[sdiy] What is DIY? (was Re: Digital delay memory)

David G Dixon dixon at mail.ubc.ca
Wed May 4 23:12:03 CEST 2016

To me, DIY is doing everything myself, which is how I built my modular (and
helped create one of the larger eurorack synth companies in the process).
My problem with DIY is that I suck at doing most of it, so my modular has a
definitely "amateurish" look to it.  For panels, I bake Lazertran onto bare
aluminum.  It's not ideal as they don't always turn out perfect, but it's
quick and cheap, and that is the main thing for me.  I made my cases out of
scrap wood from old school bookshelves that had been thrown away -- again,
cheap was the main criterion -- but I suck at woodworking.  For layouts, I
use Excel and then etch my own boards from the graphics I make.  I started
doing this for breadboards, and then realized I could do it for PCBs as
well.  It's slow and cumbersome, but I enjoy it and I don't feel like
learning Eagle or whatever.  For schematics I do everything in Multisim -- I
love those simulations!
I guess the only thing I'm really good at is the actual circuit design,
which is why Intellijel is so much more successful than my own modular
building adventures.


From: Synth-diy [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of
Paul B
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 1:44 AM
To: Roman Sowa
Cc: synthdiy diy
Subject: Re: [sdiy] What is DIY? (was Re: Digital delay memory)

Last night I was finishing off building an itead pcb and panel order I'd
done from tom whitwells files and my wife said "Oh my god did you do that
all yourself?"

Obviously I said yes but nbd and polished my nails but in my head I was
thinking the number of parts I didn't do myself is far more than those I

I'm looking forward to maybe being able to draw schems and laying out pcbs
and etch them and design and manufacture panels and design and build a nice
new case, that is the diy endgame for me.

But I'm not interested in smelting aluminium or perfecting anodising
processes or writing code or breaking new barriers of electronics. 

I know this may draw scorn from some of the long in the tooth EEs who can
fart out a VCO in an afternoon, but I'm not alone. 

There's an insurgence of emerging amatuer makers who want to be part of an
exciting feild and they bring with them a full spectrum of what DIY is. 

Long Live the New Flesh!

On 4 May 2016 09:00, "Roman Sowa" <modular at go2.pl> wrote:

Maybe we all talk about 2 unrelated areas: something that was called DIY 20
years ago, and DIY-kit mania, that is somehow recent thing, when people just
solder PCB provided in the kit, attach panel, case and so on, and expect
everything to fit.

For me DIY is anything I can do myself, and because I'm happy to have all
that equippment now, I can DIY on much higher level than 10 years ago, be it
circuits, panels, cases, or furniture. It's far from DIY-kit concept, as
most of it is unorganized and large parts of the design are made on the go,
while next steps of making pass. And because I have those tools, I like to
utilize them, so that affects the whole idea of DIY, starting from product
concept. So even if I documented all the process, this still would not look
like DIY to most home soldering/building enthusiasts. But it is DIY for me,
because I did all myself.

SMD is still scarry to most people, just like it was 20 years ago when I
started using it. And probably will be in 20 years from now, especially when
packages will become much smaller than today.
But that's no stopper for DIY-kit movement, as more and more projects are
made using premade hardware blocks and software libraries, so you can just
plug the boards together, add a few lines of code and upload firmware. I
think this is the future of DIY, less hardware making struggle, more
imagination beyond limits.


W dniu 2016-04-29 o 21:24, Tom Wiltshire pisze:

On 29 Apr 2016, at 19:46, Jason Tribbeck <jason at tribbeck.com> wrote:

Maybe that could be the topic of another thread - what is DIY? What can be
expected of people?

I think it varies hugely. Or put another way, we're not all Jürgen Haible.

My own DIY has improved enormously over the years as my knowledge and
experience have grown. One of the things that's important to me now is
trying to design projects that will inspire people to try something a bit
further on from what they might have otherwise tried. I've been using PICs
to try and reduce the number of components in classic circuits and make them
easier to manage. Basically, I'm trying to design the stuff that I would
have wished for when I was starting out.

Personally, I don't have access to anything like your lab resources, Jason,
and I doubt that people I'm designing for do either, so through-hole is
pretty much essential. I try to avoid needing an oscilloscope to trim a
circuit, since although I've got one, many people don't. The scope is to
help the *designer*, not the *builder*. I assume only that they can solder
reasonably well (although I design boards with *far* wider tolerances than
you're doing) and that they have a multimeter. I've started doing stomp box
stuff recently, and the people who build that are
well, they're
*guitarists*! They know which end of the soldering iron to hold, mostly. I'm
joking, but the point is serious - some of the people involved in music DIY
aren't technical people at all. And this is a good thing. Perhaps some of
them will become interested and take it further. After all, I did.


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