FRUKU ITORA - DIY Build
As the winter months approach, we find ourselves wanting to build more modules that are unique and serve a purpose. FRUKU as you know is a buddy of ours and like modules previously built, they serve a purpose. One of his latest modules is named Itora which we have no idea what significance that name means, but we had to have it.
The Itora according to FRUKU is a “cascaded” LFO module with four independent unsynced LFO speeds that are all controlled with one knob. Each LFO has a square and triangle wave output and the module features a cv input (with attenuator) for the speed parameters. Sounds rad huh? We thought so too, which is why this module is our most recent build.
Links and more links…
Below are a series of links that have been provided by FRUKU to help assist with the use, building and buying of the ITORA.
Of course, we are here for you as well if you have any questions while building the module. Just hit us up on our Contact Page.
Modular Grid Page – https://www.modulargrid.net/e/fruku-itora
ETSY Store Page – https://www.etsy.com/listing/1264387868/itora-cascaded-lfo-eurorack-module
Let’s get on with the build…
Everything in the kit is labeled to help ease the build process. While this build isn’t considered a beginner build, if you have had any experience soldering, you should be ok. Just make sure you have a fine tipped solder iron and a steady hand. Freek has provided the build guide and the BOM for reference and trust us, you will be using it to locate where things go. This is partially due to the close quarters of some of the components as well as the tiny numbers printed on the PCB.
First up are the resistors. Since they do not have polarity, just make sure they are mounted vertically. We like to tack down the front leg of the resistor so that you can easily flip the board without having to worry about the resistor falling out of its place. After you have placed all the resistors, tacked down the front legs, flip the board over and knock out the rest of the legs. Take your time here and go back and hit any front leg that might have been missed in the process as well.
FRUKU Itora - Time Lapse Build
Now solder the diodes, look at the BOM for the values and placements. Just remember that diodes are polarized, so please take notice of the positive and negative side when placing them. Tack everything down once you have correctly set them in their final resting place.
The 5 IC sockets are up next. An easy way to mount this component is to place a small dab of solder on one of the mounting holes. Next, gently place and press down on the IC socket as you heat the underside of the dabbed hole. The socket will click into place and be set so that you may continue soldering the rest of the pins.
This tactic also works with the power header (which you can go ahead and install) and any header pins used to connect the boards together. After you have tacked down the IC Sockets, do not install the IC’s. You will do this right before you complete the build and go into final testing.
Capacitors and Electrolytic Caps
Next solder the capacitors and pay attention to the BOM for their values and placements. Take notice of the positive and negative side with the electrolytic capacitors, as their orientation does matter. If you mess up these, you might as well toss the module. One other thing to be aware of is that the electrolytic capacitors need to be placed on the bottom side of the PCB and not on the top like the other components.
Transistors and Pin Headers
Since you already placed and soldered the power header, it is not time for the board pin headers. Start by connecting the male pin headers to their appropriate female counterpart and locate their placement on the PCB. Set these into place and then tack down one of the pins of either the male or the female depending on how you have it oriented. When everything lines up and the boards have been mated, tack down the rest of the pins to complete this step.
After the pin headers, there are 4 transistors to be installed. These can be tricky due to their close proximity of their soldering pads. Take your time and remember not to apply heat to this part for very long. Once you have soldered one pad on one transistor, move to the next transistor, going from one to another in rotation. This helps with heat distribution amongst the component.
FRUKU ITORA - Build Gallery
Jacks, Pots and LEDs
Insert the potentiometers on the top side of the PCB, and also insert the jack sockets and the LEDs (beware of the orientation of the LEDs). Do not solder just yet! Now place the front panel over the potentiometers and jack sockets and use a few nuts from the jack sockets and potentiometers to hold the front panel in place. Push the LEDs up and into the hole in the front panel, then bend their legs so they won’t slide down. Once this is complete, tack everything down.
Now it is time for the ICs and their placement. Start by removing the front panel you had previously installed for the jacks and pots. As for the ICs, you will want to make sure you get their orientation correct as the module will not function if you do not. We used our IC leg bending tool to help get the legs into the correct position prior to mounting. Next gently insert them while taking care that the notch matches the IC socket and silkscreen on the PCB. Press the ICs firmly into the socket and call it done.
Wrapping It All Up
Last up is the knob and final mating of the boards. Start by connecting the two boards together if you haven’t already. These will now be in their final resting place. Once this has been completed, it is time to mount the front panel to the module. You have done this previously so we don’t need to tell you how to complete this step in the build. When this is complete, it is time to place the knob on the module with the set screw and get to testing.
Testing is completed in our spare rack so that we don’t inadvertently don’t blow anything in our main studio racks. We did have one IC turned around the wrong way when we went to test, so the module wasn’t acting like it was supposed to. Upon correcting this, the module fired up and was ready to cascade like a boss. This just goes to show that we do make mistakes too, and it is always a good idea to double check everything prior to installing any new module into your main rack. Thank goodness for the Synthrotek TST module that helped us catch this prior to install.
Our Final Thoughts
What can one say about a cascading LFO that hasn’t been said before… not a whole lot. The main fact is that we love modules from FRUKU as they are solid and unique. The FRUKU Itora kit is aesthetically pleasing like its brethren kin and it was a fun build like many of FRUKU modules are.
Itora does what it is intended to do and it also adds some flare to any LFO coming from the module. In the end, there is no reason that every modular user shouldn’t have one of these in their racks.
If you have questions about the build process or suggestions/feedback about this article, feel free to let us know by contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Until the next build …