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Modular Synth (Eurorack) - Tools and Utilities


Soldering Iron

My dad's ancient WTCP Weller failed whilst building the early modules so I bought an ERSA Analog 60.


I needed a decent scope and had been trying to justify one for years (to calibrate and debug mostly guitar effects pedals). I finally buckled and bought a Rigol DSO - ending up with a DS1042E.

(The ERSA Analog 60 soldering iron is in the background).

2206 Function Generator

Only 10 from Amazon !

This has proven really handy in debugging modules - can use it as a tone generator, gate generater or LFO.

DSO138 Oscilloscope

Only 18 for an oscillosope (after building). Seems to work ok (I only want it for audio bandwidth and one channel is ok for me for now).

Some issues with using it in anger but has been helpful in debugging modules. The frequency information is pretty suspect ! Seems to vary depending on the scale of the time base ! Still, it is really cool to see the modular synth waveforms and helps in visualising what is happening in the synth. Need a proper oscilloscope for debugging though.

Hot Air Station

In preparation for SMD soldering I bought a hot air station for 30:


In preparation for SMD soldering I also bought a magnifying visor:


For programming the STM32 ARM microcontrollers.

Needed to also buy a 10pin jtag adapter.

Olimex AVR-ISP-Mk2

For programming the Atmega microcontrollers.

Needed to also obtain a 10-6 pin ICSP adapter.

J-Link clone

For programming the TINRS digital modules I use a cheap (3.00) JLink clone from aliexpress.

Mutable Instruments Module Tester

Useful as an audio, cv (trigger, gate, 1v/oct) and clock source as well as basic analysis. It can also power the module to be tested.

Brymen bm869s Multimeter

Highly accurate and precise multimeter for calibrating modules like Yarns and Ornament and Crime (here I am calibrating two Yarns):

I wonder if <0.01mv is good enough to drive an analog oscillator :-) (Hint: it's more than 1/1000 of a cent accuracy !!!)

Amscope SE400-Z Stereo Microscope

I decided to get a stereo microscope as I am doing more 0402 SMT soldering and the magnifying visor is just not good enough.

The images are amazing - so clear - it really highlights how bad your soldering is!

DC-DC Power supply

I built a sacrificial power supply that supplies +/-12v from a 9v dc supply for ~8