Welcome to

Our New Webpage
Noni Kimbel and Jim Patchell

The Jim Patchell Synthesizer D.I.Y. Web Page

    This website was first posted in December of 1998.
    Last updated March 30, 2006

    Welcome to my do it yourself analog synthesizer page.  It is a bit more than that, but this is the primary purpose.  I have been building my own analog synthesizers since 1974.  I originally started building the circuits that John Simonton (Paia) published in radio electronics, and I started right in on trying to improve on them.  My first wholly scratch built synth was completed in 1978, and I guess you could say I started out big.  It was a four voice polyphonic synth.  The keyboard scanner was originally implemented using my Polymorphic 8813.  Soon, I changed over to using the 6504 micro processor.
    I stopped for a while, right around 1990, partly because of the nice digital synthesizers that were available then, and even nicer ones now I have to admit (I love my Nord Modular), and also, because no body seemed to care about analog any longer, let alone, building one yourself.  That has all changed now.  Interest in analog synths is back up, and now that I have been introduced to the Internet, I have found out there are a lot of other people out there who share my interest.

    Things are a lot different now than they were.  It seems that finding the custom chips from CEM and SSM is very difficult.  And besides, I don't like to design circuits that use parts that may become unobtainium.  It costs a lot of money to make a PCB, I don't want to have to throw them away because I can't get parts.

    I have started to design a new set of modules.  This projects is now pretty much complete.  There are still a few things that need to be fleshed out, but it is now a fully working synth.  Hopefully, soon, I will be able to do a piece with it.

    Plus, I hope to restore some of the old equipment I built a long time ago.  I have three synths and a vocoder that are full of spider webs.

    Zaca Design is a consulting firm that I work for.  Need custom equipment built? Zaca is the place to go.


Pacific South West Synthesizer DIY Meet on June 10, 2006

The Start of the DSM1 Digital Synthesizer Module


Pacific Southwest DIY Meet 2004 Photos


Pacific Southwest DIY Meet 2003 Photos

Synth Modules For Sale
Parts For Sale

Synthesizer Project

The Jim Patchell Verilog and VHDL Archive

The Lean Thinking Webpage


Strobe Tuner Project


The Jim Patchell Gluten Free Webpage

Windows Programming Examples

Building Odd Musical Instruments

DIY Audio Webpage

Walks With Noni

The love of my life

Well, in case somebody didn't know...I now have a very lovely young lady in my life.  Noni Kimbel and myself are getting married on December 30, 2006 at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara, California.  The Christmas party was very important.  Because of my work, I was not able to go north to Seattle to celebrate the holidays with my family.  The Kimbels were very gracious in sharing the day with me.  Little did any of us know that a mere six days latter our two families would be joining.  It was on December 31, 2005 that I proposed marriage to Noni.

Christmas Party 2005 with the Kimbels

Christmas Day 2005 with the Kimbels

was, however, 10 days latter that I go the answer...

Noni Says Yes

And about two months after that Noni finally got her ring.
Noni's 50th Birthday

          Secrets of the OTA
          Spindle Controller and Spin Stand
          My First Synthesizer Project
         Old Data Sheets
         Synth DIY FAQ web page
         Protel PCB Utilities
         Polyphonic Synthesizer Boards
         Control Voltage Splitter
         Roland MT32 firmware mods
         Transistor vbe matcher
         Seven Segment Decoder Pal
         My Home Studio
         Voltage Controlled Vocal Filter Experiments
         Archives of some old drawings and articles(new)
         DIY Digital Synthesizer page

         Paia 8700 
         SMB-1        Synth Module Board
         Old VCO Circuit
         Midi To Relay Controller
         Midi Light Dimmer
         Midi to CV interface
         Do It Yourself Tips
         Restoring one of my old Homebuilt Synthesizers

         Do It Yourself Mixers
         Microprocessor Page
         Tau Synth Circuits
         Power Supply Tips
         Use full Components for Synthesizers
         TX816 Editor for Atari ST computer
         Bell Labs Voice Synthesizer

Picture of Various Things

         pictures of my home made electronic equipment
         Pictures of my CATs
         Don't you hate it when people post pictures of themselves
         The Family Piano
          My Work Room


     Schematic and owners manual for the Korg Poly 800

My Music

This is a collection of some of my music.  I am a Joplin fan, so that is what I tend to do.

    1. The Strenuous Life by Scott Joplin(mp3 3.5M)

    2. The Entertainer by Scott Joplin (MP3)

    3. Elite Syncopations by Scott Joplin (MP3)
    4. The Cascades by Scott Joplin (MP3)
    5. The Chrysanthemum by Scott Joplin
    6. The Great Crush Collision March by Scott Joplin (MP3)
    7. Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin (MP3)

      Equipment used (sorry, old recording, no SYNTH DIY in this one):

            Yamaha TX816, Yamaha TX81z, Yamaha FB-01, Kawai K1r, Oberheim XK controller, Yamaha SPX90, Teac 40-4, Art 2408, Marantz PMD430.  Digital Mastering was done on an Echo Layla.  Midi Sequencing Atari Mega ST4 running Cubase 2.0.

The Literary Section

    Books I have read
    Stories I have written

Santa Barbara Atari Computer Enthusiasts (SBACE)

    Yep, I own Atari Computers.
     Read all about mine and the Atari Club

Model Railroading

     South Coast Society of Model Engineers
    Model Railroad
     Union Pacific Transportation Innovation


Patchell Family History

  Anyway, all for now.  Hope to hear from you all.

     jim patchell