DIY: norns shield KIT

after some requests, i’ve just put work into bundling a kit. this includes all of the components you need to build a working norns shield, including keycaps and knobs. included screen is yellow.

it does not include a raspberry pi 3b+, sd card, or any standoff/enclosure hardware.


please see the main norns shield thread for details.

thank you for supporting monome. norns wouldn’t exist without you. :star:


What’s the diameter on those knobs? (For case design compatibility)

To add on to @okyeron’s question:

Could you share your sourcing of those knobs?

Since we’re talking about knobs – why put a knob with indicator on an endless encoder?

I’ve found it hard to find encoder knobs without indicators. I’ve been trying to find good looking, snazzy knobs for my FATES for a while.

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these are selco knobs— the standard super-normal ones that are on all of our modules (and intellijel’s etc). my calipers’ battery just died and i don’t have a datasheet on hand

i have a ton left over from TT so i figured i’d throw some in, even if people want to replace them with something else.


well, sometimes, it’s useful to have a visual point of reference, especially for norns apps where the knobs directly manipulate attributes. not all uses of an ‘encoder’ on norns are just scrolling/selecting. think about how a scratch DJ sticks tape on a continuously rotating record to indicate position; it’s still useful, even if the rotation reoccurs again and again.

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But there are many cases where one spins a knob many times to get to a desired value, and in the instance of pages and parameters the indicators are quickly no longer related to anything. I just find it more confusing and prefer to use the screen to see where I am. I put chroma caps on mine. :slight_smile:

Nice of @tehn to include them, and glad to see a kit! This will help get it out to more people.

You can pull out the caps if you want :slight_smile:
I’m not sure there exist caps for these knobs without a marker, although I have seen white knobs with a fully white cap I believe.

P.S. I know them under the name Sifam.


The Thonk store is down at the moment but you can buy the blank encoder caps for Sifam knobs there:

thonks got em !

the tops are separate from the knobs so it would cost a few cents to get new caps

i for some reason still like the lines but yes faulty interface design at play


How’s the quality of them? They feel nice and solid?

i think solid is more about encoder mounting and case design than knob but yes i like this full config quite a bit (better than other gear i’ve bought)

extra solid would be a case that allows for panel mounting (like in norns vanilla) which mine does not

oh warning: the skirted small sifam knobs might rub up against the screen depending on your spacers. pic above looks like unskirted which is safe

@okyeron is your case compatible with these spacers + knobs + key caps ?

want to adjust my design but i lost laser cutter access for now :’(

@andrew I’m waiting for some feedback on this layout - I’ve sent one to @tehn, @zebra and @dan_derks but the post office seems to have lost the one to Brian :frowning:

If the skirted knobs are 14mm at the base (which it looks like from specs), my knob holes may be too small by 1-2mm. But… the top plate may fit over the knobs. But otherwise should be ok. (See other thread for spacer lengths)

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Hello! I’m new here and in the Norns ecosystem.
Is this shield offering the same I/O and the same power than the original Norns?

Also, since I’m from Europe I’ll find better prices for parts here so most probably I’m buying just the shield. Can we get a reference for the screen?

Thank you!

@CarlosUnch look here, first post, there’s the link at the BOM. DIY: norns shield

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You can find the screen at Mouser, where I bought mine. Note that they are out of stock of the white one, and 867 will arrive in 18 weeks, at time of writing. An identical part but with yellow rather than white pixels is available right now. These are all linked out of the Octopart BOM in the main thread.


  • io is on a pair of stereo minijacks, rather than four quarter-inch/6.35mm jacks.
  • there is no dedicated headphone output or headphone driver/amp. You can use most headphones from the L/R output just fine.
  • power is supplied via a standard Raspberry Pi PSU. There is no battery.

The main thread, as linked to by @AlessandroBonino, is a good port of call for answers to these and similar questions.


The yellow screen looks like it has a molex connection - isn’t that likely to be a problem?

get the non-molex version:

Yes. You emphatically don’t want the part ending -M. The one @tehn linked is correct, sorry.