I do not think it is a difficult nor long build – i spent a couple of hours on every day off from work on it, for about a month.
The excitement of being able to own an 808 drove me, and gave me the needed focus and patience boost.
When building the Yocto, it is very important to measure every component before soldering it.
I decided to buy the resistors needed each time I was going to start a new section. This relieved me from measuring hundreds of resistors in one tiring session, putting them in order all at once, etc.
I bought a paper note book on which I would position the components, writing down their value and taping them, as I prepared for each part of the build. This helped me double check them before and while soldering them to the boards.
I decided to socket all the IC’s and the noise section transistor.
The germanium diodes provided in the half kit are rare, treat them with care. I cut the curvy terminals to have a straight lead as per this picture.
Check the pictures I am posting here to note certain ic’s position.
I made the mistake of putting all the pots at the end, do not do it, it is a mess. Just follow the build guide-do it as recommended, at the end of each section.
Remove the encoders’ tabs before you solder them in!
Please note that you do not have to cut the lead cables at the end of the build (i did it!), what Vincent meant in the last paragraph of the build guide is, you can make them shorter.
I had some issues with the flat cables, aka they broke, so i socketed them too. It is advisable to have a suitable enclosure ready before you get to link the two pcbs with flat cable, otherwise having the boards moving around will cause them to break. I would recommend you to buy this brand and sku: TE Connectivity-fsn-3a-10-3″ ribbon cable. They are the best. I socketed the connection point as per picture here, and i just slid the ribbon cable in the sockets-it works great.
Usually the boards sit a bit shallow in the enclosures, do not use led covers and cut them about the height of the sequencer’s coloured buttons.
Use 5mm spacers to lift the board up and have it sit properly, the keys will stick out properly through the holes.. More on that further down..
(see pic at the top of the post)
A few more tips to build the yocto, not a mod guide by any means, more like a ‘watch out for’ list, for instance where to look if you would like to change the value of some resistors to change the tuning of the instruments.. and other useful things to know as you go along.
A lot of these ideas are to be found in the yocto forum, but here is whatever I found essential to complete the build without headaches.
For a more in depth mods’ list, google dsl-man yocto mods.
Side note: please take note of these mods that allowed me to fine tune my build-i am not implying that these will be needed for your build, but keep these in mind:
Hats noise filter: for R58 use a 1K trimmer, multiturn
Cymbal noise filter: R56, use a 1K trimmer, multiturn
Cymbal decay: R93, use a 470K trimmer
Clave filter: R322, use a 20K trimmer
Clave decay: R313, use a 470K trimmer
SD noise filter: R202, use a 50K trimmer
TM1 and TM2 better adjustment range (Cowbell): at R44 put a 100K resistor, R45 put a 68K.
I put them on a veroboard or two, see at the bottom of the guide..
Also make sure you have many SC828 transistors to choose from for the noise generator!
THE NOISE SECTION
As opposed to the building guide, a more effective functionality of the noise generator can be achieved with this mod, as per the official Roland service manual (page 15):
R 129 use a jumper instead of the resistor listed
R 131 100k
R 127 10uF electrolytic: see this pic for correct orientation (positive side left)
R 130 22pF in parallel with resistor 130 (it means on top of the resistor, using the same soldering points – check the pic, i soldered it on the other side of the board)
I socketed Q35 as it is a very substantial part of the noise generator. Remember that for the noise section to work properly, 2SC828 transistor’s hfe must measure more or equal to 300.
C 27 1n2 for 1ms pulse, needed for an effective accent
R 165 tuning resistor
R 234 47k (positioned in the Low Tom section)
R 188 check its position carefully
R 195 tuning resistor 1
R 196 tuning resistor 2
R 202 noise filter resistor
R 231 to lower pitch, use a 4k7 resistor (or increase value to lower pitch)
R 257 tuning resistor
R 284 tuning resistor
R 312 tuning resistor
R 315 tuning resistor
R 334 and
R 373 are part of the Hand Clap circuit, although they are to be found here
R 342 and
C 137 may have a solder bridge, it is ok
Do not rush to solder the BA6110 ic, it is better to socket it and add it at a later time, please check the picture here to have it positioned correctly.
R 63 decay resistor 1
R 65 decay resistor 2
Look at this section before trying to find the position of the components. It is L shaped.
R 56 noise filter resistor 1
R 58 noise filter resistor 2 (this is in common with the HiHat)
C 6 and
C 42 and
C 44 and
C 46 I did not have any 22nF caps in my stash so I used, 27nF instead.
INPUT OUTPUT BOARD
Please note the position of IC4 on the i/o board..
