Boards for this fun little sequencer, which can also be used as a tiny keyboard, were handed out to everybody who attended Knobcon 2016. If you're wondering what to do with your board, or want to get one of your very own, you've come to the right place.
Clock In: 0-5V is ideal, but going outside that range won't hurt it. Step will advance on rising edge.
CV Out: 1 volt/octave, C=1V/2V/3V. Connect to the CV in on your oscillator (or filter or whatever)
Gate Out: On=+5V. Plug this into your VCA, EG, etc. Gate timing follows the clock when the sequencer is running, buttons when in Ready mode, and stays on while programming.
Push Run to start playing a sequence. The true green Run LED will light to tell you that you are in Run mode. Push it again to Pause. The sequencer steps can be programmed while paused.
Push reset to stop the sequence, go to step 1, and enter Ready mode. The blue step LED will blink to let you know that you are in Ready mode. This means that when you press Run again, the sequencer will play step 1 on the next clock pulse instead of skipping it and going to step 2.
If you want to start on a different step, you can use the step left and right buttons to pick a different one.
While in Ready mode, you can use the note buttons to manually play tunes without messing up the sequence you have stored in memory. Gate timing will follow your button presses.
Programming is done while the step LED is steady (not Ready mode) and the sequencer is not running. You can enter Programming mode by pressing Reset a second time, or pausing a sequence with the Run button. Use the step left/right buttons to pick which step you want to program, then press the note you want that step to play. The new note is automatically stored in non-volatile memory.
Remember about the step LED:
The sequencer keyboard covers 3 octaves, so you can use the octave up/down buttons to transpose the keyboard up and down. The green and orange LEDs will tell you which octave the keyboard is currently set to.
In addition to standard notes, you can also program a Rest or a Loop command into a step. A Rest step holds the previous note and doesn't fire the gate. Loop makes the sequencer go back to step 1. You can use this to create any length sequence you want. For example, if you only want steps 1-13 in your sequence, you would make step 14 a Loop step.
Starting with firmware version 1.1, the sequencer operates with a built-in clock from power-up until it receives its first external clock pulse. The internal clock rate can be adjusted up and down while the sequencer is running using the step buttons. Once the unit has switched to external clock mode, the internal clock can be restored by holding down the reset button for about 2 seconds (soft reset) or removing/restoring power to the unit.
If you received your parts kit at Knobcon, you have firmware v1.0. If you wish to have internal clock functionality, contact us and we'll figure out a way to make that happen. If you ordered your parts kit online then you already have firmware v1.1.
If you went to Knobcon 2016 and already have a PCB, you can get the Knobcon special parts kit here.
If you don't already have a PCB and want the whole thing, you can get the complete sequencer kit here (shipping ~9/25/16)
Here's a BOM if you want to source your own parts:
|RefDes||Part||Value||Qty||Vendor||Vendor Part No.|
|D18-22, 25-31||LED, 3mm||Yellow||12||LED-Switch||
|D34||LED, 3mm||True Green||1||LED-Switch||
|D35 (if present)||1N4148||1||Mouser||512-1N4148TR|
|R1 (if present)||Nothing||NO||Move along||Do not populate!|
|R4, 6-9||Resistor, 1/8W||100-ohm||5||Mouser|
|VR1||L4931CZ50 or 78L05||1||Mouser||
Note: You don't have to use the same LED colors we did; you can use any colors you want. Here's what we picked:
Assembly is fairly straight-forward; solder the parts in from shortest to tallest so your workbench will hold them in place when you flip the board upside-down to solder:
For a visual BOM and more detailed assembly instructions, download the PDF version!
You can either get pre-programmed PICs from us (or see complete parts kits above), or you can download the code (v1.1) and program it yourself. Depending on your programmer, you can either do it before you solder it to the board, or you can use the ICSP port on the left side of the board to program it once it's already on the board:
|1 (Square)||Vpp (MCLR pin)|
|2||+5V (Vdd pin)|
|3||GND (Vss pin)|
|4||Data (PGD pin)|
|5||Clock (PGC pin)|
If you want to mount the board behind a panel or in a box, here is a drawing of the panel component layout.
An enclosure kit is now available for the sequencer. The top panel is a PCB, and the sides and bottom are made from laser-cut acrylic.