monome 40h kit project logs

  • I started a simple project log about my adventures with the 40h DIY kit.

    Check the pics at

    I was just wondering if everybody, who ordered a DIY kit, is making progress? More links to pictures, blogs, photostreams, etc, are appreciated ;-)

    Consider this thread as a small gallery of DIY projects. I know that 100 kits were sold, but I haven't seen much finished projects yet.. So post your stuff!!

  • I've got a Flickr set that documents my (current lack of) progress with my three-kit "logicbox".

    I've assembled the logic boards, but still haven't exactly figured out the interface part of it yet, and so (along with a currently heavy load of "real" work) things have sort of stalled out for a bit. I've also found that when I do get into the zone of building/fiddling it's hard to remember to step back and take pictures.

  • this is awesome, guys. it's cool to see that it's really not that difficult to build and it was interesting for me to see exactly how one goes about building it. it'll also be nice for people interested in building to see exactly how the process went along.

    out of curiosity, how much time did you spend during each phase? i'm sure the led's were the worst part.

  • I guess that people with only a little experience with electronics can build it. The assembly guide is very clear and the steps are easy to follow.

    I spent around 4 hours on the kit:
    - unpacking, exploring contents, etc: 1 hour
    - soldering the logic board: 45 minutes
    - soldering the SMD diodes: 1 hour 15 minutes
    - soldering the leds: 1 hour

    The leds are actually quite easy to solder. I put them in one row at a time, bent the legs, soldered one leg, visually aligned them, soldered the other leg and clip all the legs at once.. You can do approx. 1 led per minute this way..

    I joined a group buy for the faceplate, so that didn't take much time either, although I started off with recreating the faceplate in Frontpanel-designer.

    The only thing left to do is the enclosure. I think this will take some more time to finish due to all the manual labor involved, such as milling, sanding, painting, gluing, drying, etc..

  • I was pretty scared by the permanence of soldering, which is what led me, initially, to attempt connecting everything on a solderless breadboard. It didn't work. (The ADCs did, but not much else.) I spent a good number of hours messing with it though.

    Then I bit the bullet and set up a soldering station. I hadn't soldered anything more than an errant stray wire since a summer electronics class that I took in junior high. And I was determined to go lead-free, which by all accounts is more difficult. But, it all went pretty smoothly. The only real problem I encountered was putting the 10µF capacitor in backwards, and being unable to remove it. (I ended up snipping the legs and surface mounting a replacement.)

    The first logic board probably took about an hour, and each successive one went more quickly. I didn't do any keypad kits, and the 64x LEDs and diodes does seem daunting.

  • the soldering process for me was pretty straightforward, albeit quite time consuming (this was only my second soldering project :-X ). the logic kit took me a little over an hour altogether. the keypad took much longer though because of all the parts i had to solder in. the only two problems i encountered were replacing dead LEDs, and my not looking at the assembly guide properly and coming to the harsh realization that i put in 34 out of the 64 diodes in the wrong way. i wanted to stab myself with my soldering iron when i realized that. it was worth the time though.

  • yeah, this was my first major soldering project as well, and it went pretty smoothly for me. managed to get everything right the first time, although some of the LEDs are not as aligned as I would like... chalk it up to inexperience.

    Still working with my housemate on the enclosure, which is turning out to be quite the crazy project. My major contribution was sandblasting the polycarbonate faceplate ordered from bigblue saw.

    I only have a few pictures so far, will post more of the enclosure process soon:

  • xndr - yea, right after i posted that, i noticed that there's a virtual assembly guide online (which is very nice). hadn't seen it before. still, it's nice to see others progress through this and their experiences with it.


    hoping to have more kits in stock soon. we placed the big orders for the pcbs and keypads.

  • nice! I think I am going to get another logic kit... have not spent the time to source the components myself, but methinks it would be cool to have that pcb at least.

    I am getting pumped about trying to figure out the surplus buttons now that I have put together a small tool kit. And even though my first monome isn't done yet, I really like the idea of having a 128 that can break into two pieces.

  • One of my first solderprojects was the blinkenleds project a couple of years ago. 144 leds hooked up to the parallelport with lots of shiftregisters and op-amps to power the 10mm red leds I used.

    My project looked somewhat like this project, only far less messy...

    I will post the pics soon, they're on a harddisk somewhere :-S

    One thing I've learned is that you must check the schematics 10 times before you solder stuff.. I've made a couple of very dumb and expensive mistakes in the past..

  • It took me around 5 hours to solder and test everything.

    I also got my front plate from the group order. This took me a lot of time since I organized the order.

    My enclosure is in dark wood. I still need to make holes for the IR sensors and the two pots I'll add. Of course the holes for the IR sensors are much more difficult to do, since they are rectangular.

    I'll post photos of the finished device. I did not make photo of the early phases, since they pretty similar to the photos of the guide.


  • what's the ETA for the new DIY kits?

  • i think mid-november is realistic.

  • mid-november, cool! i have a friend that was convinced to buy a kit after listening to a song i did in flin, so he's pretty itching to get it.

  • Here are some more links I've encountered at the forum:

    Kramers' solid hardwood base:

    Bolig's picture frame style base:

  • I'm looking forward to getting a kit, I want to attempt a wall sized monome! or disco dance floor.

  • here's my bargain busters kit. its name is Tupperbot. $300 for everything (including kit, enclosure, leds, soldering iron, necessary tools). once i come across some cheddar (and the new kits come out), i think i'm going to expand to a 128. i also want to throw an accelerometer in there, school's just taking up too much time for that right now.

    bonus video:

  • I used the logic kit to build a foot controller (using only a fraction of the 64 possible buttons).

