The Passive Multiple Kit is the perfect introduction to synth DIY and soldering in general. With 8 components total and very little possibility for error, it should take under an hour for even complete beginners.
This module is a passive splitter, allowing one signal to be split and sent to multiple destinations. This is especially useful for sending clock signals around your system, but can also be used to split pitch CV, envelopes, audio, or any other signal in a modular system. The multiple can be used as a 1:6 or 2x 1:3 multiple, depending on whether a plug is inserted into jack #5.
The kit contains the following items:
1) 1x Black Aluminum Mult Panel
2) 1x Green Mult PCB
3) 8x PJ398SM 1/8" Mono Jacks (with built-in switch)
4) 8x Jack nuts
5) 2x M2.5 screws (for mounting the module
You will also need:
1) Soldering iron - any soldering iron will work for this kit, the solder points are relatively large, and there are no components that can be damaged due to heat.
2) Solder - 63/37 Rosin Core Leaded Solder is recommended, as it is the most versatile
3) An 8mm nut driver, adjustable wrench, or pliers to tighten the jack nuts.
4) A Screwdriver to mount the module to your rack.
Take a close look at the PJ398SM jack. This is the most common mono jack used in eurorack synthesizers. It has three pins: Shield, Tip, and Switch. The Shield and Tip pins connect directly to the sleeve and tip of the 1/8" mono plug that is inserted into this jack. The switch pin is connected to the tip only if a plug is not inserted. This pin is used to allow the Passive Multiple to be used as a 1:6 or a 2x 1:3 multiple, depending on whether a plug is inserted into jack #5.
In order for 8 jacks to fit in the height limitation of the module, and to keep it within 2HP, there are 4 pairs of jacks which share a solder hole (called a pad). Each pair's shield pins (the long one coming from the top) goes through the same pad and is soldered together. Take a look at the following two images to see how they fit together:
Start with one pair of two jacks, position them correctly, and flip the module over without dropping the jacks (This can be tricky!). Solder only one pin from each jack to start with. Inspect your work, and pay attention to how the jacks are sitting against the PCB. If they are not sitting flush, reheat the pin you just soldered and press down lightly on the jack to seat it correctly. If all goes to plan, your module should look like this:
This is a great opportunity to practice your soldering skills! Ideally your solder points look like the image above. They should appear as shiny volcanos, and the pin should not be wiggling at all. If your joints are dull, reheat them and add just a tiny bit more solder. Check out this video for a more in-depth soldering tutorial.
If your solder joint looks good, move forward and solder 3 more pairs of jacks. Your work should look like this:
If all goes to plan, your panel should sit perfectly over your jacks.
Now you can add your jack nuts, tightening them down with an 8mm driver, pliers, wrench, or your fingers.
Go forth and split!