Tsyklon Labs Outreach for September 2017 – Knobcon 6!

Happy September, Comrades!

Though I haven’t sent anything out since March, there won’t be much to catch up on. Unfortunately, I have have had several large projects at my day job, so progress on Tsyklon Labs projects have stalled this summer.

Long and short, because of how close Knobcon 6 is to my wedding anniversary this year, I will not be attending. If you are going to Knobcon and you are looking to get some PLITKA kits, go visit our comrades at Modular Addict. They just stocked up on pretty much every PLITKA that we have available.

During the September-October lull in projects at work, I plan to wrap up the design on some new modules and getting them into production.

With regards to the Comrade DIY line, I have decided to rename it SOYUZ to better classify the build difficulty of the modules in that series. Also, since SOYUZ means “Union”, we can stretch the meaning to be “Assembly”. The “Service” modules will be basic, through-hole only components, easier to build, and utilitarian. The “Orbital” modules will still have through-hole components but be a little more difficult to build. But still have basic circuitry so that you take the next step in learning about electronics. Finally, the “Descent” modules will be the hardest to build of the series, with a mix of through-hole and large surface-mount devices. The circuits will be a little more complicated and geared towards intermediate Synth DIY builders. The “Descent” module will bring your Synth DIY experience full circle back to Earth.

That’s all for now – as always, thank you for all of your support.

Keep on wiggling (pokachivaniye), Comrades!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for March 2017

Happy March, Comrades!

Hope that all is going well at the start of 2017 for everyone. Let’s jump right in.

KOSMODROM Modules:
The last of the Chaos Divider HVs and CD Sputniks have been shipped to Perfect Circuit Audio and Analogue Haven in California, USA. No more of them are available directly from us. Once they are gone, that is it.

We are in a final push to “unleash” Belka and Strelka onto the world at Superbooth 17 next month in Berlin. Yep, we are going. And speaking of Superbooth – and the last of the Chaos Divider HVs – we did save one – for a Super-give-away while we are at Superbooth!! More details in next month’s update email.

COMRADE Modules:
First round of production PCBs had some issues. Dropped these back to later this Spring. More information as we get closer.

PLITKA Modules:
Finally have a weekend off from the (mortgage paying) job this year, so it’ll be build document Saturday/Sunday. Once completed, everything will be available in the store.

Speaking of the new store (again) – the new storefront is almost live. Having some issues getting the shipping and payment modules right, but I have enlisted some help in getting that taken care of.

That’s all for now – as always, thank you for all of your support. So very excited for what is coming in 2017 from Tsyklon Labs and Sacrament Instruments and Effects.

Keep on wiggling (pokachivaniye), Comrades!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for December 2016

Happy December, Comrades!

Is everyone ready for a visit from Ded Moroz? (Grandfather Frost)

We’re going to keep things even shorter as everyone is busy with the approaching holidays.

KOSMODROM Modules:
We are down to the last ten Chaos Dividers and the last Sacrament Edition Chaos Divider. So in celebration of the holidays, we are going to do free shipping on the Either version of the Chaos Divider – yeah, anywhere. Just go to

http://tsyklon.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7aa897e1c4448b4b8ac294ea1&id=55d51cc8db&e=82ff02602f

And add one (or more) to your cart and we’ll cover the shipping. This offer is good until the end of 2016 – midnight on December 31, EST.

COMRADE Modules:
First round of production PCBs and Panels have been ordered, so we will start rolling them out in January – if history repeats itself on how quickly we get our orders from the PCB Fab Shop.

PLITKA Modules:
We have received the PCBs and Front Panels for the rev2 PLITKA modules and have been putting together the kits and updating the Build Documentation. Expect that we will have these ready to roll out with the new store.

Speaking of the new store – there will be a new storefront starting January 1, 2017 – we’ll let you know when it’s live!

That’s all for now – as always, thank you for all of your support in 2016. So many fun things on the horizon for 2017.

