North Coast News

Exponential converters and how they work
2018 Oct 12th

Exponential converters and how they work

Exponential converters are basic building blocks used in many synth circuits, but for many of us, they are incomprehensible black boxes.  The basic concept of how an exponential converter works is very simple; but the simplest possible circui… [Read more]

Combining components for new values
2018 Sep 19th

Combining components for new values

When I started breadboarding the Coiler VCF (see my new videos about it...), I ran into a problem: the design called for a couple of 6800pF (also known as 6.8nF) capacitors, and I didn't have any of those on hand. I didn't want to rush out and… [Read more]

Common parts to keep in stock
2018 Aug 23rd

Common parts to keep in stock

One of the most common beginner SDIY questions is which parts are frequently used and worth buying in large quantities to use on multiple projects.  The people who ask this question think they're going to save serious amounts of money by buyi… [Read more]

Transistors for the Perplexed
2018 Jul 8th

Transistors for the Perplexed

Most transistor circuits are quite straightforward.  If you look at the schematic of something like the North Coast Transistor Mixer, you can easily recognize common patterns - an emitter follower here, a common-emitter amplifier there - w… [Read more]

State of the store
2018 Jun 8th

State of the store

In the last couple weeks, since the storefront move, I've been busy with a lot of store and non-store issues and haven't had much time to update here.  Sorry about that; here are some notes on what's going on. Storefront This Web site is… [Read more]

One minute op amp analysis
2018 Mar 11th

One minute op amp analysis

You can understand most op amp circuits with just three simple rules. If, through negative feedback, the op amp can bring its inputs to equal voltage, then it will do so. Otherwise, it will drive its output near whichever power supply voltage co… [Read more]

Voltage control modifications
2018 Feb 25th

Voltage control modifications

There's a recurring thread that comes up again and again in SDIY fora, where someone asks how to "mod" an existing device that is not voltage-controlled to give it a CV input. Sometimes this question is asked in relation to a specific product, in wh… [Read more]

Ribbet!
2017 Nov 12th

Ribbet!

The Leapfrog VCF does not actually go "ribbet," at least not without some effort. But after being told by one friend I showed it to that most people don't want to make real music with their modulars but just want something that goes "uuuuuuuuuuuL… [Read more]

Temperature compensation with NTC thermistors
2017 Oct 22nd

Temperature compensation with NTC thermistors

The panel contractor says they dispatched the first production batch of MSK 007 Leapfrog VCF panels to me on Friday, and those are the last remaining physical items needed before I can launch the module; so I'm still hopeful that I can ai… [Read more]

The Celebrated Leaping Frog
2017 Oct 15th

The Celebrated Leaping Frog

I've spent most of this week working on the second and third prototypes for the Leapfrog VCF. I'm hoping to have this product available for sale by the end of the month - maybe in time to have some kind of spooky Halloween tie-in for the launch.… [Read more]

Circuit board shopping
2017 Sep 10th

Circuit board shopping

This week I'm planning to order the prototype boards for the Leapfrog Filter, and it makes a good opportunity to go through some common questions beginners ask about shopping for PCBs. When you go to buy PCB production services you're typically hit w… [Read more]