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3D vactrol enclosure
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next [all]
Author 3D vactrol enclosure
so yeah , I saw Andrew's post at his block about diy vactrol enclosures that he found , , and I said i have to make a 3D model, so yeah here it is , all measurements are taken from datasheets and doublechecked with a caliper .

I ll try next week, that i will be close to a 3D printer to make some clones/prototypes !


anyway , it is a bit bizzare , I know -
I will post some updates with a 3D model here in a week or two (I could print to people for a cost price when are going to be set) ,
so if any of you is interested can pm or just post here .

check 3d renders and drawings!
I was actually planning on making some designs like this. Kudos for releasing them!
They look great.

For anybody wondering, there is nothing more inside a vactrol than a LDR and LED.
Pricewise they are actually a complete rip-off; 5c worth of components and a glob of resin for over $10 d'oh!
These DIY versions work just as well. Of course you need to track down LDRs to suit your needs. Plenty on ebay for a few cents each.
andrewF wrote:
Of course you need to track down LDRs to suit your needs. Plenty on ebay for a few cents each.

Tayda have them. I used them for home-made dual vactrols for Fonik's mh21 triple vactrol resonator kit recently, they seemed to work OK.
Oh, and the enclosures look good! Nice work.
GL5549,GL5516,GL5537 ,GL5528 depends on resistance of every type ,and color of the led. you can get hundreds from china
Oooh and I was sitting between a bunch of printers today thinking what the hell useful can you make with these things seriously, i just don't get it


Nice. I'm glad I didn't get in on that group buy. Vactrols are a ripoff. I'd order a bunch of these.
I've always made my vactrols, using a flat top 3.5mm LED and standard good quality CDS cell (LDR) which meets the off requirements.
Mate these with a touch of glue inside 2 layers of heat shrink tubing.

Recently I've been designing vactrols into 2 stacked boards which have black foam rubber with holes punched out between.
The LED is a flipped 603 SMD white,shining through a hole into the "hole" and the CDS Cell is on the other board facing it.

I've used as many as 16 on a tiny board 3.5" x 1.5" and they work great.
This one has 12. Note that the LEDS and holes must be covered with black paint so they can't reflect off stuff or stray light get in.

Wow, what a board
Sandrine which LDRs do you use?
great work flab!
Looks pretty good, will need to give this a try myself.

With regard to pricing of vactrols, IMHO you're not so much paying for the assembly of the vactrol, but more for the binning of the LDR's. Especially the double ones.
They need to go through all of those LDR's to test them, and out of every say, 1000 they make they can use maybe a few hundred which are falling in the tolerance ranges for on AND off resistance AND reaction times. If it were up to me, I'd sell the rest on as loose parts. And given that these are often without, or with a very wide range, I think that's what happens.
The loose ones I bought nearly always are a lot slower than VTL5C3.

Sandrine, that's pretty nifty as well! Can you properly solder those top-looker SMT LED's? How did you mount the LDR's, simply bury them in the foam?
I'm curious to see how these turn out.
My previous attempt to make DIY optocouplers with some black goop were pretty messy, and this would allow me to save my Vactrols for circuits that required a specific part.
Reality Checkpoint
I would very much like some of these!
btw, maybe these are also a an option to use, you can get them for cheap in large quantities (keywords: cord lock stopper barrel)

I was thinking the other day about trying out Sugru for this- just mush it over everything but make sure you don't block the two parts from each other. But Sugru isn't exactly cheap either. What seems like it might work best is to take the 3d model and make a mold to make a bunch of these at once.
Hey guys ,

I am glad you like them ,

I am not an expert in circuit design and electronics - but I am building your(thanks),
but spatial design is a part of my job(kind of).

I myself have some VTL in stock ,
but I couldnt resist in designing our own.
What I say is that is not acceptable to design synths and buy the vactrols!

well that is my contribution to your help.

I just want to verify the design, that everything works and fits together well and i will open source them .
-So if you like to print your own.
-if not i could print you some .
av500 wrote:
Sandrine which LDRs do you use?

I'm not at home but I think they're 5539CDS (5 meg dark, but go higher after a few seconds)

Those rope locks are an intersting idea. would still need to heatshrink over them though
Looking at the files again, you could try to make some snap features so top and bottom just snap together, no glue required.
I know that for printing yourself you cannot add any smallish features, but if you have them made at a company like Shapeways, using SLS you could think of a bump and an indent to snap the parts together.

For FDM, if you are printing yourself, I think the edge around the cover is already pretty thin, what kind of accuracy can you get with a filament printer?
cheers for input jarno - well would be nice not to required glue, i think would be a tight fit ,strong enought to stay together . the Edge is pretty thin indeed. i made three types of prototypes to print and compare !i think minimum accuracy possible 1.75mm if not mistaken
As someone who just made 120 vactrols by hand I would be ecstatic if all the work that I had to do to finish the vactrol was glue them together.
Nice one flab! The inventiveness and ingenuity of people on this forum never ceases to amaze me.

Perhaps you could incorporate something (a dot or whatever) to indicate polarity of the LED (although I appreciate that generally the LED leads should be sufficient for this purpose unless/until they are cut to size).

Definitely would like to buy a batch of these.
I will definitely be interested if you're making a run of them.
ok… I have resisted the idea of rolling my own for long enough. Seeing a bag of 1000LDRs for around 25 bucks on aliexpress there is no reason not to. although it would be nice to have semi-accurate ranges. is it more the ldr/led combo that affects that, or should I expect differing functional ranges within a single batch of LDRs from one manufacturer? If so having these not snap but still require glue I think would be an advantage- you could test the response of each combo getting it within the desired range before gluing the enclosure permanently closed- a bit more effort but would save a lot of otherwise wasted parts, and with the VTL option ending/eventually drying up for those more picky about specs it seems worth the effort.

also once a design is tested/finalized I would think there would be enough demand within the DIY community that you could easily get the plastic shell mass-manufactured and have it cheap enough that people would buy it in lots. If I knew I could get desired response ranges by rolling my own I'd certainly buy the shells in bulk if the price was right.
falafelbiels wrote:



Seconded grin

Can anyone point me to a source of useful LDRs in Europe?
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