Build a Zynthian

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How to build a Zynthian

This manual is currently in development!

Disclaimer

No guarantee for nothing. You do everything on your own risk!

Prerequisites

Want to join the Zynthian community? No problem! Building your own Zynthian is not very difficult. If you get trouble you can contact us at support@zynthian.org or via the blog http://blog.zynthian.org.

Required competences

For building the hardware you should have the following competences:

  • Soldering
  • Basic understanding of reading electronic circuit diagrams
  • Enjoyment of work with electronic hardware and parts

Tools

  • Screw drivers
  • Soldering iron
  • Tin-solder
  • Side cutter
  • Magnifiying glass

Hardware

Bill of Material

Here is a list of the hardware components you will need to build the Zynthian device. I also provided links to my suppliers and the prices I paid for the components in February 2016. I bought everything from Germany, so all descriptions are in German and prices are in EUR. If you live in another country maybe you'll get things even cheaper.

No Shipper Order no. Description Pieces Price per piece [€]
1 http://www.reichelt.de 1N 4148 Planar Epitaxial Schaltdiode, DO35, 100V, 0,15A 1 0,04
2 http://www.reichelt.de 6N 138 OPTOKOPPLER 1 0,58
3 http://www.reichelt.de RASPBERRY PI 2 Raspberry Pi 2, 4x 900 MHz, 1 GB RAM 1 37,50
4 http://www.reichelt.de RPI HB DAC+ RCA HiFiBerry DAC+ RCA, Raspberry Pi Shield 1 35,90
5 http://www.reichelt.de 1/4W 220 Kohleschichtwiderstand 1/4W, 5%, 220 Ohm 1 0,10
6 http://www.reichelt.de 1/4W 1,0K Kohleschichtwiderstand 1/4W, 5%, 1,0 K-Ohm 1 0,10
7 http://www.reichelt.de 1/4W 10K Kohleschichtwiderstand 1/4W, 5%, 10 K-Ohm 1 0,10
8 http://www.reichelt.de MKS-02 100N WIMA Folienkondensator, Rm 2,5mm 100nF 4 0,15
9 http://www.reichelt.de GS 18P IC-Sockel, 18-polig, superflach, gedreht, vergold. 1 0,32
10 http://www.reichelt.de GS 8P IC-Sockel, 8-polig, superflach, gedreht, vergold. 1 0,19
11 http://www.reichelt.de SL 2X25G 2,54 2x25pol.-Stiftleiste, gerade, RM 2,54 1 0,24
12 http://www.reichelt.de MAB 5S DIN-Buchse, 5-polig 1 0,24
13 (OPTIONAL) http://www.reichelt.de NTA 176 6,3 Mono-Klinken-Bu. auf Cinch-St. 2 0,35
14 http://www.reichelt.de NT MUSB 2 SW Micro-USB Steckernetzteil, schwarz, 5 V, 2 A 1 8,40
15 http://www.segor.de MCP23008-E/P MCP23008 8 port I2C-GPIO extender 1 2,10
16 http://www.amazon.de Adafruit PiTFT 2.8" Adafruit PiTFT Touchscreen Display, 2,8 Zoll, für Raspberry Pi Computer 1 32,00
17 http://www.ebay.de 12mm Rotary Encoder Switch Rotary Encoder with switch, 20 steps 4 0,60
18 http://www.ebay.de Poti knob Poti knob for Rotary encoder (Pos. 17) 4 1,50
19 http://blog.zynthian.org Encoder PCB PCB for encoders 2 10,00
20 http://blog.zynthian.org 2in1 PCB PCB for MIDI and GPIO extension 1 10,00
21 http://blog.zynthian.org Main Bus Ribbon Cable Raspberry Main Bus Ribbon Cable 1 20,00
22 http://blog.zynthian.org Mini-ribbon cable Mini-ribbon cable (6 pin female connector to 6 female jumper connectors 3 3,00
23 http://www.saturn.de SD card Samsung 32GB SD card 1 14,00
24 - Short connector cables Connector cables pin-female/pin-female for MIDI and external GPIO connector from 2in1 board 4  ??,??
25 - Multi-pin connector 1x40pol.-Stiftleiste, gerade, RM 2,54 1  ??,??

Notes:

  • Pos. 19-22 were ordered directly from Zynthian.
  • There is no case in this BoM - You can build your own or ask Zynthian.
  • Total price was 200,27 € (plus shipping).

