modular analog synthesizer for electronic music
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 Technical Information
 

 
If you're looking for the technical 'nuts-and-bolts', you've come to the right place.

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            Design Philosophy
            Electrical Specifications
            Panel Specifications
            Panel Graphics
            Power Supplies
            Signal Connectors
            External DC Power Connector
            External AC Power Connector
            Internal DC Module Power Connector
            Internal Pot/Switch Connector
            Internal DC Harness Connector
            Internal AC Power Switch Connector
            Internal AC Power Supply Connector

 


     Design Philosophy

  • All analog circuitry for signal processing.
  • Voltage levels compatible with most other modular systems.
  • Control ranges go beyond useful limits, even if clipping may occur.
    We let you decide what the limits are.
  • Multi-purpose Oscillator module instead of a separate LFO module.
  • Waveforms and responses are not made unnaturally perfect,
    in order to produce that traditional analog sound.
  • Jacks located on the panel to promote intuitive usage, not to reduce
    cable clutter which occurs anyway on multi-row systems.
  • Separate functions are put on separate modules, not combined.
  • All ICs are socketed for easy repair.
  • We don't rely on the panels to carry ground.
  • Separate 5 volt power supply for digital and LEDs.
  • Precision voltage references used where pitch can be affected.
  • Circuit boards are mounted parallel to panel to reduce cabinet depth.
  • Truly modular design, even power modules.
  • Attenuators on inputs where it makes sense, to ease patching.
  • Consistent panel layout - text and jack/pot placement.
  • Sliders are not easy to adjust, only use knobs.
  • Big knobs, 1/4 jacks, but no over-populated panels.
  • Panel sizes compatible with Moog modular.

 


     Electrical Specifications

We use voltage levels that are very common to analog synthesizers which will make it easy to interface with other audio equipment.

Pitch Control Voltages: 1 volt per octave
Waveform Voltages: 10V peak-peak
Gates: 0-5V positive ON, threshold 1.5V
Signal Input Impedance: 100K
Signal Output Impedance: 1K
Envelope Voltages: 0-5V
DC Power: +15V, -15V, +5V
AC Power: 110VAC, 220VAC

 


     Panels

Each synthesizer module consists of a front panel and a circuit board mounted on the back. Panels can be individually removed from the synthesizer cabinet after removing the power connector.

Panels are made of .062" aluminum, sanded, formed on the sides for strength, masked, painted, textured, then silkscreen printed. All panels are 8.75" in height and come in various 'widths'.

Panel Widths
A single width panel is 2.125" - all others are multiples of this single width. Common sizes are single width, double width, quad width, and octal width, but any multiple of a single can be made.

Common Panel Widths
      Single: 2.125"
      Double: 4.25"
      Quad: 8.5"
      Octal: 17"

Click here to see a CAD drawing in .GIF format, here for .DWG format.

Mounting Flanges
Mounting flanges at the top and bottom of each module are .4" tall which works well with a 3/8" (.375) mounting surface.

Mounting Hardware
We use #6 x 1/2" black sheet metal screws to mount modules to wooden walnut studio cabinets or portable wood cabinets. We use #6-32 x 1/2" black machine screws to mount modules to rack frames.

     

 


     Panel Graphics

Panel graphics are silkscreen printed using white enamel ink.
Font used for Module Part Number: Arial 10pt all-caps
Font used for Module Title: Arial Bold 12pt All-caps
Font used for Control and Jack Titles: Arial 10pt All-caps

 


     Power Supplies

We use linear power supplies to reduce noise. They're heavier and more expensive than switching power supplies. These supplies deliver +15V, -15V, and +5V for use by the modules in your system. A power supply has 2 cables: 1 for the AC power input which connects to a Q102 or Q137 power module, and 1 for the DC power output which connects to the cabinet's wiring harness. Nylon connectors are used on the cables - see below.

