SFC-101 Assembly guide
About the build
What you’ll find in your kit :
Start by opening all the bags of parts and organize them on your desk. Be careful not to loose any of the small pieces.
– 1 x Teensy board micro-controller
– 2 x rows 14 male pins for the Teensy MC
– 2 x rows 14 female sockets for the Teensy MC
– 7 x IC sockets
– 4 x 4051 multiplexers IC’s
– 4 x HC595 shift registers IC’s
– 21 x 30mm faders + knobs
– 16 x tact switches + knobs
– 32 x LEDs + holders/spacers
– 5 x Rotary pots
– 1 x USB B connector
– 25 x 12mm spacers
– 25 x 18mm spacers
– Enclosure (1x top panel, 1 x bottom panel (with 4 bumper feets marks), 4 x side panels)
– 4 x bumper feet
– 26 x M3 metal pan screws
– 8 x M3 nylon screws
The enclosure panels in your kit are covered with a blue protective plastic film. Remove it before trying to assemble the enclosure.
Things you will need :
– The best soldering iron you get can your hands on
– Soldering wire (around 0.5mm for small pins, for big pins 1mm can be easier but is optional – lead-free solder with a “no-clean” flux core is our recommendation)
– Flush cutters
– De-soldering pump (optional)
– Desoldering wick (optional)
– A good amount of time and patience. Don’t rush it and triple-check everything that you’re doing. Trying to fix mistakes after the fact is much more work than doing it correctly right away
Disclaimer : We are not responsible for anything wrong (including damaging the PCB or parts, electric shocks, malfunctions, fires, accidents involving a soldering iron) that might happen during the assembly of the kit. Everything you do while assembling the kit is at your own risks. Respect basic safety rules when soldering.
Always follow this order of operation during assembly. Soldering parts in another order makes proper assembly much more difficult. The key is to start with the lowest profile parts and to end with the highest profile parts. Another important thing is to always make sure that the parts are as close and as straight as possible to PCB surface before soldering. TRIPLE-CHECK everything that you’re doing. Some parts are easy to get soldered correctly (like the tact switches), but the IC’s and LEDs are polarized and if you solder them the wrong way around it won’t work. It sometimes can take a while to fix wrong solder joints, so think before you melt the solder!!
We’ll start with the front side of the PCB. Which means that we will insert parts in the front of the PCB (the side you can see the SoundForce logo on) and we’ll flip the PCB to solder the parts in place.
IC sockets : FRONT SIDE
IC’s : FRONT SIDE
Tact Switches : FRONT SIDE
Faders : FRONT SIDE
You need to make sure that every fader is straight and flush against the PCB surface before you solder them. Start by placing the first fader in position like this (push until it’s all the way inside the holes) :
Then holding the fader in place, flip the board and bend 2 legs of the fader like this :
You can now go ahead and solder ONLY ONE of the 4 side mounting legs (the bigger pins) like this :
When the solder joint is completely cooled down, hold the PCB and the fader with one hand (use your thumb on the fader on the bottom of the PCB). With your other hand reheat the pad with the iron. When you see the solder re-flow (getting fluid again) push firmly against the center of the fader to bring it as far as possible inside the holes (you might have to use a glove as the back of the fader can get hot), then remove the iron from the joint and wait until the solder soldifies again to remove your thumb:
Solder now the other mounting leg across on the other side :
The reheat this leg and push on the back of the fader again as you did with the other leg :
The fader is now locked straight in place and you can solder the remaining 2 mounting legs and 3 signal pins of the fader. Repeat those steps for the remaining faders.
Rotary pots : FRONT SIDE
Place the first rotary pot in its place. You have to press it firmly in, it should snap in nicely. Start to solder one of the side legs, check if it’s straight then solder the second leg and proceed to its 3 pins.
Leds and holders : FRONT SIDE
Place the 31 LEDs into their holders and make sure they’re flush against the holder surface.Insert the LED in place, the longer lead of each LED is going into the “+” pad and the shorter lead in the “-” pad.Bend the LED leads at the back of the PCB at about a 45deg angle. Pull a bit of the leads when bending them to get the LED flat on the surface of the PCB.Repeat this for the 28 remaining LEDs. Then flip the PCB and solder just 1 pin of every LED. Use just a small amount of solder as those pins are very small. Temporarily placing the front panel on top can help to see if everything will fit. Make sure that everything is straight and then solder the 30 other second pins. When you’re done, cut off the rest of the lead that is sticking out of the bottom of the PCB. Do it one lead at the time. This is the result you are looking for :FIY, those LEDs have integrated resistors; that’s why no resistors are included in the kit.
The next parts need to get soldered at the BACK of the PCB.
USB connectors : BACK SIDE
ON THE BACK SIDE of the PCB, insert the 2 USB connectors (USB-A & USB-B). A bit like the tact switch, they snap-in very nicely on the board. Use a good amount of soldering for the bigger mounting pins and just a bit of solder for the 4 signal pins.You can notice on the pictures some flux residue around the small pins. Flux is a chemical agent that aids in the flowing of the solder. It is found in the core of the soldering wire. When the solder joint cools down, the flux residue solidifies and sticks on the surface. As long as you get solder with “no-clean” flux you don’t have to worry about it. If you don’t use “no-clean” flux, you should clean the flux residue with isopropyl alcohol.
Upload the firmware on the TeensyPlease follow the infos on the support page to upload the firmware on the Teensy board.
Teensy sockets: BACK SIDE
Insert the 12mm male/female spacers on top and the 18mm female/female spacers on the bottom and screw them together.
Insert the Teensy in its sockets
Insert the 2 rows of 14pins in the socket, place the teensy on top and solder the pins with very little solder. In this fashion : https://youtu.be/ArQKxe7X_q4?t=2m42s
Don’t mind the extra pins sticking of the teensy on the picture above, it was used for testing but they are not necessary for this project.
Programming the Teensy:
Find the firmware and follow the guide on this page : http://sound-force.nl/?page_id=1151
It’s time to plug your SFC-101 into your computer to try the controller with the U-NO-LX plugin. You can find a mapped preset for your controller at http://sound-force.nl/presets. The MIDI monitor software is helpful to check if every switch and faders are outputting MIDI cc correctly.
Enclosure assembly :
Please note the following pictures are showing the assembly of the SFC-60, but the SFC-101 assembles using exactly the same principle. New photos coming shortly.
Once you’re sure that the controller is working, you can assemble the enclosure. Screw the 7 remaining 12+18 spacers together. Screw the PCB on the bottom panel using 19 screws. Then screw the 12+18 spacers to the bottom panel on the remaining 7 outside holes:Insert the sides in the bottom panels starting by the right side (where the USB connector is). The notches on the panels are there to help you assemble it properly:Insert the front panel into the side notches (you might need to give it a little pressure):Attach it with the 8 nylon M3 screws. Turn the controller over and apply the 4 bumper feet on the 4 small holes at each corner. They peel right off the support sheet. Then insert the 22 fader caps and the 15 tact switches caps.You’re done! Congratulations. Enjoy your SFC-101 MIDI controller. Check our the manual on our support page with the DAW set-up.
– If one isolated LED is not working, you probably soldered it the wrong way around. You can apply a 5V power source (with the USB cable disconnected) on the pins of the LED to check if that’s the problem before you try to unsolder it.
– The switches are connected directly to the Teensy micro-controller. If one switch is not working, check its solder joints.
– If nothing happens when you plug the USB cable in the USB-B connector, try connecting the Teensy directly into the computer. If it is then working, there is most likely a connection problem with the 2 USB connectors. The signal pins of the connectors are very small; check if you didn’t short circuit them.