Keep on wiggling (pokachivaniye), Comrades!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for November 2016

Happy November, Comrades! Lots of things to go over, ready-set-go!

KOSMODROM Modules:
Sacrament Edition Chaos Divider HVs have begun shipping. There is still one more available – let us know if you are interested.

Now that the Sacrament CD is shipping, we are working on wrapping up the Belka and Strelka. This is turning out to be a “We can make it better, so just one more revision to the PCBs” project situation – but that will be done soon. Just ordered the parts for this revision, so here’s to getting this module shipping as well.

We are providing a 12vdc wall wart to Eurorack power adapter with the Sacrament Edition Chaos Divider HVs and will be ordering the circuit boards to make these available for anyone that has a Chaos Divider HV and does not want to power it from their Modular power system.

Speaking of the Standard Chaos Divider HV modules. We are expecting our panel maker to have the long awaited batch of front panels completed this week. We have two CD HVs heading to Perfect Circuit Audio in CA and we will stock some at tsyklon.com as well. There are about 10 that are not spoken for, so if you want one, this will be the last batch that will be made. For those of you waiting on replacement front panels, they will ship as soon as we have them in hand as well.

COMRADE Modules:
There are a couple of small improvements that we want to do after getting some feedback from beta testers, so it looks like we are still on target to have them available early next year.

PLITKA Tiles:
The production prototype PCBs for v2 are good, so we will be ordering production PCBs this weekend. If lead times work out the way they usually do, we are shooting to have these ready to go in early December.

Other Products and Stock Notices:
Thonk in the UK is now stocking CD Sputnik kits. Synthrotek will have the last few Chaos Divider HV kits and some CD Sputnik kits as well. Synthrotek will have the Eurorack Cable tester PCBs in stock as well. Modular Addict will also be stocking the Eurorack Cable tester PCBs.

Also, we are working with SynthPatcher to get our “Yuri and the StarDogs” artwork from our website’s home page converted into softwear – more news soon.

Keep on wiggling, Comrades!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for October 2016

Happy October, Comrades! Let’s get this update rolling…

KOSMODROM Modules:
We still have three spots available for the Sacrament Edition Chaos Dividers. We had to change to a different front panel manufacturer, so that has been a delay for the expander panels, but for those who are paid in full, we are having some acrylic panels made so that you can get your modules before the final metal panels are finished. When we get the final panels, we will send them out along with some basic, yet hard to find tools to help you get the panels swapped out.

While wrapping up the Sacrament Chaos Dividers, we are also finishing up the production circuit boards for the Belka and Strelka Eurorack Fuzz Module. When they arrive, we’ll put one together and if everything checks out, we’ll get them to testers and get the rest of the modules into production.

We are also officially working on a new KOSMODROM Eurorack Module for next year, but we are not far enough along to show off too many details.

COMRADE Modules:
We are currently finishing off the front panel graphics for the first couple of modules. Most likely looking at Jan-Feb 2017 to make them available. Though they may be ready sooner.

PLITKA Modules:
The new front panels have arrived! A few tweaks on the individual circuit boards and we’ll be ready to release v2 into the world. We won’t be making complete modules for the PLITKA series anymore, just PCB/Front Panel sets. Though for modules like the LAIKA [special germanium transistors, diode, and led] and the BTN MASHR [arcade button] that have parts that are hard [or expensive] to find in single quantities, we will include those parts. Modules that have knobs will also have knobs included in the kits.

Other Project and Collaborations:
– Our Eurorack Cable tester PCBs are now in stock and available in our store.

– We are working on our first official Eurorack Module for Sacrament Instruments and Effects. The graphic design is nearly done and the layout of the controls is far enough along to begin designing the control PCB and wrap the first set of production PCBs. Sacrament is our collaboration with Nero Bellum of Psyclon Nine and we are really excited to bring this module into the universe.

