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Front heavy portable systems
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Front heavy portable systems
BTG
I purchased a Moon Modular M500-3P portable system, and while I like the sound and modules, it is ridiculously front heavy. I'm not sure if this is a common problem with all MU portable units (I assume it's hard to avoid), but it makes it borderline unusable without some additional support or just always having a hand bracing it when patching.

Is there some easy way of dealing with this that I'm not thinking of, or is this nature of the beast with portable units and I should maybe look into a new case? Unfortunately this has CP modules which are hard to find cases for.
alternating.bit
Interesting... I have Dotcom 22 portables and don't have any such problem. My only "issue" is when patching / de-patching it may wobble so I have to hold the unit for support depending on how tight the jack is. The modules are a bit recessed... do the Moon ones stick out?? Can you provide a photo from the side?

EDIT:
Actually looking at this photo I can see how the modules aren't recessed at all and the knobs stick out. Not the case with Dotcom... cases. lol.
I wonder if other brands have a similar problem... Krisp? Curetronic? Analog Craftsman?
Perhaps you could simply install a counter-weight inside against the back wall.

BTG
it's just a regular M500-3p. It's 9.5" deep, and does sit on little feet. Everything seems level. It's almost impossible to casually push backwards, but trivial to tip forward.

http://www.lunar-experience.com/systems.html

I'm tempted to buy a Box-22/33 system (which looks way more stable) since I don't need the portability, and then sell the tolex Moon cabinet (and give up the CP units, which I can offset with other modules).

dotcom portables are even shallower (7"), but they're 11 MU wide (vs. 8), so I wonder if that's the difference?
alternating.bit
BTG wrote:
dotcom portables are even shallower (7"), but they're 11 MU wide (vs. 8), so I wonder if that's the difference?


I don't think you saw the few edits/revisions of my previous post but at any rate, the dotcoms are very balanced in comparison, despite being more shallow. In my experience with Moon their modules aren't deep at all so you'd probably be fine doing the switch, and yes, the Moon case is more vertical, but again the modules are not recessed at all.
BTG
yeah, this just seems like bad design. It's not really usable to me, but someone who was willing to use a guitar stand or something might find it workable.

I'm getting a quote for a Box-33 system then will likely sell off the cabinet with CP modules.
BTG
In fairness to moon, this looks like a direct copy of the Moog Model 15 case. Same dimensions and looks and the 15 has the same offset for the modules. The COTK one looks identical.

I’m wondering if there just aren’t that many of these and thus no one really complains?
JohnLRice
I haven't seen/touched one of these in person but part of the problem may be the very small and light power supplies Moon tends to use in their cases? The Moog 15 and DotCom 22 usually have fairly large and heavy linear supplies mounded to the bottom back of the case which would make them less tippy and front heavy?

I don't know how much it would help but maybe wider and lower profile rubber feet might make a slight improvement, possibly along with an added weight inside like alternating.bit suggested? I put these 1 1/2'' diameter x 3/8'' thick ones on my DotCom portable 22:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MXM4ZOZ/
BTG
Ah good point! Moon uses an external switching supply.
CZ Rider
Have a few Moog P cabinets here. They seem very stable, even the ones without a power supply
The Moog modules have metal C frames that distribute weight evenly from the front to back. They also have a steel pan underneath each row.


Have noticed the lack of weight in the back of a Dotcom 960 cabinet I have. I guess those shallow skiff friendly modules need some ballast to offset the weight evenly.
Another look at a DIY P type cabinet I made with those C frame modules.
Leverkusen
I had two of the COTK portables with extension cabs and I found them a bit tottering too. Not in the extent you are describing though but I still felt that I had to hold them with one hand when patching/depatching in a more lively manner, not so much when I was in a more contemplative mood.

I ended up with a board I built to place them on and a second board above for the extension cabs which also helped keeping the big cases in place.



