Apparently I am not making it clear enough. These designs are for advanced builders and experimenters. I have built them and they have worked to my satisfaction. However, I am not a business. I cannot afford to make hundreds of beta versions. I cannot afford to try every brand of component in every design. I also have no control over the single most important factor in their assembly - namely your skills. This is my hobby. I merely shared what I had done with other interested parties.
  • If you cannot read and understand a circuit diagram, then these circuits and projects are not for you.
  • If you cannot readily identify components by looking at them, then these circuits and projects are not for you.
  • If you need someone to give you a Mouser part number so you can buy a part, then these circuits and projects are not for you.
  • If you are incapable of fault finding and fixing a circuit, then these circuits and projects are not for you.
  • If you are not prepared to accept the FULL RESPONSIBILITY for whatever you do with my designs, or any circuit board based on my designs, then these circuits and projects are not for you.
  • There are plenty of pre-built synthesizers on the market. If any of the above applies to you, I suggest you take advantage of the wonderful range these manufacturers offer.
  • There should be plenty of assistance available from other builders via the various synthesizer forums.

Dear DIYer,

  • If you are building a DIY kit only because it appears to be cheaper than the constructed module, you are wasting your time.
  • DIY kits are for people who do DIY for the enjoyment and challenges involved in doing so.
  • DIY kits are presented as a convenience for those with the required knowledge as a way to save them hours hunting around for parts on their own.
  • You are paying the kit supplier to spend hours of his time gathering those part, so you can devote yourself to the "fun bit". The price does NOT include hours of customer support to fix the mess caused by your own lack of skills.
  • If you cannot read resistor color codes, or if you cannot tell one component apart from another without it being in a labeled bag, DIY is NOT for you.
  • When module you have constructed does not work because of your inexperience and lack of understanding, it is NOT the fault of kit supplier or designer. It is entirely your own fault, if not for the errors, then at least for buying something that was beyond your capability.
  • Abusing the supplier will achieve only one thing. It will make him dislike you. If you abuse him too much, he may well decide the whole lot of you can do without his services.

Help - how do I ?????

Note that some of these questions seem like jokes. The really funny thing is that I have been asked each and every one of them, and usually several times.

If you have technical questions, please seek help on one of the many synth DIY forums. Do not mail them directly to Ken Stone or whoever is hosting this site, as it is highly likely there will not be any response.


Q. How do I wire a mains transformer?
A. If you need to ask this, you should not be attempting it. Get someone qualified to do it for you.

Q. How much current do your modules draw.
A. I don't know. It depends on how the individual builds it - what options are included, how many LEDs are lit at any given moment etc.. If you really want to know, put an ammeter in series with each of the power rails in turn and measure it.

Q. It doesn't work. What's wrong with it?
A. You've built it wrong. Believe it or not, people do ask this question, just like that. As if I'm going to know what's wrong from that much info. Invariably when the builder claims to have checked everything over and everything is "perfect", they write back a few days telling me that they had wrong parts in locations, forgot to install assorted bits, made their own board and it was mirror imaged (I kid you not!) and so on. Very rarely will there be an actual circuit design problem or a component failure. 99% of the time it is a construction error.

Q. Is an 18V CT (center tap) transformer the same thing as a 18V-0-18V (36V CT) transformer as used in the CGS power supplies?
A. No. An 18V CT transformer is clearly not a 36V CT transformer.

Q. What is the Mouser part number for this (whatever) part?
A. Ask on the group. I don't use Mouser - they aren't even in the same country as me.

Q. Why does my 4015 get stinking hot? (4015 is just a randomly chosen 4000 series number - this applies to all 4000 series chips such as 4017, 4024, 4066 etc.)
A. It is probably a 74HCT4015, or some other 74xxx variant designed to run on 5 volts. It is possible that these chips may not have the "74" in their part number, so avoid any that start with "HC". You want CD4015, HEF4015 or MC14015. Note that Motorola includes "1" at the beginning of their part numbers. A MC4015 is a different device altogether and will also get stinking hot. If the salesman behind the counter tells you the 74xxx will work just as well, IGNORE HIM - he's a salesman, not a technician or engineer. There will be letters after the device number. "B" is the most common. these extra letters indicate whether the chip is buffered, and what package type it is. Make sure you get a DIP package and not an SMD package.

Q. Would it be too much trouble for you to have someone buy such and such a part and send it to me?
A. As for me sending someone out to buy something - I live alone out in a semi-rural area - the nearest electronics shop is 40 minutes drive from here. And as this is a hobby, not a business, there are no staff. As such, there is no one for me to send to go buy them! I could ask one of my ponies to do it if you like, but as the gate is shut, they might have trouble even getting off the property. Alternately, I could ask Anne, but she's made of resin.
You think this answer is silly? So is your question.

Can't find the parts? See the parts FAQ to see if I've already answered the question.


A note to readers:

All electronic projects and designs presented on this web site, or associated web sites should be considered dangerous if not lethal if not used safely. When working on projects based on these designs, use extreme care to ensure that you do not come into contact with mains AC voltages or high voltage DC. If you are not confident about working with mains voltages, or high voltages, or you are not legally allowed to work with mains voltages, or high voltages, you are advised not to attempt work on them. The author, host, and all people associated with these web pages disclaim any liability for damages should anyone be killed or injured while working on these projects, or projects based on these designs, or any other project or design presented on these web pages and any associated web pages. The author, host, and all people associated with these web pages also disclaim any liability for projects, or projects based on these designs, or any other project or design presented on these web pages and any associated web pages when used in such a way as to infringe relevant government regulations and by-laws.