North Coast News

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 29th

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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What is flux?
2019 May 24th

What is flux?

The details of soldering are always popular discussion topics in synth DIY fora: what kind of soldering iron should I use for building something like a Coiler VCF kit? What temperature? What kind of solder? And that last topic, in practice,…

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Frequency, latency, and uncertainty
2018 Apr 8th

Frequency, latency, and uncertainty

Some wigglers want "fast" envelopes that will turn a signal on and off without any delay and without any perceptible clicking sound. Some wigglers want spectral effects, like frequency shift or vocoding, without any latency between the input and…

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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…

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Nucleosynthesis
2017 Oct 8th

Nucleosynthesis

Here's a diagram of something called the CNO process, encompassing many of the nuclear reactions by which stars shine. I thought it would be fun to "sonify" the CNO process by building some kind of simulation of a star and making it generate…

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Video picks
2017 Sep 3rd

Video picks

I've been busy this week dusting off the design for the Leapfrog Filter. I really did most of the work on it back in 2016, and I even built a prototype which works pretty well, as you can hear in audio demos like this one. I'm hoping that wil…

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Understanding stabilization capacitors
2017 Aug 27th

Understanding stabilization capacitors

Here's a simplification of the output driver circuit from the MSK 008 Dual VC Octave Switch. It's a familiar inverting op amp circuit with gain of -1. The op amp's positive input is tied to 0V; it will act to force its negative inp…

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Reality check: HP
2017 Aug 13th

Reality check: HP

Modular hobbyists love to invent fantasy modules. We'll sit down and sketch out just exactly the modules we wish we had in our racks, and then either post the mock-up images to Muffwiggler and leave it at that, or take it a little more seriously…

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