System 100 VCF mystery solved

Alright, not much of a mystery, but have been drawing up some new PCBs over Christmas and wanted to check something on the System 100 (not M) VCF – the original schematic specified a dual 100KA for the resonance potentiometer, but I always suspected it suited a reverse audio pot better.

Here’s a picture from my 102, with the panel flipped down in front of me (so top here is bottom of the panel, just to make it confusing)

System 100 VCF pot orientation

Check the orientation of the embossed numbers on the back of the pots, and compare the (upside down) resonance and HPF pots against the right-way up mixer section (RM, VCO and Ext.).

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Flashing lights of the 100M


Continuing with some stuff from my ongoing silly giant-sized clone 100M – here is the flashing lights bit from the VCA and VCF circuits in action.

It’s unlikely it’ll be of any use to anyone, ‘cos it uses a (possibly unregulated) 22V power line from the 100M PSU, but, just in case – here’s the layout:

Roland System 100M level indicator stripboard

The lights on the 100M are meant to be useful, telling you when signal is coming out of the output, and if you’re pushing the level too hard. In practice, the overdriving seems to kick in slightly before the red light comes on.

It’s lot of effort for some pretty lights, but the whole thing has been a ridiculous endeavour so far anyway; so in for a penny, in for a pound.

The 100M level detector works more reliably than I’ve so far managed with the System 700 equivalent, which seemed to need very specific transistors, and even then occasionally gets stuck.

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System 100M VCA clone

I’ve had a bunch of Curetronic 100M PCBs for ages and done nothing with them, so finally decided to start building them up as a test for Schaeffer UV-printed panels… only because I wanted to test out my version of the OpenMusicLabs clown/clone BA662, I built a single one up on stripboard.

System 100m 130 VCA stripboard photo

For stripboarding I’ve switched to Veecad, which is much less pretty than DIY Layout Creator but at least allows for verifying the layout using a netlist exported from Kicad. Here’s the Veecad layout using a BA662 as the OTA:

Roland System 100m 130VCA stripboard layout

In case you don’t have a BA662 clone or original to hand, here’s a stripboard adaptor for a BA6110. Without any other compensation it’ll be slightly quieter than the ‘662. I measured 2.68dB difference between the two, everything else being the same.

ba662 > ba6110 adaptor

If you build the VCA, don’t be tempted to socket the transistors – I ended up frying a small pile of my clone ‘662s due to dodgy connections.

Here’s my redrawing of the VCA schematic.

As for the clone (…of the clone) BA662 – the OTA part of the chip seems to work OK. The 100M VCA doesn’t use the onboard buffer, so I need to check that as well.

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