Colour Designer's Toolkit

So, you're interested in designing your own colour. Welcome to the community! Colour is a completely open format; there is no need to request permission to develop or sell your own colour. If you're interested in selling your colour in the DIYRE store, please contact us.
  1. Electrical Characteristics
  2. Sonic Character
  3. Dimensions
  4. Pinout
  5. Connectors
  6. Coloring Your Colour

Electrical Characteristics

In order to ensure that your colour plays nicely with others, design your colour to the following specifications.

  • Gain: 1 (0db)
  • Input Impedance: >10kΩ
  • Output Impedance: <1kΩ
  • Power Consumption: 38ma
  • Supply Voltage: +/-16v
  • DC Offset: 20mv

It's ok if you don't know the exact specifications of your colour. The bottom line is that it should look like a unity gain buffer to the circuitry around it, albeit with some interesting sonic artifacts. View the full Palette schematic at Upverter: Colour Palette Schematic and PCB Layout

Recommendations:

  • Buffer the input and output of your circuit with opamp buffers.
  • AC couple the input and output of your Colour
  • Terminate the inputs and outputs of your colour with a resistor to ground. This prevents "pops" when your colour is engaged.

Sonic Character

Colour was designed to impart the subtle harmonic distortion and other non-linearities associated with analog recording gear--the kind that is most often heard as "warmth" or "vibe" rather than distortion. The THD spec given above is a good guideline, but let your ears be the final judge. Colour is not intended to be a full-on distortion or effects box. You are welcome to use the format in any way you want, but keep in mind that most users will be expecting colours to be subtle.

Dimensions

Your colour's PCB should be made from standard, 1/16" (1.6mm) thickness, rigid FR4. For aesthetic continuity, we recommend Ø.125" (3.2mm) beveled corners, but they are not necessary. Cadsoft Eagle users can download a library containing the colour footprint here: Colour Development Library

  • Width: 3" (76.2mm)
  • Height: 1.4" (35.6mm)
  • Clearance Below PCB: .1" (2.54mm)
  • Clearance Above PCB: .97" (24.6mm)
  • Total Clearance Above Palette PCB: 1.132" (28.7mm)
  • Mounting Hole Size: Ø.125" (3.2mm)
  • Mounting Hole Keepout Clearance: Ø0.289 (7.4mm)
colour-module-dimensions 

Pinout

Colours mate with the palette via an 8 pin connector. Pin numbers proceed counter-clockwise from the top left when looking down at the PCB.

  • 1 - Audio In
  • 2 - Ground
  • 3 - Audio Out
  • 4 - Red LED
  • 5 - Green LED
  • 6 - Blue LED
  • 7 - V+
  • 8 - V-

colour-pinout

Connectors

Colours mount to the Palette via five connectors--four mechanical and one electrical.

Cross section of colour and palette connectors

Colours are mechanically secured to the Palette via four nylon standoffs. These standoffs are available in 9 lengths ("A" in the connector drawing), allowing you to customize your Colour's mounting height from the Palette. The nylon standoffs are locking on one end and removable, press-fit on the other. The locking ends should be inserted into the colour's mounting holes so that the standoffs are permanently attached to the colour. Colours make a electrical connection to the Palette via one 8-pin connector mounted on the bottom of the colour PCB. The connector's pin length ("B" in the connector drawing) has to correspond with your chosen standoff height, "A." B must be .1" longer than A.

Sourcing Connectors

If you are selling your colour, you must include the mechanical and electrical connectors in your kit or assembled unit. Both the mechanical and electrical connectors are standard off-the-shelf components available worldwide.

Mechanical Connectors:

Manufacturer Part # Height ("A") Datasheet Source
Keystone 8879 .125" Datasheet Octopart Search
Keystone 8880 .187" Datasheet Octopart Search
Keystone 8881 .25" Datasheet Octopart Search
Keystone 8882 .375" Datasheet Octopart Search
Keystone 8883 .5" Datasheet Octopart Search
Keystone 8884 .625" Datasheet Octopart Search
Keystone 8885 .75" Datasheet Octopart Search
Keystone 8886 .875" Datasheet Octopart Search
Richco MSPM-2-01 .125" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-3-01 .187" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-4-01 .25" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-5-01 .313" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-6-01 .375" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-7-01 .438" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-8-01 .5" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-9-01 .563" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-10-01 .63" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-12-01 .75" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-13-01 .811" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Richco MSPM-14-01 .875" Datasheet Octopart Search, Essentra
Electrical Connectors:
Manufacturer Part # Pin Length ("B") Datasheet Source
Samtec TSW-104-07-F-D .23" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec
Samtec TSW-104-14-F-D .32" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec
Samtec TSW-104-15-F-D .52" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec
Samtec TSW-104-17-F-D .62" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec
Samtec TSW-104-18-F-D .72" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec
Samtec TSW-104-19-F-D .82" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec
Samtec TSW-104-19-F-D .82" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec
Samtec TSW-104-20-F-D 1.02" Datasheet Octopart Search, Samtec

Coloring Your Colour

Your colour will be identified on the front panel by an RGB bypass LED. In order to set the color of the LED, you must include the red, green, and blue LED-setting resistors in your colour PCB. You feed one side of the resistors with V+ and return the other side to their respective pins on the 8-pin connector. See the colour prototyping board below for an example.

The colour prototyping PCB. Note how the LED resistors are mounted vertically to save room.

If you plan to release your colour publicly, you must claim one of the colours in the table below and include the hue-setting resistors in your colour design. Contact us to reserve your colour's color.

Hue Resistor Values (R, G, B)
CTX 47k, Ø, Ø
15IPS 47k, 220k, Ø
JFT Ø, Ø, 220k
TM79 Ø, 220k, 220k
COLOURUPTER 47k, 1M, Ø
CMOS STEEZER 47k, Ø, 220k;
PULSE 47k, 1M, 1M;
IMPLODE 47k, 220k, 220k;
PENTODE Ø, Ø, 220k;
COLOUROPTO 47k, 0, 1M
COLOURPHONE 220k, 220k, 0
DOA 220k, 0, 220k
DISTORTASTUDIO 220k, 220k, 470k
XPF 47k, 4.7M, 2.2M
Toneloc 47k, 2.2M, 4.7M
EASY EQ GE 240k, 180k, 0
AWB95 1M, 2.2M, 220k
MN-50 0, 220k, 1M