Zynthian Parts.jpg

Assembly and Soldering of the modules (PCBs)

Step 1: 2in1 modules

You need:

  • 1 * 2in1 PCB (Pos. 20)
  • 2 * 100nF capacitor (Pos. 8)
  • 1 * multi-pin 2 pins wide (part of pos. 24)
  • 1 * multi-pin 6 pins wide (part of pos. 24)
  • 1 * multi-pin 8 pins wide (part of pos. 24)
  • 1 * resistor 10 kOhm (brown-black-orange-gold, pos. 7)
  • 1 * resistor 1 kOhm (brown-black-red-gold, pos. 6)
  • 1 * resistor 220 Ohm (red-red-black-gold, pos. 5)
  • 1 * diode 1N4148 (pos. 1)
  • 1 * IC socket 8 pins (pos. 10) => OPTIONAL! Not included in the Kit
  • 1 * IC socket 18 pins (pos. 9) => OPTIONAL! Not included in the Kit
  • 1 * IC 6N138 (pos. 2)
  • 1 * IC MCP23008 (pos. 15)
  • 2 * Connector cable pin-female/pin-female
  • 1 * MIDI socket (DIN socket 5 pins)
  • 1 * 2in1 PCB (pos. 20)

2in1 kit.jpg

HowTo:

  1. Start with assembling the diode onto the PCB. Be careful to do this the right way - the small black (or white) stripe on one side of the diode must fit the same side of the white stripe on the PCB!
  2. After that, solder the resistors.
  3. Then assemble the ICs.Put attention to the orientation!!. If you prefer, you can use IC sockets (but do not fit the ICs yet, we will do this at the end of this task.)
  4. After that, solder the capacitors and the multi-pin-rows.
  5. If you used IC-sockets, now insert the ICs into the socket. Be careful to put them with the notch on the IC towards the hole of the white rectangle showing on the PCB!

2in1 ensambled.jpg

For the MIDI socket you have to cut off one side of the female/female cable and solder this side to the DIN-socket. Connect the cables to pin 5 (2nd from left) and pin 4 (2nd from right).

MIDI-socket Solo.jpg

Step 2A: Controller Modules Dual (2 x dual encoder controllers)

Note: If you have the new Controller Single modules you must jump to the Step 2B.

You need (for one Controller Module):

  • 2 x rotary encoder with pushbutton (Pos. 17)
  • 2 x 100nF capacitor (Pos. 8)
  • 1 x multi-pin 6 pins angle (part of Pos. 24)
  • 1 x multi-pin 2 pins angle (part of Pos. 24)
  • 1 x controller module PCB (Pos. 19)

Controller kit.jpg

HowTo:

  1. The order of the following steps is not important: Solder the capacitors and the encoders to the board (on the upper side) - that's it.
  2. Solder the 6-pin and 2-pin-rows. IMPORTANT! Due to the mounting of the encoders on a front panel, the pin-rows connectors must be soldered on the bottom of the PCB. The 6-pin-row must have its pins as showed in the photo (pin numbering will be 1..6 from the lower side of the PCB!). For optimal case mounting, the 2-pin-row should be soldered with different orientation in each module. One with right-orientation and the other one with left-orientation.
  3. You have to do this twice - you need two encoder boards ;-)

Controller ensambled 01.jpg

Controller ensambled 02.jpg

Note: Mount the pin row at the bottom of the PCB. Look the photos!!! ;-)

Step 2B: Controller Modules Single (4 x single encoder controllers)

Note: If you have the old Controller modules, with 2 rotary encoders each, you must read the Step 2A.

You need (for one Controller Single Module):

  • 1 x rotary encoder with pushbutton (Pos. 17)
  • 1 x 100nF capacitor (Pos. 8)
  • 1 x multi-pin 4 pins angle
  • 1 x controller single PCB

4xcontroller single kit.jpg

HowTo:

  1. The order of the following steps is not important: Solder the capacitor in the C1 position (right side) and the encoder to the board (on the upper side) - that's it.
  2. Solder the 4-pin-row. IMPORTANT! Due to the mounting of the encoders on a front panel, the pin-row connector must be soldered on the bottom of the PCB. The 4-pin-row must have its pins as showed in the photo (pin numbering will be 1..4 from the lower side of the PCB!).
  3. You have to do this 4 times - you need 4 encoder boards ;-)

Controller single ensambled 01.jpg

Step 3: Pin row on the Hifiberry

You need:

  • 1 * HiFiBerry DAC+ RCA, Raspberry Pi Shield (Pos. 4)
  • 1 * 2x25pol.-Stiftleiste, gerade, RM 2,54 (Pos. 11)

Hifiberry parts.jpg

HowTo:

  1. For this part you should take some time. Damaging the Hifiberry because you are in a hurry won't make your day!
  2. First of all: cut the 2*25 pin-row to 2*20 pin (perhaps with a cutter).
  3. Place the pin row on the Hifiberry and start soldering on the back of the Hifiberry. I always solder pins which are not close together to avoid hot spots. You take a few pauses in between to have the PCB cool down. Never let the PCB get too hot, because otherwise solder on the components' side may melt and components may fall off or become shorted.

Hifiberry Solo.jpg

Checking everything

Congratulations - you're halfway through!

Now you should double-check everything you soldered:

  • Were the components soldered in their correct orientation (e.g. polarity, pin layout)?
  • Are there any solder bridges between pins? Remove them!
  • Is the diode on the 2in1-PCB correctly oriented?
  • Are the ICs pointing in the right direction?
  • Are all pins of the ICs in their sockets?

Hint:

  • Use a magnifying glass and bright light to check.