See these Power system examples

See the Power products

See typical power supply adjustment locations

 

 Panel Connectors

 


     Signals - 1/4" Phone Jacks

Our modules use standard 1/4" jacks and plugs for all waveform and control voltage routing. These are much easier to handle and more durable than 3.5mm connectors, and offer a sheilded ground unlike banana connectors. 1/4" jacks and plugs are also used on most other audio equipment allowing easy interfacing.

Use the Q120 Connector Interface Module to interface system signals to RCA connectors, 3.5mm connectors, and banana connectors. Also see the Q121 Banana Jack Interface Module, and the Q122 Mini-Jack Interface Module.

1/4 jack and plug

 


     External DC Power - 6 pin Circular DIN

We use these strictly to supply DC power to the external world, or between cabinets. See the Q103 DC Power Interface Module and the QIC Inter-Cabinet cables for details. These type of connectors are made by a variety of manufacturers.

6 pin Circular DIN Connectors Pinout:

    1 = +15V
    3 = +5V
    4 = Ground
    5 = -15V
    6 = No Connect

 


     AC Power - IEC 320

We use standard IEC connectors for the AC power. This allows use of your synthesizer in almost any country with the correct power cord.

IEC AC Power Connectors

 

 Internal Connectors

These connectors are inside the system, so the operator will never see them.

We use .1" MTA series connectors and .093 nylon connectors made by AMP for many of the internal connections. They can be purchased at Mouser Electronics or Digi-Key.

 


     Internal DC Module Power - 6 pin MTA

We use these connectors strictly for DC power supply connections. Modules have the male PCB mount version, and the cabinet's cable harness has the female version.
On the modules pin #2 is removed, on the female cable connector pin #2 is plugged up to act as a KEY so the connector can not be plugged in backwards or shifted.

Female 24AWG cable mount: AMP #6404416
Male PCB mount: AMP #6404566
Pinout:

    1 = +15v (White)
    2 = KEY - pin missing and plugged
    3 = +5v (Red)
    4 = gnd (Black)
    5 = -15v (Green)

Power Supply Connector Power Supply Connector On PCB

2 pin MTA Connectors for Panel Components
We use these for jacks, push buttons, LEDs and other devices requiring only 2 pins.

Female cable mount: AMP #6404412
Male PCB mount: AMP #6404562
Jack Pinout:

    1 = Signal (tip)
    2 = Ground (ring)

 


     Internal Pot/Switch - 3 pin MTA

We use these for potentiomenters, switches and other devices requiring 3 pins. DPDT switches will use 2 of these.

Female cable mount: AMP #6404413
Male PCB mount: AMP #6404563
Potentiometer Pinout:

    1 = CCW Side
    2 = Wiper
    3 = CW Side

 


     DC Harness - 4 pin .093 Nylon

We use these strictly for connection between the power supply and the DC Cable Harness to carry the DC voltages. The cable harness has the male and the power supply has the female. For safety and simplicity we don't use this type of connector anywhere else.

Female cable mount housing: AMP #7700751
Male cable mount housing: AMP #7700781
.093 male contact: AMP #7701471
.093 female contact: AMP #7701461
Pinout:

    1 = +15v (White)
    2 = +5v (Red)
    3 = Gnd (Black)
    4 = -15v (Green)

4 pin .093 Nylon Connectors

 


     AC Switch - 2 pin .093 Nylon

We use these strictly for connection between the AC power switch on the Q101 AC Power Control Module, and the Q102 AC Power Interface Module to carry high voltage AC. For safety and simplicity we don't use this type of connector anywhere else.

Female cable mount housing: AMP #7700651
Male cable mount housing: AMP #7700691
.093 male contact: AMP #7701471
.093 female contact: AMP #7701461

2 pin .093 Nylon Connector

 


     Power Supply AC - 6 pin .093 Nylon

We use these strictly for connection between the power supply and the Q102 AC Power Interface Module or the Q137 Power Control & Interface Module to carry high voltage AC. For safety and simplicity we don't use this type of connector anywhere else.

Female cable mount housing: AMP #7700861
Male cable mount housing: AMP #7700901
.093 male contact: AMP #7701471
.093 female contact: AMP #7701461

6 pin .093 Nylon Connectors

 



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