13 November 2011

SammichFM (Part 4)

The next step in the building of the SammichFM is to solder all the components on the front panel PCB's. In this picture you can see all the IC sockets, switches, transistors, resistors and capacitors already on the PCB. Actually this is a quite straight forward job. Only on the bottom two right switches you have to cut the leads very short, because otherwise they would touch the heat sink of the power regulator on the base PCB when the whole synth is assembled. Something not to forget.

Then you have to put some spacers on the PCB again. This time to put the front panel in place in order to solder the leds in place. By putting the front panel on, you can stick the leds through the holes simply by turning everything upside-down. Then the leds fall into their intended positions. Because the whole thing is upside-down the leds can't fall out anymore and you can solder them on the bottomside. A simple trick but very effective. Everything looks good.

After this the PCB's are done and it is time to do some power tests, just to see if there are no short circuit. Everything turned out OK, so I put in all the IC's. Basically the electronics part of the project is done now, so it was time for the famous 'smoke test'. I put power on the construction while holding the upper PCB up so that nothing touched each other. And they after applying power feel the IC's to check if they get hot. Well no temperature and no smoke. So all looks great.

And here is a final picture with both finished PCB's. So far I still filmed the whole process and I'm into 3 hours of film by now. Which means I build the whole thing effectively in three hours, but of course over a period of a couple of days. Usually I spend about an hour a day working on a project like this. The next thing will be to assemble the whole case and test the synthesizer. I'm very curious if it will work of course. I'll let you know soon!

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