AWB95 Assembly Guide

Safety Precautions, Warranty, and Disclaimer Improper soldering and handling of electricity can cause serious injury and damage to your property. Read and understand the instructions below before beginning your project. Follow the instructions, build carefully, and use the appropriate tools. Build at your own risk. DIY Recording Equipment, LLC is not responsible for any damage or injury resulting from the assembly or use of your kit. You are the manufacturer of your kit. It is your responsibility to turn this group of parts into a working piece of recording equipment. DIY Recording Equipment, LLC does not guarantee the success of your project and disclaims any Implied Warranty of Merchantability. Please visit the support forum for assembly support.
Damaged or Missing Parts All kits and parts are checked before being shipped to you. If something arrives damaged or if your kit is missing a part, please open a support ticket to inquire about a replacement. Missing parts will be replaced at our expense. Damaged parts should be returned for verification. If the part shows signs of use beyond what was necessary to determine that it was damaged, DIY Recording Equipment, LLC reserves the right not to replace the part.
Welcome to the AWB95 Assembly Guide

Thank you for purchasing a AWB95 Cassette Tone Colour!

If this is your first DIY project ever, we recommend reading our Getting Started Guide.

Table of Contents

Required Tools

You'll need the tools below to complete this build.

Soldering Iron
We recommend an adjustable-temperature station, such as the $40 Weller WLC100.

You can use 60/40 "leaded" solder or lead-free. We recommend 60/40 because it flows better and is easier for beginners to use.

Wire Cutters
You'll need a pair of good "snips" for cutting of the excess leads after soldering.

Optional Tools

These tools aren't strictly necessary but can make your build a bit easier.

If you find the color bands on resistors a bit hard to read, you can use a meter to sort them with absolute confidence.

Desoldering Pump
If you accidentally solder something in the wrong place, a desoldering pump can save the day.

Populate Bag 2

Sort Resistors

Open bag 2 and sort the resistors by their values, bending their leads at the body as you go. You can sort resistors using a multi-meter or their color code.

Place Resistors

Place the resistors in their respective places on the PCB.

Bend Resistors

As you insert each resistor, bend its leads against the bottom of the PCB to keep it in place.

Solder 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.

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.

Trim Resistors


Populate Bag 3

Place Polarized Capacitor

Open bag 3. There is one polarized capacitor in the kit which requires special attention. Find the gold, 3.3uF capacitor. The longer lead is positive, while the negative lead is marked by a black stripe on the body. Place the capacitor in the C5 position with the positive (longer) lead in the square pad on the PCB. Then bend the leads against the PCB to hold the cap in place.

Place Inductors and Remaining Caps

Now place the remaining components in bag 3. Make sure to line up the stripes on diodes D1 and D2 with the stripe on the PCB. Bend, solder, and trim the leads as you did with the resistors.

  • C1, C2, C3 - Red, marked "0.1" on body, not polarized
  • C4 - Blue, marked "1nJ63" on body, not polarized
  • D1, D2 - Clear with two black stripes, not polarized
  • L1 - Brown, similar to resistor, not polarized
  • L2 - Black, marked "221" on body, not polarized

Populate Bag 4

Place T1

Unwrap the transformers in bag 4. Place the smaller transformer in the T1 position with the "P" printed on the body on the side marked "P" on the PCB.

Place T2

Place the larger transformer, marking sure to line up the "P" on the body with the "P" on the PCB.

Populate Bag 1

Place Standoffs and Header

Open bag 1 and pop the standoffs into the four mounting holes from the bottom of the PCB. Insert the locking ends with right-angle tabs into the PCB and leave the removable ends to be inserted into your Palette.

Now 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. Solder the header to the PCB.

Place IC Socket

Place and solder the IC socket in the U1 position. Make sure to align the notch in the plastic with the corresponding notch on the PCB. The capacitors on either side should hold it in place when you flip the PCB over for soldering.

Place IC

Place the 4558D opamp in the socket. Align the dont with the notch in the socket and PCB.

Final Check

That's all there is to it! Before you plug in your new AWB95, we recommend checking the following things:

  • C5 orientation: is the black stripe on the side closest to the "R8" marking?
  • U1 orientation: is the dot on the IC on the side closest to C2?
  • Diode orientation: are the stripes on D1 and D2 closest to the bottom of the PCB?
  • Resistors: do all of the resistor positions correspond to the chart in step 1.1?
  • Soldering: Is every solder joint shiny and clean? If one is cloudy or misshapen, try reheating it for 8 seconds and adding a tiny bit more solder.
  • Trimming: Are all of the excess leads trimmed down as close to the joint as possible?

All good? Get Colouring! Have a question or problem? Drop us a line.

Final Checks

Before you wrap up, check the following things:

  • Soldering: Is every solder joint shiny and clean? If one is cloudy or misshapen, try reheating it for 8 seconds and adding a tiny bit more solder.
  • Trimming: Are all of the excess leads trimmed down as close to the joint as possible?

All good? Congrats on finishing your build! Have a question or problem? Drop us a line.

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