I wondered how people had them on stage but on the other hand I experienced the same with my Hordijk case and thought that it might be just the trade off I get for choosing portables instead of the solid cabinet I am building now.

The COTK portables have a linear PSU and also metal plates between the rows which makes them heavier:



What comes to my mind are these solid metal bars. Two of them are to be screwed onto the rear bottom panel of my IKEA drawer to prevent it from falling over when you pull out the drawers:



Maybe those single module enclosures Moog and COTK used helped a bit too. Also making modules "skiff friendly" wasn't a big issue. Piling up shallow thing upright is a little tricky.
alternating.bit
Yeah, like I said - counterweights would help.

JohnLRice wrote:
DotCom 22 usually have fairly large and heavy linear supplies mounded to the bottom back of the case which would make them less tippy and front heavy?

I was going to mention that as well but my 2nd 22 case has no power supply inside and has no such issue. Again I think the combination of recessed modules and wider shape make a difference.
Putte
Just an idea, but why not fasten some kind of weights inside?
KSS
Before adding weight to a portable setup, How about moving the front feet as far forward as possible. If they can't be moved, then using larger diameter feet like JLR said, in the same holes will effectively move them forward.

In the photos the feet are back from the front edge which only adds to the problem. After that first step, consider using slightly taller feet in the front or shims between the existing front feet and cabinet. This will slightly tip the cabinet back and change the center of gravity rearward.

If those two aren't enough the next move would be to add a folding leg which could be pulled forward of the front plane of the cabinet for support. It could be as simple as a piece of wood the thickness of the distance between the table and cabinet bottom with a single pivot screw. Or get fancy with a piece of aluminum angle and a rubber foot, again with a fixed pivot on one end and the foot on the other. If the assymetry of having only one bothers, make two and then they'll balance and might even do a better job. Make the leg or legs able to swing both forward and to the rear and they can be used with a local to the venue weight on them at the rear when that makes more sense than pulling them forwards.

Certainly a few things to try before making a portable case less so.

Edit: Typos and adding that if you already have a weight you're moving anyways, nicely disguised as an outboard power supply, you might make a holster for it on the rear panel. I'm not a fan of carrying more, and if it's already there.. Place it low and central on the rear.
defutura
BTG wrote:
In fairness to moon, this looks like a direct copy of the Moog Model 15 case. Same dimensions and looks and the 15 has the same offset for the modules. The COTK one looks identical.


In line with some of the previous suggestions: maybe the feet are mounted farther back on the Moon case, compared with Moog/COTK.
BTG
Will try some wider/flatter feet as well, but don't think there's much wiggle room. I think another part of the issue is that, as pointed out by alternating.bit, the weight of the modules seems to be over or in front of the feet -- recessed modules that are weighted right behind the feet would probably make a difference.


And yes, I'm hesitant to add ballast to my 'portable' system smile
JohnLRice
I haven't seen inside one of those cases but it "may" be possible to move the mounting rails back so the modules are more recessed to balance the case more? hmmm..... They may have attached the rails from the outside and then applied the Tolex so in that situation trying to move the rails would likely be messy and destructive. sad banana
drob842
You should also consider the mounting depth of the synthesizers.com box series. They are a great solution, but you should note that they are MUCH shallower than nearly all other options. That may not bother you, but there are many modules that will not fit in a box 11.

I only mention that because you seemed to be considering that option, at least earlier in the thread.
SynthBaron
Lead diving weights inside the bottom rear.
BTG
drob842 wrote:
You should also consider the mounting depth of the synthesizers.com box series. They are a great solution, but you should note that they are MUCH shallower than nearly all other options. That may not bother you, but there are many modules that will not fit in a box 11.

I only mention that because you seemed to be considering that option, at least earlier in the thread.


Good point -- I think I'm okay, unless someone is aware of really deep Moon modules? This is the M500-3P sequencing system. Their Web site doesn't list module depth, but the Box-11's have a depth of 3" and the Moon tabletop boxes are 2.75" to about 4" (angled) so hopefully Moon doesn't have a tabletop that doesn't fit their stuff.

