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More MicroMoorg

I got a new saw for Christmas, and I don’t mean the waveform. After a break of a few months as I figured out what I was going to do, I have been able to add another chapter to the story of my continuing efforts to mod my microKORG to look more like a MiniMoog, imparting an already awesome little synth with even more awesomeness.

As I said in the last update, I had decided on a design I was fairly sure would work as long as I could pull it off right. With measurements and plans in mind, I hit up the local hardware store and picked up some red oak stock to work with. I knew the basic design that I wanted, but I wasn’t sure how to make a strong joint between the boards. I’m a computer programmer, not a carpenter, after all. But the internet wasn’t about to let me down, and through many webpages and a handful of YouTube videos I was able to teach myself how to make something called “finger joints” which are all the rage in fancypants cabinetry. My first attempts were fairly pathetic, but after finally getting the correct router bit and clamps that were actually the right size, I started to see something with promise. Quite a few hours of work and several tries later, I had a version of the joints I thought had some promise. I clamped it up, let it dry for a couple hours, and hoped for the best.

When I came back, much to my delight, things had stuck. Not only that, but the pieces of the microKORG’s shell actually fit into it perfectly! The next day, I measured and repeated the process for the shell for the bottom section. When I finally got them all together, I was a bit shocked with how well it worked. You can see here the two main case pieces in what will be the laid-flat position, for storage and travel. Unlike other MicroMoorg mods that I’ve seen on the web, I wanted mine to be able to transform between an open playable position and a closed storage position without sacrificing usefulness or stability in either.

With the two pieces in hand, I very carefully measured and cut the piano hinge I’d bought for the project and mounted the two together. As you can see from the picture here, it actually works! You can lay it down completely flat or bring it up all the way past vertical. It feels quite solid and I think it will do very well when the whole thing’s put together.

I still have quite a long way to go on this project. Tomorrow, I’m going to be measuring and cutting the holes for the cables to pass through between the two halves. I’ve already picked up the wire to extend all of the cables, but that’s going to be a whole weekend project unto itself, at least, as I’m not really all that good at soldering. Then of course I need to build the base and finish all of the wood pieces.

I’ll be sure to keep posting progress as it’s made. Really, I can’t wait to have it put together so that I can play it again. I love this little keyboard, and I miss having it in my arsenal. It turns out that you can in fact use it without the case or keys attached, but it’s somehow not quite the same.

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3 thoughts on “More MicroMoorg”

  1. Hi mate, doing the same to mine, only started months ago and I’m having trouble figuring out where the small black ground wires go…

    Seeing as you look like you’ve taken a little more care than me can you help a brother out locating them?

    Cheers, Ollie

    1. I just spent the whole weekend soldering new lines between the top and bottom halves — about to post a picture, actually. I haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to do my grounding wires, but since they are ground wires, you really only need to make sure they go from the grounding pins on the boards to some kind of grounding plane. There are bits of metal along the sides of the upper section, andthe wire that’s permanently soldered to the board fits into a slot on the upper left (if you’re looking at it flipped over) that has a piece of plastic backing it up. There’s also the wire down at the bottom corner that goes to a similar slot on the sides. Then finally, the last one just goes between the upper and lower circuit boards, serving to ground the bottom one. You can probably get away with just grounding the bottom board directly to the side pieces.

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