That’s all for now. Until next time, keep on wiggling!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for September 2016

Happy September, everyone! I somehow managed to completely lose track of August between building Sacrament Chaos Dividers, Belka and Strelka prototypes, and getting ready for Knobcon. So here’s the update:

KOSMODROM Modules:
Chaos Divider – Due to some component changes in the CD Sacrament Expander, I am re-ordering PCBs and ordering the production run of front panels this weekend. After some longer lead times on components, the parts are here and building has been ongoing. Safe to say that shipping by end of September is a reasonable plan. There are still two more spots available in the reservation list. The last 15 Standard Chaos Divider HVs will also be ready to go in small batches over the next couple of months as well.

Belka and Strelka – We built the most recent set of prototype PCBs and there is an issue with one gain stage and one of the VCA circuits, so it will need to be set aside until after Knobcon, but it is very exciting to be this close.

COMRADE Modules:
We have a couple to show off for Knobcon – the MLDAOUR (pronounced Modular) is a 4HP attenuverter/offset/halfwave/fullwave rectifier module. The Disprs2 is a 2HP 2×3 or 1×6 passive multiple. Lastly, the Trace TS (Trans-Siberia, because, it’s bigger than the 1U Trace) is an 8HP oscilloscope module. It has all of the same features as the 1U Trace, but with a few extra features. In fact, there is a Trace TS in the door prize raffle for the Golden Knob Banquet at Knobcon 5. More info on the name MLDAOUR here:
Horizontal Pitch – Modular Spam Sandwich Anyone?

Stardog Pedals:
Yep, still working on these. I have come to fully embrace Hofstadter’s Law:
“It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”

Other Stuff:
We have ordered production PCBs for our DIY Eurorack Cable Tester. They should arrive in time to be available at Knobcon. More details next month.

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for July 2016

Happy July, everyone! It has been a couple of months since the last email update, so there is a lot of catch up on – but we will keep it short.

KOSMODROM Modules:
The Chaos Divider HV is available and has been selling. We sent a pair of CD HVs and CD Sputniks to Perfect Circuit Audio, so they are available there. There will only be 25 standard Chaos Divider HDs made and 10 of them are with their new owners. The last batch of front panels were not up to our quality specifications, so they are being re-made. This will delay availability of the last 15 until late August. If you would prefer to build your own, kits for the CD HV and CD Sputnik are available at Modular Addict in the USA and Thonk in the UK.

In conjunction with Nero Bellum of Psyclon Nine, we are also releasing a limited run of 10 Chaos Divider HVs called the “Sacrament Edition” to christen our joint venture “Sacrament Instruments and Effects.” The Sacrament Edition consists of the Chaos Divider HV, the CD Sputnik, and a new 4HP Expander – the CD Sacrament. All three modules have matte black front panels with gloss black printing. The CD Sacrament moves the output voltage adjustment trimpots to the front panel. There will be only ten of these, and seven have been spoken for. If you are interested in purchasing one, send us an email. More information here:

KOSMODROM Chaos Divider HV – Sacrament Edition

The Belka and Strelka is finally alive! We have investigated and tested many different VCA circuits to get the Gain Stage CV control to behave how we want and we are ready to order what we are expecting will be the last round prototype circuit boards. If that works as intended, we will have a working module at Knobcon. Which means that we should have modules and kits available this fall.

COMRADE Modules:
We have some new modules that will be DIY friendly, through-hole component modules. In fact, COMRADEs will only be available as kits. From basic utilities, to harmonic generators (OK, overdrive), to more clock modulators, they will be lots of fun for beginners and fill some needs in your rack.

PLITKA Modules:
Still working through testing the drive circuitry for the LAIKA overdrive. We expect to have a module at Knobcon as well.

We are also hard at work with the Pollex 1U joystick as well. Fingers crossed for a Knobcon unveiling.

We’ll keep it short this time with more news on Stardog Pedals next month. As always, thank you very much for your support. Spasibo!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for April 2016

Happy April everyone! Spring has sprung in the mid-Atlantic of the USA, and with that, new module designs have been birthed. Apologies for missing a March newsletter.

