When sourcing parts for a RYO Paths module, I discovered that the Fairchild FJN3303R NPN Transistor is no longer manufactured. Searches on Octapart indicate that some companies still have the transistor in stock but they unfortunately only sell the chip in big batches. A company called Rochester Electronics would only sell me 12940 units and AVnet 16026. Both companies seem to supply electronic components for the manufacturing industry. If someone were to build over 5000 Paths this would make sense (the module requires three transistors). Modular grid indicates that around 700 users have the module already, so I imagine the market is saturated by now. The module seems to be from 2015 and there are dozens with similar functionality available. Perhaps 5000 sequential switches could be used to build a computer of sorts.
There are some potential substitutes for the transistor but I’m not skilled enough yet to confirm if the specs are a match. So I turned to ebay, aliexpress and other dodgy vendors. Some claim to be selling the same transistor but the price of a single unit is over 10€. It is also impossible to confirm that the chip is the right one.
Luckily the Modwiggler forum has a DIY Trade Thread [ Parts, PCBs, Panels ] where users announce stuff they are looking to trade with others. I found two entries both from 6-7 years ago from users indicating that they had some transistors to spare. I contacted one, got no reply, contacted the other and got a reply, and then the first contacted me too. Now I’m expecting to get 20 transistors in the mail! In a brief exchange we agreed that I’ll commit to distributing the extra units for builders/hobbyist from Helsinki. I got the units for free and I’m committed to distributing them further asking nothing in return.
It turns out electronics as a hobby is about supply chains, archivist practices and social commitment. Turns out hardware is about care. The module is interconnected by design and its manufacturing depends on the good will of other builders. For me the rarity of the transistor is now a facevalue of the module. It makes me a part of the Fairchild FJN3303R NPN supply chain, a member of the rare transistor-gild!
In the process I also learned of the phases of the ljunggrenaudio/RYO eurorack manufacturer. A few years back (between 2016-19) they gave up on business due to health concerns and disappeared. As their website ljunggrenaudio.com went down and got squatted, the schematics, technical notes, build manuals and patch notes were lost. In recent years the hobbyist community and their past collaborators have sourced the lost documents. They are currently housed on modwiggler and other sites. With out the documentation servicing and building the modules would have been difficult.
The short online-amnesia caused by lost documentations, the rarity of the transistors and the fate of ljunggrenaudio/RYO make the module build process more then a mere assembly (which most DIY kits are). It feels almost like a media archaeological excavation. I would like to learn more about the transistor thou and other things it is used for. I’ll distribute the Fairchild chips I was handed via Ore.e Refineries. I’m amazed by the realization that electronic components, chips and the logics, behaviour and functionality they poses are so finite. Already noted this when I started electronics as a hobby and it feel great to return to this with the Ore.e Ref. Fairchild supply initiative.
Preparing a workshop for Pori Art Museum. I’ll host a seminar for kids about p3rm46r4ff171 and serve them dirty waters. Later this week I’m running a workshop for Frame at the Experiments on Togetherness: Herding in Helsinki Central Par event. Exited to present my work in junction with Mari Keski-Korsu’s herbal-horse audio-meditation session. I’m preparing light gymnastics bundled with horse-behavioural theories and anecdotes about the Helsinki Mounted Police. The mounted polices night shift are planning to pass by to offer their greetings. The upcoming RH3 Frame publication, where I contributed a text titled “On the Other Side of the Paddock”, marks the closes I’ve gotten to Eyal Weizman. We are listed as contributors on a list which is organized alphabetically. Being the two last entries, we are only separated by the conjunction “and”, which is more then a comma but feels more intimate.* I’m referring to Weizman in two upcoming texts (the other will be out on the 17th and the later published in a book on performance pedagogy).
DIY electronics are way more expensive then buying instruments used. I will have to put this hobby on hold. I decided to build Paths RYO a cycling sequential switch for developing my system towards a cybernetic device, possibly using the electronic qualities of different waters as inputs. I sourced the pcb from an online shop in the US, electronics from Digikey, some rare components from Banzai Music (Germany) and odd bits and bobs locally from Uraltone. Just the mail, vat & service fee expenses of the packages would covered the costs of a used unit. Making by hand is more expensive then getting the same factory built. It might also be more ecological. I think I’m diy-ing stuff only to make myself feel better about being a consumer. Also sourcing parts for an Aperture unit (and I want it just for fun).
