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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Thomas Henry designs
The VCO-555
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Thomas_Henry



Joined: Jul 24, 2009
Posts: 129
Location: N. Mankato, MN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: The VCO-555
Subject description: The Start of a New Series of Projects
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Hi all,

As alluded to previously, I have four projects that have been sitting around way too long and have been panting to get out the door for the past couple of years.

So, here's the first: a VCO using easy to find parts. If I may be so immodest, this is my best design to date. The waveforms look great and if you check the measurements, below, you'll see it's the most accurate I've ever come up with. If I were younger and had more energy, I'd turn this into an article and make some moolah from it. Unfortunately, my strength for such endeavors is ebbing, so instead I'll post it here for you to play with. All I ask is that you respect the rights and don't republish the design or rip it off for any commercial purposes. I'm not opposed to someone doing a PCB for noncommercial uses, but please secure permission from me first.

Okay, without that out of the way, here's the dope. My favorite VCO of all times is the CEM3340, and I've always wanted to approximate it somehow. After nearly thirty years, I finally have a design which comes the closest. The accuracy on my breadboard was very good.

There are ramp, triangle, pulse and sine outputs, all of which are decent looking. The sync is a real treat and basically comes along for free. And, of course, there are the usual VCO features such as coarse and fine tuning, exponential and linear FM, etc. If you're looking for cleverness, then be sure to check out how I did the sync, the ramp, and buffered the sine to keep the chip count down.

So there it is. Have fun with it and be sure to post your results here. Three modules are in the wings and should be out the door in the next week or so. And then school starts yet again and another year evaporates...

Thomas Henry


VCO555_0001.jpg
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Schematic - Sheet 1
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VCO555_0002.jpg
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VCO555_0002.jpg



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JingleJoe



Joined: Nov 10, 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is the kind of circuit I love Smile simple and made with easy to find parts, this provides my favorite electronic circuit quality; longevity!
Jolly good work old chap Smile

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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice one Thomas! Look forward to seeing the others too. Smile
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Uncle Krunkus
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Elegant design Thomas.
Cool

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bubzy



Joined: Oct 27, 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

wooo!

if theres one thing i cant get enough of its vcos
and vcas
and vcfs
oh and sequencers
and.........
*goes off into a list of things you cant get enough of*


thanks thomas!

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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Woot! And with standard parts too!
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bod



Joined: Apr 28, 2009
Posts: 148
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

this looks awesome!! Very Happy
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Cynosure
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Joined: Dec 11, 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow! Very cool. Thanks for sharing.
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J3RK



Joined: Jun 05, 2006
Posts: 99
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice work as always! VERY cool!!! Can't wait to give it a try!
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LFLab



Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 191
Location: Rosmalen, Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

VERY nice!
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andrewF



Joined: Dec 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

its great!
following the schematic it looks like a normal OTA based VCO and then suddenly there is a 555 in the middle Shocked
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Peake



Joined: Jun 29, 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

andrewF wrote:
its great!
following the schematic it looks like a normal OTA based VCO and then suddenly there is a 555 in the middle Shocked


Exactly Laughing

I've gotta build some of these just because it's the 555 turned into something entirely new. Yay Thomas!

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frijitz



Joined: May 04, 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: The VCO-555
Subject description: The Start of a New Series of Projects
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Thomas_Henry wrote:
... so instead I'll post it here for you to play with. All I ask is that you respect the rights and don't republish the design or rip it off for any commercial purposes. I'm not opposed to someone doing a PCB for noncommercial uses, but please secure permission from me first.

Unfortunately, that's not how things work any more. Good luck.

Here's what I recently spent the better part of nine months battling.

http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/topic-47127.html
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/topic-49452-0-0.html
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/topic-49539.html&highlight=
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/topic-44101.html&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=matrixsynth&start=0
http://m.matrixsynth.com/2011/12/blue-lantern-16hp-dual-zero-thru-vco.html
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/topic-63769-0.html
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/topic-60381.html&highlight=blue+lantern++vco
http://m.matrixsynth.com/2012/01/blue-ztvco-dry-demo.html

Ian

Last edited by frijitz on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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frijitz



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

andrewF wrote:
its great!
following the schematic it looks like a normal OTA based VCO and then suddenly there is a 555 in the middle Shocked

Yes, the 555 is being used as the current-reversing switch in a standard (EN) core design. The novel and very clever parts are the almost free reset and saw waveshaper.

