HELP: Building an illucia DTR?

I’m sure a lot of you have heard of Chris Novello’s amazing illucia DTR and illucia Console that he’s built, if you haven’t I would highly recommend checking it out here. Basically it’s a physical controller for your computer to route OSC messages, allowing you to send signals between computer programs in a unique and satisfying way. I’ve been obsessed with this concept since I found out about it. Since Chris did only a very limited run of the original DTR’s, there’s really no other option but to try and build one myself. Thankfully, Chris has made it all open source and fairly easy to understand, even for a beginner such as myself. As someone who is learning the basics of electronics and programming, I want to try and build the illucia using a breadboard (as I haven’t found a cheap way to produce my own PCB’s to replicate the one’s Chris has on the illucia’s github page). This is where my main line of questions comes in. I know it’s possible to use a Teensy on a breadboard from my research, but where I’m confused is how to interpret what’s on the PCB designs Chris has provided onto the breadboard. If anyone who has built an illucia or owns one could help me out with understanding it’s electronic circuitry, that would be greatly helpful. I’ve tried to reach out to Chris, however that has been unsuccessful (I’m sure he’s a busy guy). Thank you guys!



I bought my DTR from Chris so don’t have any experience diying one.
Looks like somebody in the thread linked below has some hands on experience though. Maybe try getting in touch with them?
Good luck!

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chris is up here or at least has been. he is an incredible human. i will message him and see if he will make an appearance.

I’ve noticed he’s been on before! He’s an incredibly talented guy, his work is super inspiring

I still have a teensy board packed away to hopefully put this thing together one day when I Have some extra time

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I’ve always liked the idea of the Illucia, never seen one inside, but hate to see people living the nightmare of perfboard unnecessarily!
You can just upload the .brd files to and get
3 x illucia_dtr_teensy_v1.0.brd for $30
3 x usb_breakout_1.0.brd for $2
including shipping.
If you open the Eagle files (hopefully the work in the free version) you can see the wiring connections in the schematic - might make more sense. Let me know if you need a PDF of the schematic.


A PDF of the schematic would be super helpful, and thank you for recommending OSH Park! I had stumbled across it before actually when I was looking at your mod for the Axoloti and totally forgot about it. I’ll definitely be using that. Thank you so much Tom! Huge fan of your work as well.

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tom tom


You may not need a PCB, you could go with point to point wiring. I’m not sure it makes much sense at the moment though. I have a diy mini illucia, and one of the original ones. The software seems to be currently broken on recent versions of MacOS, and a message to Chris has gone unanswered.

If you’re good with Processing, maybe it could be fixed.


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illucia_dtr_teensy_v1.0_board.pdf (51.3 KB)
illucia_dtr_teensy_v1.0.pdf (50.9 KB)
usb_breakout_1.0.pdf (8.7 KB)


Hiya — my prototype illucia dtr ran wires right off a teensy, so that is also an option. If you order one without pins that’d get you there. You’d have to look at the arduino code to figure out which are the right pins to wire up to which jacks… but not too bad. Annoying to mount a teensy with no pins… but maybe there is a way depending on how you’re building it.
The PCBs are dead simple — mostly there were a way to mount the teensy, plus add a few resistors as very simple static protection for the jacks (which would otherwise directly expose the teensy pins to the outer world… but again I had that one first proto and I got away with it. IIRC the chip itself did have some minor degree of static protection)

If I had any PCBs left I’d offer you one but they’re gone.
I do have a pile of drilled enclosures if anyone wants them. I’m pretty busy lately but maybe could figure that out.

I’ll look into the Mac issues. Have just been busy with the start of the semester (I’ve been teaching some lately) and just have a billion things on the back burner. Sorry for ghostlife


Awesome to hear from you chris! I would definitely take you up on getting a drilled enclosure. And I think that Tom solved my problems with the PCBs, I’ll go through OSH Park to print them. Then it’s just a matter of making sure I get everything hooked up right.

I just tested the illucia software on my Mac 10.12.3. Everything seemed to run solid with two notes.

  1. had to install legacy version of java…
  2. noticed that the DTR would stay connected but would not respond in Max intermittently. Resolved by taking the following steps: navigate to the illucia Connect app, select GET INFO, and check the box for PREVENT APP NAP… it seemed to resolve the intermittent connectivity issue.

Hope this helps for others!

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if that’s of any use i rewrote the illuciaConnect client in ChucK for my own use. It’s not perfect but should be useable: (6.3 KB)


So I’m still working on getting parts together and all that, this is going pretty well so far. This thread really helped reinvigorate my interest in building one of these. However I still have a question about OSC. I want most of my OSC signals to be coming from Max/MSP, but I’m having trouble working with OSC in Max. I’ve downloaded the CNMAT external objects which include several OSC objects, but I’m having trouble getting them to work. Whenever I open the object in a patch, it turns orange and says the object can’t be found. Does anyone know how to fix this or any other ways to send/receive OSC in Max?

Heya I built one of these

I plugged it into the same computer as a Monome 128 grid. This did not work as expected, in that both devices cannot operate at the same time. I plan on porting the DTR Processing driver + OSC namespace + firmware for the DTR to serialosc. Unless someone else has done so already I think this is a valuable exercise for the community.

I’ve begun some code wrangling and documenting to get started. Looks like most of the things will be firmware changes. libmonome looks nice.


I happened to have mine open for reasons, so, for posterity: