Somerset House Studios

Ewa Justka presents a six week synth DIY and PCB etching course

16, 23, 30 Mar
& 06, 13, 20 Apr 2018

Six Friday nights from 18.30 - 21.00

New Wing

During this 6 week course, you will learn about the whole process of electronic circuit production: from prototyping circuits on breadboards to etching your own PCBs and learning KiCad. 

The course is for beginners as well as for people interested in learning how to become more creative in CMOS circuit design as well as in basics of sound synthesis. It will provide participants with the knowledge and experience to start designing, building and manufacturing their own circuits from the ground up.   

Depending on what you design, the course may require participants to do additional work at home, since we will only have around 3h per week. Reading material will also be provided by Ewa for participants who’d like to further develop their knowledge and understanding of synthesis and electronics.

The course will take place over 6 Friday evenings, weekly from March 16th, in our vault at Somerset House Studios. The £100 fee covers all material costs. All tools will be provided.

This course is part of Ewa Justka’s residency with Music Hackspace from March to May 2018.

Week 1:
Introduction to electronic circuits (reading schematics, components’ symbols, understanding basic mechanisms of digital circuits)
Prototyping your first circuit – square wave oscillators and fm synthesis
Prototyping simple diode based VCA

Week 2:
Introduction to more CMOS ICs: VCOS, filters and drums (from notch filters to resonant filters; phased lock loops) – more breadboarding

Week 3:
CMOS sequencers:  counters, dividers, random sequencers, bidirectional – more breadboarding!

Week 4:
Putting it all together – soldering your final circuit on vero board (you need to decide what are you gonna design!!! - this is the creative bit )

Week 5:
What is PCB and how does it work?
Intro to KiCad – translating your circuit board onto the Echeema, creating your first PCB!
Creating your own footprints if needed, adding libraries, adding images
How to be creative in PCB design without using crazy complicated tools?

Week 6:
Etching your first every PCB! Introduction to different techniques
Hand drawn PCBs – experiments, examples
Printing garbers made in KiCad; etching it onto the copper board
Soldering and troubleshooting


Please note that the etching process in week 6 uses corrosive chemicals. We will provide suitable goggles and gloves for this, but participants are ultimately responsible for their own safety using these chemicals. If you have any questions about this, please email

We can offer a 10% concession for students or people who are unemployed or benefit recipients. If eligible, please email and they can send you a code.