made a cake

Fairly successful Yorkshire tea loaf, made by me

Something like a Yorkshire tea loaf – about half a kilogram of fruit soaked over-night in tea, one egg, brown sugar, some bicarb, a bit of butter, plain flour, and some brandy that I randomly threw in ‘cos it’s Christmas.

And it turned out alright! Usually everything I make turns out flat, but this one wasn’t too bad. I suspect because it has a vast amount of fruit propping it up.

Apart from that, mostly I’ve been frenziedly drawing circuit boards to order from China to try and beat the UK customs changes come January 1st.

To explain a bit – at the moment there’s an arrangement called Low Value Consignment Relief, which means that any goods imported under the value of £15 don’t attract any VAT charges, which most of my PCB orders squeeze into.

Come January 1st, HMRC are binning this arrangement and have stated that the seller will be responsible for collecting the VAT, so that makes things less fun.

There were loads of things I was going to make (a Kobol clone with 3310s subbing in for the rare SSM2050s! an MS10! the DAC/gate output board for my imagined future MC-4 ripoff that I’ve been going on about for years) but mostly I’ve been churning out boring old clones of 100m boards. Yep, even the overly-complicated looking portamento module.

Other than that, the silliest is probably this board intended for my lovely Juno-6, which is basically a copy of the DCB interface in the Juno-60. Yeah! DCB!

DIY Juno-6 DCB circuit board

At this point you’re understandably wondering why would anyone do this in this day and age, and I’d say, fair enough, it’s a bit daft.

Mostly it’s because I was too cheap to invest in a MIDI interface for this thing, but also because it’s more fun trying to work out how to get it going, even though it’ll be a bit more convoluted.

I’ve long missed the boat on buying an MSQ-700 for super-cheap, and OP-8/OP-8m are super-rare, so I guess I’ll end up writing a MIDI-to-DCB and CV/gate-to-DCB thing for an Arduino.

I’m sure it’d do-able to go from the Arduino to the Juno-6 direct, but I’m slightly nervy about knackering the MPU inside the Juno.

I opened the Juno up before I ordered the board just to see how much room I’ve got. Turns out I could easily fit some sandwiches and a banana in there as well as the board.

Inside my Juno-6, showing that there's plenty of space for an additional circuit board

Loads of room. Probably not going to do the sandwich-box mod this time round.

Also there’s a suspiciously DCB-port-shaped hole covered by a plate at the back that will hopefully mean I can avoid any drilling, because you know that’s a bad idea. Potential Christmas fun to be had anyway.

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