Getting the parts to build a Music Thing random sequencer

June 2, 2012

I’m not selling PCBs or parts for the Random Sequencer project, but this page should explain how to get hold of them in a cost-effective way.

This information was correct in May 2012.

PCBs: £17 for ten boards, inc global shipping 

1. Go to iTead studio’s PCB Prototyping service.

2. Buy “Green 2 layer 5cm * 10cm Max 10pcs” for $22. This is the cheapest option. You can also choose coloured boards for a few dollars more. There’s also a dropdown to chose the finish. HASL is standard. ROHS (lead free) is an extra $5. Gold plating (ENGL) is an extra $15. They’re recently added new dropdowns: Choose Thickness 1.6mm. E-Test seems to be free, I choose 100%.

3. Once you get a confirmation email, send  the Random Sequencer v2 Gerbers file to pcb@iteadstudio.com with the order number in title. I’ve done this with these files and it works fine. If they ask about ‘outlines’ reply ‘they’re in every layer’. That’s the only question they’ve ever asked me.

4. My last order arrived in London in less than 3 weeks and cost a total of £17 – that’s £1.70 per board. Sell or give away any spare PCB you end up with.

Parts from £15 per module

1. Apart from pots and sockets, most of the parts are generic. I built most of mine from bitsbox.co.uk

2. The PCB is designed for sockets from erthenvar.com (approx $40 for 100, inc nuts and shipping).  You may be able to use other 3.5mm sockets with a bit of cludging.

3. Apart from sockets, here is a complete Random Sequencer project at Mouser. I ordered this, it was 90% correct, and I’ve since updated the project, so I’m confident it should work well. Right now, it costs £14.27. It includes many basic components may have in your parts box (resistors, basic op-amps, ceramic caps), so check before you order. Unfortunately, UK shipping is £12 for orders under £50.

Panels from £tbc

1. Many places will now laser cut Acrylic panels, which are easy to design using vector graphics software like Illustrator. Grab the Random Sequencer panel design files – pdf + illustrator.

2. I use 4dLaser because it’s close to my office. They charge under £20 for a sheet of 3mm Acrylic (maybe 30-40 panels). However, cutting and engraving that entire sheet might cost £80. Ask your laser guy for advice about how to keep the price low. My designs worked for me, but check with your laser operator (i.e. the spirographic design uses a clipping mask, which might not work on some laser cutters)

3. For smaller orders, Pokono could be another way to go, or Pro Modular may be able to help. Update: here is Glitched’s Random Looping Sequencer Project Page on Pokono.

Let me know how you get on!

3 Comments

  1. Great project! I would try :)

  2. Is there a BOM for Reichelt or another European store for parts?

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