AW(3): DIY Digital Scanning ... and MS-20

Haible_Juergen#Tel2743 HJ2743 at
Mon Feb 26 19:50:00 CET 1996

> Building the keyboard seems like a complete waste of time.

Just to "proove" that my MS-20 filter is a "waste of time" as well:

> My estimates may be off, but here's a cost analysis:
> Cost of MS20 - US$500
> Time to build MS20 filter clone - 4 hrs
> Hourly rate - $125

What my MS-20 filter Module "really" did cost:

Time to work out a concept of configuration for the filters and
input mixers (constraints: maximum versatility with minimum
front panel space; optimized input level sensitivity of pots for
both, internal synth signals and external signals; optimized
panel layout for ergonomy and "good look", etc.): 5 hours.

Time for drawing the schematics: 2 hours

Time for making a pcb layout on the Atari: 5 hours

Time for exposing / develloping / etching the pcb : 3 hours

Time for soldering components on pcb: 3 hours

Time for drilling holes into front panel: 45 minutes

Time for rubbing-on letters and symbols ont front panel: 2 hours

Time for paint finish: 15 minutes

Time for mounting jacks, switches and pots that are not on the pcb:
30 Minutes

Time for wiring everything that is not on the pcb: 2 hours

Time for testing, bugfix, enhancement, etc: 2 hours

Total time invested into the module: 25.5 hours.

Asume 70 $ per hour (if I would do this kind of work for someone else),
and we have 1785 $ in total. Oh sorry, I forgot component costs. Well,
they don't add much, though I used conductive plastic types for the
cutoff pots ...

I tried to do a honest retrospective about this module I finished recently.
I tried *not* to exaggerate! (ask my wife, who is very patient with me!)
But the most important point is that it is a HOBBY,
it is FUN, i can listen to some good music while I work, and I have some
very individual music machine afterwards.

I don't see why building a keyboard scanner should be such a different thing 


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