IC4 is a optocoupler, 6N138 and it controls incoming midi signals, so if your yocto 808 has got any issue with midi like it will not sincronize to midi in, change this IC, maybe it would be better to go for a beige original:
Before you put the keys in, make sure your enclosure will let them stick out properly (as stated before, they sit a bit shallow), and use spacers the right height to suit your eclosure.. As described here..
Before you put it in the enclosure
Prep the enclosure by screwing the spacers in the front panel- i used 5mm spacers but 10mm spacers’ screws (aka the ones that came with the mouser order) that go in for like 3/4 of the spacer’s lenght. Screw the top panel side all the way in through the spacer.
Please note there are two sides to the spacer, one is hollow and the other flat. You want to have the hollow part as receptacle to screw the pcb side in (aka at the back of the front panel) as much as you can (it is not much, a few mm’s but that will suffice to have the pcb steady in place). This means, flat side of the spacer on top.
Look at the picture:
Nuts of the two encoders will have to be placed on top of the front panel not below.
My Yocto fired properly first off.
I made all the trimmer’s adjustment upon finishing it.
I am very satisfied by the result. Vincent has been very helpful too, and the YOCTO forum is an invaluable resource.
Thanks Pawluk for the sturdy enclosure!
Also, if you feel inclined, i would suggest you add a little daughterboard to fine tune the noise generator, to allow for correct voicing of the snare, hats and cymbal (check out the relevant resistors above and swap them with trimmers)..
I arranged them on a small veroboard and i am very happy with the results!
I have been building pedals for little over a year now.. here are some of them:
Vox repeat percussion
The Vox Repeat Percussion is featured in the most unusual spots in 60es music, often used on organ too!
Here is my tagboard build.
I love this effect.
Turns your guitar into a mandolin.
If you dig the first electric prunes lp and early pink floyd, spacemen 3, this is the one and only vibrato for you!
Candysweet carbon comp resistors, philips, tropical fish caps blah blah.
Caution: the musical shredded by this pedal can cause epilepsy. Or tripping on out. Or both for max freakout! Ahahaahaha
The germanium fuzz face is one of the key 60es pedals.
Here are a couple of builds..mojo stuff. Carbon comp resistors, tropical fish, philips, tesla caps, vintage texas instruments transistors (gold plated pins) or good old ac128s or Nkts..whatever sounds great.
That ugly blue n white trimmer there is bound to be replaced with a funky resistor as i am finalising the pedal for my mate Reverendo Mud’s 60es garage band, Seuss.As for any fuzz box i build, i put my ear on it: i like them with lots of attack i like the pick to be leading.. That is more apparent on my Tone Bender mkii builds, though.
Univibes.. i like building them. I have a few done now.. a couple of them can be handy.This circuit is one of those PERFECT circuits: mojo components or crappy ones wont change its soul..this heavily populated board vibes on whatever you put in it.I chose to make one that will LAST so no corners were cut..Cute Sprague electrolytics, tropical fish caps, etc all class A stuff here.
This is a classic vintage univibe build, with the best components of today.
The hard part of this build is the tuning part..that is, setting the character of the pedal..its very soul and sound.Back in the 60es the inventor of the Uni-Vibe Fumio Mieda would do this by ear, box per box, to imitate the sound of a rotating Leslie speaker.
Just like Mieda sensei, I tune each univibe by ear. I have my Leslie speaker here as a template!
Now Mieda san is the CEO of Korg…and the mighty, beloved japanese giant as part of the new craze of re releasing its legendary vintage gear is producing a new run of Univibes…they had to change the name though…cos they sold it to Jimmy Dunlop.No Hendrix scholar can go about without one of these.. forget about massively produced, digital, fake analog vibes.
This will make your head spin.
Pcb by GGG
This 60es univibe clone will take its place in a gigging venician musician’s rig.
Very rough, temporary artwork.. hes rushing to a gig tomorrow so…no time to make it nicer really…but what do we care for..
I also had to build an ac dc power supply outputting 18 volts for this.
Because of the no-mojo components, i must admit its bite is not as apparent and imposing as in my other builds.
Still..it sounds miles and miles better than any of those fake ass Jim Dunlop univibes…ahahaha!!!
PCB by Redhouse (forum vibe pcb, classic build)
Maestro Filter Sample Hold
My Maestro Filter/Sample & Hold build.No artwork as yet…who cares, like.
Pure analog pleasure/madness..up sweep, down sweep, resonance, speed…any control..you name it, theres 5 knobs of it!
This is one of the hardest clones to tackle.
I made two, one for the man and one is currently being debugged to be given as a gift to my gonzo mate Jackit.
Amazing filtering and funky funky s&h…pedals like these are just not made by pedal corporates anymore.