Let’s start things off with the Chaos Divider. We have assembled the first 10 modules and are very close to shipping. The panels for all of the KOSMODROM modules are powder coated which are then screen printed. I had many failed attempts at making my own screens, so I have contracted a professional to make them for me. So in order to move things along, we made some temporary panels so that we can get the Limited Edition Pre-Orders on the road. In fact, the proud owners of the Limited Edition Chaos Dividers and CD Sputniks will have their units shipped on Tuesday, April 26. Here’s a peek at a completed “stickered” panel unit:

The screen printed panels will look the same, but without the outline of a sticker. As always, feel free to follow along with the build process on Instagram. Also, we are working on a couple of alternate panels for the Chaos Divider and CD Sputnik. We can’t wait to show them off!

On the Chaos Divider DIY front, we have made arrangements for 50 Chaos Divider kits to go to a pair of distributors – 25 to one in Europe, and 25 to one in the USA. More on that when they ship.

Second, we have ordered more xProtolab scopes to make a second run of our PLITKA 1U TRACE Oscilloscopes. The first batch sold out in a few days, so if you missed it, get your order in now. We have 16 PLITKA TRACEs available as well as 4 PLITKA TRACE COMPLETEs (The TRACE Oscilloscope and both TRLOGIC modules). Get them here:

PLITKA TRACE – Tsyklon Labs’ Storenvy Shop

Third, our first two STARDOG pedals will be pedal versions of the LAIKA and the BELKA & STRELKA. We are working on releasing them along side of their Eurorack counterparts. The only thing to say at this is – “SOVTEK Knobs”

Fourth, lots of progress in prototype land for some new products and we will be taking lots of new stuff to Knobcon 5 this year. Aside from a new KOSMODROM module, we have been working on three new PLITKA tiles:

Word of note, the PLITKA BEGET (buffered mult) has been renamed “REPLICANT”. We have also been developing a few modules for our new COMRADE line of 3U Eurorack modules. COMRADEs will be 2 to 4HP in size, DIY friendly, all through hole component designs – AND Open Source Hardware. Speaking of Open Source Hardware, aside from getting all the files you need from the PLITKA or COMRADE pages, you can also order PCBs directly from OSHPark:

Tsyklon Labs’ OSHPark Profile

That is all for now! As always, thank you very much for your support. Spasibo!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for February 2016

Happy February everyone! The weather here in the Mid-Atlantic USA has been cool and sometimes snowy (and for today, we have what is called “wintery mix” by the locals). I am thankful for my wife, dogs, and soldering tasks to stay warm. There are a lot of exciting developments here at Tsyklon Labs this month, so let us get on with it!

First, we have received two of the four sets of printed circuit boards for the Chaos Divider module. They turned out very nicely and we are super excited to get the last two sets in a couple of weeks (I forgot about CNY). If you would like to see them, we posted some pictures on Instagram:

A large portion of the parts have begun to arrive, so building has begun this week in order to fulfill the pre-orders (thank you for your support!). Feel free to follow along with the build process on Instagram.

Second, we have added a couple new pages to the website. One is called the Udarnik DIY Gallery. In Russian, an Udarnik is an efficient, productive, enthusiastic worker. It seemed a fitting title for a page dedicated to your DIY builds of our products. There are a couple of builds up now. If you want to show off your work, let us know! Also, we have added a product support page for everything that isn’t a PLITKA module. User Manuals, DIY Build docs, Firmware, etc. will be posted there. Here are the links:

http://tsyklon.com/udarnik-diy-gallery/
http://tsyklon.com/product-support/

Third, in the time between ordering Chaos Divider parts and building Chaos Dividers, we have resumed progress on the Belka and Strelka circuit. We will be releasing the Belka and Strelka as both a Eurorack module (which you have seen) and one of our STARDOG pedals. We will be working again with Hannes and Elizabeth at Papernoise on the STARDOG series. My only design requirement was “make them cute… and bad ass”. I can hardly wait to see what they come up with. And if you haven’t guessed, all of the STARDOG pedals will be named after the Russian Star Dogs.

