How to Assemble Tron
A Step by Step guide to successful assembly of a Tron Kit.
I've tried to keep this as straight forward as possible, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Click any of the images for a larger version if you need to see it closer.
As with all things it's worth checking you have everything you need to hand, your kit of parts, soldering iron, solder, some music and patience.
Tron isn't a difficult to assemble, but because of the large amount of switches it's more complex than GorF.
Check your board is clean and free from grease, oil, bits of metal and general uckyness
Solder in the lowest items first, these are the regulator and ICs. If you prefer, use sockets, though I would recomend soldering the crystal oscillator (the square metal can) directly to the PCB.
Next the LEDs, pay close attention to the orientation, the shorter leg of the two should go the flat side of the symbol, or the right of the PCB looking from the printer side.
Next comes the diodes, there's two of these and you'll need to be careful to get them the right way. Bend the leg above the ring of the diode as shown above.
Mount them with the non ring end in the circle as shown below.
Now for the resistors, again these will need bending as show above. Be sure to check which value goes in which position, there are one 1K5 and five 100K resistors so I suggest starting with these. Then populate the remainder with 220 Ohm resistors.
I tend to find it best to work in groups of 4 or 5 when soldering resistors other wise you end up with millions of legs pointing at you and you can easily miss a joint.
Just one component here, but you need to make sure you get it right. This is the 10uF capacitor, make sure you get the orientation correct. Put the negative lead nearest the identifier, C1 and away from the regulator.
Here you solder in the 4 seven segment displays, I'd suggest put them in place, solder one pin and check they're nicely spaced and level, if not just heat the one pin and wiggle each until they line up nicely. Then solder all the remaining pins.
It's worth clipping the excess on these leads as they're quite long. Also if you're going to be using the acrylic case you'll need to trim these as other wise Tron will be squashed resulting in buttons being held down at random (you won't believe how long that took me to find that bug!).
The Switches, this one trips a lot of people up so play close attention to the orientation!.
In the picture above I've inserted one switch to keep it easy to see. Notice there is a little step on the switch? well that needs to be at the top, of every switch on the PCB. Get it wrong and the LEDs will light incorrectly.
the switches are a tight fit, so take your time and work from one end to the other. All being well, it'll look like the one below.
Next we install the sockets, two MIDI sockets and one power. For the MIDI sockets you may need to clip the two legs nearest the hole you plug the cable in.
We're almost home and dry, stick with it
The last bit of soldering to do is to solder the potentiometer in. It should just snap into place but before soldering check to make sure all three pins are through the PCB.
Pop on the switch covers and you're almost ready to go.
When you plug it in you should see "VACO" , "LOCO" , "Tron" , "1 01" and then part 1 edit mode as below.
Now if you plug in your MIDI cable and press the Play button (Top right of the buttons) you'll hear all 8 channels play and then a long pause. Don't panic!
The memory chip is full of junk when you first use it, so you'll need to change a few parameters and save your first pattern, I'd suggest a basic four on the floor. So without playing edit the steps for your four on the floor basic pattern.
Then goto the control mode (Press and Hold the MODE button, in yellow, and press the lower left step, Step 9) and do the following ;
- Press button 2, and turn the knob until you see 16, to give you 16 steps
- Press button 3, and turn the knob until you get a sensible number of repeats, try 3
- Press button 4, and turn the knob to set the soft hit velocity, about 30 seems good to my ears.
- Press button 5, and turn the knob to say 6, this gives you 16 steps ber bar in 4/4 timing.
- Press the save button (Red) and press the left hand most button that's lit up
That's it, you're done, anytime you load a pattern you've not saved before you'll have to repeat this, or reload an old one and save it over the corrupt one. I tend to keep a pattern in bank 8, position 8 for just such an event.
All done! Congratulations you're now the proud owner of a Tron Drum pattern programmer.
Thank you for your support with my projects, I hope you enjoy Tron as much as I do.