Multiplikand Kit – Build Guide
Some tools you will need#
- A spool of solder. We use lead free 0.5mm
- Snipe-nose pliers
- Flat-nosed pliers
- And a soldering iron for electronics
Here’s what you will find in the kit#
- The frontpanel
- The PCB with presoldered components
- A switch, with two hex nuts
- 16x Thonkiconn jacks, and knurled nuts
- 8x jumpers
- 2x 4x2 pin headers
- 4x 2x1 pin headers
- And the 2x5 pin header for power.
All of the SMD components on the PCB have already been assembled for you, so this is a very quick build. However, it does require very careful and precise soldering.
Avoid touching the SMD components with your hands and be very careful not to touch them with your soldering iron. Take your time, and use an iron with a reasonably small tip.
Back side - SMT component side
Turn the PCB over so you can see the surface-mount components - this will be the back side of the module.
2x5 Power Header#
Start by placing the 2x5 power header where it says Power. Make sure that it sits on the correct side: the long pins should be on the same side as all the SMD components. The short pins stick through the PCB and should be soldered on the other side.
Solder two corner pins first, check that the pin header sits flush and reheat to adjust if necessary. Then solder the rest of the pins.
2x4 Expander Pin Header#
Now repeat the same process for the two 2x4 Expander pin headers. Insert them into the slots labelled Input and Output. Again, the long pins should be on the same side as all the SMD components. The short pins stick through the PCB and are soldered on the other side.
1x2 Pin Header#
Finish the back side of the PCB by soldering the four 1x2 pin headers. The orientation is the same, with the long pins on the same side as the SMD components.
Place one header, flip over the board and balance it on the Power and Expander headers you already soldered. Solder one pin first, check that the pin header sits flush and perpendicular. Reheat to adjust if it sits slanted. Then solder the other pin.
Repeat until you have soldered all four 1x2 pin headers. Make sure they sit reasonably straight.
Flip over the PCB#
Next, flip over the PCB so you can see the side without any components yet. Place all the components onto the board, but do not solder anything yet.
The four groups of rectangular outlines printed on this side of the PCB indicate where to place the 16 black Thonkiconn jacks. They are marked with J and a number.
Double check that you have soldered all the pin headers. Once the Thonkiconn jacks are soldered in, the pin headers will become hard to reach with a soldering iron.
Place the jacks but do not solder yet.
The switch goes on the same side as the Thonkiconn, in the middle of the circuit board. Its footprint is marked S1.
Screw on one of the hex nuts. This will help bring the switch to the same height as the jacks, so it will sit flush with the panel.
Place but do not solder yet.
Place Panel + Thonkiconn Nuts#
Once all the components are in place, but not soldered, make sure everything lines up and put on the front panel. Multiplikand’s panel is symmetrical, so don’t accidentally mount the panel bottoms-up - the direction text on the panel matches the PCB.
Screw on Thonkiconn nuts at the top, middle, and bottom of the board on alternating sides, so the panel sits tightly atop the jacks, and the jacks sit flush on the PCB.
Wear it inside out#
When we were kids in school, we sometimes would go a whole day accidentally wearing our pullover or shirt inside out. We thought it would be a fun idea for our DIY modules too - so for Multiplikand, you can decide whether you want the module to wear its front panel inside out.
Multiplikand wearing its front panel inside out
Once decided, screw on the second hex nut to hold the switch in place. The switch will sit flush with the board, leaving enough of the pins to solder from the bottom side. Make sure everything is as tightly sandwiched as possible, so that it fits the panel.
Solder Thonkiconn and Switch#
Solder the topmost sockets first. Then solder the sockets at the bottom, so the whole arrangement holds together. Check one last time everything sits right, then solder all the other points on the back - the sockets and the switch.
Once everything is cooled down a little, place the jumpers on the pin headers in the back. Place four jumpers on the 2x4 pin header marked Input. Leave the 2x4 pin header marked Output unpopulated.
The 1x2 pin headers let you choose between AC and DC coupled.
Place a jumper for DC coupled, optimized for CV. We recommend placing them, you can use this configuration with Audio as well, just keep in mind that DC offset will not be removed.
Leave the jumper off for use exclusively with Audio signals; DC offset will be removed from the signal if present.
Congratulations, your build is done!#
Enjoy mixmulting with Multiplikand and make sure you check out our suggested patches to make the most of your module.