Ambika assembly instructions / BOM
  • Mobo documented here

    On my side I have weekly or bi-weekly orders chez all the guys listed here. So I’m not really in your shoes when it comes to sourcing… It would be cool if you helped each other for parts sourcing. So please check the BOM listed on this page and focus on the parts with only one or two sources. Do you know any other online shop where they could be found? Maybe you know a missing Mouser/Digikey/Farnell/Reichelt reference for them?

  • The SD Card holder is article 571-2041021-1 at Mouser. It’s A101492CT-ND at Digi-Key.

  • Thanks! I did this in february, I am pretty sure this is a recent entry in their catalogue.

  • group order time now, huh? digi-key and mouser. i think this time i make it stock so i can use Frank’s case, the other approach lead me to not finishing anything (yet). i guess we better start a new thread for that

  • btw would be good to get some EU unobtainiums for the voice cards too

  • Which parts are EU unobtaniums? :)

  • I’m guessing the ceramic bypass caps are hard to get. I always have problems getting those here in the UK.


  • The exact SD-card holders, the knobs if you really want the originals (maybe*), the button caps used to be for the old Shruthi – the Ambika seems to have the same as the xoxbox so we have a few more options and the pots – ish. Also, the Audio-grade electrolythics are tricky.

    *Some items at Farnell are located in the US and you’ll have to pay a sizeable extra per order in Europe. Also, Farnell only sells to companies. The SD-card connector is a US thing.

  • OK guys, so Jojjlito is preparing an EU Group buy for the “EU rare Parts” ;-)

    @a|x Shall i order 500 pcs 100Ns for you?

  • Seriously, I could! The issue is that Sweden has a 25% VAT. I’m sure we could shave off some money by ordering to a less tax-the very fabric of reality™ county. Just saying :)

    Also, some things are wonky like the Reichelt Styroflex caps. Maybe those could be bought in bulk as we could all find resistors and what not both here and there…

  • I can get stuff from Farnell if anyone needs it. I have to pay extra for US stock items though. I’m probably going to go with Mouser for the bits I need.


  • @fcd72 that might be handy. That would keep me going for a lonnnng time, I think! Actually, thinking about it, I have a UK source for most of the ceramic caps now. I just have to buy a load of them at a time to make it worth it, as the delivery is quite expensive (compared to the cost of the components, anyway).


  • I could take care of the Mouser and Digikey things as I usually do an order there once every 3-4 months or so… We have to carefully avoid the US Farnell things and move those to Mouser or Digikey.

  • Mouser UK parts come to £64.55 excl.VAT and duty. That’s for everything though, including Atmega and 2x40 LCD.
    Several items are currently on backorder:

    0.1uF ceramic caps (75-1C10Z5U104M050B)
    MIDI sockets (161-0504-E)
    Male 1x6 pin headers (649-77311-118-06LF)
    Tact switches (612-TL1100)
    2x40 LCD (763-NHD-0240AZ-FLYBW)

    The caps are a pain, because there are 21 of the f*ckers. That’ll be £4.95 delivery from Rapid for those. These ones should be OK, shouldn’t they?

    MIDI sockets: Rapid again, but they’re on 1-2 weeks backorder.
    • Headers: not a problem. I find it’s cheapest to get those in long strips from eBay and cut/snap off what you need.
    • Tact switches: Rapid again.
    • LCD: I’ll probably get one from pichenettes, so not a problem.

    I’m going to hold off on the order until pichenettes has posted the BOMs for the voice boards, too. No point in doing multiple orders.


  • Incidentally, I can’t see an export BOM option on the Mouser basket page. There is an option to share the BOM via email though, so I’m happy to do this, if it will save anyone some time.


  • the audio sockets were pretty much unobtainium here too if i remember correctly. i can get Farnell stuff here but as toneburst has mentioned, if it’s stocked only in the US it’s much more expensive (and the people i get them from are a pain sometimes)

  • @pichenettes Any idea when you’ll be able to put up the BOMs for the Ambika voice cards? Not trying to hurry you, it’s just I’m in component-sourcing mode at the moment…


  • @pichenettes Great work on the main board walkthrough, by the way. I’m always impressed by the high standard of your documentation, and this is no exception!