Good work!

Ian
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LFLab



Joined: Dec 17, 2009
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Location: Rosmalen, Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Been busy to get the schematic into Eagle, definitely non-commercial effort. I make too much money in my day job and value my family too high to start a half assed commercial business off of the work of someone else Very Happy

Let me know if you find any funny stuff (there will be plenty) or better yet, correct it yourself and post the file here Cool


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TH555 schematic Eagle file

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Jojjelito



Joined: Jun 27, 2007
Posts: 50
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Fantastic work! Clever and low parts count Shocked I can't resist experimenting with these. Like I don't have a ridiculous backlog. Grrr Razz

Oh, and thanks Thomas!
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cleaninglady



Joined: Dec 01, 2010
Posts: 10
Location: creeping up behind you...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Excellent , can't wait to try this.

Thanks for posting it , Thomas !
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fonik



Joined: Jun 07, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i designed a PCB for this VCO end of last year, the prototype PCB is in my drawer since then.

i will start to build it this week in order to test it and to apply any changes that have been made to the original schematic i got in 2011.

i got thomas kind permission to do a PCB run for this project, which is really generous.

i will keep you posted on this, and will start a new thread when i am ready to take orders.

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andrewF



Joined: Dec 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject: Re: The VCO-555
Subject description: The Start of a New Series of Projects
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frijitz wrote:
Thomas_Henry wrote:
... so instead I'll post it here for you to play with. All I ask is that you respect the rights and don't republish the design or rip it off for any commercial purposes. I'm not opposed to someone doing a PCB for noncommercial uses, but please secure permission from me first.

Unfortunately, that's not how things work any more. Good luck.

Here's what I recently spent the better part of nine months battling.

http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/topic-47127.html
....


Blue Lantern tried it on Thomas/magic smoke back in '09
http://electro-music.com/forum/post-239724.html
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Designator



Joined: Jul 18, 2012
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Location: Northern Hemisphere

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Would like to mention that 'sync' (re-)sets the loading current here, not the entire waveform, so you don't have the usual hardsync.
If hardsync is desired some extension to the circuit would be nessecary.For inspiration have a look at the bassdrum of the TR909(sic!)!
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ungleichklang



Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 82
Location: East-Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

@fonik
if you do a run of the PCB's, please count me in Smile

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vladosh



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yuhoo Smile)) i don't visit for two days and there is another VCO
Thank you Thomas for sharing it !
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fonik



Joined: Jun 07, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

just wanted to give you an update (almost the same as for the verstaile LFO controller):
the timeframe is not set, yet. i could offer the PCB as i originally designed it very soon (will finish my build this week), however, quite a few people wanted an additional PCB for front panel components in eurorack format.
in order to achieve this, i have to re-design and modify the layout and design th eadditional front panel components PCB.
i will have to order another set of these new layouts for testing purposes befor i can offer the final product.
i will NOT offer front panels.

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ungleichklang



Joined: Dec 03, 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

fonik wrote:

the timeframe is not set, yet. i could offer the PCB as i originally designed it very soon (will finish my build this week),


I would take it ... very soon ... as well as the LFO ... very soon too Smile

fonik wrote:

however, quite a few people wanted an additional PCB for front panel components in eurorack format.
in order to achieve this, i have to re-design and modify the layout and design th eadditional front panel components PCB.


they can wait => frontpanel PCB's are overrated *LOL*

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fonik



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ungleichklang wrote:
they can wait => frontpanel PCB's are overrated *LOL*

honestly, they ARE! i think PCB mounted front panel components make more sense for production modules. it simply safes costs.
nevertheless, i think wiring the front panel components is much more reliable: less stress on the PCB, and you can swap faulty components very easily...

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