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Program-o-duino = Arduino + ZIF Socket


We program boot loaders on a decent number of ATMEGAs for our roboduino kit, which involves a lot of pin bending and IC pulling. To speed up the process, Oren transformed this arduino into a program-o-duino by soldering on a ZIF(Zero Insertion Force) socket.  Now it just takes a quick pull of the lever to pop the chip in and out.

Video: How to Solder QFN MLF chips Using Hot Air without Solder Paste and Stencils

This video demonstrates how to solder a QFN or MLF chip without solder paste or stencils.  While solder paste and a stencil will product the most consistent results, this demonstration only uses an iron, flux, hot air and regular solder to get the job done.
Future videos will demonstrate how to use a solder paste syringe, as well as the recommended method of using a stencil.
Equipment used in this video:

Radio Shield Skips Commercials using RDS data

Here’s a quick demo of our new FM Radio Shield, featuring its ability to read the RDS text data off the radio stream and display it in the Arduino Serial Monitor.
The FM Shield also:

  • digitally control station, volume
  • read station strength to find good stations, or empty bands
  • head phone amplifier, uses headphone wire as antenna

The FM Radio Shield is available for purchase.

FM Radio Shield for Arduino

We’re happy to release a new FM Radio Arduino Shield that lets you listen to and control FM Radio.  With its abilit to read RDS info, the station / artist / song names can be displayed, and with a bit of code, you could have it automatically change channels when commercials play.
You can also digitally change the station, volume, and read the signal strength to find the strongest or weakest stations.  Finding weak stations could help you find a good transmission gap for your FM transmitter.
If there’s a station broadcasting traffic info via RDS, that would also be available.
FM Radio Arduino Shield

Frac Rack Version of Voice of VC Saturn Filter

A Frac Rack version of our Filter kit is now available: Voice of Saturn Voltage Controlled Filter
The VoS Voltage Controlled Filter is based around a CEM3372 filter IC (4-pole resonant low-pass filter)–the same chips found in the filters of such analog classics as the Sequential Circuits Prophet 600, Prophet T8 and Oberheim Xpander.  It features two inputs that are summed and then fed into the low-pass filter. The input and output volumes, cutoff frequency and resonance can all be controlled by VC (voltage control) or knobs.
voice of saturn vc filter

Voice of Saturn workshop and performance at BentFest2010!

BentFestival Image
On Saturday April 24th Travis Thatcher will be conducting a workshop on simple DIY electronics for music and the construction of a Voice of Saturn Synth. See more info after the jump.
The workshop entry fee is $50 and includes a barebones Voice of Saturn synth kit, as well as some materials to test out a few of the basic circuits and principles that will be demonstrated. Get your tickets here. Later that evening, at 8:30PM Travis will be performing utilizing lots of Voice of Saturn modules and other circuit bent devices. The 2010 Bent Festival will take place at 81 Front Street in Dumbo, April 22-24. See the Bent Fest website for more information. The lineup is awesome this year. Be sure not to miss our friends from Austin, Bodytronix who put on one of the craziest live acid house sets all with home-made gear!

Voice of Saturn Synth Mod

In order to get more out of your CV1 input on your VoS synth, we have come up with a simple mod that will help you do more with your synth. The mod should take only about 15 minutes and requires adding a new wire and moving an old one.


The new mod changes CV1 so that it controls the 555 that is in charge of the LFO. The control voltage adjusts the duty cycle and the frequency of the LFO, which will give you some interesting sounds. Also, if you turn up the LFO rate all the way up, the LFO will oscillate at the dominant frequency. What does this mean? Check out the video.

To do the mod. Follow the wiring guide in the picture. Remove the wires that were attached to the CV1 jack and solder them together. Then solder a wire between the CV1 jack and JP15 on the PCB. Your Voice of Saturn is then ready to go crazy with new sounds. Give it a try with the Voice of Saturn Sequencer, or even two of them!