  • I am finishing some Shruthi-1 kitting today and will write the voicecard docs in the night. No build walkthrough yet – until I plan to build more voicecards :D

  • @pichenettes Cool, good to know. The voice cards look relatively easy to construct. I’m sure all of us future ‘pioneers’ would be able to do those without a walkthrough ;)


  • @rosch: Not 100% sure, but these could fit:

  • No, these could work on a Shruthi ; but because there is a narrow row of 6 jacks on Ambika I had to select the slimmest ones.

  • These Jacks should fit

  • > Also, Farnell only sells to companies.

    Maybe they used to do that? Im merely a private individual and have had no problems placing orders with them here in the UK.
    Well, Apart from the parts they have to get in from the US (usually caps) and then they charge you extra for. By which time you might as well have gone with Mouser or Digikey to start with.

  • @Luap they’re quicker than the US companies though. If you avoid the US-stock items, it’s often next day delivery, so handy if you already have ceramic caps and DIL sockets in stock.


  • @Luap: Cool if they changed that! Guess I’ll give them a new shot instead of giving up. I didn’t want to invoke my dad’s company or the rather large corporation where I work due to fears of getting harassed by some sales people :)

    Well back to the normal comings and goings…

  • they do sell to private persons now? that would be nice. i usually go to PCB Mike (he’s round the corner) who orders them for me from a local wholesaler. this wholesaler is a pain to deal with though, at times (when ordering US stocked Farnell stuff)

  • @rosch is that PCB Mike of Mike’s MIDIShop fame?


  • yes exactly!

  • afaik, farnell don’t sell to consumers in germany – only to businesses or students. consumers in germany can order farnell stuff from

  • @toneburst
    I’ve used them in loads of synth modules and my two Shruthis. They’re only for bypass so don’t need the tight tolerance.

  • Freaking cool! I love Mutable Instruments black PCBs man… They just make me want to build!

    Has anyone worked out where we are at cost-wise for a 6-voice fully-populated Ambi? Is ballpark USD $800 near enough or a little short?

    I definitely have some money saving to do before this is happening. Or find something to sell :-\

  • about the JP1, JP2, JP3, JP4, JP5, JP6 Female 1x6 header, 2.54mm 6 18688 from 4UCON, is this one the same product?

    Cause the minimum quantity for this item on 4UCON is 1000pcs, juste enough to build 166 Ambika ;)

  • No this is not the right part, it needs to have long legs so that the voicecards can be stacked on top of each other. It’s the same part as found on the Arduino shields.

  • Ok, thank you for your quick reply

  • sorry to be redundant, but does it look like this one: ?

  • Right part!

  • Oops, just bought the wrong ones…
    Thanks for the heads-up, pichenettes.


  • Cool, thank you pichenettes!

  • Ok, then here would be the Mouser part?

  • Right part!

  • Im in!!!! This stuff is so cool I cant believe it :D when do you think you will release the PCBs??

  • Hmmm… I wonder. So are these filter boards “stripped-down” version of the Shruthi-1 filter boards? Can I be safe in assuming they are comparable? Thing is I’ve yet to build any of the newer boards so if I could make a comparison it would only be to the smr-4 mk1. How to choose? I guess getting one of each would be the way to go…. hmmm. Would a character chart or a little low down on the timbre of the different voices be too much to ask?

  • I just wish it was 2006 instead of 2012. Man I was in such a different place, the whole world was I guess. Anyway, I am fast running out of funds for expensive stuff like this. Please don’t take it the wrong way if I’m not an early adopter. It’s just a function of the shitty economy… Not my enthusiasm or admiration for your fine work.

