North Coast News

Tokyo Festival of Modular
2019 Nov 13th

Tokyo Festival of Modular

The Tokyo Festival of Modular is coming up this weekend, November 16 and 17, 2019, and North Coast Synthesis is a sponsor.  I won't be attending in person this year but attendees will receive North Coast stickers and cards with an exclusive d…

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Three suggested systems
2019 Oct 28th

Three suggested systems

Newcomers who are just getting their feet wet with modular synthesis often ask for summaries of how to build a starter system. There are a few things to understand about that. Everybody's needs are different, and customization is a big part o…

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Toronto Pedal and Synth Expo
2019 Oct 23rd

Toronto Pedal and Synth Expo

I'll be exhibiting at the Toronto Pedal and Synth Expo on November 9 and 10, 2019.  Drop by to try out North Coast modules in person and pick up a sticker and a discount code. This event is being described by its organizers as "f…

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The Truth About Ferrite Beads Will Shock You
2019 Sep 22nd

The Truth About Ferrite Beads Will Shock You

Q: The analog synth circuit I'm building calls in the schematic for ferrite beads on the power rails, but it doesn't give any further information. What kind of beads should I use? A: Pick some that will look nice on the board, maybe in a co…

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Designing for adjustment
2019 Sep 15th

Designing for adjustment

Testing and adjustment are often underestimated in DIY circuit design. It's all very well to choose exactly the right topology and component values for a circuit; but even with a perfect design on paper or in the simulator, how does one get from…

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New look for DIY kits
2019 Aug 31st

New look for DIY kits

If you've been following the North Coast Synthesis email newsletter you'll probably know that I've had ongoing quality problems with the knobs I use in most of my products.  The main issue is with the setscrews used to hold the knob onto a sh…

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How to choose component values
2019 Jul 28th

How to choose component values

When I draw the first draft of a new circuit design, I'll usually work out the topology of the circuit first, and leave out any component values unless it's instantly obvious what they need to be. The topology means which components exist a…

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More music of the dwarves
2019 Jul 1st

More music of the dwarves

I've written before about the music of Dwarf Fortress - not just music to listen to while playing (which is the main thing you can find if you search the Web for this topic) but the music described in-game. The game simulates a procedurally…

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Testing homemade fluxes
2019 Jun 13th

Testing homemade fluxes

In the last four articles (start here) I've gone through a lot of the technicalities of flux: what's in it, how it works, and how to make your own. Now, let's bring it together and try out all these experimental fluxes.What about the solder?The…

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DIY no-clean-style flux
2019 Jun 6th

DIY no-clean-style flux

My two previous DIY solder flux formulations are both designed to be cleaned away after use, with alcohol or with water. In both cases the cleaning is more or less necessary: traditional resin leaves a sticky residue that will attract water, and…

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Make your own water-wash flux
2019 May 30th

Make your own water-wash flux

The current trends in electronics are to smaller and smaller surface-mount components; lead-free solder alloys and a diversity of surface platings; higher temperatures which mean soldering must be faster to avoid component damage; and avoiding tox…

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Homemade traditional resin flux
2019 May 26th

Homemade traditional resin flux

For most of the history of electronics, rosin has been the main ingredient in electronic solder flux. Anybody who learned electronics Back In The Day™ will be familiar with the piney smell of solder smoke. In this second article of the series…

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