Colourupter Assembly Guide

For recommended tools and safety precautions, refer to the Colour Pallet Assembly Guide.

1. Tools
The only tools that are absolutely necessary to complete the Colourupter are a soldering iron and clippers. However, a multi-meter is handy for identifying resistors, and needle-nose pliers make bending component leads easier. A picturesque, salvaged-wood work surface is also recommended but not strictly required.
2. Sort Resistors
Identify the 10 resistors by measuring them with your multi-meter or by reading their color codes. As you sort the resistors, bend their leads 90 degrees at the body to prepare them for insertion. The resistor values are:
R1 47k
R2 1M
R3, R4, R6 10k
R5 3.3k
R7, R8 10R
R9 348R
R10 750R
3. Insert the Resistors
Begin "populating" the printed circuit board (PCB) by placing the resistors in the places marked for them. Note that there is one error on the PCB legend: the correct value of R5 is 3.3k not 10k.
4. Bend the Resistor Leads
As you insert the resistors, bend their leads flush against the bottom of the PCB. This will hold them in place when we flip the board over for soldering.
5. Solder the Resistors
Now solder the resistors to the PCB. Observe good soldering technique: heat the pad and lead for 2-3 seconds, apply a small bit of solder, and continue to heat the pad for another 2-3 seconds. Allow each solder joint 10 seconds to cool before moving on to the next one. The finished joints should be shiny and should have just enough solder to cover the pad entirely.
6. Trim the Leads
Once all of the solder joints have cooled, use your clippers to trim away the excess leads. Your goal should be to clip as close as possible to the joint without clipping the joint itself.
7. Place the IC Socket
Next, place the socket for the integrated circuit IC1. Orient the socket so that the semi-circular notches on the socket and the PCB legend match.
8. Bend the socket pins
Using your needle-nose pliers, bend two of the socket's pins against the bottom of the PCB to hold it in place. Try not to scratch the PCB with the pliers!
9. Solder and trim the socket
Solder the pins of the socket and trim the excess leads down to the joint as you did with the resistors.
10. Place the film capacitors
Next, identify and place the four smaller, red, "film" capacitors. C1 and C2 are marked "u1K63" or "0.1 63". C4 is marked "WIMA 68/1000-." And C6 is marked "3-L 684."Bend their leads as you place the capacitors, then solder and trim.
11. Place the Vactrol
Next, we'll place the component at the heart of the Colourupter's sound: the "vactrol," or resistive opto-isolator. The vactrol's orientation is indicated by the lead spacing; the vactrol with the labeling on top and the closer leads towards the center of the PCB. Bend the leads, solder, and trim.
12. Place the electrolytic capacitors
C3 and C5 are aluminum electrolytic capacitors. However, unlike most caps of this type, they are non-polarized so they can be inserted in either direction. (The "+" indication on the PCB is included just in case someone wants to use different, polarized caps.)The actual value of C3 and C5 may be 10uF or 4.7uF, depending on the revision of the kit you received. Insert the caps, bend the leads flush against the bottom of the PCB, solder, and trim.
13. Insert the Standoffs
Pop the standoffs into the four mounting holes from the bottom of the PCB. Insert the locking ends with right-angle tabs into the Colourupter PCB and leave the removable ends to be inserted into your Palette.
14. Place the Header
Finally, insert the 8-pin header into the holes marked "CON1." Make sure to place the short, silver pins through the PCB so that the black posts and long, gold pins protrude from the bottom of the PCB.Set the PCB down so that the pins of the header rest against your work surface and solder the header. There should be no excess leads to trim after soldering.
15. Slightly bend the IC Leads
See how the pins of the IC protrude from the body at slightly wider than a 90 degree angle? In order to fit the IC into the socket, we'll need to bend the leads inward a bit.Set the IC on its side and press from the other side to bend all the leads at once. Then flip the IC over and do the same for the other side. When you are done the leads should be perpendicular to the body.
16. Press the IC into the socket
Set the IC on top of the socket, making sure to align the semi-circular notches. Double check this! Now apply pressure with one or two fingers to press the IC firmly into the socket. Is it really in there? Good, then you're done!
17. Colouruptulations!
You finished your Colourupter! Now plug it into your Colour Palette and go disrupt some unsuspecting wave forms. If you did something differently or have ideas for improving this guide, we'd love to hear them! If you've had any trouble with your build, we'll be glad to assist you at our support center: Guaranteed Support