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General NLC DIY info. Tools required, making cases, cables, etc.

Getting Started

DIY Panels


Nathan has provided several case designs that can be cut with a laser-cutter at your local hackerspace. The designs are available from


See the PSU module page for info on power and power bricks.


Currently Modular Addict is the cheapest source -

Build Guides and BOMs:

Check the list of modules here, but if the information isn't there yet, all NLC build info goes here -

New stuff goes at the bottom. Hint: use ctrl-F to find the pdf you need. from Oct 2017 all new build guides will be placed on this wiki.


Chips are all DIP on thru-hole boards or SOIC on smd boards Anything 4xxx, eg: 4017, means a CMOS 4017, don't get anything starting with 74>some letters<4017. Do not get any ICs including the designation “74_04,” “HC,” “HCT,” “AHCT,” “AC,” or “ACT” in their part numbers

Switching chips: best to get DG20x or DG21x series. An example would be Mouser Part No: 781-DG212BDY-T1-E3

The DG4xx series are generally okay but can give a short, sharp spike when switching seemingly because they are too quick and sensitive (won't hurt anything), also Vishay are putting out DG4xx chips that only run on +/-8V, which is not suitable for Eurorack modules. So best to avoid Vishay chips altogether, or be sure to check the voltage specs. You want to see +/-22V or 0-44V.

Op amps - Just use TL074, TL084, TL062, TL072 & TL082.

Knurled shaft pots

Some modules, namely null-A and ARSEq, have very tight pot spacing. It is best to build with knurled shaft pots and then use the small style knobs from Thonk or Modular Addict. from Aliexpress, std shipping will be slow, I'd pay for a faster option - This link might not work forever!

also smallbear stock them

and one builder (Randy!) used the regular Tayda standard shaft pots but used these shelving end caps as knobs He drew on little black dots to indicate position

D shaft pots

DO NOT USE THEM!They will be upside down, same with the pots that have a dash of white paint on the top. When I started DIY 20+ years ago, pots had to be wired to the PCB and they were always bolted to the panel with the solder tabs at the top. This habit has stuck with me but it means D shaft knobs will be upside down on NLC boards.

Dual Layer PCBs

Also note the panel components go on the bottom of the PCB. Another relic from the days when PCB companies charged double for double sided boards, these days it is standard and no extra cost, but I haven't the heart to go back thru 50+ designs and update them and, like a juggernaut trying to go around a corner, it takes me ages to change my habits. Always check out the build pics of your module on the module or blog pages.


Generally NLC modules are happy with DIY vactrols. Make them with heatshrink or 3d printed vactrol cases, LEDs and LDRs. Red and green LEDs are best to use as they emit a broader spectrum of light, in any case avoid blue LEDs. For LDRs, easiest to find them on ebay. I use two types GL5516 and GL5549, just search for these codes. GL5516 have a off-resistance of 500k Ohm and are suited for use in the Vac PiLL, giant B0n0, Bindubba sequencer and DelayNoMore. GL5549 have 10M Ohm off-resistance and are suited for use in vactrol based VCAs. The Segue and Muti-band distortion are best with these types.


Regarding 0805 caps - Perhaps strange but the 0805 caps at Tayda are often pretty good, usually Samsung brand. They do not have 10uF in 0805 tho. Generally try to buy C0G or NP0 caps (which are basically the same thing). For decoupling caps, it doesn't really matter. All caps should have at least a 25V rating, most will have 50V anyway which is fine. 10uF are usually only available with 25V or 35V ratings.

diy/info.txt · Last modified: 2019/12/15 21:11 by donald_dasher