DIY-ing new modules
to hide all traces of my
Today is an anniversary of EWS 1# and someone called “Petsamo” has added it as a tourist attraction to openstreetmap! I’m proud to say they have classified it as an artwork (a mural to be specific).
*edit. Got to ask Weizman a question on a Frame/RH3 related discussion & chat! Bassam El Baroni conveyed my question: Does intuition have a role in investigation? Weizman explains that they don’t know what intuition is but that investigations are involved with imagination. They explained that truths are simple and lies require imagination. Does this make counter-investigations processes where imaginative effects are removed? They continue depicting imaginations as having a fogging characteristic, which is obstructing the truth. I’m disappointed by the response. I don’t think truths are rational (simple) #ॐ. I don’t think counter-investigations necessarily reveal rationalities (indoctrinated racism and biases etc.), they reveal something horrible: War machines are not liable because they don’t make any sense.
Build a Alex Rice Piezo Preamplifier following Zach Poffs documentation. Seems to work well with my i4 instrument input. I’ll have to build a few shielded piezos to get a better understanding of its quality. The build was relatively easy and I sourced a matched 2N3819 jfet pair locally (should have found a more sensitive couple but went for 11,6 & 11,7 Idss). Also… Should have fitted the 1,5k (R3) resistor I used with a 1-2k trimmer for balancing the transistor bias (the balancing process is detailed in the Cortado preamp documentations). But I’m happy with this as is… Perhaps for the next build.
Fitting a Neutrik NCJ6FIS combojack in a Hammond 1550A case took filing but worked well in the end. Added a belt clip from an old Würth tape measure so that I can keep the unit on me during performances. A neat and small package! I’ll etch some descriptions (using ferric chloric acid!) on its workings to the case before its done. I’m dreaming of building a stereo-pair which could be fitted to the two inputs of my tascam dr40. Found a good resource for all sorts of audio/electronics stuff Elliott Sound Products (the piezo preamp looks promising) maintained by Rod Elliott.
Getting more comfortable with Norns. Digging Cheat Codes and other grids optimized devices using my secondhand launchpad. Also coping with script tweaks by accessing the device over maiden. The forum introduced me to a bizarre programme Argeïphontes Lyre which can (for example) chop up files into desired lengths (working with the Trans-Siberian Railway -Sound Archive recordings using goldeneye).
Homemade traditional resin flux (2019) Matthew Skala. DIY electronics as a forest wandering experience. As Skala mentions, raw pine sap is currently rarely extracted and he imagines it’s mostly used for homemade incenses. Which makes it all the more interesting for the kinds of electronics I’m into! He recommends using anhydrous magnesium sulfate for removing residue water from the resin (which brings this experiment close to mineral waters). Sorbic acid is also added as a preservative (to keep mold out) and citric acid to activate the flux.
It occurs to me that some readers may not know what a pine tree looks like. I’m not sure I can give a definitive spotter’s guide here (try searching the Web or looking at the picture above), but in general the easiest sign to look for is the leaves.
I was working as a clerk at the Konala Shell gas-station when Finland converted markka’s to euro’s, which caused a spike in the price of gas. “I don’t mind the change”. A customer spoke softly. “I fill the tank with what I have”. They continued and I feel them now. “How is the pandemic effecting your praxis?” I imagine someone asking. “I don’t mind the change, I do the most with what I have” I speak out loud, in the damp cellar I call a studio.
Artists have started to mark cancelled events into their CVs. Covid removed the affect from social interaction and turned coexistence into a performance. Our senses are crippled by quantifiable data and we cling to different statics on the disease for feedback. The value of social life, our capability for empathy and rationality is publicly scrutinized by statistics on the spread. We all look like sinners. The pandemic and the capitalism which statistics feed to are turning us into cyborgs. We are in relation through data.
Bought a beat-down Volca Beats for 40€. A lot of issues and missing components due to a misfortune snare mod/other stuff (pads torn, dabs of solder everywhere and tips of potentiometers burned by careless iron handling). Has a good punk vibe thou! Spotted the system79 Korg Volca Beats Snare Analysis site with an accurate (but not full) schematic and after a full day of studying the board managed to restore pitch&decay control by placing a 100nF to C91. Made the 100nF c78 modification too and might go for “Snappy” noise mod next. I’ll have to source SMD components to replace the trough hole parts I used for testing values. Sourced a 1k SMD resistor from an Alesis Micron board I horded from a dumpster in NYC.