Saturday, 12 July 2014

Eurorack DIY Prototyping Cards Rethink

Post updated 3rd July 2018

The Synovatron Eurorack DIY Kits have now been discontinued. Because many of the kit components are easily available from online retailers it made sense that Synovatron just provides the unique (e.g. PCBs) and harder to source parts (e.g. pot brackets). This provided a great opportunity to reassess the PCB designs rather than just reorder more of the same.

What has emerged is a revised and rebranded Eurorack prototyping solution that is more usable and more elegant than before. The revised product revolves around three PCBs in the Synovatron Proto series: ProtoPotz, ProtoJax and ProtoXp

The new Proto PCBs' holes line up with each other to allow each board to be stacked one on the other using header plugs and sockets; allowing power and signals to be routed between boards without resorting to linking ribbon cables. Here is an example board stack-up:

ProtoJax, ProtoPotz and ProtoXp boards stacked together

Examples of headers and sockets used to stack the boards


ProtoPotz is the direct replacement for DIY1 PCB (as used in DIY Kit 1 and DIY Kit 2). It is designed to hold up to five 16mm P160KN series pots using brackets. What's new about it?
  • Plated-through holes for robustness and convenience, essentially it's a double-sided PCB. 
  • Better supports the A-100 bus with dedicated positions for 10 or 16-way open or boxed headers, small electrolytic capacitors and protection diodes (to protect against reverse power connection.
ProtoJax boards with 5 pot brackets are available from Synovatron for 7.50GBP + delivery + VAT @ 20% (UK/EU only). ProtoJax will also be supplied in DIY Prototyping Kit 1 as a replacement for the original DIY1 PCB.

ProtoPotz pot breadboard PCB
Here is the range of pots available from Mouser that Synovatron recommends for use with ProtoPotz:-


ProtoJax is an evolution of DIY2 and DIY3 PCBs. It is designed to hold up to five Cliff CL1384 3.5mm mono jacks. It is almost identical to ProtoPotz except it has footprints for jacks instead of pots and another two rows of breadboard holes. What makes it more advanced than DIY2 and DIY3 pcbs?
  • Larger breadboarding area. 
  • Supports the A-100 bus similar to ProtoPotz.
ProtoJax is available from Synovatron for 7.50GBP + delivery + VAT @ 20% (UK/EU only). It will not replace DIY2 PCB in DIY Prototyping Kits 1 or 3 except as a requested option.

ProtoJax jack breadboard PCB


ProtoXp is a completely new PCB. It is an eXpansion board designed to add more breadboarding area to ProtoPotz or ProtoJax boards. It's features are:-
  • It has a cutout that allows the A-100 bus ribbon cable connector to fit without fouling on the ProtoXp board. 
  • The same ±12V power bus structure as the ProtoPotz or ProtoJax boards.
ProtoXp is available from Synovatron for 6.00GBP + delivery + VAT @20% (UK/EU only).

ProtoXp expansion breadboard PCB

 What else?

Data sheets will be prepared for the Proto series PCBs and download links will be posted online over the coming days.

DIY2 and DIY3 boards will be available for the foreseeable future. These can be used on their own or with the Proto series boards but the PCB holes do not align exactly so a linking ribbon cable is the best way to pass power and signals around between Proto and DIY series boards. Consequently the price of DIY2 and DIY3 PCBs will be discounted while stocks last. 

Sale price for DIY2 is 3.75GBP + delivery + VAT @ 20% (UK/EU only). Was 5.00GBP.

DIY2 jack breadboard PCB

Sale price for DIY3 is 5.00GBP + delivery + VAT @ 20% (UK/EU only). Was 6.75GBP.

DIY3 jack breadboard PCB

Please contact Synovatron for order enquiries, delivery costs and quantity/combined order discounts.