  • @KSD: My understanding:
    SMR4 is a stripped down version of Shruthi SMR4 MkII with thinner resonance sound due to using darlington buffers (but OK for poly use)
    4P is the 4PM core but restricted to a single filter mode (4 Pole Lowpass)
    SVF is half of the dual SVF board (single filter only but still multmode)

  • True enough, I haven’t actually used any of those filters to know about their different characteristics. And, I was under the impression that the bp/hp and duel part of the svf were, in fact, part of the big draw of those respective filters. So given that those part have been stripped out it would seem as if the options would be like a treecko, a bulbasaur and a shroomish (all grass type) as opposed to a scyther, a wingull and a mew (bug, water and psychic respectively). Just kinda looking for a comment like I use this filter in this situation because its good at doing this or that. Thanks.

    If it makes much of difference, I suppose the easiest route to go would be to pick the one you want if your going to go full poly with one card so that you only need to source in multiples the parts needed for one board. Or go the extra few miles and source for multiple boards. Its just a teeter-totter decision thing.

  • @So given that those part have been stripped out it would seem as if the options would be like a treecko, a bulbasaur and a shroomish (all grass type) as opposed to a scyther, a wingull and a mew (bug, water and psychic respectively)@

    Wait… what? :)

  • The SVF board does BP and HP too.

  • Just did a Mouser project for the 4P board components.

    • The poly caps (649-77311-118-06LF) are on backorder
    • The orange LED (604-WP7104LYD) isn’t stocked anymore, apparently.

    Comes to £15.45 excl. taxes. That’s €19.33 or US$24.02 at today’s exchange-rate.
    Not bad! That includes the Atmega, incidentally.

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to combine several Mouser projects into a single order, without having to manually copy items from one list to another?


  • Here’s the Mouser project for the Ambika mainboard (all components). Might save a bit of time for someone. Let me know if the link doesn’t work for you.


  • Mouser project for SVF board (all components incl. Atmega).
    As above:
    • The poly caps (649-77311-118-06LF) on backorder
    • The orange LED (604-WP7104LYD) no longer available

    This one’s a bit more expensive- £22.43 / €28.05 / US$34.90


  • @Does anyone know if it’s possible to combine several Mouser projects into a single order, without having to manually copy items from one list to another?@

    You just add the projects to your cart and that’s it.
    You can also save your cart as a project, which means that you can easily combine several projects into a single one.

    So, your mouser project for the mainboard is complete?! That’s great, great news!

  • @pichenettes I’m know I’m probably jumping the gun here, but could you just confirm you’re going to sell bare boards for the Ambika mainboard, 4P and SVF + programmed chips for the above for the early-adopters/‘pioneers’? Will you also do V2164 chips with each SVF/4P board (as you do with the Dual SVF Shruthi-1 PCB), since these are hard to obtain in small quantities?

    Obviously like many who’ve contributed to this thread, I’m champing at the bit to build one of these amazing synths, but I don’t want to go ordering a load of components if it turns out you’re only going to be selling kits or partial kits.

    Sorry to keep firing questions at you. I’m just really enthusiastic about this project, plus it’s quiet here at work at the moment, so I have time on my hands :D


  • @MicMicMan yep. Have you tried the link to the project yet? Interested to know if it works for other people.


  • I’ll sell standalone boards with chips. I have the workflow for that from the Shruthi-1.

  • sure your link works
    i’m not even looged onto the mouser website; but it displays without a problem.

    from what i can see, mostly connectors are backordered. Maybe we shall try to find a nice source only for connectors, and set grouped orders just for those. Resistors and caps are all available on mouser, which i believe is fine for everyone.

  • @pichenettescool, thanks very much for the info. When you say ‘chips’ do you mean the V2164s to go with the 4P/SVF boards, or just the programmed chips for mainboard and voice cards? Sorry to be picky.


  • @pichenettes, what is the range of price you’re going to ask for boards and chips?
    (actually, what do you mean with “chips”?)

  • @MicMicMan cool, glad it works.


