Today I finished building a power supply for the synth I’ve been working on. The good news is that I didn’t electrocute myself or burn down the house! Also important is that it works. In a very rare and unexpected turn, I got it right on the first try. Well, it’s not exactly a coincidence. Since this project involved high voltage, I put a lot of care into designing and double checking all parts of the circuit. I’m calling this project “Facco’s Fire” but it’s based on a design by Thomas Henry (way back in ’98). The original instructions can be found here:
Many thanks to Thomas wherever the hell he may be these days. His instructions are extremely clear and even discuss design decisions and safety precautions.
This is a major boon for the synth project I’m working on. Most modular synth circuits require a dual suppy (positive and negative in relation to ground) and 12-15V. This supply provides +/-15V as well as +5V, which is perfect, because the Arduino portions of the synth will need just that. I also received some MIDI ports in the mail today, so hopefully I will be posting some cool new sounds in the near future!
For folks out there interested in designing a similar supply, the PDF contains just about everything you need to know and most of the parts are easy to source. The only things I had to research were the transformers and power inlet. I couldn’t find a power inlet that was circular, so you’re pretty much stuck cutting metal… It’s a miracle I didn’t loose a finger cutting this thing up using a Dremel cut bit on a full sized drill… no vice… Good Lord… Here are the parts I used from Mouser:
BVB01/Z0000/01: Power inlet
693-0034.3777: 1.5A Fuse that fits the power inlet I got
546-187C10: 10V Transformer (Henry’s design calls for 9V, also this one is center tapped, which is not necessary)
546-187E36: 36V Transformer (center tapped)
The transformers were back ordered for me, but only took a week or so to come in. All this stuff was reasonably priced and works well.
Finally here are some photos of the build. The case is from an old ATX computer power supply.