Approaching - DIY norns shield

Has anyone outside of the devs built one of these from the currently listed oshpark pcb & bom? Seems like it makes sense to build 3 at a time if buying from oshpark.

If it’s confirmed good to go i’ll build 3 and sell two smd populated boards for anyone who can’t solder. (though honestly smd can be easier than through-hole)


doing the same over here ! I’ve ordered my boards fwiw


seemed silly to not order 10 (3 for $50, 10 for $100), so i’ll have some spare boards too.


I was ready to order some boards too but I had the chance to get a fates board with pre-soldered smd so I’m gonna start by this one.

Just before that I exported the norns-shield gerbers and uploaded them to jlpcb, 10 boards (1.6mm black pcb w. enig finish) go for less than 20€ (without shipping), and you can even have 30 for 35€… thought it might be of interest to anyone looking for a cheaper option. 2mm pcbs are pricier but you can still get 30 for 65€.

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Oh, did I miss the pre-soldered boards, @tehn announced? I thought we were still in the ‘not recomended to order from the files yet’ phase?

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No you’re at the right place for norns-shields :slight_smile: (the board I got is a Fates).
Norns-shield boards were confirmed a few days ago.


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Ah, okay - I am always a bit anxous to miss limited DIY runs.

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from digikey

I can certainly measure things by hand once I get mine built but if anyone works it out otherwise be sure to share here !

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One thing I have missed is if the boards are ready and final or we have to wait before producing them as written on Github?
I would like to have a go with those and I can do SMD.

I believe @sns quoted @tehn’s confirmation above :slight_smile:

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Actually a small revision might happen to fix some missing resistors for the encoders, but the boards also work without those (just read the conversation a few posts above), if you really want to be on the safe side watch the GitHub repo until new files are posted :slight_smile: .


updated with minor edit for encoder pullups:

oshpark order link: (updated)

working on the SMD-assembled batch and the disk image.


another couple more questions, sorry but I struggle to keep up with the topic:

  1. do grids work with this? I can see there is a mention that there is a missing FTDI converter
  2. does it have an input (Line level would be enough), my main use would be to have MLR working with guitar or Modular.


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yes, over USB just like a real Norns.

the “missing FTDI converter” is what enables you on a “real” Norns to just TTY into it over the ‘power’ USB input; it breaks out a serial terminal over USB. You still have this option, but have to use the broken-out UART pins. this is unlikely to be relevant for a lot of users, who are happy connecting over wifi.


Anyone done a 3d printable case yet ? (I’m very new to 3d printing - but I may have a go for myself if there isnt an existing design)

If anyone orders some of the latest boards and wants to sell one, let me know.

does the serial header (J3) go to the pi ? do I need a ribbon cable for that ?

or is that this ? I am now guessing it is this

is there anything that would be a good idea to test as I’m going along ?

++ just 2 confirm are any of these capacitors diodes ? guessing no, placed all of them already

I’m confused on screens -

the BOM has the piece that mounts to the board but not the part that goes on the OLED yea ? it also seems like the screen needs more vertical space than what’s in the picture so it’s level with the top panel of the case (or are the buttons meant to stick way out, which seems odd) (can I solder another one of those headers to the oled then stack another header in-between the two ? seems like it would work with screws and spacers in place, I’m just a little confused on what the intentions are)

I’d say you probably want to raise the display up a bit. Or attach it to the case, then attach the rest separately.

From pictures of monome norns, the rPi module is mounted under the display, so there must be more clearance, and there are no mounting holes for the display so it must be mounted to the case first.

I usually test connections with a multimeter as I’m going when hand assembling electronics. I like to know adjacent pins on ICs aren’t bridged, grounds are grounded, power is power etc.

Basically just sanity checking, but I’ve caught things before applying power which could have cause damage in the past. Does add a little time overhead tho

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