Bill and Will's Synth
MOTM 310 Construction
"Micro Voltage Controlled Oscillator"


January 2009 -

Still on our way toward our work on the "One Mad Track" record,  Will and I just finished construction (although not testing, etc.) of the MOTM300 Ultra VCO.  So now we're moving on to the MOTM 310 - building two of them and including modifications equivalent to those we did on the 300.

We built our 310s from an old-style Synthesis Technology kit. For those of you who are building this as of "MOTM 2.0," you can download a Bill of Materials (BOM) we made for 2.0 users by clicking here.

There are some great photos and modification info on the Larry Hendry site.

Table of Contents

This page has become really long, so here's a table of contents that we hope will make it easier to traverse:

Background - presents an explanation and Paul Schrieber's initial description of the Module with a couple photos from Larry Hendrey

Modifications - presents details of Larry Hendry's Fine Tune Modification and Paul Haneburg's Tracking Adustment

Parts - presents a Bill of Materials for "two-dot-oh" builders and notes about it

Panel - presents the MOTM format panel

Construction Phase 1 - Resistors, Capacitors, IC Sockets, Power Plugs, MTA headers

Construction Phase 2 - Trimmers, Panel connections

Set up / Testing

Use notes


Paul Writes:

"The MOTM-310 is perfect for adding additional VCOs to your system. Using the same "core" circuitry as the MOTM-300 UltraVCO, the MOTM-310 retains its superior stability and sonic characteristics in half of the space. Great for driving the SYNC of MOTM-300's, and for building portable systems.

  • Superior Tracking, <0.05%
  • Ultra-Low Drift, <0.5Hz/24 hours
  • Variable Waveshape Output
  • PWM Input
  • Variable FM Input
  • Wide Range, <0.05Hz to 32kHz
  • MicroModule Series, 5U high x 1U wide

photo from Larry Hendry


1.  Fine Tune Mod.

Larry Hendry wrote:

"Just as with my MOTM-300, I found the fine tune range on my MOTM-310 too wide for my personal preference. On the unmodified MOTM-300, it is about 11 semitones. I changed mine to 4 semitones. See my MOTM-300 modification document for details.

I found the unmodified MOTM-310 fine tune to have a range of 8 semitones. I wanted to change that to approximately match my modified MOTM-300 range of 4 semitones.

The change is again simple (although applied differently than the MOTM-300). You have two easy choices:

  1. Change R17 from a 4.7 Meg-ohm to 10 Meg-ohm resistor. However, a 1% tolerance resistor of 10 Meg-ohm can be difficult to find.
  2. Add a 4.7 Meg-ohm resistor in series with R17. This involves cutting one trace that connects two via holes and adding the 4.7 Meg ohm resistor connecting to these two via holes.

The resistor addition is very near the tempco resistor...

PCB top and bottom
photos from Larry Hendry

...This modification is easily reversible. You can restore the cut trace by soldering a resistor lead between the two via holes where we are installing the 4.7 Meg-ohm resistor."

2.  VCO Tracking Mod.

Larry Hendry presented a procedure for tweaking the VCO tracking developed in 2002 by Paul Haneburg. The procedure involves determining a value for R36 that provides the best tracking for the specific VCO and you can download Paul's detailed procedure instructions here.

So for now, we're going to leave R36 out.  We'll put clips in there like we did for the 300.


In 2008 (or about that time), Synthesis Technology stopped producing full-blown kits, and moved toward what Paul calls "2.0" (two-dot-oh) DIY. This assumes the builder will buy certain parts from Synthesis Technology - PCB, Panel, and in some cases a Special Parts Kit of the particularly hard to find parts - and will get the rest of the parts from Mouser or Digikey or - well - wherever.

For those who are building this as a "two-dot-oh" project, Will and I, with feedback and review from others, have developed a parts-list / bill-of-materials in the form of an XL spreadsheet (as usual).

Please don't take it as gospel. We've been over and over it and are relatively confident in our specifications - and we hear that several people have used it successfully so you should be good.  The BOM assumes that you get the "extra parts kit" from Synthesis Tech.  Synthesis Technology offers some parts like pots and knobs at particularly good prices... these options are offered in the BOM.

Click here to download our XL spreadsheet Parts List


If you're building this as a "two-dot-oh" project, we also assume you get the panel from Synthesis Technology:

Construction Phase 1

All the stuff in Phase 1 gets soldered using "Organic" Solder.  At every break in the action, we wash the board off to get rid of the flux.

PCB front

PCB back

Here's where the modifications will be

The whole first phase - -

resistors sorted, ready to begin

if you'd like step by step detail, check out the MOTM300 page.  That module is similar.

Snack - Baked Salmon - Pesto

the salmon - soaking in soy sauce, oiled, and lots of dried basil

the pasta - water oiled and salted

cooking the pasta

adding the pesto

Oh yesss!  It's great!

Construction Phase 2

All the stuff in Phase 2 gets soldered using "No-Clean" Solder and the PCB doesn't get washed off from here on.


R36 wires with sleeves

OK - now we're going to solder in these cool little sleeves Gino Wong gave us so we can change the value of R36 if we need to per the Paul Haneburg procedure.

Tempco Resistor


Fine Tune Modification

We didn't find a 1/4 Watt 4.7M Resistor for the modification, so we used a 1/2 Watt one.



for more detail, click here

Panel Connections

Here's the order in which we connected the jacks - it's different than Paul's instructions and worked better for us.

first the jumpers connect to the middle contact of the 1V/OCT and FM jacks

1V/OCT signal connection

1V/OCT ground connection

FM signal connection

FM ground connection

PWM signal connection

PWM ground conncetion

OUT signal connection

OUT ground connection

tied up

R36 resistors with pins

OK - now to solder the cool little pins Gino Wong gave us to the R36 resistors.  We're using 1% 1.8M resistors.


ready for knobs.

Construction done!

Set up / Testing

Use Notes


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The fine Print:
Use this site at your own risk.
We are self-proclaimed idiots and any use of this site and any materials presented herein should be taken with a grain of Kosher salt. If the info is useful - more's the better.  Bill and Will

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