I may as well just unscrew the back of mine to double check...

EDIT: Deepest module (including ribbon connector) is probably the 569 at around 2.5" deep, so I should be fine if I wanted to move to a Box-11 setup.
JohnLRice
BTG wrote:
I may as well just unscrew the back of mine to double check...

EDIT: Deepest module (including ribbon connector) is probably the 569 at around 2.5" deep, so I should be fine if I wanted to move to a Box-11 setup.
thumbs up

And please post a picture of the inside of the case if you can? cool
Putte
What about experimenting with heavier/lighter modules and the Power supply then?
I assume patching higher up causes the problem, because the cabinet too light for your pluggng and unplugging. For me, it´s mostly the unplugging. If you concentrate heavier module in the upper part of the cabinet, it won´t be as affected as if it is light. On the other hand, once it start moving, it´ll fall easier.
Installing your heavy modules low will prevent it from tipping over. But it´ll tip backwards easier when you pu in your cables and vice versa.

You could also learn to allways put your free hand on top of the cabinet, or what if you unscrewed the feet? It might stand faster flat on your table, bench....
Mark11Audio
BTG wrote:
Will try some wider/flatter feet as well, but don't think there's much wiggle room. I think another part of the issue is that, as pointed out by alternating.bit, the weight of the modules seems to be over or in front of the feet -- recessed modules that are weighted right behind the feet would probably make a difference.


And yes, I'm hesitant to add ballast to my 'portable' system smile


... just curious why then did you buy a portable cabinet? In a few posts above you contradict yourself saying and I quote: "I'm tempted to buy a Box-22/33 system (which looks way more stable) since I don't need the portability." end quote... seriously, i just don't get it seriously, i just don't get it seriously, i just don't get it

Of course a Box 22 will be more stable, just the physics of it, lower to the ground vertically (no CP row) and 3U wider... and if portability wasn't really the issue, could have purchased a QCS44 walnut cabinet for home studio use. More like a Moog 35 ??? and the added bonus of room for expansion... because we all do... hihi



You could have bought the same modules separately, and a cabinet or flight case of your choice thus mounting a PSU at the bottom and back giving a more stable cabinet... just my .02 thinking out loud here... seriously, i just don't get it

One of the reasons I built my own cabs and PSU systems, plus I wanted a 10U wide cabinet. I still have the "look" of a IIIP in a way... but with a few more modules suited for my needs. mine are 15" deep with the PSU's mounted at the back and bottom of each cabinet.





... just trying to understand the thought process here.
BTG
JohnLRice wrote:
BTG wrote:
I may as well just unscrew the back of mine to double check...

EDIT: Deepest module (including ribbon connector) is probably the 569 at around 2.5" deep, so I should be fine if I wanted to move to a Box-11 setup.
thumbs up

And please post a picture of the inside of the case if you can? cool
JohnLRice
Also . . . I hadn't considered this before but I just tried it and it works easily and may help a little with unstable cabinets: change your patching technique?

Grab the patch cord plug body and while lightly pushing against the panel with the back of your index finger pull the plug out with your thumb and remaining fingers. Or alternatively press against the panel with the tip of your thumb and pull the plug out with your index finger etc. You just need to do this enough to break the tension of the tip connection.

It's a little hard to describe in words but try it and it will make sense. The down sides I see are possibly more finger oils on your panels, possible scratches from fingernails and maybe calluses on the back of your index finger from pushing against adjacent unpatched jacks?
JohnLRice
BTG wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
BTG wrote:
I may as well just unscrew the back of mine to double check...

EDIT: Deepest module (including ribbon connector) is probably the 569 at around 2.5" deep, so I should be fine if I wanted to move to a Box-11 setup.
thumbs up

And please post a picture of the inside of the case if you can? cool
Thanks! thumbs up
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