  • Done the Mouser project for the SMR board now.
    For convenience, here’s all four projects, with all available Mouser components (including programmable chips):

    Ambika Mainboard
    4P voice card
    SVF voice card
    SMR voice card

    Note: the display in the mainboard project is not the neg green LCD pichenettes has sourced for the kits/semi-kits.

    At the moment, it looks like the 4P is the cheapest option, in terms of the available Mouser components, anyway. You have to factor-in the cost the the V2164 chips for the 4P and SVF cards though, so I imagine the SMR is going to work out cheapest overall. I must admit to being tempted to go for 4x SVFs. I really love to have the option of band and high-pass filters. On the other hand, I’ve got several other synths with multi-mode filters, including a 4PM Shruthi-1, so I don’t know. I’ll have to have a listen to the Shruthi-1 Dual SVF again with one of the filters bypassed, see how it sounds compared to a 4-pole filter, and try and imagine it with 4-note polyphony.


  • nice. thanks a|x for those
  • @loderbast no problem.


  • @a|x
    Keep in mind that you might want to play Chords (at least thats my reason for a polyphonic Synth…) and if the single Voices sound to “fat” it can be quite complicated….. my choice so far is the SMR.

  • @fcd72 I know not of this ‘chord’ of which you speak…
    I have a Microwave XT, remember, so I know just what you mean.
    I’m not very musical, to be honest, so I’m really more interested in being able to play different sounds on different channels, with the option to play polyphonically occasionally. The 4P sounds like it might fit that bill better than the SMR (though I’m sure that also sounds great).


  • @a|x
    What we have here is complaining at highest niveau…. as a solo synth i would prefer a shruthi with smr-4 as its a slight bit fatter with high resonance but thats it. But hey, the Ambika rips of every other polyphonic Synth available today so no need to worry ;-)

  • @fcd72 hmm… well, I have several Shruthi-1s which I could use for lead duties, so maybe I should go for the SMR card…
    I’d love to hear some examples of the SMR and 4P cards, playing the same thing for comparison (like the ones pichenettes did for the various Shruthi-1 filter boards).


  • Can’t find the reference for that lovely neg green 2x40 display. I know pichenettes mentioned it somewhere, but can’t find it, for some reason.
    Might try and source my own. Group-buy, maybe?


  • Chords are for people who can’t understand an arpeggiator :)

  • @6851punk
    Polyphony is overrated™

  • @toneburst: I also did a Mouser project for the Ambika here . The only difference I can see is that my project includes the female headers… yet if I subtract them for the totals, we’re $0.47 off. A quick page search for “.47” shows that you have 2 LM7805ACT in yours. :D So I guess it’s safe to say since we both came to the same total otherwise, these should be accurate and good to go… except for heat sinks and PCBs, of course! High five!

  • @toneburst
    just FYI the 3 first mouser links points to the 4P voiceboard..
    Thanks for sharing though

  • @digidennis oops, dunno how that happened. Thanks for letting me know. Updated. They should now all be correct.
    Sorry about that.


  • @bleo thanks for checking. I will update my project by removing the extra item and adding the header.



  • @bleo can’t seem to find a reference no. for the female headers you mention in your Mouser project.
    Sorry, found it. It’s this

    Did you find an alternative orange LED for the voice boards at Mouser, incidentally?


  • Anyone found a nice 40x2 display?
    I keep seeing this picture

    which looks nice, but have never seen the actual product (i.e. a negative white-on-black version) for sale anywhere.

    There’s this Mousers part, but it’s the opposite way round from the pictured item (i.e. black characters on white background), as far as I can tell.

    There’s also supposed to be a negative white-on-black 2x40 version of this

    but it doesn’t seem to be available, either :(

    Newhaven, who do lovely neg 20x2 LCDs in different colours only seem to do the 40x2 in white-on-blue.


  • I’ve found these. The green one may well be the item pichenettes bought a batch of.

    and this intriguing-looking purple pos. one.

