19 January 2010

Oakley MidiDAC Midi2CV Module

I know that I'm posting updates on finished modules very rapidly after another now. But that doesn't mean I all build them so quick :) I have build a lot of PCB's the last two years and just now I have all components for some modules. So that is why I'm able to get them finished so quickly because now I finally have the potmeters or the front panels. Here you see the PCB of an Oakley MidiDAC midi to CV converter. It is supposed to be very good so I'm very curious how it will track later on. I should eventually hook my midi setup up to my modular through this unit.

Oakley thought very well of the layout of the PCB in correlation to the position of the front panel components. They can do so of course because the PCB is front panel mounted through the potmeter so you will actually know where they go :) But because of this the wires are all quite short which makes it look very tidy. I just couldn't use my regular led holders because one of the leds is exactly behind the PCB. I guess that is the downside of this construction for me. I used more simple black plastic led holders for this unit and decided to just solder wires to the leds in steads of bending the legs and soldering them on the PCB itself.

Then is was time to hook it up and to some testing. At first I didn't get any response but found out quickly that this was because the Midi channel was set wrongly. The DIP switch worked just the other way around as I expected. Then I hookup up a midi keyboard and started to test all the signal outputs. As you can see there is a lot of them and that is also what makes this Midi to CV converter great. Next thing was to check the switched and potmeters and that all worked fine. So then it was time for some calibration. Of course this module must tune and to 1V/Oct.

Calibrating isn't even that difficult on this module. You just put the tune potmeter in the middle. Then there is an initial trim potmeter. And then you measure the Voltage on the Pitch output. Select the lowest note possible and it should read 0 Volts. Then you go to the highest midi note possible and then turn the V/Oct trim potmeter until it read 10,58 Volts. And then it should track. And I verified that by hitting notes across different octaves and it tracks perfectly. I was expecting this to be much more work, but actually it tuned in about 5 minutes :) After that I played around a bit on the VCO I build recently. I was thinking to recalibrate that VCO soon using this MidiDAC since I think it tracks even better than the Roland CV keyboard that I used back then. If you are interested in this module visite the Oakley Website at: http://www.oakleysound.com/mididac.htm

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