY modular project. Since the 70's I have been dreaming about a big Moog Modular system. To buy one is actually quite impossible or way too expensive, so I decided to look for clone modules and build a big system myself. I looked at a lot of ready to buy stuff on the internet like Synthesizers.com, MOTM and Oakley, but I also found the Yusynth project from Yves Usson. He designed a lot of modules and put all the instructions on his website. And since I love DIY stuff I will start of by building all of his modules at least once, but of some modules I will build more :) It looks all great and I can't wait to hear how it will sound. But this is going to be a big project. You can find more information on the this website: http://www.yusynth.net/Modular/index.html. I can hear you thinking. Are you not busy enough? You were also working on the ASM-2 right? Yes and yes, but still I'm going to do this as well. For the ASM-2 I'm still waiting for some parts so this project is a bit on hold, but I will finish that as soon as possible.

Today I went to my old Employer Jan from Bird Electronics. I worked there for about 8 years where I did everything that comes to building and repairing electronics. You can read more about this on my biography if you want. He made the first run of PCB's for me today. A process I didn't see for a long time. The first thing he did was to print out the PCB's designs on a special transparent foil with a photo printer. After that that is put on top of the PCB's
in a lighting device that shines UV light on the PCB. The top layer of the raw PCB is photo sensitive. The parts that are covered by the dark part of the foil print will not get lighted.

After that it is put in a special bath with chemicals that will first peel of the photo sensitive layer where the light did hit the PCB. After that it is put in another bath that will remove the copper on these parts. What is left are the copper tracks as they where on the PCB design. Here on the left you see my old boss Jan wearing gloves. The chemicals used are quite aggressive and you don't want that on your clothes or hands. It dissolves copper! Can't be good right :) Jan is very experienced in this process and all the PCB's where OK in the first run. Which is nice because we made more than I actually wanted so I have a lot of spares now or I can build even more.

After that it was my turn to do some work. On the picture on the right you the stack of PCB's we made on the right and see a drill on the right and yes I have been drilling holes all day. I did this a lot when I worked at Bird Electronics, but it was a long time ago. But I still had it in me ;) The drill runs at 20.000 and it is easy to break a drilling bit, but I didn't break one. I drilled all the holes a 1 millimeter which is tricky sometimes because the is not much copper left so aiming well is important. And I can tell you there were a lot of holes. I couldn't even finish the job today so I will continue tomorrow and show you some more.

It was very nice to work with my old crew today. Very nostalgic :) It really felt like going back to my roots. In the picture here you see my ex-colleague Marcel who worked there as well when I was still employed. He even left the company for a few years, but now he is back. He is a real specialist in soldering and also very good and mechanical constructions. I'm very thankful that they are helping my out here (Jan, Marcel thank you big time!). But they will be seeing me more I guess. We still have another runs of PCB's to do and even more drilling for me :) I will keep you posted on this project off course. More tomorrow.


yusynth said...

Hi Michel

This is Yves here, I wish you the best with your project of building a yusynth modular.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you need additional information for trimming/adjusting the modules .

Yves, yusynth

Synth.nl said...

Hi Yves, how great that you found this already and react here :) Thank you very much for you offer to help!