    Minimum order is supposedly 1pc. but I dunno if they’ll actually honour small orders, or what the lead-time is on their products.
    Anyone ever dealt with Alibiba before?

    Here’s the Chinese manufacturer’s page. They probably won’t sell them directly to individuals in small quantities, I’m guessing.


  • I got samples of those during the planning stage and rejected them.

  • @pichenettes oh, OK. They look nice in the photos, but maybe not so much close up. Can I ask where you got the green neg one?


  • I get my LCDs there. Best and most consistent pieces I got after having sampled 4 or 5 chinese manufacturers.

  • @pichenettes interesting. No info about what colours they have available, that I can see. They only seem to have one 40x2.


  • They can do in any color you request.

  • ah, OK. But not on a 1-off basis, I imagine ;)


  • MOQ is 250, they agreed to 100 because I have been buying from them since 2010

  • Gotcha. Might have to try Alibaba, in that case.


  • I’ve seen 40x2 OLED listed but nobody stocking them.

  • For those for whom money is not an issue, there’s always the Noritake VFD .

    Dunno if it will fit through the hole in the Ambika mainboard.


  • so what’s the deal with a mouser / digi-key group order already?
    anybody in?

  • VFD’s are pretty power hungry too.

  • Power is worth mentioning, it’s a source of many headaches on something that big (under the constraint that it should be powered by an AC wallwart – because there’s no way I’m going to sell something requiring people to deal with mains transforms!).

    If you need more power, the first safeguard is an unpopulated pad for an extra cap in the rectifier circuit – should allow an extra 40 to 80mA to be drawn without seeing the input positive voltage fall under the ~9V required by the LM2940-8.0. But if you need even more power, you’ll have to increase the input voltage to 12V AC and replace the 7805 by this fancy switched mode pin-compatible monster pointed by altitude.

  • @rosch I’m going to order everything I can from Mouser this time, for the sake of convenience. It’s going to go way over the threhold for free delivery, so, if people want to add bits and pieces they can’t get at a reasonable price elsewhere to the order, I’m prepared to do that, on the proviso this isn’t going to turn into a full bulk order.


  • @pichenettes sorry to keep banging on about these LCDs, but as you might have guessed, I’m a bit obsessive about display colours. Can you remember what you didn’t like about those Eastrising displays (linked above)? They seem to be one of the few places that sell coloured neg. 2x40 ones with no minimum order.


  • Lack of contrast and/or weak backlight even without current limiting resistor.

  • @6581punk VFDs do look lovely though. The one on my Nova is excellent- really crisp and bright, with great contrast. You can also get films to recolour them, according to the website, so you can get a range of colours. Not sure how you fit the film.

    I’m almost tempted to get one for the Ambika, but it’s really toooo expensive.


  • @pichenettes ah, that’s a shame :(
    So they compare unfavourably with the Newhaven neg. 16x2 ones, then?
    Choice of 40x2 displays seems pretty limited.


  • @a|x
    Im happy to announce that i was knighted to contribute the Ambika Cases for the show. Standard Cases will be available via Mutable Instruments, everything fancier . . . . you know where to look.

  • @toneburst Yes, VFDs are nice.

    Fitting a film should be pretty easy. Stick it over the VFD and then have a clear bezel over the top.

    Some phone screen protectors come with a fluid you spray on the screen and then squeegy out. This ensures you don’t get any bubbles under the film.

  • @fcd72 Excellent. Do you have a price, yet?


  • @a|x
    Nope, but as you have something interesting for me anyway we will have to negotiate as i assume a stock case is to vanilla for your taste…. ;-)
    BTW i love the idea to have a VFD on my Ambika – keep on searching!

  • @fcd72 Vanila is actually my favourite icecream flavour :)
    I’m oscillating on the Ambika case, I must admit. I might leave that decision for a while. Let’s keep the other thing separate for the moment.

    The platinum-plated, diamond-encrusted (or anyway, should be, at the price) Noritake VFD is the only one I know of.


  • How about this one?

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