Connecting the cables

You need:

  • 1 * Raspberry Pi 2 (Pos. 3)
  • 1 * HiFiBerry DAC+ RCA (Pos. 4)
  • 1 * Adafruit PiTFT Touchscreen Display, 2,8 Zoll (Pos. 16)
  • 1 * Raspberry Main Bus Ribbon Cable (Pos. 21)
  • 3 * Mini-ribbon cable (6 pin female connector to 6 female jumper connectors(Pos. 22)
  • 2 * Connector cables pin-female/pin-female (Pos. 24)
TFT Raspi and Hifiberry.jpg PCBs and cables.jpg

Raspberry Pi and Hifiberry DAC+

Put the Hifiberry DAC+ onto the Raspberry Pi's GPIO header. With the Hifiberry you get 4 distance pieces and 4 screws (all plastic). Put them together as shown in the following picture.

Raspi and Hifiberry.jpg Raspi+Hifiberry.jpg

TFT

Time for connecting the main ribbon-cable using the (female) 40-pin-connector to the Hifiberry. At the other end of the cable there is a (female) 26-pin-connector. This one must be connected to the PiTFT. If you have a clone PiTFT which has no suitable port you have to solder one in or use a gender changer. The original PiTFT has both male and female connectors.

2in1

The 2in1-PCB must be connected using one of the mini ribbon cables. The 6-pin connector must be located towards the PCB. Pin 1 is on the bottom left (component side up). On the other end of the cable there are 1-pin female connectors. They must be connected to the following pins on the (male) 40-pin-conenctor in the middle of the main ribbon cable.

Wire no. Function GPIO no. Pin on Raspi no.
1 Vdc 3.3V 3.3V 1
2 RxD RxD 10
3 I2C SDA1 08 3
4 I2C SCL1 09 5
5 Vdc 5V 5V 2/4
6 GND GND 6/9

Cable-schema-2in1.png

Next connect the DIN socket (MIDI) to the 2in1-PCB. The connector on the PCB is the 2-pin one located in the upper right corner of the PCB.

Wire no. Function MIDI-IN pin no.
1 MIDI-IN 2 (MIDI connector: 2nd from left)
2 MIDI-IN 4 (MIDI connector: 2nd from right)

Controller Dual Module x 2 (2 rotary encoders each PCB)

This step is a bit tricky. Remember that, if you follow the instructions before, you have soldered the pin-rows in the bottom side of PCBs, so numbering is reversed when looking from bottom. You can use a little trick: if you rotate the PCB 180º, then numbering is "left to right" again ;-)

So you should look at your controller modules from bottom side and with the pin-row on the top of PCB!

PHOTO NEEDED HERE!!

Note: Some encoders have reversed pin ordering, so, if you buy the encoders by yourself, perhaps you have to change A and B pins.

Controller 1

Wire no. Function GPIO no. Pin on Raspi no.
1 Enc1-B 25 37
2 Enc1-A 27 36
3 Enc1-SW 23 33
4 Enc2-B 26 32
5 Enc2-A 21 29
6 GND GND 30
Wire no. Function Pin on 2in1
1 GND -
2 Enc2-SW X07

Controller 2

Wire no. Function GPIO no. Pin on Raspi no.
1 Enc1-B 04 16
2 Enc1-A 03 15
3 Enc1-SW 02 13
4 Enc2-B 00 11
5 Enc2-A 07 07
6 GND GND 14
Wire no. Function Pin on 2in1
1 GND -
2 Enc2-SW X08

Cable-schema-Controller.png

Zynthian alucase zcontrollers dual right wiring.jpg

Controller Single Module x 4 (one single rotary encoder each PCB)

This step is a bit tricky. Remember that, if you followed the instructions before, you have soldered the pin-rows in the bottom side of PCBs, so numbering is reversed when looking from bottom. You can use a little trick: if you rotate the PCB 180º, then numbering is "left to right" again ;-)

So you should look at your controller modules from bottom side and with the pin-row on the top of PCB!

PHOTO NEEDED HERE!!

Note: Some encoders have reversed pin ordering, so, if you buy the encoders by yourself, perhaps you have to change A and B pins.

Wiring scheme controllers single.png

Zynthian inside 01.jpg

Warning: In this photo the controller modules wiring is reversed (1 by 2, 3 by 4). I will change it ASAP ;-)

Alternative cabling

An alternative cabling can be done with an old floppy ribbon cable. You won't need the 3 minni-ribbon-connectors (6-pin) but have to solder 6-pin connectors on the floppy cable (40-pin-ribbon). The cabling plan is the same as above.

Zynthian Floppy ribbon cable1.jpg Solder a 6-pin connector

Zynthian Floppy ribbon cable2.jpg 6-pin connector for the 2IN1 is ready

Zynthian Floppy ribbon cable3.jpg The complete cable ready for installation

Zynthian Floppy ribbon cable4.jpg Cable installed

Creating the SD

Getting the Image

You can get the last SD image here:

Gorgona SD Image

Writing the image to the SD card

If you successfully downloaded the whole image, you can now write it to an SD-card.

You need a minimum size of 16GB, better 32GB SDcard to allow for more instruments and sample-sets in future.

Use Etcher https://etcher.io/ (free software works on Mac, Windows or Linux)

Or do it manually: Depending on your OS you have to choose how to create the SD-card. There is a really good manual for this at | https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/.

First boot

Testing

Something won't work?