    Pictures, lite progress notes, application details and app download are at:

  • I attach two photos of mine. I have put two IR sensors and two pots. I still need to wire them. Integrating the IR sensors was quite long.

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  • jul thats an interesting case man! i like the horizontal construction

  • Thanks bolig !

    I actually took inspiration from your enclosure, for the "frame" option.


  • i've placed a post to this thread on the 40h kit page, so if your project isn't listed here, add it! it'll be getting some traffic very soon. if it's listed somewhere else, add it here.

  • if anyone's interested, i can make a bottom enclosure tailored to your faceplate and ship it wherever.

    for more, see:

  • After a busy month I finally found some time to finish my 40h and the corresponding project log.

    Check it out at:

    Now I can finally play around with it in without being afraid of ripping it apart.

    Still thinking about adding some sensors or encoders to the ADC ports.. not sure what yet.. Motion/tilt sensors look like fun :-)

  • great photos! i really like the corner reinforcement with the hex screw points. really fantastic work.

    in that last photo, are the LEDs ghosting half-lit (maxim chip problem) or is it just an artifact from your camera (animation?)

  • Thanks Tehn! The last photo is just fading and slow shutter speed, everything works fine ;-)

  • nice work on all these posts, I am currently working on a 40h mod which uses only 16 buttons but 4 banks of channels for these buttons (was too cheap to buy 64 arcade buttons) should be out late January.

  • Hey xndr,

    Great job! Thanks for taking the time to blog it so well!


  • tehn, was there ever a fix for the LED ghosting? my 40h definitely has it.

  • yeah, it's to replace the maxim chip. e-mail me, we'll set up a repair.

  • Here are some still of my 40h perspex case

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  • Here's another couple of pics of mu perspex 40h case


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  • wow- that perspex case is slick! can you send something on how you did it? where did you get the perspex and how did you put it together?

    it looks awesome!

  • js

    check out the thread at

    all about the case


  • just wanted to add my project to the list...

    i finally got my bright white LEDs yesterday when i got home from work. naturally, i dropped everything else i had planned in order to spend a few minutes soldering them in. once that was done, i took the obligatory "oh my god this thing looks so cool even without a case" photo (see attachment - unfortunately its a crappy phone camera photo).

    got to play with it last night - first time having my hands on a real monome rather than just watching the videos online. amazing. absolutely amazing. thanks tehn!

    so now i'm just waiting on my brother for the case. he's a guitar luthier, and he is just as intrigued by the monome as i am, so he's going to build me fully wooden case. we found some mahogany guitar blanks that the local hardwood shop was looking to get rid of - $5 total for nice mahogany in which to enclose this beautiful machine...


    great set! featured on make blog.

  • my good friend Chris has had some fun designing new perspex cases this vacation

    He has 4 case kits left of my original perspex case so contact him direct if interested at

    muddy250 ( at ) yahoo ( dot ) co ( dot ) uk


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  • I checked out you youtube vid, nice!!!

    Are these the leds you used?:


  • email sent =) I'm interested =)

    I myself had plans of a lexan or plexi ccasing; and I was going to add the extra SMT led's to the back of the unit for double-light pleasure =) I just need to see if I need to beef up anything to get it to drive 2 led's on one line.... but I had 2 hooked up last night with no ill effects so.....

    I think it would be cool to have em on the back; just for funs sake.

    I await your reply!


  • Almost done!!!!!


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  • I purchased my blue LED's off ebay; airmailed from China. $12.00 shipped. Work AWESOME!

  • i thought i had more pictures of the process, but i don't.

    pictures of the green lantern:

    demo video on vimeo:

    the faceplate and pcbs still aren't secured in the video, which is why some of the button presses are finicky.

    it's mirrored cause i filmed it in photo booth instead of imovie, and i cant' figure out how to fix it. it looks kinda cool though, since it's upside down anyways

  • Ok, here's my finished 128. (2 X 40h kits)

    it's a 3mm black anodized alum plate so I used a nut as a spacer, seems to work ok.

    I countersunk the bolts myself, so it's not perfect aesthetically, you can see the bare aluminum ring around some. they are 3/4" long, so I could have went a little smaller.... maybe 1/2".

    made an oak case, and a laminate bottom, both the plate and bottom were inset into the sides.

    made it so the back comes off with screws so the plate and circuits can slide out.

    I'm happy with it. Nice and solid and heavy. love that the buttons are below the ridge, should minimize damaging the plate and buttons. wish I took a little more care the the wood working... like the holes in the back, and fitting it all together... maybe could have tried to make it more compact... but over all, very happy.

    now for the fun part, playing with it.

  • how did you countersink them? i'm going to try to do that myself tomorrow

  • That's a great machine adcbicycle, and a top photos - thanks for sharing.

    Now get to it and make another great album :-)

  • on it's way kwyj :)

    kevin, just a normal countersink bit (90 degree I think?)... a trick if you're using a 3mm thickness: hold you finger on the opposite side of the hole, and when you feel the bit come through you're at about the right depth.

  • Hey Jared Karagen,

    Also looking for some nice bright blue LEDs...mind telling me your source from ebay was? Or anyone know where I can pick some up that would be great.

    Cheers. :)

  • Posting my flightcase 40h here for posterity.

  • so heres the new case....
    i finally got a camera to take some shots...
    hope you enjoy!

  • i just found this thread, this is awesome! the flight case is so simple its almost obvious, and yet, so totally unique! i have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how im going to enclose the 128 im building (all the parts are ordered im just waitng for them to arrive)

    im using sparkfun's buttons and pcb boards so it will be bigger than your average 128

    unless i decide to make 2 64s out of them, aw crap, there are too many awesome options, ill just have to start making many of them.