MATRIXSYNTH: Percussa Super Signal Processor Update: Prototypes up and Running; Testing in Progress

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Percussa Super Signal Processor Update: Prototypes up and Running; Testing in Progress


via the Percussa SSP Kickstarter where you'll find additional pics.

"First of all happy holidays, and we wish you a healthy and succesful 2018! We received our SSP prototype PCBs the 22nd of December, together with the SSP front panel prototypes. The first thing we did was a quick visual inspection of the PCB to make sure there was nothing odd going on. I use a stereo microscope for that and just a careful look at each of the sections of the PCB. The PCBs look good!

After that I checked the mechanical fit of the PCB, front panels, display and display holders, and the mounting studs which mount the front panel to the PCB. I also checked the fit of the switches and encoders, as well as the 3.5mm eurorack jack connectors, and the microSD card slot. The display flat cable slips through a slot in the PCB to connect on the other side.

We were pretty lucky - all we had to do is add a standard M3 spacer between the studs and front panel, and everything fits together well, as you can see in the photos below. As you can see, the display is sandwiched in between the PCB and front panel and is held by display supports which I designed.

After mounting everything together it was time to install the system-on-module (SOM) onto the PCB, connect the display to the back of the PCB, and apply power (I'm using a meanwell power supply at the moment for my tests, and built a 10-pin eurorack style power cable to connect to the power connector on the back of the PCB).

I had not prepared a microSD card yet, so the system was not booting yet, but my first goal was to measure all the power supplies on the board (there are a lot of them!). Everything looked good so I built a serial cable so I could get access to the console, and a cable to program the programmable logic on the PCB. Finally I wrote a microSD card, and after a quick fix on the PCB (removing a pullup resistor which shouldn't have been there) the system booted up just fine! You can see the beautiful display in action below.

In the photo you can see I connected a USB hub to the high-speed port, which I've connected a USB-ethernet cable to so I can copy stuff to/from the SSP while I'm testing, or SSH into it. Finally I built our synthesis software with the SSP-specific GUI, and started that up to see how it looks on the screen. It's by no means finished, but it's nice to see it on the screen.

We still have to connect the encoders and switch matrix to the application. That will happen in the next weeks. I/O wise, I've tested the USB high and full speed ports (left and middle). I haven't tested the USB device port yet, I might get to that next week. The 8 channel audio output works and sounds great as well. I still have some work to do for the 16 audio inputs, and I'll be working on that over the next days, more news on the next update.

Keep in mind in the above photos the front panel has NOT been anodized or engraved yet. We'll get to that after the holidays (probably the week of Jan 10th). I am going to get a few panels processed, take some photos and then update you on that.

So overall it's looking really good! We're excited and look forward to updating you somewhere next week when we have more news. Thanks again for your patience and support!

Bert & Celine"

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