Fourth, MOAR PLITKA! We have received a lot of great feedback for what we can do to improve the PLITKA 1U tile modules. One of the issues that came up is that the circuit boards for our PLITKA modules are too “tall” to fit between the rails of Vermona racks. To address that, we have updated the Eagle files for the circuit boards to give them a couple of millimeters of extra clearance top and bottom. We still need to update the BTN MASHR, TRACE, and TrLOGIC modules (mostly because we have some nice upgrades coming as well as the addressing the circuit board size), but everything else has been uploaded. We are also moving to 2mm thick PCB material front panels and moving away from the 3mm acrylic panels. To take advantage of “economies of scale,” all of the face plates will have two sides, so one faceplate design will work for two different modules. Also, we have three new PLITKA tiles coming soon. Two utility modules and a single knob, Russian Germanium transistor powered overdrive tile. We have ordered the prototype circuit boards this week and are excited to put them together, tweak the designs, and release them!

Fifth, and finally, a word about International Shipping costs. The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently increased the cost of International Priority Mail shipping. For some locations, the cost has risen as much as 50%. While I am investigating some shipping aggregators in order to bring shipping costs to more reasonable prices, we have had to change the shipping prices in the Storenvy shop. In the meantime, we can offer International First Class mail. It does take a little longer (three weeks instead of two in some cases), but the prices is about half to 2/3 that of International Priority Mail. For those that request it via checkout note or direct email, I will ship the parcel First Class, then re-fund the difference in price between First Class Parcel and Priority Mail price.

I know this was a long update. Thank you for making your way through it. As always, thank you very much for your support. Spasibo!

-Frank
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Tsyklon Labs Outreach for January 2016

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Tsyklon Labs Outreach for January 2016.

First, apologies for not sending an update last month, but there really wasn’t much to report on. We have been working like crazy to make the Chaos Divider a reality and we are proud to announce that the time has finally come for ordering!

Starting tomorrow, Saturday, January 9, 2016 at high noon USA Eastern Standard Time, we will have Chaos Dividers and CD Sputniks available for pre-order. We are going to build 2 batches of 25 units each (for a total of 50 units). Below is a list of how we are scheduling the release:
– (5) Chaos Dividers with CD Sputniks in special packaging for $430USD for each pair
These will ship by the last week of February 2016

– (10) Chaos Dividers for the early bird price of $390USD
– (5) CD Sputniks for the early bird price of $60USD
These will ship the first week of March 2016

– (10) Chaos Dividers for the regular price of $400USD
– (5) CD Sputniks for the regular price of $80USD
These will ship by the third week of March 2016

Once these units have been built, tested, and shipped, we will be able to announce the timing on the second batch. Kits consisting of Panels, PCBs, and special parts (Programmed Micro-controller, Tested IN-17 Nixie Tube, Tested KM155ID1 Nixie Driver, and a few other special parts) will be available at that time as well. When the kits are released, we will also be releasing the source code for the Chaos Divider.

If you are interested in purchasing a Chaos Divider or CD Sputnik, ordering information will be posted here tomorrow:
http://tsyklonlabs.storenvy.com/collections/1140408-eurorack-modules-3u

Speaking of documentation, almost everything for the PLITKA modules has been posted. About the only document that remains to be completed is the build manual for the TRLOGIC Digital Input expanders for the TRACE oscilloscope module. We are also close to finishing the basic user manual for the Chaos Divider as well.

Much more to come this year, but for now know that the BELKA and STRELKA Eurorack Fuzz module is next up followed by a couple of pedals and a PLITKA version of the Chaos Divider (no, really). Many thanks for your patience, this is going to be a lot of fun!

As always, many thanks for your continued interest!

-Frank
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