Building a ribbon controller (Part 4)

The ribbon controller project is done!

(I don’t always finish the projects I start, unfortunately. But this one I did.)

It was a pretty straightforward task to transfer the prototype interface circuit to perfboard. I added a 12-pin header in case I ever want to turn it into a Eurorack module, but for now it’s still powered off a USB cable. I put the circuit in a plastic project box I had around, bought for some unknown reason at some unknown time in the past (ditto the perfboard).

As for the ribbon controller itself, I replaced the temporary jack connection with something more permanent. I glued a piece of 1/8″ plywood with a hole in it on the cavity end of the stick, stained and finished it, and mounted a new jack (better suited to the geometry than the old one) there. Soldered the SoftPot leads to it, covering the ends with shrink tubing. I didn’t want to heat the SoftPot ends, because I don’t know how much heat the SoftPot can take, so I just secured that tubing with black tape. I did shrink the jack ends. Then I screwed another piece of 1/8″plywood, stained and finished, on top of the cavity and covering the end of the SoftPot.

And that’s it, and it works great!

Altogether I figure the parts for this project cost about $60 and change, not counting wire, solder, glue, stain, finish, etc., nor taxes and shipping. But the poplar stick, Arduino, perfboard, USB cable, and project box I had in my stash already, so I actually spent closer to $35. Pretty good value!

Edit to add: Here’s a quick little demo:

Edit to add: And here’s the final build video:

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