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Rent Olegtron 4060 mk2 Experimental Signal Generator

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Olegtron 4060MK2 is here!

Olegtron 4060, originally released in 2013, has been updated to a MK2-version. The semi-decennial celebratory release, altough wearing a new colorful plumage, is pretty much the same machine inside. This means that the tutorials and demos will serve to the users of the 500+ original units, as well as users of the new one. Many improvements have been made, though - thanks to feedback from users of the original version. Some requested features could not be included in the new design, but let's see if a MK3 version will emerge one day! Here is the list of new features:

  • Four 3,5mm TRS stereo connectors for a maximum of 8 signals in/out
  • Large color coded patchboard
  • Changeable patchboard elements: if the patchboard becomes loose, you can change the connector elements to fresh ones
  • Integrated 7-bit saw generator: buffered saw and ramp outputs
  • Power input socket: a standard 2,5mm center positive barrel type power jack.
  • Power LED to make sure you will not leave power on accidentally - the LED also starts to flicker when battery is weak
  • Buffered virtual ground
  • ”Link sleeve”-jumper in the front panel for setting the working range:
    • Link to – (battery minus) for unipolar 0-9v range
    • Link to G (virtual ground) for bipolar +/- 4,5v range

  • Trimmer for setting the working range of FREQ-potentiometer in the front panel
  • A socket in the front panel for adding a frequency capacitor
  • Bigger knobs for better precision and comfort

General information

So, what is Olegtron 4060? It's a compact oscillator / frequency divider box capable of creating signals and sequences through a revolutionary programming method: sticking electronic components to it’s patchboard! The device can be used as a standalone sound generator or as a control voltage (CV) signal generator to a wide variety of machines, such as modular synthesizers. When used as a CV-generator 4060 can easily deliver complex results that would normally need a large system.

Learning the 4060 is easy, but there is a lot to master. Using it doesn’t require any previous electronics skills, but experimenting with different electronic components helps you get the idea how they work, and your programming can become more systematic. The provided resistors and small capacitors are color coded for clearness.

The name of the device comes from CD4060, which is an integrated circuit, a "chip". It belongs to a series of CMOS logic chips called 4000Band interfaces with other chips of the series seamlessly. The series dates back to the sixties, but is still relevant in sound electronics and DIY. The CD4060 contains an oscillator with adjustable frequency and a frequency divider, that outputs 10 different subfrequencies.

Olegtron 4060 is based on an RC-oscillator example from the CD4060 datasheet, with the addition of a current limiting potentiometer that kind of simulates a weak battery. The rest is mostly user interface design, highlighting of course the innovative patchboard that makes a good playground for experimenting.

Olegtron 4060 MK2 ships with a bag of components to get started with. All you need is a 9v battery or a 9 volt wall wart, and something that connects to a 3,5mm headphone jack.

Uses

  • Stand alone sound generator: plug into your amp or headphones (start with low volume!)
  • Synth control: send CV, clock and gate signals to your synth and from the synth to 4060!
  • Circuit bending: trigger toy buttons, modulate pitch and more...
  • DIYer's test signal generator
  • Sound manipulation: feed amplified signals to 4060 and output them with a no-fi flavor!
  • Light sequencing: connect single- or multicolored LEDs straight or via a driver
  • Combine above uses and keep everything in the same fluctuating sync

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